NTSPP – 297
A Puzzle by Beet
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows:
Many thanks to Beet whose love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a number of solutions referring to the series. It was good to see Beet at the Times Crossword Championships drinks.
1 Lupin? It’s weed. Once half is cut – on reflection it could be lupin (8)
WEREWOLF – Half of the word weed followed by a reversal (on reflection) of a word of which a botanical lupin is an example (could be).
8 High and dry? Silver bullet offers solution (7)
AGROUND – The chemical symbol for silver followed by another word for a bullet.
9 Brian rails endlessly, unfortunate for someone who values silence (9)
LIBRARIAN – An anagram (unfortunate) of BRIAN RAIL, the final letter being removed (endlessly) from rails.
10 Setter is informal young woman (3)
GEL – Double definition, the first being another word for a setting agent for hair, for example and the second an informal term for a young woman.
11 Spot on place where you don’t want one (2,3,4)
ON THE NOSE – Double definition, the second being a cryptic allusion to where you don’t want a pimple.
12 Can reduce sex by a third – still promiscuous (5)
LOOSE – Another word for a can or lavatory followed by the first two letters (reduce by a third) of sex.
13 It’s made of flour or flower (7)
BLOOMER – Double definition, the first being a type of loaf and the second being another word for a flower.
15 Well-built with neat even spread (6)
BUFFET – A four letter slang word meaning well-built followed by the even letters of neat. (this would be better as evenly neat spread).
19 “Tool” is derogatory comment when someone has cut line (6)
SANDER – Remove (when someone – you the solver – has cut) the abbreviation for line from a word meaning a derogatory spoken comment.
20 One must be home by sunrise (5 a.m.) before people inside rouse – early starters (7)
VAMPIRE – The Roman numeral for 5 followed by the AM from the clue and the initial letters (starters) of People Inside Rouse Early.
23 Heron relocated to foreign river (5)
RHONE – An anagram (relocated) of HERON.
25 Reportedly impoverished and struggling artist produced these works (9)
PORTRAITS – A homophone (reportedly) of POOR followed by an anagram (struggling) of ARTIST.
27 Risk indicators include something slippy underfoot (3)
SKI – The answer is hidden in RISK INDICATORS. As Dutch points out, if you reduce this to wordplay include definition, the cryptic wording does not work but the words include the answer so some latitude may be permitted here but “risk indicator includes” avoids any ambiguity.
28 Tree-hugger put gnarled oak before arable cultivation (5,4)
KOALA BEAR – An anagram (gnarled) of OAK followed by an anagram (cultivation) of ARABLE.
29 Mrs Simpson besieged at seaside destination (7)
MARGATE – The name of Homer Simpson’s wife goes around (besieged) the AT from the clue.
30 Put foreign money in bank just a moment ago (8)
RECENTLY – The name for an American coin inside a word meaning to bank on or trust.
1 Pattern of goodness overcoming evil (6)
WILLOW – A three letter exclamation meaning goodness goes around (overcoming) a word meaning evil. Does overcoming mean around in a down clue?
2 Beet has bravo for Cyborg (5)
ROBOT – A word describing sugar beet or any other vegetable that grows underground includes (has) the letter represented by Bravo in the NATO phonetic alphabet.
3 Drunk her brown ale without any resistance as a stiffener (9)
WHALEBONE – An anagram (drunk) of HER BROWN ALE after removing the Rs (without any resistance).
4 Dial stopped temporarily? (4,4)
LAID OVER – A reverse clue of a sort though some indication of this such as “Presumably” or “Setter’s” would have been helpful. A phrase meaning stopped temporarily could produce a cryptic clue that would produce dial as the resulting word.
5 Twitter troll has change of heart (5)
TRILL – Change the central letter (change of heart) in troll.
6 This underdog makes a lot of noise (9)
SUBWOOFER – Another word for under and another word for dog for something that makes a lot of noise.
7 Strange chaps drain tankards for remnants (8)
ODDMENTS – A word meaning strange followed by a word meaning chaps and the outer letters (drain) of tankards.
8 Financial backer gives penniless Peter leg up (5)
ANGEL – Remover the P (penniless) from the eponymous boy who never grew up and reverse the LEG from the clue. Perhaps an indication that Peter is a definition by example would be helpful here.
14 Middle England drones on about Eastenders? (9)
LONDONERS – An anagram (about) of L (middle of England) DRONES ON. Some editors would not accepts middle on its own as an indicator for the central letter.
16 U R but not “you are”? (5-4)
UPPER CASE – A lot going on in this clue. The answer indicates the difference in typography of U R and you are. However, cleverly, the letters U and R are the outer letters of the first word of the solution and the second letter is an outer letter indicator. Perhaps an indicator such as “Cryptically U R…” would have indicated more clearly that the solution produces a reverse clue.
17 Cyberspace pseudonym a champion blogger ends up going by: “Cryptic Sue” (8)
USERNAME – An anagram (cryptic) of SUE followed by a reversal (up) of the last letters (ends) of Cyberspace pseudonym a champion blogger. The whole clue is an extended definition of the answer otherwise you end up with either “Cryptic Sue” being a definition by example which is (a) doing double duty apart of the wordplay and the definition and (b) wrong as “crypticsue” does not use a space in her pseudonym or “Cyberspace pseudonym” is the definition and doing double duty as part of the solution. This is one of four grid entries where there is less than 50% cross-checking in the solution and a double-unch as well which can make the grid more difficult to solve but this was balanced by clear clues.
18 Confusingly, both air and e.g. car (8)
CARRIAGE – An anagram (confusingly) of AIR EG CAR. The answer is another word for the air or demeanour of someone and a type of transport such as a car.
21 Based in Home Counties, regressive political party drops leader – dope (5)
SPIKE – Reverse (regressive) the name of a political party without the first letter (drops leader) and put it inside the abbreviation for the location of the Home Counties.
22 Place for butt scratching – hotel off the beaten track (6)
ASTRAY – Remove the abbreviation for hotel from a place where smokers put their cigarette butts.
24 Drugs influence student’s work (5)
ESSAY – The plural representation of Ecstasy followed by a word meaning influence or sway.
26 That is result of crash diets (2,3)
ID EST – An anagram (crash) of DIETS.