Rookie Corner – 108

A Puzzle by Tedgar

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Tedgar has been an occasional commenter since September 2014 – today he steps up to the plate with his debut puzzle. 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.

Download asa Word file

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

A very polished debut from Tedgar in what will, I suspect, be a very short sojourn in the Rookie Corner if he keeps up this standard.  Other than one minor point on an overlap between the wordplay and the answer and one clue where the anagram letters appeared elsewhere in the solution in their original form, there was nothing to remark upon.  The grid with 9 entries where there was less than 50% checking was not ideal, particularly where the initial letters were not checked, but again this is a minor point although one that can make the grid more difficult to solve for less experienced solvers who may rely more on cross-checking letters to complete the grid.


1 Slight injury from rodent caught in school (7)
SCRATCH – A three letter rodent and the abbreviation for caught inside the abbreviation for school.

5 Rather modest beer with a hoppy finish (7)
HALFWAY – Another name for a beer (a modest amount rather than a full pint followed by the abbreviation for with, the A from the clue and the final letter (finish) of hoppy.

10 Criminal tendency (4)
BENT – A double definition, the first being a slang term for describing a criminal.

11 Prepare Italian hen for slaughter (10)
ANNIHILATE – An anagram (prepare) of ITALIAN HEN.

12 Shortage of wind has yachtsman leaving NYC adrift (6)
ASTHMA – An anagram (adrift) of YACHTSMAN after removing (leaving) the letters in NYC.

13 After end of gin, son seen brewing moonshine (8)
NONSENSE – The final letter (end of) gin followed by an anagram (brewing) of SON BEEN.

14 Game is not all bluff (9)
PARTRIDGE – A word meaning not all followed by another word for a bluff (as in a high steep bank).

16 Crow beginning to take on snakes (5)
BOAST – The first letter (beginning to) of take followed by (on) a type of constructing snake in the plural.

17 Soldier rejected toilet, digs in snow (5)
IGLOO – Reverse a two letter abbreviation for an American soldier and follow it with an informal word for a toilet.

19 Small sheep that is slowest (9)
STUPIDEST – The abbreviation for small followed by another name for a male sheep and the full latin term for “that is”.

23 Most fuddy-duddy old ladies snooze endlessly (8)
MUMSIEST – Another word for old ladies (as a slang expression) followed by another name for a midday snooze with the first and last letters removed (endlessly).  Chambers supports the use of “old ladies” for the first four letters but I can see why it may cause some people to wince.

24 Low-fat dip for a bit of sauce? (6)
SKINNY – A double definition, the second being a description of swimming with no clothes on.

26 I’m forced to go round working behind bars (10)
IMPRISONED – The IM from the clue followed by another word meaning forced or pushed around a two letter word meaning working.

27 Squeeze time in for golf holiday (4)
TRIP – A word meaning squeeze with the initial G (golf) replaced by a T (time).

28 Learned rude moves with sex drug (7)
ERUDITE – An anagram (moves) of RUDE followed by a two letter word for sex and the abbreviation for ecstasy (drug).  Slightly unfortunate that the anagram fodder also appears as given in the solution, even if divided by the “it”.

29 Claret’s different (but similar) (7)
SCARLET – … similar to claret.  An anagram (different) of CLARETS.


2 Rebel left’s main issue for Clinton (7)
CHELSEA – Crossword land’s favourite rebel or revolutionary followed by the abbreviation for left and another word for the main (in a nautical sense).

3 Lead character dropped by Eastenders (5)
AITCH – The spelling of the letter that is not pronounced (reputedly) by most residents of the East of London.

4 Tea and assortment of pita bread (7)
CHAPATI – A three letter word for tea followed by an anagram (assortment) of PITA.

6 Goddess featured in one article after another (6)
ATHENA – Split 1,4,1 this would indicate on indefinite article followed by another.

7 Lie in shade with fool getting tipsy (9)
FALSEHOOD – An anagram (getting tipsy) of SHADE FOOL.

8 Those engaging posers? (7)
ARTISTS – Those who engage people to sit and be painted.

9 Volatile affair detonating NHS’s collapse (3-5,5)
ONE-NIGHT STAND – An anagram (collapse) of DETONATING NHS

15 Walked around America before getting nicked (9)
TROUSERED – A four letter word meaning walked around a two letter abbreviation for America and a word meaning before.

