A Puzzle by Starhorse
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
It was great to meet Starhorse at a couple of recent S&B gatherings (Macclesfield and London). Today we have his latest 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 by Prolixic follows.
Another fine crossword from Starhorse. A couple of minor points to consider in the clues but as others have indicated, there was a good variety of clues and some convincing surface readings.
1 Starting, or finishing? (7,2)
WINDING UP – A double definition, the first being what a clockwork toy needs and the second what may happen to a bankrupt company.
9 Charge attendant to drive first (7)
RAMPAGE – A word meaning firs drive before (first) a word for a servant or attendant.
10 Island from which Simon’s partner, a Greek character, starts to swim back (7)
SUMATRA – The name of Paul Simon’s musical partner, the A from the clue, a letter of the Greek alphabet and the first letter (starts to) of swim all reversed (back). Starts to indicates two or more letters, so a better way of indicating the S is required.
11 First pair of cellists intermittently interrupting exuberant band of musicians (5)
OCTET – The first two letters in cellists are included (interrupting) in separate places (intermittently) the abbreviation for over the top (exuberant).
12 No longer thinking dear? (9)
EXPENSIVE – A two letter prefix meaning no longer followed by a word meaning thinking.
13 Release a sequence of games without charge (3,4)
SET FREE – A sequence of games in a tennis match followed by a word meaning without charge.
15 A shilling off first-class return (5)
ELECT – Remove the S (shilling off) from the start of a word meaning first class. The A at the beginning of the clue is, strictly speaking, superfluous but conventionally, the use of the indefinite article as used here is acceptable.
17 Secured old hat first daughter discarded for good (5)
GATED – Remove (discarded) the first D (daughter) from a word meaning old hat and replace it with a G (good). Kudos for indicating that it was only the first of the letters D that had to be replaced.
18 Supports signs in bars demanding silence (5)
RESTS – A double definition, the first being supports used in snooker and the second being the signs in bars of music where the musician does not play.
19 Lift bundles of papers, guillotine the edges (5)
HEAVE – A word for bundles of papers without (guillotine) the first and last letters (the edges).
21 Opposed to giving up gains, Pole is in danger (2,5)
AT STAKE – A word meaning opposed to has the “gains” removed from it (giving up) and is followed by a word for a pole.
24 Doctors, for example, appear so old when drunk (4,5)
SOAP OPERA – An anagram (when drunk) of APPEAR SO O (old).
25 Spell “rattle” out loud (5)
PHASE – A homophone (out loud) of faze (rattle).
27 Feel cab edging backwards contributing to disaster (7)
DEBACLE – The answer is hidden (contributing to) and reversed (backwards) in FEEL CAB EDGING. Whilst I cannot quite put my finger on it, the reversal and hidden word indicators feel slightly clumsy here. I think it is partly because you need a contribution from the wordplay to reach the answer rather than the wordplay forming part of (contributing to) the answer.
28 Introductions from radio broadcast by former partner (7)
EXORDIA – An anagram (broadcast) of RADIO after a two letter word for a former partner.
29 Confuse Spooner with two names for the Invisible Man? (3-6)
NON-PERSON – An anagram (confuse) of SPOONER N N (two names).
1 Haggard queen infiltrates women’s groups making demands (6)
WISHES – The name of Rider Haggard’s queen inside the abbreviation for Women’s Institutes (pluralised form).
2 They identify irrelevant politicians, drinking coffee half the time (10)
NAMEPLATES – The abbreviation for not applicable (irrelevant) followed by the abbreviation for a member of the European parliament and a type of coffee with one of the Ts removed (half time).
3 Italian on vacation looked after fiancée (8)
INTENDED – The outer letters (on vacation) of Italian followed by a word meaning looked after or cared for.
4 Lady in work unit lifting building material (7)
GRANITE – The name of a lady (such as the singer ???? Turner) inside the name of a measurement of the amount of work all reversed (lifting).
5 Harry Potter’s rebellion? (7)
PROTEST – An anagram (harry) of POTTERS.
6 Significance of my name being Ruby, perhaps? (6)
IMPORT – A short way of saying my name followed by the name of a drink of which ruby is an example.
7 Shy playmates? (4)
CAST – Double definition of a word to throw or shy and a group of actors in a play.
8 Whips available from Emmanuelle at her salon? (8)
LEATHERS – The answer is hidden (available from) in EMMANUELLE AT HER SALON.
14 Block of flats is screened for development (10)
RESIDENCES – An anagram (for development) of IS SCREENED.
16 Reminder: it’s sadistic cutting off hands (3)
CUE – A word meaning sadistic has the abbreviations for left and right (hands) removed (cutting off).
17 Gets in a clinch with slapper – crumpled after beginning to gag (8)
GRAPPELS – An anagram (crumpled) of SLAPPER after the first letter (beginning to) of gag.
18 Fob off resolute attempt to up the ante? (8)
REDOUBLE – A word meaning resolute has the TAB (fob) removed (off).
19 Regional German Ambassador heads evil forces in a manoeuvre (7)
HESSIAN – The abbreviation for an ambassador before (heads) the abbreviation for the German evil forces and an anagram (manoeuvre) of INA.
20 Entertainment displaying a lack of inhibition? (7)
ABANDON – Split 1, 4, 2, the answer could be a form of entertainment.
22 Express willingness to agree over issue (for compensation) (6)
AMENDS – A word expressing agreement at the end of a prayer followed by the abbreviations for daughter and son (issue). I think that issue in the singular is fine as one or more children can be the issue of their parents and you would not describe them as issues. That being said, the path to the solution does require quite a lot of the solver to get from issue to children then to daughter and son both being abbreviated.
23 Accommodate fool (4,2)
TAKE IN – Double definition for a phrase meaning to provide housing for someone and to dupe someone.
26 Thanks for turning up – work is over (4)
ATOP – Reverse (for turning up) a word meaning thanks and follow it with the abbreviation for work.