A Puzzle by Snape
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Snape returns with his second puzzle. As usual, the setter will be delighted to receive feedback from you, the solvers. I do ask that you remember that for most setters this is a new experience, so please only offer constructive criticism.
Prolixic has updated his document entitled “A brief guide to the construction of cryptic crossword clues” which can be downloaded, in pdf format, from the Rookie Corner index page or by clicking below.
A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.
I was unable to blog Snape’s first crossword but was looking forward to blogging the second. It was worth the wait. The crossword was a joy to solve and had far fewer problems with the wordplay than the first one.
1 Outspoken athlete and life peer, doing time, fall together (8)
COINCIDE – A homophone (outspoken) of COE (athlete and life peer) INSIDE (doing time).
5 Organise male, 32, for example (6)
MANAGE – Another word for a male followed by what 32 is an example of, in terms of how old you are.
9 Smuggling genuine pot is made relatively beneficial (8)
NEPOTISM – The answer is hidden in (smuggling) GENUINE POT IS MADE. The smuggling at the beginning is slightly Yoda like but works. You get “conveying secretly – genuine pot is made [is] relatively beneficial but it is not the smoothest of cryptic readings.
10 Sweetens Alan and Ray Robinson? (6)
SUGARS – The surname of Alan (from Amstrad and the Apprentice fame) and the first part of the name of Ray Robinson (of boxing fame) in the plural.
12 Cold electrician loses head (5)
PARKY – Remove the first letter (loses head) of an informal term for an electrician. Chambers gives only sparks or sparkie as the informal term for an electrician. As a student lighting college productions I was only ever known as the sparks – at least the among the polite names!
13 Liver transplant? I came in for a drug that reduces enzyme activity (9)
INHIBITOR – Another word for a person who dwells somewhere (liver) with the A replaced by an I (transplant – I came in for A). I don’t mind the extended swapping but perhaps the ? could have been replaced by a hyphen as in the explanation to make it slightly smoother.
14 Checked around – she says it didn’t happen (6)
DENIER – Reverse a word meaning checked. I think that he hyphen here makes is clear that it is the first word that is to be reversed.
16 Laura’s erratically taking drug, most of the time (2,1,4)
AS A RULE – An anagram (erratically) of LAURAS including an E (taking drug – Ecstasy).
19 Mad OAP thrown out, reputation in tatters, becoming more insane (7)
NUTTIER – An anagram (in tatters) of REPUTATION after removing the letters in OAP. Mad is a subsidiary anagram indicator to tell the solver that the letters in OAP are not in the same order in the main word.
21 Has recovered from party to perform excessively (6)
OVERDO – Split 4,2, the answer could indicates having recovered from party.
23 Agreed on a fruity drink (9)
ORANGEADE – An anagram (fruity) of AGREED ON A.
25 Warning: Spoonerism, reversal, hidden word (5)
SIREN – The answer is hidden and reversed inside SPOONERISM.
26 Members of cast rally around stars (6)
ASTRAL – The answer is hidden inside (members … around) of CAST RALLY. The solution is an adjective but the definition is a noun. Members of would be a sufficient hidden word indicator and for a continuation of the wordplay include might have been better than around.
27 Not worried about meeting heartless judge (8)
CAREFREE – A two letter word meaning about followed by a match official (judge) with the middle letter removed (heartless).
28 Cut physical activity without hesitation (6)
EXCISE – Remover two letter word used to express a hesitation from a word meaning physical exercise.
29 Discard what might be happening when you put another dime in the jukebox, baby (8)
JETTISON – Split 4,2,2, this would give the name of the singer playing whose lyrics included “Put another dime in the jukebox, baby”. Although the answer was clear from the checking letters, I think that the wordplay itself requires too much specialist knowledge of singers and their works. Although checking letters can help the solver, a good test of fairness is to ask whether the solver could reasonably be expected to understand the clue without the benefit of the checking letters and access to Google.
1 Able to mimic starter (6)
CANAPE – A word meaning able to followed by a word meaning to mimic.
2 Wanting the view of a narcissist (9)
IMPERFECT – Split 2, 7, this could be a statement that a self-absorbed person might make.
3 Absent-minded? Scratch the head and become spiteful (5)
CATTY – Remove the first letter (scratch the head) from a word meaning absent minded. A very minor point but wordplay and become definition jars slightly. Perhaps “Scratch the head becoming spiteful” would be better.
4 File does less work? (7)
DOSSIER – If doss is to do little work, someone (fancifully – indicated by the question mark) to do less work might be this word for a file. I know that this does not quite work as doss on its own is not an adjective so you cannot really transform it to a comparative adjective but I have a soft spot for this inane type of clue!
6 Outline a stupid place (9)
ADUMBRATE – The A from the clue followed by a four letter word (no not that type of four letter word!) meaning stupid and a word meaning to assign a place or ranking to something. I think that the clue is fine without the “of”.
7 What an actor has isolated (5)
APART – Split 1, 4 this is what an actor has.
8 Put out, made a big effort to welcome son (8)
EXSERTED – A seven letter word meaning made a big effort includes (to welcome) the abbreviation for son.
11 Hear about bird (4)
RHEA – An anagram (about) of HEAR.
15 I serenade girl to clarify things – I use this (9)
ISINGLASS – The I from the clue followed by a word meaning to serenade and a word for a girl.
17 Soft throws may be smelly (9)
UNDERARMS – The part of the body that may be smells gives a type of bowling considered to be soft.
18 Secretly constrain Nova test drive change (8)
INNOVATE – The answer is hidden in CONSTRAIN NOVA TEST. I think that four hidden answer clues in a puzzle is a few too many.
20 Interpreted freehand evenly (4)
READ – The even letters in FREEHAND.
21 The centre-left is following dramatic musical work (7)
OPERATE – Remove the middle letter (centre-left) from THE and put the remaining letters after a word for a dramatic musical.
22 Work experience student removed damaged mail from Italian football team (6)
INTERN – From the name of a football team removed an anagram (damaged) of MAIL and the remaining letter give you your answer.
24 Father abandons desperate caper (5)
ANTIC – Remove the two letter abbreviation for father (as in a Catholic priest) from a word meaning desperate.
25 Four points in a row brushed aside (5)
SWEPT – Three of the point of the compass followed by the abbreviation for point.