18 Lower down, nocturnal activity returns (7)
GLUMMER – A word meaning down followed by a reversal (returns) of the abbreviation for rapid eye movement (nocturnal activity).  As previously discussed in comments, there is probably too much overlap between the word meaning down and the solution.

20 Send bones for research (7)
POSTDOC – Another word meaning to send or mail something followed by another abbreviation for a doctor (bones).

21 Dawn French a rebel following Saunders’ lead (7)
SUNRISE – After the first letter (lead) of Saunders put the French masculine for A and another word as a verb meaning to rebel.

22 Criticises lapse in good taste (4,2)
GETS AT – An anagram (lapse) of G (good) TASTE.

25 String of cabaret nightclubs around Bury (5)
INTER – The answer is hidden (string) and reversed (around) in CABARET NIGHTCLUBS,


  1. snape
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 1:53 am | Permalink | Reply

    Those of use who are on DIYCOW know what a good cluesmith Tedgar is, and I thought this was a really high quality puzzle throughout, and very enjoyable. I was on the right wavelength, and solved in reasonable time with the bottom half putting up more of a fight. My favourites were 3d, 15d, 26a and 27a and 21d (seed clue perhaps?), but many more were excellent clues.
    The old ladies in 23a seemed a bit of an odd definition, 20d didn’t seem quite right to me, and having a grid with 6 answers with <50% crossers isn't ideal, but these are very minor points in a fine RC debut. I haven't parsed 5a, but it's a lovely surface.
    Many thanks Tedgar, hopefully there are plenty more to come.

    • Starhorse (from Pulham)
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 10:22 am | Permalink | Reply

      “Those of use who are on DIYCOW know what a good cluesmith Tedgar is,”

      Indeed, and also a recent Sunday Times Clue writing comp winner.

      That’s dedication solving at that time in the morning Snape – or were you watching the snooker at the same time (I gave up at about 11.15)?

      • snape
        Posted May 2, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink | Reply

        Two games of cricket at the weekend and strange recent sleep patterns meant I fell asleep early, then woke before one for no apparent reason. Couldn’t get back to sleep, so had a go at this. Cricket also means I’ve yet to try Maize’s Saturday puzzle which I want to do.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink | Reply

      Snape, what do you find odd about the “old ladies”? Surely that’s quite a common usage in cryptics – same as old man/men and old woman/women.

      • snape
        Posted May 2, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink | Reply

        I would have grans as possibly old ladies, but a mum could be any age that a lady could be. Silvanus (and I know the two of you are one and the same!) commented on my last Rookie that even describing a gran as elderly was a bit harsh given the number of grans in their forties.

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted May 2, 2016 at 11:57 am | Permalink | Reply

          I agree about grans not necessarily being elderly, but “my old woman/lady” is slang for a mum of whatever age.

          I’m sure Lonnie Donegan was singing about his dad.

          • snape
            Posted May 2, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Ah, yes, fair enough. I just missed that.

      • crypticsue
        Posted May 2, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Speaking as a mum (and a granny) I didn’t like the definition at all.

  2. 2Kiwis
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 2:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    Clever clues which we rattled through fairly quickly until we got slowed down in the SE corner where both 20d and 24a took a bit more unpicking. Still not quite sure how to interpret the last word in the clue for 24a. Good fun that we did appreciate and enjoy.
    Thanks Tedgar.

  3. baerchen
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 6:33 am | Permalink | Reply

    thanks to Tedgar for a most enjoyable puzzle with plenty of misdirection. The grid adds a bit to the degree of difficulty, I think, and this is no bad thing. When I finished the puzzle, which took me about as long as a vanilla daily cryptic, I looked for hidden stuff and thought I was on to a Mourinho theme with 2 and 25 but perhaps not.
    I can’t parse 18, which I’m sure will come to me the instant I press send……..

  4. JollySwagman
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 7:30 am | Permalink | Reply

    Nice puzzle Tedgar – particularly for a first effort. Surely it’s not.

    I got off to a flying start and filled in a nice fat diagonal from the top left to the bottom right in no time at all – not as a write-in – but with each new crosser helping me on. After that things slowed down considerably.

