Easy by JollySwagman
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Just what does JollySwagman mean by “Easy” – solve the puzzle to find out. 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.
An impressionistic painting from Jolly Swagman where the overall picture is better than the individual components. Some of the best paintings were by the impressionists so this is not a criticism.
6 Dean and I drink together (7)
MARTINI – The surname of the actor Dean followed by the I from the clue. Opinions will differ on whether a definition by example such as Dean need to be indicated. However, here the potential list of Dean’s limited so the lack of an indicator is not a great loss. Unusually the definition is not at the beginning or end of the clue.
7/20 Easy as reducing a mathematical function (7,3,1,3)
FALLING OFF A LOG – Another expression (7,3) for reducing followed by the A from the clue and a mathematical function.
9/25/28 Easy equals Zen with mopy eyes blurred (5,5,7)
PEASY LEMON SQUEEZY – An anagram (blurred) of EQUALS ZEN MOPY EYES.
10 They reduce travel between home and work (9)
COMMUTERS – A double definition of those who might reduce or substitute one sentence for another or reduce a debt and those who travel between home and work. The “They” must qualify both the “reduce” and the “travel between home and work” otherwise the second half of the definition would lead to a verb rather than a noun.
11 Compensation for Yap’s absence! (4,3)
SICK PAY – A reverse anagram clue where the answer (read as an anagram clue) would provide YAP as the solution. The whole clue provides an extended definition. I am not sure that the reverse anagram element is indicated strongly enough.
14 Maybe easy to annoy Sir after tea (6)
CHAIRS – Another word for tea (as in the drink) followed by an anagram (to annoy) SIR.
16 Sam‘s easy – according to Lionel! (6,7)
SUNDAY MORNING – Lift and separate Sam to S am and expand the parts for the Lionel Richie song. Not all editors would allow a lift and separate of this nature.
I don’t usually provide pictures or videos for the Rookie view but since someone asked:
19 Walpole Society’s going in for a bit of glory with you leading parade. Keep that under your hat (4,2)
HUSH UP – The first name of Walpole and replace the G (bit of glory) with the abbreviation for society. Follow this with the text speak for you and the first letter (leading) of parade. Some editors might not like leading as an initial letter indicator. Alberich is particularly trenchant in his dismissal of this indicator on his website but other editors are happy with its use.
20 See 7
23 It might be easy to cut a record in German using English notation principally (9)
LISTENING – The first letter (principally) of English Notation go inside (to cut) another term for a record or table, the N from the clue and the abbreviation for German.
25 See 9
27 That’s nothing. Take it easy. Not even I’d get cross about rust (7)
OXIDISE – An anagram (about) of O (nothing) ISE (the odd letters – not even) of IT EASY, the ID from the clue and X the letter for a cross.
28 See 9
1 You are to go on stage left, pursued by a bear! (4)
URSA – The text speak for you are followed by the leftmost letter of state and the A from the clue. As you = U has already been used, ideally a different indicator should be used.
2 De-clutter your den first – it needs it! (4,2)
TIDY UP – The initial letters (first) of your den and the IT from the clue are reversed, the reversal being alluded to by the needs it. Another impressionistic clue where the whole gives you a vague sense of what the setter requires you to do.
3 Diana’s 100. That might be a record (4)
DISC – The abbreviated form of Diana with the ‘s followed by the Roman numeral for 100.
4 Great! Bear up and keep going (6,2)
PLOUGH ON – Another name for the Great Bear followed by a word meaning up. The punctuation, following the usual convention, should be ignored but some might object to the insertion of the exclamation mark to split up the the “Great” and “Bear” as a step to far in the use of punctuation to mislead.
5 I’m stealing makeup for Pip (4,6)
TIME SIGNAL – An anagram (makeup – both Chambers and Collins give this as make-up) for IM STEALING.
6 Second pub is opening but it’s out of spirits (6)
MOPISH – The IS from the clue goes inside (opening) a two letter word for second and the abbreviation for a public house.
7 Celebrity means nothing to me (4)
FAME – A two letter abbreviation (for Fanny Adams) meaning nothing followed by the ME from the clue.
8 No airs! (5)
GASES – Another lift and separate clue – Split the N and O and their chemical elements give the answer for what forms airs.
12 They say the people who work here deliver the goods while the customers just laze around (6,4)
CRUISE SHIP – A homophone of crews (the people who work here) and a word meaning to deliver the goods. Another clue where the definition is so impressionistic that all you can do is solve and then work out after the event how the clue works.
13 Ma‘s toy-boy. O you should see him! (2-2)
YO-YO – Hidden in TOY-BOY O YOU is the name of the violinist whose surname is Ma. Unlike the Dean clue, this one might have benefited from a definition by example indicator as the number of possible Ma definition is much wider.
15 In here parent is like a teacher. Crazy! (4)
LOCO – Double definition where the first is an elliptical reference to the phase “In **** parentis”
17 It’s easy to go with this diet – you are cutting lunch and carbohydrates initially (8)
DIURETIC – The text speak for you are (the third use of you and second of are as text speak should not have happened) inside the DIET from the clue followed by the time for lunch (1.00) and the first letter (initially) of carbohydrates.
18 Cagney’s in trouble with the FBI? (6)
AGENCY – An anagram (in trouble) of CAGNEY.
19 Lionel’s single? You’re kidding! (5)
HELLO – A cryptic reference to another easy listening record from Lionel and a word meaning you’re kidding.
21 Plug is needed – that’s motor racing’s drawback (4,2)
FILL UP – The abbreviation for Formula One (motor racing) and a reversal (back) of a word meaning draw.
22 Female setter’s possibly getting high on this in America (4)
FIVE – The abbreviation for female followed by a word meaning the setter has.
24 Flaubert does not ‘ave wind (4)
GUST – The first name of Flaubert with the AVE removed. I am not convinced that “does not” on its own constitutes a deletion indicator.
26 Suitable present (4)
MEET – A double definition, the first with an allusion to the Book of Common prayer’s Eucharistic Prayer – “Lift up your hearts. It is **** and right so to do.”