A Puzzle by Cyborg
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
This is Cyborg’s third entry in Rookie Corner. 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.
In his first two crosswords, Cyborg has used the gimmick of paired clues with minor variations or the same clue with different cryptic readings where the clues have felt a little forced at times. He has used the same device here but the clues felt a lot more natural and the clever idea of using repetitive phrases in different forms in the clue also works. My main concern here is that 12 clues rely on anagrams for their solutions which is far too many. It would be nice to see a crossword from Cyborg where he does not set himself the constraint of paired clues and repetitive elements to give him more freedom in the setting of the crossword.
1 Empty page containing itemized entries/column headings for article (6,4)
TABULA RASA – A seven letter word meaning containing itemized entries/column headings followed by a two letter word meaning for and the indefinite article.
6 Top 10 for special copies (4)
APEX – A word meaning copies has the S (special) replaced with an X (ten). Some means of indicating that the letter to be replaced is in the word for copies would be helpful for the solver here.
10 Judge enters hidden message for assassin (5)
NINJA – The abbreviation for judge goes inside (enters) the name used where a hidden message is hidden in a crossword.
11 Frantically ran denial in response to peril, perhaps (9)
ADRENALIN – An anagram (frantically) of RAN DENIAL.
12 Might ultimately form various clues (6)
MUSCLE – The final letter (ultimately) of form followed by an anagram (various) of CLUES.
13 Information containing itemized entries is flash (7)
GLISTEN – A three letter word for information contains a word meaning itemised entries.
15 Tail off around 1m short of ending race (4,5)
TIME TRIAL – An anagram (off) of tail goes around the full spelling of 1m (as a unit of length) with the final letter removed (short of ending).
17 She quits crowded team (5)
SQUAD – Remove the SHE from a word meaning crowded or pressed together.
19 Regular stutter, say, in Indian text (5)
SUTRA – The odd letters (regular) in STUTTER SAY. Some editors may require “regularly” rather than regular to indicate alternate letters. Here you could have “Regularly stutters with a text from India” to overcome this.
21 Incorrectly set broken piece of guttering (9)
KERBSTONE – An anagram (incorrectly) of SET BROKEN.
23 Cooked a lot with veg giving potential energy (7)
VOLTAGE – An anagram (cooked) of A LOT VEG.
24 Column headings for article recorded by tablet (6)
PILLAR – The first letters (headings for) of article and recorded go after a word for a tablet.
27 Empty page is stolen unexpectedly (9)
POINTLESS – An anagram (unexpectedly) of P (page) IS STOLEN.
28 Empty page containing itemized entries/column headings for article (5)
PIECE – The outer letters (empty) of page include the initial letters (headings) of itemized, entries and column. As headings has already being used as an initial letter indicator in 24a, you would normally expect a differing indicator. However, as part of the setter’s trick in this puzzle is the repetition of phrases used in different ways, it works here to have the same device used.
29 Study edition partly coloured (4)
DYED – The answer is hidden in (partly) STUDY EDITION.
30 Agree to accept trombone half dismantled, for variety (10)
ASSORTMENT – A word meaning to agree includes (to accept) an anagram (dismantled) of TROM (trombone half).
1 Metalworkers mould this with mints (9)
TINSMITHS – An anagram (mould) of THIS MINTS.
2 Extra responsibility supporting bachelor (5)
BONUS – A word meaning responsibility goes under (supporting) the abbreviation for bachelor.
3 Flier felt poorly after dodgy ale (7)
LEAFLET – An anagram (poorly) of FELT after an anagram (dodgy) of ALE.
4 To sum up, first of crops lost in harvest (4)
REAP – Remove the C (first of crops) from a word meaning to sum up.
5 Late arrivals use both hands separately to stop stumbles (10)
STRAGGLERS – Include an R and an L (both hands) but not consecutively (separately) inside (to stop) a word meaning stumbles.
7 Party’s planners briefly civil before office mentioned (9)
POLITBURO – A six letter word meaning civil with the final letter removed (briefly) followed by a homophone (mentioned) of bureau (office).
8 Cross nobody turned up gas (5)
XENON – The letter representing a cross followed by a reversal (turned up) of a word meaning nobody.
9 Opens trousers and extracts an attachment? (6)
UNZIPS – A double definition, the second being to extract a file from a compressed archive.
14 Warped sense underlies bizarre flick’s unreliable quality (10)
FICKLENESS – An anagram (warped) of SENSE goes under (underlies) an anagram (bizarre) of FLICK.
16 Apply silver, perhaps, in cast steel mail (9)
METALLISE – An anagram (cast) of STEEL MAIL.
18 Day that is, in back street, most boring (9)
DREARIEST – The abbreviation for day followed by the abbreviation for that is inside a word meaning back and the abbreviation for street.
20 Looks forward to a set of workout equipment, apparently (6)
AWAITS – The A from the clue followed by a homophone (apparently) of weights (set of workout equipment). Apparently as a homophone indicator in the sense of seems is not one of my favourite ones but may be justifiable if you think “it seems he said ‘We’re going to a dance, send three and fourpence.’”
22 Tacks up favourite clipping (7)
SNIPPET – A reversal (up) of a word meaning tacks followed by a word meaning favourite.
23 Suppressing resistance very fast becomes dull (5)
VAPID – Remove the R (suppressing resistance) from the abbreviation for very and a word meaning fast.
25 Regularly claimed geek to be lord (5)
LIEGE – The even letters (regularly) of CLAIMED GEEK.
26 Broken loose out of Eastern capital (4)
OSLO – An anagram (broken) of LOOSE after removing the E (out of Eastern).