    Many well-formed clues with well-hidden elements.

    My favourites were 15d (nifty construction) and 21d (nice lift-and-separate).

    I developed a love-hate relationship with 14a, which was my last one in.

    My only quibble would be that both sides of 18d are rather similar – ie the first four letters of the answer. It’s less obvious but 23a suffers a little from that too.

    Otherwise no quibbles at all.

    Thanks for the fun – hope to see more.

  5. Gazza
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 8:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    A very enjoyable debut with excellent surfaces throughout – thanks Tedgar. The only clue that I didn’t like was 18d where the definition and the first part of the wordplay seem to overlap considerably. Clues that I really enjoyed included 17a (‘digs in snow’ is excellent), 26a, 2d and 15d.

    • pommers
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 10:13 am | Permalink | Reply

      I don’t see a problem with 18d. Def is LOWER and the answer is a four letter word meaning down or unhappy followed by a reversal of some activity that your eyes get up to while you’re asleep.

      • Maize
        Posted May 2, 2016 at 10:38 am | Permalink | Reply

        Hi Pommers, a few weeks ago there was a debate in the comments here about ‘etymological crossover’ e.g. when a double definition has two similar meanings. In this clue the meaning of ‘Low’ (in lower) and ‘Down’ suffer from that. It would be a big no-no in Australia apparently, and I think they’re right to dislike it, so I would agree with Gazza; but you’re right about the REM bit of course.

      • Gazza
        Posted May 2, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink | Reply

        Yes – the four letter word means down or unhappy but don’t the definition (lower) and the answer mean more down or more unhappy?

  6. Sprocker
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    Lots to like here, some excellent definitions and misdirection, and great surfaces throughout. Goldilocks zone difficulty for me as well.

    I’ll pick 17a as my favourite, but there were lots of great clues. Thanks Tedgar!

  7. silvanus
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 9:20 am | Permalink | Reply

    As others have already said, the surfaces were near faultless and there was a lot of clever misdirection in the wordplay which made it a very enjoyable puzzle overall. At one stage I thought the number of anagrams might exceed an acceptable quota, but eight is fine for me.

    I also found the bottom half more difficult than the top, not helped by 20d being an unfamiliar word. I’ll add my name to those not entirely happy with the overlapping in 18d. I’ve ticked nine clues I thought were excellent, 14a, 17a, 19a, 23a, 24a, 27a, 2d, 20d and 21d. As ever, my only slight quibble concerned the repetition of indicators, this time “round”/”around” as containment indicators in 26a and 15d.

    Congratulations on a fine debut, Tedgar.

  8. pommers
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 10:19 am | Permalink | Reply

    If that’s his (or her) first puzzle then he/she must be a natural – splendid stuff.

    Enjoyed it all but favs were 17a and 24a. Not sure about 20d though. When I was a postgrad (albeit a very long time ago) a 20d was the person doing the research rather than the research itself.

    Many thanks to Tedgar for the entertainment. I look forward to your next puzzle.

    • Starhorse (from Pulham)
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink | Reply

      I wondered the same about 20d, Chambers only has the person, but OED3 also has it as a mass noun for the research itself

      • silvanus
        Posted May 2, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink | Reply

        Chambers Crossword Dictionary gives the answer as a synonym for “research”.

  9. Rabbit Dave
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink | Reply

    I was delighted to see such succinct cluing throughout – worthy of Ray T: no clue with more than 8 words!

    Once again I find myself in full agreement with Silvanus. This had smooth surfaces and clever misdirections. It was totally enjoyable from start to finish. I also can’t argue with Silvanus’ selection of excellent clues.

    This was a wonderful debut, Tedgar. Very well done.

  10. Maize
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 10:25 am | Permalink | Reply

    Brilliant debut with some of the best surfaces I can remember in a puzzle – super smooth, bags of fun and I was absolutely loving this right up until that tricky SW corner where maybe a couple of icky clues already mentioned let things down a bit.
    Never mind, let’s celebrate the brilliant clues, of which thers were many; my stand-outs were: 5a, 19a, 24a, 26a, 27a, 6d (although I think it’s been done before – any word with ‘then’ or ‘and’ in the middle is a gift!) 21d and 25d. Several others had ticks next to them – all the anagrams I think, of which there were 7 or 8… rather too many maybe, but that’s a matter of personal preference I guess.
    I was really impressed that you managed to put in 3 straight cryptics; 3d and especially 24a were great, unfortunately 8d reads as if it’s a straight definition, I think the surface reading you intended only occurs to the solver afterwards – at least that’s how it was for me. Oh, and I would question whether the bluff in 14a means ridge.
    But a brilliant debut – looking forward to the next one!

