A Puzzle by Snape
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Snape returns with his third 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.
7 Cheeses reportedly causing a little bit of wind (6)
BREEZE – A homophone (reportedly) of bries (cheeses). Does the wordplay cause the definition? Perhaps “creating” might be better.
8 Like a remarkable rise? Distribute early home computer (8)
METEORIC – A four letter word meaning distribute followed by the name of an early home computer made by Tangerine Computers. I vaguely recalled the name of the computer but anyone who was not a technology loving teenager or young adult in the 1980s would struggle with this one.
9 Dread off mince that’s provided (8)
AFFORDED – An anagram (mince) of DREAD OFF.
10 Some keepers at zoo providing substandard fare (6)
ERSATZ – The answer is hidden (some) in KEEPERS AT ZOO.
11 She occupies position of responsibility; needs no introduction (8)
RESIDENT – Remove the initial letter (needs no introduction) from a word for a state leader (position of responsibility).
12 How to find out if mum is roadworthy? (6)
MOTHER – Split 3,3 this would provide an answer to providing a road test on your maternal parent. A little quirky as the definition is unusually in the middle of the clue but the whole clue provides a question that gives the answer as the solution.
13 What smart inmates can be seen to do: bird (5,6)
HOUSE MARTIN – A reverse clue. If you think cryptically what the words SMART INMATES do, you get the name of a bird.
18 For example, Charlotte heard how to win a game of pool with love (6)
POTATO – A homophone (heard) of POT EIGHT (to win at pool you pot the eight ball) followed by the letter representing love.
20 Description of nipple rings? (8)
AREOLATE – The answer is the technical name for the ring of flesh around a nipple. Not an easy word to clue but unless you know the biological term, you have no chance of getting the solution.
22 River bird’s contrition (6)
REGRET – The abbreviation for river followed by the name of a bird.
23 What happened in October 1945 was not fully developed (8)
UNFORMED – The International body that was created in October 1945 gives you a definition of not fully developed. You need to know your history for this clue. It will not to be everyone’s taste but could easily be obtained from the checking letters. I am not too keen on the construction wordplay was definition.
24 UK announcement of fairly large footwear that is sold on the streets (3,5)
BIG ISSUE – A homophone (announcement) of biggish shoe (fairly large shoe). I am not sure what the UK adds to the clue here.
25 Cover ex-PM, without hesitation (6)
THATCH – Remove a two letter word meaning a hesitation from the surname of the former female prime-minister.
1 “I’ll improve your image” is an example put forward (7)
PROFFER – Split 2,5 this would describe the sentence “I’ll improve your image”.
2 Ripen half-cooked processed cheese (8)
PECORINO – An anagram (processed) of RIPEN COO (half-cooked).
3 Eden Project located on the French sewer (6)
NEEDLE – An anagram (project) of EDEN followed by the French masculine form of the. I cannot see project as an anagram indicator. You can project your voice or throw your voice and throw can mean to confuse but this falls in the to the category of if A = B and B = C, it does not follow that A = C. Also, if project is used as a transitive verb, it should come before the letters to be rearranged and if it is used as a noun, not all editors would accept this as an anagram indicator.
4 Flagship takes in water, finally (8)
STREAMER – Include (takes in) the final letter of water in a word for ship to give the name of a flag. Not all editors would accept this form of lift and separate where you have mentally to divide a word into two parts to get the definition and the wordplay even if they would allow it within the wordplay itself – and other editors would not even allow that! Views will differ on this practice.
5 Phase out sin? Get laid, baby (6)
COSSET – The function that is 90 degrees out of phase with the sine (or sin) followed by a word meaning laid. Getting the derivation from sine to cos(ine) probably requires too much knowledge of mathematical functions from the solvers. Also the construction A get B should grammatically A gets B.
6 Soiled potties that are stood on to look taller (7)
TIPTOES – An anagram (soiled) of POTTIES.
8 Ruler’s raison d’etre? (4-2-7)
MADE-TO-MEASURE – A cryptic definition of why I rules is made. Even with the cryptic reading of the clue, I still don’t think that the solution is really an answer to the cryptic question.
14 Like poet Walter? (8)
SCOTTISH – Like the poet Walter Scott who was appropriately from north of the Border.
15 Abuse grapes? (3-5)
ILL-TREAT – Double definition. Grapes are a fruit you might take to someone who is poorly.
16 Compile outrageous diatribe (7)
POLEMIC – An anagram (outrageous) of COMPILE. Fortunately, Snape didn’t!
17 Time to pull (7)
STRETCH – Time in prison or to pull something.
19 Dresden,1945,for example – king ran away, scared (6)
AFRAID – A description of the dreadful carpet bombing of Dresden with the initial R (king) removed (ran away).
21 Curse French and English marked by moral decay (6)
EFFETE – A word of three letters meaning to curse (often followed by and blind) followed by the French for and and the abbreviation for English.