A Puzzle by Wolfgang
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Some of you may have met Riggles at the Bridge House recently – well he has decided to us Wolfgang as his alias for setting so it is Goodbye Riggles and Welcome Wolfgang with his debut Rookie 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.
A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.
Wolfgang makes an excellent debut. There were perhaps a few too many verbal phrases as definitions that did not quite hit the spot but there were come very good clues to savour.
1 Vicious fan? (4,6)
PUNK ROCKER – A cryptic definition of someone who is a fan of the music of Sid Vicious.
6 Hold on to beef, having thrown away sausage at last (4)
GRIP – Another word for grip or complain with the final letter (at last) of sausage removed (having thrown away).
9 Crack within two months in frozen ruin (10)
INSOLVENCY … financial ruin. Another word for crack (as you might a crossword) goes inside a repeated letter that is used in the NATO alphabet and represented by the name of a month and these letters go inside another word for frozen. The use of month requires a two stage solving process which perhaps goes a stage too far. You have to get from month to November and then make an additional connection to the phonetic alphabet.
10 South Pacific capital has, first of all, a problem – inmate absent… (4)
APIA – … the capital of Samoa. The initial letters (first of all) of the final four words of the clue.
12 … i.e. where is ‘23’? (2,5,5)
IN OTHER WORDS – A cryptic reference to the hidden word nature of the clue to 23d.
15 Genre ripe for reinvention – see flier (9)
PEREGRINE – An anagram (for reinvention) of GENRE RIPE.
17 Tends to be black and white, endlessly brazen in a silly way (5)
ZEBRA – An anagram (in a silly way) of BRAZEN with the final letter removed (endlessly). Although you can have verbal phrases to lead to the answer, this might still be better as “It tends…” to indicate that you need a noun and not an adjective as the answer. Also, the animal is black with white stripes, it does not tend to be so.
18 Horrid anagram: ‘back to front, covering up bottom’ (5)
NADIR – The answer is hidden and reversed (back to front, covering up) in HORRID ANAGRAM.
19 Provoke gallery over computing trouble (9)
TITILLATE – The name of a UK art gallery goes around (over) a two letter abbreviation for computing and a word meaning trouble.
20 He may set straight those that might chatter (12)
ORTHODONTIST – A cryptic definition of someone who works to correct the alignment of teeth.
24 “Relax,” a thunderous God said (4)
THAW – A homophone of Thor, the Norse God of thunder. The homophone works for me.
25 Blair, one out of sorts in role, showing wear (10)
DURABILITY – An anagram (out of sorts) of BLAIR I (one) inside another word for a role or responsibility.
26 Vulgar clip’s intro is cut – it’s still vulgar (4)
RUDE – Remove (is cut) the first letter (intro) of clip from a word meaning vulgar to leave a word meaning vulgar.
27 Possible to revise test score? That’s conspicuous (10)
REMARKABLE – Double definition of a word meaning that something could be marked again and something conspicuous.
1 Father at home – bother! (4)
PAIN – A two letter word for father and a word meaning at home.
2 North is French’s refuge (4)
NEST – The abbreviation for North and the French verb meaning is.
3 Open venue offering slices, Parisian style? (6,6)
ROLAND GARROS – A cryptic definition of the France venue for tennis open. I think that referring cryptically to the venue of a French tournament is possibly to much of a stretch for solvers who don’t have an interest in tennis.
4 Bust filled with treasure, possibly (5)
CHEST – A double definition of the bust and a container in which treasure may be found.
5 Rex’s cement mixing makes mess (9)
EXCREMENT – An anagram (mixing) of REX CEMENT. Perhaps A has B mixing is not quite as elegant as A with B mixing. Perhaps “Cement mixing with Rex creates a mess” would have been better. Even then, as the only letter needing to moved is the R to after the C, it is not much of an anagram.
7 Clergyman, pub eater, tipsy character living in Nutwood (6,4)
RUPERT BEAR – An anagram (tipsy) of PUB EATER inside the abbreviation for a bishop (clergyman). There is no containment indicator to tell you put the anagram inside the abbreviation for bishop. The alternative construction of including the abbreviation as part of the anagram letters would create an indirect anagram which would not be acceptable.
8 Form of fruit on the downturn? (4-6)
PEAR-SHAPED – A cryptic definition of a description of a situation that has gone downhill.
11 Manhattan may be stirred by such a thing? (7,5)
SWIZZLE STICK – A cryptic reference to that with which you would stir a cocktail such as a Manhatten.
13 Change under revolution creates a positive take on things (4,6)
SPIN DOCTOR – Another word for change after (under) a word meaning revolution or turn. Perhaps “with one creating a positive take on things” would have been better.
14 Praise paper for pay-off (6,4)
CREDIT CARD – Another word for praise followed by the name of a stiff type of paper. Another clue where the descriptive phrase might better be phrased “getting one paid-off”.
16 Add opening music before tennis tie for the audience (9)
INTRODUCE – A word for the opening music followed by a homophone (for the audience) of deuce (tennis tie).
21 Girl pockets one headdress (5)
TIARA – The letter representing one inside a girl’s name.
22 Member might be going it alone when out on this? (4)
LIMB – A part of the body used in the phrase “out on a ????”.
23 Unit stashed in grubby tent (4)
BYTE – The answer is hidden inside GRUBBY TENT.