A Puzzle by JollySwagman
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
JollySwagman presents another delightfully themed puzzle – it doesn’t take rocket science to work out the subject, but can you solve all the clues? 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 Prolific follows.
A themed crossword from Jollyswagman. Perhaps some of the solutions relied on too much general knowledge but most of the answer were readily gettable from the wordplay. Four hidden answers was a little too many for a crossword. One or two is the usual limit. There was some inventive and enjoyable cluing. The two triple inches would not usually be welcomed in national papers and, with the bottom one, where the answer is a complex anagram, it would make like hard for the solver. Fortunately, the initial misplaced title meant that it was a write in!
1 Famous actor who only got one Oscar for The King and I. It’s really heartless what those vultures do (7,4)
GREGORY PECK – The two letter abbreviation for King George followed by the Latin for I, the outer letters (heartless) of really and what vultures may do at their carrion. This crossword contains long clues. Each setter has their own style and the longer extended definitions add to the surface readings here. The usual structure of a clue is, however, wordplay for definition but it is reversed here to give definition for wordplay but as one of the definitions of for is “by reason of”, it works.
6/28 Former Alabama governor makes short biographical films (OMG!) about judge (3,3,6)
BIG JIM FOLSOM – An anagram (makes) of BIO (short biographical) FILMS OMG around the abbreviation for judge. One of my least favourite setting techniques is taking an obscure word or, here, obscure piece of general knowledge, and cluing it as an anagram as until you have sufficient checkers you cannot really make any progress and, even with the checkers in place, you frequently have to then check on line or in a dictionary that you have the right answer. Depending on how grammatical you want the cryptic instructions to be, makes as an anagram indicator may jar.
10 It’s strange to be in Rome taking part in comic opera with Iris and Diana? (9)
GODDESSES – Another word for strange and the Latin (in Rome) for to be go inside the initials of Gilbert & Sullivan (comic opera).
11 It takes pluck for a cockney girl like Gypsy Rose to become a writer (6,3)
HARPER LEE – An instrument that can be plucked when played followed by a pronoun for a girl with the H dropped (Cockney) and the surname of a person called Gypsy Rose.
13 The Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s training room (5)
SCOPE – The abbreviation for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra followed by the abbreviation for physical exercise or training. I cannot see the abbreviation for the orchestra in Chambers or in Collins but it may be in other dictionaries.
14/8 1a’s role in 21a, 33a. An “island community” reflects on race and honour. It’s set in America – the end is censored (7,5)
ATTICUS FINCH – An A (from the an) followed by the abbreviations for island and community after (on) the abbreviation for Time Trials (race) followed by the abbreviation for Companion of Honour inside which you add (it has set in) the abbreviations for America and a word meaning the end with the final IS removed (censored). C on its own for community is not given as an abbreviation in Chambers or Collins. Although it appears in compound abbreviations such as European Community, the convention is that you do not usually split out component parts of compound abbreviations to clue individual letters that do not bear the abbreviation in their own right.
16 Hush! Oedipus is hiding in Oxford? (4)
SHOE – The answer is hidden in HUSH OEDIPUS.
19 Early incarnation of ancient empire (4)
INCA – The initial four letters (early) of INCARNATION. Some editors may not accept early as an indicator for an unknown number of letters. Some editors will not allow wordplay of definition.
21/33 Film that makes Baldrick’s timing look amazing (2,4,1,11)
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD – An anagram (amazing) of BALDRICK TIMING LOOK. The apostrophe s here translates to give A has BC mixed up. The structure here of definition THAT MAKE wordplay seems to me to be the wrong way round as it is the wordplay that makes the definition.
24 Gangster’s bird almost gets him acquitted (5)
ALIBI – The name of Mr Capone (gangster) followed by the name of a bird with the final letter removed (almost). I think that the definition is a little to fluid here.
25 Having a lot of good contacts 50% of Tories knew Ed Balls (9)
NETWORKED – An anagram (balls) of TOR (50% of Tories) KNEW ED.
29 Cold climate house has one good little room (5)
IGLOO – The abbreviations for one and good and another word for a toilet (little room).
32 James is inconsiderate (3)
SID – The name of the comic actor is hidden in CONSIDERATE. The clue requires you to mentally split the in/considerate to get the wordplay. As a definition by example, you might expect as a solver for some reference to this to be included.
1 File‘s bent – no time to fix it (3)
GIF – Another word for a bent or talent has the T removed (not time). The file is a picture file format.
2 Even poets say this (3)
EEN – How a poet may express the word even.
3 Nicola Sturgeon expresses surprise about colour (5)
OCHRE – How a Scottish person (Nicola Sturgeon) may express surprise followed by the Latin abbreviation for about.
4 Continual needless energy- sapping meddling (7)
ENDLESS – An anagram (meddling) of NEEDLESS after removing one of the Es (energy sapping).
5 Hold shares in Tower? (4,5)
KEEP STOCK – A double definition.
6 Give gold ring to wife (6)
BESTOW – Another word meaning gold, top or first followed by the letter that looks like a ring and the abbreviation for wife.
7 Get maybe Mark or John to work over short break … (6)
GOSPEL – A two letter word meaning to work followed by a word for a break with the final letter removed (short).
9 … as I’m going with secretary for a beer (3)
IPA – The I from the clue followed by an abbreviation for a secretary. Some editors will not allow I am in this fashion as you would not allow A am going with…
10 The legal establishment’s full of wind (5)
GALES – The answer is hidden iN LEGAL ESTABLISHMENT.
11 Discover – and say that one half-agrees (4)
HEAR – Half of the two word repeated expression used to express agreement.
12 Respect for rank (4)
RATE – A double definition though the two meaning are very closely related.
15 Script in which copper (uniformed) loses case after mix-up (9)
CUNEIFORM – The chemical symbol for copper followed by an anagram (after mix up) of the inner letters NIFORME of uniformed (loses case)
17 Snow didn’t see the point of criticism (4)
FLAK – Remove the abbreviation for East (point) from another word for snow. I am not entirely convinced that one flake means snow – the mass noun for a large number of flakes.
18 The network’s down in part of Germany (4)
LAND – The abbreviation for local area network followed by the abbreviation for down.
20 Man gets lost in London. He’s 99 – probably having a senior moment (7)
AMNESIC – An anagram (gets lost) of MAN followed by an (East) London way of says he’s (dropping the H) and the Roman numerals for 99 only ever used incorrectly in crossword land as IC.
21 Art of saying thank you to a corporation (5)
TATUM – The surname of the jazz musician Art… A way of saying thank you followed by another word for the stomach (corporation). As the answer is a definition by example of people called Art, it would be a helpful for the solver to indicate this as Art maybe saying thank…
22 Sweetheart gets captured by outlaws. They may start duelling (6)
BANJOS – Another word for sweetheart inside a word meaning outlaws or prohibits.
23 Shot fellow (Frenchman) at sea (6)
FILMED – The abbreviation for fellow followed by the French pronoun for man and the short name of the Mediterranean Sea.
26 As opinion is divided that’s unsettled (5)
OWING – Divide the opinion into O and Pinion and provide another word for the pinion.
27 Et in Arcadia . Say nothing … (3)
EGO – The word that completes the title of a painting Et In Arcadia … comes from the Latin abbreviation for say and the letter representing nothing.
30 … but in Lisa Minnelli’s case we ultimately think of Garland (3)
LEI – The final letter of we goes inside the outer letters (case) of L[isa Minnell]i.
31 Veteran of school desegregation (3)
OLD – The answer is hidden in (of) SCHOOL DESEGREGATION.