Rookie Regulars by Sprocker
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
I’m sure that you will all enjoy Sprocker’s latest 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.
Normally, I would review a crossword by reference to what would appear in a national newspaper’s crossword. I cannot do so with this crossword as it is one that is intended for a very specific audience for whom it was compiled. To include so many references to setters and commentators on the Rookie Puzzles is quite an achievement.
1 Class of young children misbehave after drinking some 12a (4,5)
PLAY GROUP – A phrase (4,2) meaning to misbehave includes (after drinking) the first three letters of 12a. Depending on the editor, a construction such as “some X” to indicate the selection of an unknown number of letters from the front (or any other part of the word) would not be allowed.
6 Cover part of Expat Chris (5)
PATCH – The answer is hidden in (part of) EXPAT CHRIS.
9 Ready to join international organisation? No (5)
UNFIT – A three letter word meaning ready after (to join) the abbreviation for United Nations (international organisation) – the answer being the reverse of the first part of the clue.
10 Reformed communist outside, almost very outgoing type (9)
EXTROVERT – A phrase 2-4 that could describe a reformed or former Trotskyist around (outside) the word very with the final letter removed (almost).
11 2kiwis are useful sources of knowledge on the web (5)
WIKIS – An anagram (indicated by the answer to 2d) of KIWIS. The construction of wordplay are definition could have been avoided by omitted the “are” to give 2kiwis’ useful…
12 Dutch courage? (7)
GROLSCH – A Dutch make of beer – dutch courage being a term for alcohol.
15 Selfish person takes note how to end segregation (9)
INTEGRATE – A word for a selfish person includes (takes) a two letter musical note.
16 Poisons noble perhaps (5)
GASES – A double definition, the noble ones including helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon.
19 You can take these from Miffypops to create manuscript (5)
SIDES – Another word for the outer letters (which form the abbreviation for manuscript).
21 Creeps out Crypticsue? (9)
PROSECUTE – An anagram (cryptic) of creeps out to give word meaning Sue. As mentioned in previous reviews, even if lift and separate clues (where you have to take one word and separate it into two words) are allowed by the editor – and practice varies – it would be unusual to allow the wordplay and the definition to be concatenated in this way.
23 Look, Beet accidentally drops drug pamphlet (7)
BOOKLET – An anagram (accidentally) of LOOK BET (Beet with one of the letters E removed – drops drug).
25 Tied up Big Dave after downing beer (5)
BALED – The informal abbreviation for Big Dave includes (after downing) a three letter word for beer (the word for beer is the same as the answer to 29d).
28 Retiree at party causes stress (9)
REITERATE – An anagram (party) of RETIREE AT.
30 How Jean-luc Cheval says to God – “goodbye” (5)
ADIEU – The French (how Jean-luc Coeval says) for “to God”
31 Maxes out tests (5)
EXAMS – An anagram (out) of MAXES.
32 Don’t stop showing how Una can become Northern (9)
ENDLESSLY – A word that would describe the removal of the outer letters in a cryptic clue from which we get an N (Northern) from Una. I am not convinced that the answer is a direct synonym for “don’t stop”.
1 Gazza is a Saint (4)
PAUL – Double definition, the Gazza being of footballing fame.
2 Stricken after terrible date with Cliff (9)
AFFLICTED – An anagram (terrible) of DATE CLIFF.
3 Viola has this raunchy underwear (1-6)
G-STRING – Double definition, the first being part of a musical instrument.
4 Balls, this could be the end of Penko or Franco (4)
OVER – A term for 6 balls in cricket that is abbreviated to the final letter (end of) either Penko or Franco.
5 Kitty‘s cannabis could spell the end for Rabbit Dave! (3)
POT – A triple definition for a kitty, a slang word for a rabbit and what could spell the end for a rabbit. I am not sure whether the “Dave” has any further function other than to keep the allusion to commentators on the blog.
6 Prolixic’s half wrong, missing odd word – carry on (7)
PROLONG – The first half of Prolixic followed by the word wrong after removing the odd letters in word. Some editors would prefer oddly rather than odd to indicate the odd letters.
7 Rows causing signs of distress say (5)
TIERS – A homophone (say) of tears (signs of distress).
8 Decapitate Kath violently with church door (5)
HATCH – An anagram (violently) of ATH (Kath with the initial letter removed – decapitated) followed by the abbreviation for church. The sensitivities over the use of the word decapitate have been discussed in earlier reviews.
12 Enters stage and talks incessantly (4,2)
GOES ON – Double definition for entering the state to perform in the theatre and to chatter endlessly.
13 Spindrift bites! (4)
NIPS – Another lift and separate clue to give an anagram (drift) of SPIN.
14 Seize central positions to provide cover (6)
CARPET – The Latin for seize (as in the maxim …. diem) followed by the central letter of positions. If you are going to use a Latin word as part of the wordplay, it would be usual to indicate this in the same way that you would indicate French words or American spellings.
17 Stuns with spells that Snape might teach in ‘Defence against the Dark Arts’ (9)
STUPEFIES – I think that this is a simple double definition but the two meaning are the same and the effect of the spell is to stun.
18 That girl had an outbuilding (4)
SHED – The answer split 3’1 would indicate that girl had.
20 Silvanus and Pommers go top-to-tail for small change (7)
SILVERS – Another term for loose change in the same way that you might refer to coppers. The first half of Silvanus (top) followed by the final three letters (tail) of Pommers. In the same way that “some” to indicate an unknown number of letters, top and tail to indicate unknown numbers of letters from the wordplay would not be acceptable.
22 Emerge from man-eater in a mess with end of finger missing (7)
EMANATE – An anagram (in a mess) of MAN EATER after removing the R (end of finger missing).
23 Carried opponent with Alchemi (lead turning into gold) (5)
BORNE – A four letter word for a poison or opponent with the A (Alchemi’s lead) changed to a heraldic word for gold.
24 Nice, yes, Jane leads the board? (5)
OUIJA – The French (Nice being a city in France) for yes followed by the first two letters (leads) of Jane.
26 Radler freakishly loses both hands in study (4)
READ – An anagram (freakishly) of RADLER after removing the abbreviations for left and right (loses both hands).
27 Tax burden (4)
DUTY – A simple double definition.
29 Shropshirelad swallows up drink (3)
ALE – The answer is hidden and reversed (swallows up) inside SHROPSHIRELAD