A Puzzle by Drummond
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Our second year of Rookie Corner draws to a close with a puzzle by Drummond, our 36th new setter. 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.
A stunning debut crossword from Drummond with some very cleverly hidden wordplay and good attention to the surface readings. In a couple of places, there were clues that became a little too convoluted.
1 When inebriated he lacks restraint (7)
SHACKLE – An anagram (when inebriated) of HE LACKS
5 Agreed with time out after date flirted (7)
DALLIED – A word meaning agreed without the initial T (time out) follows (after) the abbreviation for date.
9 Patriarch and wise man, each taking sides (5)
ISAAC – The inner letters (taking sides) of [w]IS[e] [m]A[n] [e]AC[h]
10 Embracing European fascist party’s past in Germany (9)
ENFOLDING – The abbreviations for European and National Front (fascist party) followed by a word meaning past, the IN from the clue and the abbreviation for Germany.
11 Occupant of a tin bath in difficulties (10)
INHABITANT – An anagram (in difficulties) of A TIN BATH. I think that in difficulties works as well as in difficulty would.
12 A feeling that is overwhelming starting to rise (3)
IRE – The abbreviation for that is goes around (overwhelming) the first letter (starting to) of rise. A minor point but I don’t think starting to quite works as an initial word indicator.
14 On trial, professional gangster admits detonating mine (12)
EXPERIMENTAL – Another word for a professional and the first name of Mr Capone (gangster) includes (admits) and anagram (detonating) of mine.
18 Horror movie as indexed in Fantasy and Science Fiction, perhaps? (6,6)
STRING THEORY – … a scientific explanation of sub-atomic particles that may or may not be correct. The name of a 2002 horror movie as it would appear in an index with the definite article following the main entry goes inside another word for fantasy or a made up tale. I think that referring to a horror film with the additional wordplay as indexed adds a level of complexity that is a bit too much. The clue would have been more approachable if the horror film could have been clued as something like Wagnerian work.
21 Turned red after suppressing rage (3)
FAD – The answer is reversed (turned) and hidden (suppressed) in RED AFTER.
22 Sickness? Try sailing manoeuvres (10)
LARYNGITIS – An anagram (manoeuvers) of TRY SAILING.
25 Order to infiltrate left wing with renewed energy (9)
RECHARGED – Another word for an order or command goes inside (to infiltrate) the colour associated with the left wing.
26 In Laos, does bet as debt is cancelled for free? (5)
LOOSE – Remove the letters (is cancelled) in AS DEBT from LAOS DOES BET.
27 Burnt affected parts with uranium, absorbing roentgens (7)
TORCHED – Another word meaning affected has the U removed (parts with Uranium) and replaced (absorbing) with the abbreviation for Roentgens.
28 Problem with stockings – they can let you down (7)
LADDERS – Double definition, a snag on a pair of stockings and a set of steps.
1 Secretively take a drink (6)
SPIRIT – Double definition
2 Yank centre of washing lines sharply (6)
APACHE – The middle letter (centre of) of washing goes inside (lines) a word meaning sharply (in the sense of quickly). I am not sure it is fair to describe the Native American as a Yank.
3 Give up one sport for another (10)
KICKBOXING – Another word meaning to give up (as in a bad habit) followed by the sport governed by the Queensbury rules) to give another sport.
4 What happens if Planet America escapes alien blockades? (5)
EVENT – The quintessential alien goes around (blockades) the name of one of the planets in our solar system without the US (America escapes).
5 Fed up with wondering if leader’s been deleted, as Guardian is? (9)
DEFENSIVE – Reverse (up) the fed from the clue and follow it with a word meaning wondering or thoughtful without the first letter (leader’s been deleted).
6 It may help to relax while holding your breath (4)
LILO – A blow up bed (which therefore holds your breath).
7 ‘Start working with computers?’ I scoffed (8)
INITIATE – A phrase 2,2 meaning working with computers followed by the I from the clue and word meaning scoffed.
8 Oddly upset about egg contaminated with grit (8)
DOGGEDLY – An anagram (upset) of ODDLY around an anagram (contaminated) of EGG (or it could be read as a reversal (about) of egg inside (contaminated) an anagram (upset) of ODDLY.
13 Get towed around lake, getting wet and dirty (10)
BEDRAGGLED – A phrase (2, 7) meaning get towed goes around the abbreviation for lake.
15 Alienated fly-half takes risk, switching sides (9)
ESTRANGED – The name of a disease bringing fly in Africa with the second half removed followed by a word meaning risk with both words having their first and last letters swapped (switching sides). I don’t think that switching sides works in a down clue as well as in an across clue. Also, given the complexity of the wordplay an indication that the sides have to be switched in both words might have been fairer for the solver.
16 Provoke a fellow to risk disaster (3,3,2)
ASK FOR IT – An anagram (disaster) of A F (fellow) TO RISK.
17 He comes up with jab and upper cut, ending round in front (8)
PRODUCER – A four letter word meaning jab followed by the initial letters (in front) of the seventh to tenth words of the clue.
19 Butt gets kicked around middle of room (6)
STOOGE – An anagram (kicked) of GETS around the central letters (middle) of room.
20 Judge Jenny, perhaps? (6)
ASSESS – A double definition, the second slightly fanciful for a female donkey.
23 Where even my word starts to echo like song (5)
YODEL – The even letters of MY WORD followed by the initial letters (starts to) of echo like.
24 Hit back hard, or walk (4)
PATH – A word meaning to hit lightly is reversed (back) and followed by the abbreviation for hard.