A Puzzle by Encota
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Encota has decided to use this name rather than Acteon, so this is actually his second Rookie puzzle – I hope you enjoy it. 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.
Many thanks to Crypticsue for standing in last week as last Monday was the first day of my new job (hello to any readers who also work at Shoosmiths out there).
As in his previous incarnation, Aceton provided a tough challenge with detailed wordplay. Perhaps some of the definitions were a little too lose. As a general rule, the more complex / devious the wordplay, the more precise you need to be with the answer. There was a good mixture of clue types and novelty clues but four anagrams in a row in one part of the crossword was overegging the pudding somewhat!
Although intended to be easier than his last crossword I certainly found it harder by several degrees of magnitude.
1 Highlighted a hazard in charger? (10)
ASTERISKED – The A from the clue and another word for a hazard inside another word for a horse or charger.
7 Conceivably stare at “Man bit dog” leader (4)
OGLE – The answer is hidden (bit) of DOG LEADER. For the cryptic grammar to word correctly, this would have to be “bit of” or “bitten by”
9 Mixed school bags, member state figured (8)
COMPUTED – An abbreviation for a mixed sex or co-educational school includes (bags) the abbreviation for a Member of Parliament and the abbreviation for the state of Utah.
10 “Times are a changing”: local campaign result, for one? (6)
BYPASS – A two letter word for times or multiply followed by a four letter word meaning “are a changing” (I think that the wordplay leads to the ing form not the word required in the solution). Perhaps the definition is a little too oblique?
11 My clue: “Sports college” (6)
LYCEUM – An anagram (sports – as in frolics) of MY CLUE.
12 Red’s bike crashes – into this, maybe? (8)
KERBSIDE – An anagram (crashes) of REDS BIKE.
13 Their sides often make 21 if cubed? (4)
DICE – A cryptic definition of something thrown in a game whose numbers add up (in a regular one) to 21 and whose opposite faces always equal 7.
15 Keys fell in opening of theatre awards (10)
TONALITIES – A word meaning fell inside (in opening of) the plural of a word for theatre awards. Perhaps the insertion indicator “in opening of” is a little too much – in or opening on their own would work but “in opening of” jars slightly for me. Perhaps Keys fell during theatre awards might be better.
18 Remove protective marking provided year after Calendar Girl? (10)
DECLASSIFY – Split 3,4 the first part of the answer may indicate the lady appearing in December (Calendar Girl) followed by a word meaning provided and the abbreviation for year.
20 Storytellers’ review then take out smoke, perhaps (4)
SAIL – Reverse (review) a word for fibbers or storytellers and remove (out) the abbreviation for take. I am not too keen on splitting a noun “smoke-???? and requiring the solver to find only the missing part from the word given. Also the more complex or devious the wordplay the sharper the definition has to be.
21 Recollects girl one found in plugs for nasal tissue (8)
ADENOIDS – Reverse (recollects) a two letter name for a girl and the one from the clue and put the letters inside another word for plugs as in advertisements.
24 Keep safe for ‘special circumstances’ using key chain (6)
ESCROW – A three letter word for a computer key followed by a word for a chain.
26 Again, telephone engineers relaxed? (6)
REDIAL – The two letter abbreviation for the Royal Engineers followed by a word meaning relaxed which gives you a reversal clue for the final four letters.
27 Potentially lethal this roll for Stalin’s police chief’s starter (8)
LISTERIA – The name of Stalin’s police chief with the first letter replaced by another word for a roll.
28 Rosy – Lee quits Chelsea, otherwise (4)
ELSE – Remover the letters for another word for tea (Rosie-Lee) from the Chelsea.
29 Wails from the unfinished city exits (10)
THRENODIES – The first two letters (unfinished) of the followed by the name of a US city and another word meaning exits or comes to the end of life.
2 Film’s main development involves tiny roles (9)
STORYLINE – An anagram (involves) of TINY ROLES
3 Record pair absorbing MnO orally? (5)
ELPEE – The phonetic spelling of LP. The letters MNO would be absorbed by L[MNO]P.
4 Hints at and supports the growth of changing boy into man? (9)
INITIMATES – Another word meaning supports the growth of with the CUB (boy) changed to TIM (man).
5 Hide child’s family (7)
KIDSKIN – Another word for a child with the ‘s added followed by another word for family.
6 Smooth but irritated could be so described, half-heartedly? (5)
DEBUR – If irritated is rubbed up, this gives a reversal clue with only half the central letters removed.
7 Spots beneath Post Office up-and-down counters (9)
OPPOSITES – The abbreviation for Post-Office reversed and then in its normal form (up and down) followed by another word for spots or locations.
8 To that extent overshadowed by light, shone brightly (5)
LASED – A two letter word meaning to that extent inside (overshadowed by) a type of low-energy light source.
14 Inelegant, gnarled – this old chestnut? No, wild rose! (9)
EGLANTINE – An anagram (gnarled) (and old chestnut of a clue) of INELEGANT.
16 Unholy Noel prays for church helper (9)
LAYPERSON – An anagram (unholy) of NOEL PRAYS. I can say with some authority that the answer is not a church helper but a church member which experience tells me is an entirely different thing. In any church 75% of the congregation are of no help whatsoever, 20% help and 5% hinder.
17 Typify in motion – empties 10 (9)
EPITOMISE – An anagram (in motion) of EMPTIES IO.
19 Dodgy urinals surrounded by water (7)
INSULAR – An anagram (dodgy) of URINALS. Four anagram clues in a row is three too many!
22 N.B. Might be described in full as such hesitation? (5)
DWELL – Expand the meaning NB in its full form to note well and you have a musical note and the well.
23 Hope teacher training earns pounds not shillings (5)
INLET – Another word for the days given to teacher in England and Wales (apologies to foreign solvers) with the S (shillings ) replaced by an L (pounds).
25 Softened any set of principles (5)
CREED – Double definition – to cree is to soften.