A Puzzle by Pulham
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Apologies but the special puzzle has been postponed for a further week. Instead we have a puzzle from Pulham, whose first puzzle was published as Starhorse. Like Encota/Acteon three weeks ago he has decided to stick to one alias. 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:
The quality of the Rookie corner series continues to grow with another enjoyable puzzle from Pulham. Subject to a few minor edits, this would not have been out of place in a daily paper.
1 Group of strangers brought together by the paparazzi? (5,3)
FLASH MOB – A double / cryptic definition, the second being a reference to part of their camera equipment.
5 Threaten troops with a single shot (6)
MENACE – A three letter word for troops followed by a word for a single or winning shot in tennis.
10 Adapts to new surroundings and furniture at home (7,2)
SETTLES IN – Another plural word for furniture or settees followed by a two letter word meaning at home.
11 Bag filled with raisins primarily used to make cake (5)
TORTE – Another word for a bag includes (filled with) the first letter (primarily) of raisins. Chambers gives the required word only when used with the word bag, so the definition word on its own is not quite accurate. Perhaps type of bag containing raisins primarily … might have been better.
12 Some relief expressed after seeing answer (1,3)
A FEW – The abbreviation for answer followed by a homophone (expressed) of phew (relief).
13 Replicate notes about a meeting (4-1-4)
TETE-A-TETE – Four repeated note on the musical scale around the A from the clue.
15 Sea creature that tends to listen (5,5)
NURSE SHARK – Another word for tends to or cares for followed by a word meaning listen.
17 Speed going backwards: 100? 1,000? (4)
KNOT – Reverse (going backwards) another word for 100 and an abbreviation for 1000.
19 Be jealous of diplomat lacking nothing (4)
ENVY – Another word for a diplomat with a O removed (lacking nothing).
20 Very popular at all times? Stone me! (4,1,5)
WELL I NEVER – A phrase (4,2) meaning very popular followed by a word meaning at all times.
22 Created a picture (I wasn’t included) and left (4,1,4)
MADE A MOVE – A phrase (4,1,5) meaning created a picture (in cinematic terms) with an I omitted (I wasn’t included).
24 Pedigree oddly ignored in the country (4)
EIRE – The letters (oddly ignored) of pedigree.
26 Composition only available offline? (5)
NONET – Split 2,3 this musical composition may indicate there there is no access to the internet.
27 Schedule piece on radio starting in the small hours perhaps (5-4)
NIGHT-TIME – A homophone (on the radio) of a chess piece before (starting) another word for schedule. Perhaps piece on the radio before the small hours perhaps might have given a better positional indicator.
28 Outstanding girl returns as chaperone (6)
DUENNA – Another word meaning outstanding or owing followed by a reversal (returns) of a girl’s name.
29 They don’t appreciate random tasering (8)
INGRATES – An anagram (random) of TASERING.
1 Admit wife’s sister to store (4)
FESS – The answer is hidden (to store) in wife’s sister.
2 Unforeseen problem arising from deed relating to paperwork in southern France (3,2,10)
ACT OF PROVIDENCE – A three letter word for deed followed by a two letter word meaning relating to and a word for identifying paperwork inside a region of the south of France.
3 Sounding very frail? After 40 days without food it follows! (4,4)
HOLY WEEK – A homophone (sounding) of wholly (very) weak (frail)
4 Start filming here? (5)
ONSET – Split 2,3 the answer would be where filming takes place.
6 Special papers showing final cricket scores? (6)
EXTRAS – A double definition. Following the discussion of this clue, I agree that it relies on too much specialist knowledge about the position of the answer on a score card. As the answer is a well known synonym for cricket scores, perhaps “Special papers showing some cricket scores” would be better.
7 Strike a bargain about move to imprison composer, as a jury may do (5,2,1,7)
AGREE ON A VERDICT -A five letter word meaning to strike a bargain and a two letter word for about followed by a word meaning to move or put into action around (to imprison) a word for a composer.
8 Lead by example fairly regularly, it’s hardly rocket science (10)
ELEMENTARY – A word describing lead as a metal followed by the even letters (regularly) in fairly.
9 Someone so talented that players tune in to (1,7)
A NATURAL – A double definition, the second being the musical note to which musicians tune their instruments in a concert.
14 A French cloth (red) turned up damaged (10)
UNDERMINED – The French masculine for “A” followed by a reversal (turned up) of a type of cloth and the red from the clue.
16 First off Head of Entertainment drinks and dances (8)
HOEDOWNS – The initial letters (first off) Head of Entertainment followed by a slang word meaning drinks. Where you want to indicate the initial letters for more than one word, the indicator should say this. First off Head of Entertainment only indicates the initial letter of Head.
18 Nero cast playing great-grandad perhaps (8)
ANCESTOR – An anagram (playing) of NERO CAST.
21 Talk describing area of Switzerland (6)
CANTON – A four letter word meaning talk in a hypocritical matter followed by a word meaning describing or about.
23 Prompt a state of embarrassment losing face (3,2)
EGG ON – A phrase 3,2,4 meaning a state of embarrassment with the word face removed from it.
24 Hash served here? (4)
MESS – Double definition of a hash or jumble and a place where meals are served in the services.