    • dutch
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 10:47 am | Permalink | Reply

      i took 24a as a triple def, but i could be wrong

      • Maize
        Posted May 2, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink | Reply

        Not sure myself now… if it’s a triple, what’s the sauce bit doing?

        • Starhorse (from Pulham)
          Posted May 2, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink | Reply

          I didn’t see it as a triple, but more a hint as to the nature of the dip in question. Just “Low-fat dip?” would be perfectly valid, but be far less sparkly. As someone else pointed out there are no over-long clues in the puzzle at all, so having a couple of extra words in a clue like that is fine by me.

          • Maize
            Posted May 2, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink | Reply

            Makes sense. Thanks Starhorse.

        • snape
          Posted May 2, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink | Reply

          I took it as a double def, with the second being the saucy/racy dip

          • Jane
            Posted May 2, 2016 at 5:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Yes, that was my interpretation as well.

      • dutch
        Posted May 2, 2016 at 12:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

        my thoughts were (1) lo-fat, as in a type latte (2) a naked swimming expedition kind of dip, (3) exciting information as in hot gossip, a bit of sauce, – the third is the one i was least sure of

  11. dutch
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink | Reply

    Well done Tedgar, how nice to see a puzzle from you here after admiring your entries in the clue writing competitions. I solved just like JS: NW & SE went in very quickly but the rest held me up a bit. In 23a I had mentally only deleted the last letter in snooze which caused a headache for a while. In 6d I wasn’t sure I had full wordplay. 20d I think so strongly of the answer as a person or a position so that just “research” had me flummoxed for a while. I had also marked the similarity of the first 2 words in 18d.

    There were a lot of brilliant clues with wonderful surface disguises and verb/noun things going on. My favourites are 5a (decided modest was part of the definition though perhaps it belongs to beer), 7d (lie in shade), 26a (working behind bars), 9d, 15d, 17a etc. all great stuff and fun to solve, many thanks – hope you enjoyed it and that there will be more

  12. Starhorse (from Pulham)
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent puzzle, lots of super surfaces, and even some proper Latin in the wordplay.

    Pick of the bunch for me were 2d, 3d, 28a, 29a, 21d, 19d, 17a (love the use of “digs”) and best of all 24a.

    I couldn’t parse 18d; having seen Pommers’s I get it though it’s not as good as the majority.

    I must be missing something re 6d because I don’t see exactly how this works. My other can’t parse is 27a.

    Not totally convinced by the definition in 23a. I’m not sure in 5a if your definition is “rather” or “rather modest”, but either way that seems a bit loose to me.

    I wasn’t a great fan of this grid (a Guardian one?) as a third of the clues have more unchecked letters than crossers and don’t have the first letter crossing. Partly because of that I struggled in the SW corner, had to reveal 14a to get going again (it’s very good once you see it). Personally I think in the discussions about “fairness” to the solver this is more important than some of the very picky things such as “does redhead indicate R?” that are sometimes debated at length.

    But overall an excellent puzzle – good to see you on here, look forward to the next one.

    • snape
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink | Reply

      I solve online, so always forget to list a couple of great clues and can’t parses – 18d was one, and 6d was a half-parse. 27a is a good clue – you need to replace the letter indicated by golf with the letter indicated by time. And I obviously hadn’t noticed all the ones with more unchecked than checked letters. when I commented.

    • Maize
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink | Reply

      6d splits 1,4,1

      • dutch
        Posted May 2, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

        yes, that took me a while, couldn’t see past the 1,3!

  13. Riggles
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It’s been quite a week. I ran the London Marathon last weekend and enjoyed a different kind of marathon this weekend – the snooker semi-finals at The Crucible. Whilst up there in Sheffield I’ve also polished my first effort ready for RC submission…. coming soon on these pages I hope!

