A Puzzle by Metman
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
This week we have third puzzle from Metman. 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 Metman who set a crossword that was a little more tricky than the previous one. It was an enjoyable crossword to solve but there were some areas where a little more polish and attention to the definitions and the surface readings would have improved it.
1 American girl with valuable rocks in abundance (6)
GALORE – An American word for a girl followed by the type of rocks from which valuable metals or minerals can be extracted.
4 Sit following work to object (6)
OPPOSE – A word meaning to sit goes after (following) a two letter abbreviation for work.
9 A creature of 25 pounds (4)
PONY – A double definition, the second being a slang East End term for the amount of money in question.
10 Just ring encyclopaedia to find in close detail (10)
STRINGENCY – The answer is hidden in JUST RING ENCYLOPEDIA. I am not convinced by “to find” as a hidden word indicator. The surface reading also suffers from being strained to fit the wordplay of a hidden word.
11 Mark little Edward as being jumpy (6)
SCARED – A mark on the skin from a wound followed by a diminutive form of Edward.
12 Service area that makes a killing (8)
MASSACRE – A religious service followed by an area of land.
13 Two act together at liberal meeting (9)
BILATERAL – An anagram (meeting) of AT LIBERAL. I cannot see that meeting is an anagram indicator as it does not indicate any form of movement or rearrangement of the letters. Also, as the answer is an adjective, the definition would need to be in adjectival form.
15 Unhitch like a dumper (4)
JILT – An elliptical definition meaning to dump a significant other.
16 Associates who do not relate (4)
KITH – Not related by flesh or marriage, rather ones friends and acquaintances. Now only used in the phrase – “____ and kin” as in friends and family.
17 Service fellowship (9)
COMMUNION – A single definition (almost) – a religious service so named for the fellowship it implies.
21 Extended tree care could be to grow another (8)
RECREATE – An anagram (extended) of TREE CARE. Another anagram indicator that really is not up to muster.
22 I leave silver for a maritime saviour (6)
SALVER – Replace the I in Silver with an A. I am not sure that the answer is a maritime saviour as such. Also, with the letter I care has to be taken as some editors would not permit “I leave” where you would not allow “B leave” silver. Here, “One leaves silver…” would overcome the problem.
24 Get rid of broken stones found in yards (5,5)
SCRAP METAL – A word meaning rid of and a term meaning broken stones (used in making paths and roads). I am not a fan of very loose definitions such as “found in yards” to indicate a specific item as the list of possibilities is too great to make it a fair device.
25 Heard you cut the grass in a particular manner (4)
MODE – A homophone (heard) of mowed (you cut the grass).
26 Edgar makes an attempt at this? (6)
POETRY – The name of the author Edgar Allen … followed by a word meaning an attempt. Presumably this is a semi-all in one clue as otherwise there is no definition of the answer other than the answer is something that he would have tried.
27 Name in good time – not quite (6)
NEARLY – The abbreviation for name followed by a word meaning in good time.
1 Food parcels for Romans (7)
GNOCCHI – A cryptic definition that misses the mark, as the answer is a form of dumpling, not parcels of food (which implies being wrapped up like Ravioli).
2 Bird stratum (5)
LAYER – A double definition, the first being a cryptic reference to a bird.
3 Die sure but uncertain what is left (7)
RESIDUE – An anagram (but uncertain) of DIE SURE.
5 International Organisation vessel ordered to exact retribution (6)
PUNISH – An anagram (ordered) of UN (international organisation) SHIP (vessel). A cardinal sin to include an indirect anagram of this nature where the letters to be arranged (SHIP) are not given in the clue but have to be guessed from vessel.
6 You may have to take a cut in this type of action (9)
OPERATION – A double definition but again the meaning are very similar.
7 A passage to go through (7)
EXCERPT – The type of passage you might read (go through).
8 Disturbed Matt murdered Joe, Ed missing, while she leads and twirls (4,9)
DRUM MAJORETTE – An anagram (disturbed) of MATT MURDERED JOE after removing the ED (missing). I am not meet on the link word in wordplay while definition.
14 Not quite all bird consumed the other way (9)
ALTERNATE – The first two letters of all (not quite) followed by a type of bird and a word meaning consumed. There is no surface reading of any substance here. I am not sure that the definition has the same meaning as the answer.
16 Joint restriction as punishment (7)
KNEECAP – A leg joint followed by a type of financial restriction or limitation.
18 Sadly lose Mel to get a tipple (7)
MOSELLE – An anagram (sadly) of LOSE MEL.
19 Revamped pond? Aye, entrance now unrestricted (4,3)
OPEN DAY – An anagram (revamped) of POND AYE.
20 French sea supports conflict when the temperature is higher (6)
WARMER – The French word for the sea under (supports) a word for conflict. Again wordplay when definition is not the best construction.
23 The French spirit backed this primate (5)
LEMUR – The French for the followed by a reversal of a type of alcohol (spirit).