A Puzzle by Topdown
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
It’s been a long time since Topdown’s last puzzle appeared here – I hope you find that it was worth the wait. 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.
Welcome back to Topdown with a gentle puzzle that was well clued and executed. A few minor comments are to add further polish to an good crossword.
1 Turnout due in a church congregation (8)
AUDIENCE – An anagram turn out of DUE IN A followed by the abbreviation for Church of England. Not all editors would accept having to split turnout into turn out to get the anagram indicator
5 Sponge toilet with fourth degree of scale (6)
LOOFAH – An informal word for a toilet followed by the fourth note of the musical sol-fa scale.
8 Isn’t disciple in Sweden’s cathedral? (5,5)
SAINT PAULS – An informal way of saying isn’t followed by the disciple who wrote several of the New Testament letters inside S’S (S being the abbreviation for Sweden). An alternative answer with the author of one of the gospels would have been an acceptable alternative from the clue. In the New Testament, neither of the two gentlemen were disciples of Jesus but are referred to as apostles.
9 Reverberation in treble chords (4)
ECHO – The answer is hidden inside TREBLE CHORDS
10 Present US city pushed endlessly to be free (2,5)
AT LARGE – Another word for present (as in attending or I was ** the meeting) followed by the abbreviation for Los Angeles and a word meaning pushed with the outer letters removed (endlessly)
11 Red wood supporter’s quite poorly (6)
BRASIL – A female’s supporting garment with the ‘s included from the clue followed by a word meaning poorly with the final letter removed (quite or almost)
12 Suitable attire for a brief snack? (6,9)
EDIBLE UNDERWEAR – Cryptic definition
15 Film Mum being away with small creatures (7,2,6)
ABSENCE OF MALICE – An expression 7,2,2 indicating mother is absent followed by small creatures that infest children’s hair on a regular basis.
21 All of us verge, alternately, to make French museum (6)
LOUVRE – The alternate letters in ALL OF US VERGE.
22 Cooked again replacing head of flatfish with tail of trout – had another go (7)
RETRIED – A phrase 2-5 indicating cooked again in oil with the F (head of flatfish) replaced by a T (tail of trout).
23 German at the French festival (4)
GALA – The single letter abbreviation for German followed by the French for “at the”.
24 Aphrodite maybe – headless prima donna rode bareback? (4,6)
LADY GODIVA – An expression for a female deity (Aphrodite maybe) followed by another word for a prima donna with the first letter removed (headless). Perhaps “who rode bareback” would have cured the issue that the answer is a person who rode bare back (or more accurately who rode whilst bare) when the definition requires an answer that means riding bareback.
25 Seaman number 500 makes Belgian port (6)
OSTEND – The abbreviation for Ordinary Seaman followed by a cardinal number and the Roman numeral for 500.
26 Omens before wise men (8)
PRESAGES – A word meaning before followed by another word meaning wise men.
1 Satisfy chew sausage (7)
ASSUAGE – An anagram (chew) of SAUSAGE.
2 Train parts used to bore (5,4)
DRILL BITS – A word meaning to train or teach followed by a word for parts of the whole.
3 Absorb drug in entrails – one’s stoned (7)
ENTHRAL – The abbreviation for heroin inside (absorb in) the word entrails after removing (stoned) the I’S.
4 Country house conversation – exclamation of surprise overheard (7)
CHATEAU – Another word for conversation followed by an homophone (overhead) of OH (exclamation of surprise).
5 Smile following the Spanish Queen – a ray of light (5,4)
LASER BEAM – A three letter word for the in Spanish followed by the abbreviation for the Queen and another word for a smile.
6 Inspected finished hand tool (7)
OVERSAW – A letter word for finished followed by a hand tool used to cut wood.
7 Orbital points in graph Eli amended (7)
An anagram (amended) of GRAPH ELI. Hidden in GRAPH ELI AMENDED. Solving in the morning and then trying to review late in the evening is a recipe for disaster!
13 Aim to get group surrounded (9)
ENCIRCLED – Another word for a group or ring inside a word meaning aim or objective.
14 Bringing about destruction of IT ceiling (9)
ELICITING – An anagram (destruction of) IT CEILING.
16 Songs make lawyer rise in courage (7)
BALLADS – The abbreviation for an American lawyer is reversed (make rise) inside another word for courage.
17 Imitate large bird (deceased) (7)
EMULATE – The name of a large flightless bird followed by a word meaning deceased.
18 Year for confused raider (7)
FORAYER – An anagram (confused) of YEAR FOR.
19 Gold Norse Gods are writers (7)
AUTHORS – The chemical symbol for gold followed by name of a Norse god in the plural. As you cannot have Thors (as there is only one) some other way of indicating the S would be required.
20 Attracts lobes? (7)
ENDEARS – Fancifully split 3,4 this would indicate the lobes of the ears.