A Puzzle by loonapick
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Loonapick’s first puzzle was published here over two years ago – I’m sure you will agree that the wait was worthwhile. 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 by Prolixic follows.
Loonapick’s crossword was a toughie in places but with a few exceptions, the cluing was good. Perhaps there were a few too many places where you simply took the word from the clue and used it in the answer and some of the synonyms were a little loose but could be got with a little effort.
7 Hoodwinked sailor with a couple of quid, and enjoyed it! (3,1,4)
HAD A BALL – A three letter word meaning hoodwinked followed by the abbreviation for able seaman (sailor), the A from the clue and two letters indicating a pound or quid.
9 Whence Hardy strode out… (6)
DORSET – … The county associated with Thomas Hardy. An anagram (out) of STRODE.
10 …and where Lincoln’s found after a second trip up (6)
ASCENT – The A from the clue and the abbreviation for second followed by (found after) the coin on which the image of Abraham Lincoln appears. Knowledge of the images on foreign coins may be a little too specialist for solvers to be expected to know.
11 Performer – one blowing his own trumpet? (8)
MUSICIAN – A very mild cryptic definition of a performer who plays a trumpet (or any other instrument).
12 Every member of the crew playing cards? Call them together now! (3,5,2,4)
ALL HANDS ON DECK – … the naval call could also cryptically be a picture of the crew playing with a deck of cards.
15 Bread on the table is just a starter? (4)
ANTE – A cryptic definition of the amount of money initially put on a gambling table.
17 Finds me at French and Saunders premiere (5)
MEETS – The ME from the clue followed by the French for “and” and the first letter (premiere) of Saunders. A very minor point but “Saunder’s” premiere would be technically the construction to use.
19 Boss breaks down and cries (4)
SOBS – An anagram (breaks down) of BOSS. Depending on the level of difficulty you want to achieve, anagrams of four letter words are not much of a challenge.
20 Play on divided boards (8,6)
SEPARATE TABLES – … the name of a Terence Rattigan play. A word meaning divided followed by another word for boards.
23 Bore visiting sub-standard fair (8)
BALANCED – A word meaning bore or spike inside (visiting – in the sense of popping-in) a word meaning sub-standard. I am not convinced that the word for sub-standard is precisely the same as the word in the answer or that the word for bore is the same.
25 Fearless eccentric not loud, but small and quiet (6)
SPUNKY – A word meaning eccentric has the initial F (loud) replaced by the abbreviation for small and quiet. Given the use of the abbreviation for small in clothing sizes, it is odd that the abbreviation is not given in Chambers.
27 Whistler I’ll restore (6)
REFILL – A person who blows the whistle in a football match followed by the ILL from the clue. Again, I am not entirely convinced that the two words are synonymous. I doubt the landlord of the local pub would ask if you wanted your glass restored.
28 Rick has rope to secure front of yacht (8)
HAYSTACK – The HAS from the clue and another word for a rope (a nautical term) includes the first letter (front of) of yacht.
1 Lawyer is at podium (4)
DAIS – An abbreviation for an American lawyer followed by the IS from the clue. I am not too keen on AT as link word with wordplay AT definition being the structure.
2 Father abandons heathen before he’s converted to god (6)
GANESH – Remove (abandons) a two letter word for Father from a word meaning heathen and follow this with an anagram (converted) of HES.
3 Criticise religion? Not I! (4)
SLAM – Remove the I from the religion of the followers of the prophet Mohammed.
4 Originator of the light-bulb moment? (6)
EDISON – A very mild cryptic definition of the inventor of the lightbulb.
5 Nibbles nuts? (8)
CRACKERS – A double definition, the first maybe accompanying a Chinese meal and the second meaning mad.
6 Spectacular band on ship with talented following (10)
REMARKABLE – The name of a 1980’s American rock band followed by the name of Noah’s ship and a word meaning talented.
8 Slave to master this? (7)
ANTONYM – The grammatical term for two words that are diametrically opposed.
13 Gardener painting redstart (10)
LANDSCAPER – The name of a type of painting of an outdoor scene followed by the first letter (start) of red. As pointed out in the comments, some would not permit Redstart to indicate the first letter of red. The root of the answer and the painting are perhaps a little too close.
14 Making his comeback, golfer played terribly at first, so rested (5)
SLEPT – Reverse (making his comeback) the surname of the golfer Ernie and follow this with the initial letters (at first) of played terribly.
16 Demolishing pies and mash leads to stress (8)
EMPHASISE – An anagram (demolishing) of PIES MASH.
18 Please appeal before the end of August; I shall file your entries (7)
SATISFY – The abbreviation for sex appeal followed by the last letter (end of) of August and the initial letters (entries – as in openings) of I shall file.
21 Remember to request returns (6)
RECALL – A double definition, the second often applied to faulty products.
22 Craft eventually mastered by Christian (6)
BOUNTY – A cryptic definition of the ship on which there was a munity led by Fletcher Christian.
24 Note: answer is “Capital city” (4)
DOHA – The three letter note at the start of the musical scale followed by the A from the clue.
26 High boot (4)
KICK – A double definition, the first being a drug experience and the second a verb describing what a footballer will do with the ball.