A Puzzle by Silvanus
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today we have another puzzle from Silvanus. 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.
1 Hear second-rate status of fashionable residences causes puzzlement (7)
BEMUSES – A homophone of B (second rate) MEWSES (fashionable residences). According to Chambers mewses is the new plural form of mews which in the singular is one fashionable residence.
5 Sink measurement schoolboy is expected to know? (7)
CAPSIZE – The circumference of the schoolboy’s head would determine the type of hat he would need.
9 Indulge niece a little producing exotic spirit (5)
GENIE – The answer is hidden in (a little) INDULGE NIECE.
10 Seasonal entertainment broadcast of a young male at home, possibly around 9? (9)
PANTOMIME – A homophone (broadcast) of a lad in (a young male at home) gives an example (possibly) of the answer. I am not sure that the around 9 necessarily adds anything and possibly detracts from the clue.
11 Following start of trip enquire after church mission group (4,5)
TASK FORCE – The first letter (start of) trip followed by a word meaning enquire, a word meaning after (in the sense of he’s going after a gold medal) and the abbreviation for Church of England.
12 Police trainee acted suspiciously (5)
CADET – An anagram (suspiciously) of ACTED.
13 Meaning surgeon provided alongside report’s conclusion (5)
DRIFT – The abbreviation for doctor or surgeon followed by a two letter word meaning provided and the final letter (conclusion) of report.
15 Learning publication is covering sport (9)
ERUDITION – Another word for a publication around (covering) the abbreviation for rugby union.
18 Makes progress in successful recruitment of school principal (4,5)
GETS AHEAD – Split 4,1,4 this would indicate the successful recruitment of a school head.
19 Excerpt from Carpenters’ record (5)
ENTER – The answer is hidden in (excerpt from) CARPENTERS.
21 Rough-built dwelling in France with which James corresponds reportedly (5)
SHACK – A homophone reportedly of JAQUES (The French for James). Try as I might, I can’t quite agree that the two are homophones as I would pronounce the initial letter as you would pronounce Je as in Je suis. I don’t think the in France indicator is in the right place. Perhaps Rough-built dwelling built by drunken James in France would overcome these minor quibbles.
23 Left Foreign Office accompanied by smear over range of investments (9)
PORTFOLIO – The nautical term for left followed by the abbreviation for Foreign Office and a reversal (over) of a verb meaning to smear.
25 Horse, eager at jumping around building material (9)
AGGREGATE – An anagram (jumping) of EAGER AT goes around a childish description (which perhaps should have been indicated) of a horse.
26 Agree Easter to be chosen alternately for traditional Christmas fare (5)
GEESE – The even letters (to be chosen alternately) of AGREE EASTER.
27 Parliament backs German city in marking educational centres (7)
KNESSET – Reverse (backs) the name of a German city inside the middle letters (centres) of marKing and educaTional.
28 Medicine turned up initially in an English county (7)
LINCTUS – The first letters (initially) of turned up inside the abbreviation for Lincolnshire.
1 Twisted love fills the heart of former Play School regular (7)
BIGOTED – The letter representing love or nothing inside the name of one of the toys in Play School
2 Rim underneath car first became popular in the 1960s (9)
MINISKIRT – Another word for a rim underneath a make of small car. Perhaps “one that first became popular…” would be a better definition as “first became popular in the 1960s is not quite a definition of the answer.
3 Frail structure for the most part overlooking fine terrace (5)
SHELF – Remove the last letter (for the most part) of a frail structure surrounding an egg and follow it with the abbreviation for fine.
4 Replace excellent highly-ranked tennis star, say (9)
SUPERSEDE – Another word for excellent followed by a homophone (say) of another word for a high-ranked tennis star.
5 Rod catches nothing but hollowed tree trunk? (5)
CANOE – The letter representing nothing inside another word for a rod.
6 Ostracise writer after brief support (9)
PROSCRIBE -Another word of saying briefly someone supports or is in favour of something followed by another word for writer.
7 Epic story of artist returning to capture island (5)
ILIAD – Reverse (returning) the name of the artist Salvador and put it around (capturing) the abbreviation for island.
8 Toffees from the North? Cannot reveal some are from the South (7)
EVERTON – The answer is hidden and reversed (some are from the South) in CANNOT REVEAL.
14 No gratitude shown by extremely tough joints over Sunday opening (9)
THANKLESS – The outer letters (extremely) of tough followed by the joints at the bottom of the legs and the first letter (opening) of Sunday.
16 Vehicle’s treatment is short of a token of confirmation (9)
UNDERSEAL – Remove the the A from a phrase (5, 1, 4) indicating that a document has been formally executed as a deed. In legal terms, simply splitting the answer 5,4 would have given the same result.
17 Mind cricket, for instance, neglecting society without order (9)
INTELLECT – A word describing the cricket (an animal) leaving behind the abbreviation for society around (without) a word meaning to order.
18 Ask how nuts suspended from end of string can supply a bird (7)
GOSHAWK – An anagram (nuts) of ASK HOW goes after last letter (end of) string.
20 Those running amok emerge from city with the press oddly (7)
RIOTERS – The name of a South American city followed by the odd letters of THE PRESS.
22 Point of view that might be obtuse? (5)
ANGLE – Double definition.
23 Hairstyle is pleasing to a Parisian (5)
PLAIT – From the French word meaning pleasing as in s’il vous plait.
24 Dickensian character portrayed smoking? (5)
FAGIN – Split 3,2 this would indicate someone is smoking.