    What a lovely grid of clues this is from Tedgar. I share the appreciation of the surface readings, and some cheeky ones too! Like others, I found the Southern clues less straightforward, and I was left with 5 after a very enjoyable 30 minutes or so. My last ones in were 23A, where I made the mistake of taking only the far end off ‘snooze’ and 22D – I wasn’t sure about the definition specifically meaning ‘criticises’ nor of “lapse” for the anagram indicator. Not sure if that’s just me!

    I have a question on 11A – doesn’t this go against the general rule of definition and solution having the same form of speech?

    • Gazza
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

      In 11a both definition and answer are verbs so I don’t see any problem.

  14. Riggles
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh yes, I couldn’t fully parse 6D – agree with Snape that I find it harder to make notes on clues sufficiently when I do them online.

    And it was a joy to discover what a TUP is while solving 19A – a very good use of the BRBs that I now own!

    • Tedgar
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Riggles

      6D: Should parse 1-4-1 if that makes sense?

      11A: Slaughter is intended to be a noun in the surface reading but can also be a verb as def to match the answer. Does that help?

  15. Tedgar
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you all so much for your encouragement and I’m delighted that there were clues in there that deceived and entertained. Thanks also for the detailed notes of clues that didn’t work so well – just what I need to keep learning. In response to a couple of ones which stuck out:

    18D: Yes, I agree this is weak and shouldn’t have ignored the niggle I had about it. There is far too much overlap between Lower and Down and I’m with Maize and Gazza in putting a mental cross by this one. As pointed out, the intended WP was Down(4)+reversal of nocturnal movement(3)

    24A: This was intended as a double def ‘Low-fat’ and then the rest as the second. But happy for it to be taken as a CD or triple D if that makes sense to you as a solver!

    20D: I think as Starhorse and Silvanus posted further up that this can mean the research part as well as the researcher, and I’m used to it in that sense, but I can see that it would be annoying if it was only used in the latter sense at your alma mater.

    5A: The definition was intended to be ‘Rather’ as in ‘Rather tricky’, with ‘modest beer’ going together.

    The grid – definitely one to think about more carefully next time. It’s out of the Guardian set, and I guess I thought it must be OK on that basis, but I completely agree about fairness to solver being critical, so take all those comments on board. Very helpful.

    As a matter of interest, if anyone who commented about varying clue difficulty is around, do you like clues to be as consistent as possible in difficulty or is some variation a good thing? I wasn’t sure whether to take those comments as room for improvement or simple observation.

    Lastly, many thanks to beet for test-solving. It is a much better grid for her input, but I can assure you that all the weak points identified are 100% my own work!

    I’ll come by later, so if there are any other points you’d like to get straight please do let me know. And comments from anyone who hasn’t posted yet would be great even if it is a one-liner or confirmation of what’s already been said.


    • Simon Rigler
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 2:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Personally as a solver an as a setter, I’m fond of some clues being more tricky than others, especially if they are also of great quality in their construction, surface reading etc. I’ve certainly learnt fast that it’s reasonable to accept that not every clue will be a masterpiece, and I like the challenge of striving to make those that are (masterpieces) outweigh those that aren’t! Meanwhile, I’ll try to keep only a few clues of distinctly different complexity to the majority. It’s certainl good fun trying to get good at this setting lark!

    • Maize
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I’d say a range is good; but a fairly narrow one aimed at what you imagine the Goldilocks zone of your solvers to be. E.g. different for Telegraph back page and Toughie, say.
      It’s nice to have a few easier ones to get going – I generally go hunting for hiddens and anagrams – but those tricky ones at the end need to be tricky because they’re original and brilliant, not because they’re dodgy. How the solver feels upon completing the last one in will influence their mood as they turn away from the puzzle and also how they feel about the setter.
      I think you pitched this one just right, Tedgar.
      And that’s quite enough from me!

    • Starhorse (from Pulham)
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Still not keen on the 5a definition, halfway loose in my view. Basically I can’t think of a way of substituting the answer for rather.

      I agree with Maize’s comment on the range of clues. The trouble I have when setting is I find it very hard to judge what people will think is a write-in and what they may struggle with.

      One thing about this which made it so good was that there’s nothing really obscure, nothing that’s general knowledge to one person but unknown to another.

