A Puzzle by Arepo
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today we have a second puzzle from Arepo. 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.
If you would like a puzzle published in this slot there is no better time to submit it than now – the queue is very short (submissions from those who have already had puzzles published are also welcome).
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 crossword by Prolixic follows.
Arepo did not disappoint with his second crossword. Overall the cluing was very good with only a few minor points to pay attention to. There was possibly a little too much general knowledge required for people to be confident of their solutions even where the answer was clear.
1 Sublime German article describing Bordeaux? (6)
DIVINE – One of the German forms of “the” article goes around (describes) the French word for wine (Bordeaux)
4 Pet sitting on a rake in underground passage (8)
CATACOMB – A three letter pet followed by (sitting on) the A from the clue and another word for meaning to rake. I think that sitting on works better in a down clue as, in an across clue, the letters sit alongside each other.
10 Sex symbol abandons us to claim single kiss with foxy lady (5)
VIXEN – The name of the Roman goddess of love without (abandons) the US includes (to claim) the letters representing single and a kiss.
11 Decorative tea chest I renovated (9)
AESTHETIC – An anagram (renovated) of TEA CHEST I
12 Serendipity’s leading man from fire, tailing copper (6)
CUSACK – Another word for fire or dismiss goes after (tailing) the chemical symbol for copper for the male lead in the film.
13 Brat lies about admitting blunder (6)
TERROR – Reverse (about) a word meaning lies and include (admitting) a word meaning blunder.
16 Elderly relative with a great deal of money and two degrees (9)
GRANDMAMA – Another word for £1,000 (a great deal of money) and a repeated (two) abbreviation for Master of Arts (degrees).
19 Stylish and new, if totally vacuous (5)
NIFTY – The abbreviation for new followed by the IF from the clue and the outer letters (vacuous) of totally.
21 Model and designer with distinctive tone (5)
TWANG – The letter for the model of Ford motor car followed by the surname of the designer Alexander ****.
22 Amusing character: flipping posh kid beginning to look like a horse having its tail pulled (9)
HARLEQUIN – Revere (flipping) a word for a posh kid and follow this with the first letter (beginning to) of look and a word meaning like a horse with the final letter removed (having its tail pulled).
23 Tiger possibly following eastern river westward (6)
FELINE – The abbreviation for following followed by a reversal (westward) of the abbreviation for eastern and an African river that runs through Egypt.
26 Girl with a very withdrawn servant (6)
VASSAL – A reversal (withdrawn) of a four letter word for a girl and the A from the clue and the abbreviation for very.
30 Pale in the manner of Egyptian goddess and queen (9)
ALABASTER – A phrase (2,1) meaning in the manner of followed by the name of the Egyptian goddess of protection and cats and the abbreviation for the current Queen. Did you know (and apologies Kitty) that the domestic cat is not mentioned in the Old or New Testaments.
31 Spin taken around city beforehand (5)
PRIOR – A two letter abbreviation for publicity or spin goes around the name of a Brazilian city.
32 Handle turned to reveal highly average person (8)
EVERYMAN – Reverse (turned) another word for a handle (as a description or tag) and include (to reveal) a word meaning highly. I am not convinced by to reveal as being an indicator to insert word A into word B.
33 Loft at top of house may collapse – that’s painful! (6)
HAYMOW – The first letter (top of) house followed by an anagram (collapse) of MAY and a two letter word meaning that’s painful. If an imperative anagram indicator is being used, grammatically it should go before the letters to be rearranged – collapse letters – but as collapse is also an intransitive verb it can come after the letters.
1 Channel a large number of Romans with their salute (4)
DAVE – The Roman numeral for 500 and the word that they used as a greeting or salute.
2 Stop pulling cow with horse – pause in vehicle area (3,6)
VOX HUMANA – … the name of an organ stop. Within (pulling … in) a type of commercial vehicle include a two letter word for a cow (Chambers gives both male and female domestic cattle as a definition), the abbreviation for horse or heroin and a two letter word used as a pause in speech. Follow all of this with the A from the clue.
3 Infiltrating man in Japan (5)
NINJA – The answer is hidden in (infiltrating) MAN IN JAPAN.
5 Good grades determined good quality (5)
ASSET – How you would write as a plural top grades (all grade A) followed by a word meaning determined.
6 Cheered with an unnatural devotion (9)
ADHERENCE – An anagram (unnatural) of CHEERED AN.
7 Top opera’s opening with two different versions of first note (5)
OUTDO – The first letter (opening) of opera followed by two ways of saying the first note of the musical scale, the first one being an old form of the second.
8 Make out with boy replacing lead musician (4)
BECK – A word meaning make up has the initial (lead) N replaced by the abbreviation for boy. Neither Chambers nor Collins recognises the abbreviation.
9 Critical reaction to golf, puzzingly? (8)
BACKLASH – In a crossword puzzle, you would reverse another flog to get golf so the solution, split 4,4 gives this as a cryptic clue.
14 Silver consumed to produce mineral (5)
AGATE – The chemical symbol for silver followed by a word meaning consumed.
15 Prone to being dishonest (5)
LYING – A double definition.
17 Official schedule includes item an hour away, coming up (9)
DIGNITARY – Another word for a schedule or a book where you keep appointments includes a reversal (coming up) of another word for an item or object with the H (hour) removed (away).
18 People called out to breakdown on road see mobile menagerie animal (8)
AARDVARK – The abbreviation for Automobile Association on the abbreviation for road followed by the single letter abbreviation meaning see and another word for Noah’s ship (mobile menagerie).
20 Row over Mail’s dodgy and antiquated political system (9)
FEUDALISM – A four letter word for a row or argument followed by an anagram (dodgy) of MAILS. I agree that this would have read much better with Mali’s replacing Mail’s
24 Duck bill eaten by primitive woman (5)
EVADE – Another word for a bill or advertisement inside the name of the first woman.
25 On top of river craft capsizing (5)
EXTRA – The name of a mythical river (confessed to by our setter) followed by a reversal (capsizing) of a word meaning a skill or craft.
27 Boy who spent ages on raft in ocean gets tan (5)
SEPIA – The name of the boy in the book and film who spent many days at sea in a lifeboat with a tiger inside another word for ocean.
28 First person in France to exhibit commercial gemstone (4)
JADE – The first person pronoun in French around (to exhibit) another word for a commercial.
29 Boast about rank (4)
CROW – The single letter abbreviation for about followed by a word for a line or rank.