A Puzzle by Sprocker
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Sprocker returns – not before time! 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.
Well done to Sprocker for a pangram with a Nina to tell us of this. All well clued but perhaps too many four letter anagrams which could have been clued more inventively.
8 Funny – if it’s in, then someone’s left out (4)
JOKE – An in-???? is a funny or witticism that those outside the group won’t get.
9 Doctor article in demand (5)
DRAIN – A two letter abbreviation for doctor followed by the indefinite article and the IN from the clue.
10 Make changes to help through a difficult time! (4)
EDIT – If you ???? over someone or something you give them help through a difficult time. Use the over a reversal indicator for the first part of the word to get the answer.
11 Hotel with the French name (6)
HANDLE – The abbreviation for hotel followed by a word meaning with and the French masculine singular for the.
12 Rookie institute (8)
INITIATE – Double definition, the first as a noun and the second a verb.
13 Grasp provided drink (8)
DIGESTIF – A word meaning to grasp or mull over the significance of something followed by a word meaning provided.
15 Exchange irrelevant type of card with a Queen (6)
NASDAQ – … a stock exchange. The abbreviation for not applicable (irrelevant) followed by a type of memory card used in cameras and other devices, the A from the clue and a single letter abbreviation for Queen used in chess.
17 Definition of lucidity (7)
CLARITY – Double definition though the two meanings are closely related.
19 Deceit fails heartless Tory badly (7)
FALSITY – An anagram (badly) of FAILS TY (the inner letters of Tory being removed (heartless)). As the final two letters are the other letters of Tory, perhaps badly fails heartless Tory might have been better.
22 Tail of County Cricket Club with two unknowns (6)
COCCYX – The abbreviation for county and cricket club followed by two letters used to represent unknown quantities.
24 Problem ward? (8)
DRAWBACK – An inverse clue where the answer gives a clue to how you would reach the word ward in a cryptic way.
26 Seat of Member’s leader (8)
ARMCHAIR – A three letter word for a member of the body followed by the leader of a board or group of people.
28 Cultivate career (6)
PLOUGH – Double definition, the first being a form of cultivation and the second to run at speed through something.
30 Joker could be a joker (4)
CARD – What in a pack could be a joker is also a name for a joker named for what is in the pack.
31 Intermittently Lennon audio causes tedium (5)
ENNUI – The even letters (intermittently) of Lennon Audio.
32 Potential subject of sentence? (4)
NOUN – In grammatical terms the subject of a sentence but could weakly be read as a prisoner in the dock.
1 Cato gaudily wraps clothing (4)
TOGA – The answer is hidden in (wraps) CATO GAUDILY.
2 Treasured but heralded poorly (4,4)
HELD DEAR – An anagram (poorly) of HERALDED.
3 That learner is the laziest! (6)
IDLEST – The abbreviation for learner inside the Latin for that is or ie. As mentioned, the most lazy would have avoided having the final three letters of the answer appearing in the clue.
4 Posed in some flimsy Y-Fronts to fulfil obligations (7)
SATISFY – A three letter word meaning posed followed by the initial letters (fronts) of In Some Flimsy Y.
5 Mark is excellent about supporting home decoration (8)
INSIGNIA – Another word for a mark followed by a two letter word meaning excellent go underneath (supporting) a word meaning home.
6 Sequence of America’s seasons (6)
SERIES – A sequence of TV programs that is called a season in the US but the answer in the UK.
7 Has not messed with Tina (4)
AINT – An anagram (messed with) of TINA.
14 Schoolgirl hides topsy-turvy residence (5)
IGLOO – The answer is hidden and reversed (hides topsy-turvy) inside SCHOOLGIRL.
16 Old Mexican sounds like IT guy briefly (5)
AZTEC – A homophone sounds of AS (like) plus a word for an IT person with the final letter removed (briefly).
18 Domicile for those avoiding liability (3,5)
TAX HAVEN – A straight definition with no cryptic or alternative reading that has any meaningful sense.
20 Writ below Edgar Allan’s note, “top grade” (8)
SUBPOENA – A three letter prefix meaning below, the surname of the author Edgar Allen, the abbreviation for note and the top grade in an exam.
21 Prizing Gordian’s undoing (7)
ADORING – An anagram (undoing) of GORDIAN.
23 Military leader and first ever programmer find bug (6)
CICADA – The abbreviation for Commander in Chief (military leader) followed by the first name of Ms Lovelace, the first programmer. Strictly, the structure should be wordplay finds definition.
25 Assistant to the French assistant I recommended initially (2,4)
AU PAIR – The French for “to the” followed by the abbreviation for a personal assistant and the initial letters of I recommend. Can you have the initial letter of a one letter word – see also 4d?
27 Pear-shaped harvest (4)
REAP – An anagram (shaped) of PEAR. There are rather of lot of four letter anagrams which are hardly the most challenging of the clues.
29 Frodo’s rival loses ring, gets disheartened, becomes sad (4)
GLUM – Take Gollum (Frodo’s rival) and remove the O (loses ring) and then remove the central letter from those that remain.