    • dutch
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

      How can you possibly make all clues consistently difficult for all solvers? I think it is important simply to aim at a certain level of difficulty and to avoid outliers. In an easy puzzle, a few stinkers will feel out of place. In a tough puzzle, a few write ins invite criticism. Having said that, I think there is a lot to be said for a few simpler starter clues to get you into the puzzle. Your choice!

  16. Arepo
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Really accomplished stuff – I enjoyed it a lot, plenty of clues making me smile which is a good litmus test.

    A couple of quibbles: I have to agree with those who mentioned the ‘etymological crossover’ being a problem in 18 and 23. Also, if the ‘bones’ in 20 is what I think it is then I suspect it needs to be capitalised. I might have the wrong end of the stick though!

    Those aside, a boatload of great clues: faves 10 (two-word DD clues that work as well as this are few and far between), 14a, 29a, 3d,9d, 21d. 17a was fun too – a word that seems almost impossible to clue without being chestnutty, but this seemed like a fresh twist on it (pace Ecclesiastes 1:9). I was going to go on listing standout clues but it’d be more or less the whole puzzle actually so I’ll leave it there.

    Future LOI 5a, which I’m still chewing over (and hoping that my 8d is right or else I’m probably scuppered).

    Thanks Tedgar, hope to see you again soon!

  17. spindrift
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good stuff! Favourite is 14a & I have question marks against 5a & 24a (like a few of us). I’ll wait for the full review to see if I’m right.

    I’m quite enjoying this retirement malarkey with the only drawback being Mrs S who will insist on me getting more exercise instead of reading & doing crosswords all day.

  18. crypticsue
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A good puzzle thank you Tedgar – the LH side went in first and interestingly the few ?? I have are by clues on the RH side, while solving you do get the feeling that it is a bit anagram-heavy but lots to enjoy.

    I see others have commented about 20d. In my day job, I’d definitely put an ER on the end of the ‘research’.

    Hope we see you here again soon – I don’t think it will be long before you are graduating to Saturday afternoons.

  19. Posted May 2, 2016 at 1:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A really lovely puzzle with smooth and often amusing surfaces. Not too difficult and plenty of smiles – perfect for a bank holiday.

    I particularly liked 5a, 14a, 17a, 26a, 2d, 6d and 21d.

    Many thanks, Tedgar, and thanks in advance to Prolixic for the review.

  20. Jane
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    As others have already said – excellent surface reads and anagrams (still managed to spell 11a incorrectly at first!).
    Had question marks by 23a&18d for the reasons already commented upon and am not sure about the definition in 5a.
    Can someone please enlighten me as to the ‘bones’ part of 20d?

    Going against the flow, my biggest ticks went to 14a&6d.

    All in all, a brilliant debut – is it really your first puzzle, Tedgar or just your first for Rookie Corner? Either way, many thanks, I really enjoyed this one.

    • dutch
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

      “bones” is slang for someone in the medical profession (def 9 in brb)

      • Jane
        Posted May 2, 2016 at 3:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Dutch – I was wading through the human skeleton and upside down cod! Stupid when I actually did know the medical man…….

    • Gazza
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The definition in 5a is ‘rather’ in the sense of ‘comparatively’.

      • Jane
        Posted May 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I supposed it had to be that, Gazza – but thought the answer was too specific to be represented as ‘rather’. Wondered whether I’d missed a finer point somewhere which, as you know, is far from being an unknown occurrence!

  21. stanXYZ
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 1:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Far too professional for a Rookie puzzle!

    Great stuff from Tedgar!

    Loved the surface readings.

    3d – my old man was born within earshot of the Bow Bells – but he insisted on saying “Haitch” when spelling out a word with an “aitch” in it!

    Strange, innit?

  22. Kath
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I absolutely loved this – I’ve laughed my way through the whole thing and that’s what makes a good crossword to me.
    I don’t comment on the technical side of things because I don’t understand most of it.
    I couldn’t see any other answer that would fit with the letters I had in 18d but didn’t really see why – other comments have now sorted that out.
    I’m either missing something in 15d or I’ve got the wrong answer – I’m sure all will be made clear tomorrow.
    So many of these have made me chuckle – I’ll just write them all down – 1, 12, 17, 23 and 24a (eventually, my last answer) and 7 and 21d. I think my favourite was 28a – I always love the ‘smutty sounding’ ones.
    With thanks and a big ‘well done’ to Tedgar and thanks in advance to Prolixic.

