A Puzzle by Metman
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today we have a second puzzle from Metman, who learnt a lot from his debut a few weeks ago. 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.
One of the challenges for a setter is to strike a balance between making a crossword to easy and so mind bogglingly difficult that people give up in despair. Whilst Metman produced a crossword where there were only a handful of issues with the clues, the overall standard of difficulty gave the crossword a feeling of being set in a half-hearted fashion. I am sure that this was not the case but more attention is needed to ensure that the clues provide the right level of challenge.
8 Hot fluid sounds like grub (4)
LAVA – A homophone (sounds like) of larvae (grub)
9 Disgust concerning dog and Nan going to church (10)
REPUGNANCE – A two letter word meaning about followed by a breed of dog, the NAN from the clue and the abbreviation for Church of England. The Nan in the clue could have been defined as relative or diminutive relative to provide a little more of a challenge.
10 Quietly supports material to save (6)
SCRIMP – The musical abbreviation for quietly goes after (supports as in follows) a type of material used in upholstery and bookbinding.
11 Turning someone in to get purchases (8)
SHOPPING – A double definition for betraying someone (turning someone in) and what you have purchased.
12 Upset, seethe at a follower of the arts (8)
AESTHETE – An anagram (upset) of SEETHE AT.
14 Intrusion at home by the way (6)
INROAD – A two letter word meaning at home followed by another word for a way or street.
16 Arab leader buried in mire (4)
EMIR – An anagram (buried in) of MIRE. I don’t think that buried in (even if used in the form of cryptically hidden as an anagram) really works too well as an anagram indicator. Anagrams of four letter words are not really much of a challenge for the solver unless the form part of a larger wordplay.
17 Pachydermal colour? (5)
IVORY – A colour that is something that an elephant’s (Pachyderm) tusks aremade of.
18 Very keen to take a position within (4)
INTO – A double definition.
19 Career operating on grass (6)
ONRUSH – A two letter word meaning operating followed by a word for a reed or grass.
21 Beg pardon, can I go? (6,2)
EXCUSE ME – A single definition with two very similar related meanings.
23 Effigy burned in the north to refute a misrepresented argument (8)
STRAWMAN – Another double definition. The second meaning is a logical fallacy that occurs when a debater intentionally misrepresents an opponent’s position to make the opponent’s arguments appear easily defeated.
26 Maybe axis has huge strength (6)
MIGHTY – A word meaning maybe followed by one of the axes on a graph. I don’t think that might and maybe are directly synonymous without the use a pronoun. “Will you be going to the shops today” – “I might” or “Maybe”.
27 Anniversary average is safely middle of the road (6,4)
GOLDEN MEAN – A type of anniversary for 50 years of marriage followed by a word meaning average.
28 Sounds as if this God did very little (4)
IDOL – A homophone of idle. There are a number of points on this clue. “Did very little” would suggest idled. Also, putting the definition between the homophone indicator and the word to be altered do not work particularly well. Perhaps “God is reportedly lazy” would be better.
1 Was his job axed? (7,3)
HATCHET MAN – A cryptic definition of someone who is appointed to carry outan unwelcome task that sound like it might need the use of an axe.
2 Roger ignored Newton and slid up this (8)
BANISTER – The name of the four-minute miler Roger without one of the letters N (Newton). Normally you would slide down one of these but ignoring Newton’s theory of gravity, you would potentially slide up it! Perhaps some indication of which of the many people called Roger was required would have been helpful “Roger the runner…” or something similar.
3 Stumble before the French three times (6)
TRIPLE – Another word for a stumble followed by the French masculine singular for the.
4 Stir soup for work (4)
OPUS – An anagram (stir) of SOUP.
5 Every other king onto email only – it’s a disgrace (8)
IGNOMINY – The even letters (every other) of KING ONTO EMAIL ONLY.
6 Obstruct this container (6)
HAMPER – A double definition, the second being a container in which a picnic could be found.
7 Cyclonic onset brings forth a hero (4)
ICON – The answer is hidden in (brings forth) CYCLONIC ONSET.
13 OK Eve tried to recall (5)
EVOKE – An anagram (tried) of OK EVE. I think that tried as in irritated or afflicted works as an anagram indicator.
15 Unmanned snack bar with charged particle might reduce the workforce (10)
AUTOMATION – Another word for a vending machine followed by a word for a charged particle. Not the smoothest of surface readings.
17 Inhume an awful savage (8)
INHUMANE – An anagram (awful) of INHUME AN. An anagram that requires the solver to move only the final three letters of the words is not going to getthe solvers’ pulses racing.
18 A gin is mixed within a flash (8)
INSIGNIA – An anagram (mixed) of A GIN IS after the IN from withIN.
20 Humbug and aggression embraced this dictatorship (6)
UGANDA – The answer is hidden inside HUMBUG AND AGGRESSION. Perhaps former dictatorship would be been a better choice.
22 Approaching parade, OC in MG (6)
COMING – An anagram (parade) of OC IN MG. I think that parade as verb to marshal into military order works as an anagram indicator.
24 To reverse to, sound your horn (4)
TOOT – The TO from the clue followed by a reversal of the second TO from the clue.
25 Unhappy, lone at Christmas (4)
NOEL – An anagram (unhappy) of LONE. The construction of wordplay AT definition is not one that works particularly well.