A Puzzle by Silvanus
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Silvanus has waited patiently for his turn to come around again! 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.
Silvanus entertains us once again with a well constructed crossword. There are some minor comments that point to where the clues have their shine polished more. The only main comment is that from 30 clues, one-third of them involved anagrams or partial anagrams, which is a little on the high side.
1 Take in the world of a sailor (6)
ABSORB – Split 2’1, 3 the answer gives a two letter word for a sailor with the possessive ‘s added followed by another word for the world.
5 Leave of absence covering stars but missing start of performance (8)
FURLOUGH – A three letter word for animal skin (covering) followed by the name of a group of stars with the initial P removed (missing start of performance).
9 Translation of “atlas” in a Germanic language (8)
ALSATIAN – An anagram (translation of) ATLAS IN A.
10 Amorous advance to maiden I clutched here and there (6)
PASSIM – A four letter word for an amorous advance and the abbreviation for maiden includes (clutched) the I from the clue.
11 Rising French comic actor working live showed development to begin with (10)
LEVITATION – The name of a French comic actor and a two letter word meaning working preceded by (to begin with) an anagram (showed development) of LIVE. I think that for a transitive verb, the correct definition here would be raising.
12 Area in church where initially apprentice priests sermonised exclusively? (4)
APSE – The initial letters of the final four words of the clue.
13 Outsider is surprisingly grounded (8)
UNDERDOG – An anagram (surprisingly) of GROUNDED.
16 Any empty toboggan overturned outside results in hold-ups (6)
DELAYS – A four letter word for a toboggan is reversed (overturned) around (outside) the outer letters (empty) of ANY.
17 Significance of major road turning to the left (6)
IMPORT – Reverse (turning) the name of a motorway (major road) and follow this with a nautical word for the left.
19 Craft of boxers losing importance (8)
CRUISERS – Two possible interpretations of this one! I parsed it as bruisers (boxers) with the initial letter going down a grade from B to C (losing importance) although it also works as a word for a division of boxers without the weight (losing importance).
21 Fire blazed endlessly somehow (4)
ZEAL – An anagram (somehow) of the inner letters (endlessly) of bLAZEd.
22 Odd saying of City medic, male, is a figure of speech (10)
SYNEDOCHE – The odd letters of SAYING followed by the postcode for the City of London, a three letter word for a medic and a male pronoun. I think that the “of” here sticks out slightly as padding as “of city” does not lead to the postcode. Strictly (and this is being really picky) if you are indicating odd or even letters you should use oddly or evenly or some equivalent.
25 Wine-shop fellow backing experience (6)
BODEGA – A three letter word for a fellow or person followed by a reversal (backing) of a word meaning experience or maturity.
26 Match another’s score to a sequel I produce (8)
EQUALISE – An anagram (produce) of A SEQUEL I. The structure of the clue as definition TO wordplay does not work for me. I am more relaxed about wordplay TO definition although ideally “to give” or “to find” is better.
27 Connections within the heart are the most substantial (8)
MEATIEST – A four letter word for connections or bonds inside (within) a four letter word for the heart of something.
28 American poet is decapitated by assassin (3,3)
HIT MAN – Remove the first letter (decapitated) from the surname of the American poet Walt… Not a comment on the wordplay, but in recent times given the execution of hostages in the Middle East, the use of decapitated is a sensitive one and probably best avoided. I am not too keen on wordplay BY definition.
2 Discredit inconclusive faith (5)
BELIE – Remove the final letter (inconclusive) from a word meaning faith.
3 Some took a picture of an African creature (5)
OKAPI – The answer is hidden in (some) in TOOK A PICTURE.
4 Robber has original but not new branding (7)
BRIGAND – An anagram (original) of BRANDING after removing the N (not new).
5 Foil one’s opponent possibly in sport (7)
FENCING – A cryptic definition of a sport where the competitors use foils or epees to foil or defeat the opponent.
6 Felt discontent that a nail was covered by grass (7)
REPINED – A three letter word for a small nail goes inside a four letter word for a type of grass.
7 Outside broadcast on a staggering scale behind street barriers (9)
OBSTACLES – The abbreviation for outside broadcast followed by (on) an anagram (a staggering) of SCALE behind the abbreviation for street. The “a” before staggering is a little out of place and has been added as padding.
8 He opposes processing of unfinished yeast grain (9)
GAINSAYER – An anagram (processing) of YEAS GRAIN (the final letter of yeast being removed – unfinished).
14 First officer on top of the charts (6,3)
NUMBER ONE – Double definition.
15 Mistakenly let oilmen create a skin softener (9)
EMOLLIENT – An anagram (mistakenly) of LET OILMEN. Strictly, the structure should be wordplay CREATES definition.
18 Willed to perhaps taste sides of tripe (7)
TESTATE – An anagram (perhaps) of TASTE followed by the outer letters (sides) of tripe. Again, we have definition TO wordplay. Also, I don’t think that “willed” means the same as the definition which means having made a will.
19 Circumstances to study transcript (7)
CONTEXT – A three letter word meaning to study followed by four letter word for a script or transcript.
20 Coarse relative takes off French article in front of uninitiated teenager (7)
UNCOUTH – A five letter word for a male relative without the French for “the” followed by a word for a teenager without the first letter (uninitiated).
23 Hotel works are up for installation of small hooter (5)
OWLET – The answer is hidden (for installation) and reversed (up) in HOTEL WORKS. Again on link words, you usually see definition of wordplay but wordplay OF definition is not accepted by all editors.
24 Crowd on top of a garden plant (5)
HOSTA – A four letter word for a crowd on top of the A from the clue.