  23. jean-luc cheval
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 6:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very enjoyable indeed.
    I liked the “modest beer” in 5a. Could never drink a full one.
    The other ones I ticked were 14 and 16a.
    28a made me laugh. So did 21d.
    Congratulations to Tedgar for a first accomplished rookie.

  24. Tedgar
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 8:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Many thanks again for all the constructive criticism and encouragement. It’s been an absolute delight to have a grid posted here and to hear from you all, and I’m chuffed to bits that I could give provide some Bank Holiday entertainment.

  25. Expat Chris
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 9:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    How on earth did I manage to forget to print out the Rookie yesterday! Now it’s hurry up and tackle it before the review comes up!!

  26. ShropshireLad
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 9:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Don’t normally venture into ‘Rookie’ territory due to time constraints but I’m glad I did today. Some seriously good clue constructions and a whole lot of fun. I think everyone else has had their say about what was great and what possibly needed a bit of work, as far as I’m concerned – I think this puzzle is way better than some I’ve recently seen by a few professional setters.

    Well done – loved it.

  27. Expat Chris
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 10:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Congratulations on a fine debut Tedgar! Hard to believe that this is a first outing. The surfaces were so smooth. Others who know much more that I do have mentioned technical quibbles, but those are above my pay grade. The only one I had parsing difficulty with was 5A and I still don’t understand the hoppy bit. Lot of ticks on my printout, but the biggest laugh was 28A. I must agree with CS on 23A. As a mum and Grandma, anyone who calls me fuddy-duddy is walkin’ on my fightin’ side!

    • Jane
      Posted May 2, 2016 at 10:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Chris,
      W(ith) A hopp(Y). Last letter being the ‘finish’ of hoppy.

      • Expat Chris
        Posted May 2, 2016 at 11:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Oh. Me no like much.

  28. Jane
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 12:25 am | Permalink | Reply

    Many thanks for the review, Prolixic – I still have reservations about 5a but apparently you don’t agree and I know that you’re invariably correct.
    As you say, Tedgar won’t be in Rookie corner much longer at this rate!

  29. JollySwagman
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 12:43 am | Permalink | Reply

    The blog answer to 28a is not correct. Correcting it will nullify the italicised part of the comment.

  30. Tedgar
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink | Reply

    Many thanks Prolixic for the review.

    As JS says just above, 28A is ERUDITE so RUDE is (just about) hidden in the answer.

    As for 23A, I certainly didn’t mean to offend ma’s and grandma’s. I suppose as with postdoc it’s how one is used to a word – I have always understood ‘mumsy’ in the sense of drab or old-fashioned, one of its defs in Collins/Chambers, hence the clue def. But it is also defined as motherly, so if that’s what comes to mind I can see why you might bristle at the clue.

    For those who asked, this wasn’t my first ever crossword, I have put a few early efforts up on DIYCow for crit by fellow aspiring setters. But it’s my first time out in the wider crosswording world and it’s been fantastic getting feedback from you all.

    Many thanks again

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:25 am | Permalink | Reply

      Tedgar, JS’s point is that the hidden answer for 28a in the review is misspelt ERUDEITE.

    • crypticsue
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink | Reply

      I’ve corrected the spelling in the hidden answer but I think Prolixic may wish to change his ‘bit in italics’ in the review as JS is right.

      • Prolixic
        Posted May 3, 2016 at 10:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Now corrected. Blogging and keeping a weather eye on granddaughter crawling around the room don’t mix very well!

  31. Beet
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 7:56 am | Permalink | Reply

    Congratulations Tedgar, I was confident that this puzzle would get a warm response from the rookie corner regulars.

  32. crypticsue
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 2:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve just done a search of the work website and the of references to POST DOC are all people rather than the activity of researching post-doctorally.

  33. Encota
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 7:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve come late to this one – Bank Holidays always seem to confuse the start of weeks for me…

    Great puzzle Tedgar! I particularly liked 19, 24, 2d, 17 def ‘digs’ and 14, especially the misdirection in some of your definitions.

    Many thanks


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