A Puzzle by Deuce
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today we have a new setter who wanted his puzzle to be published as near to July 21st as possible in order to make it topical, and this is the best I could do. 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:
Thirteen or fourteen (your count may vary) notable or (obscure) Belgians are solutions to the clues and the capital of Belgium make an appearance in this crossword. Perhaps a greater balance of clues (13 anagrams, 4 hidden words and lots of repeated indicators) would improve the crossword.
With all crosswords where a degree of general knowledge is required, you will love or loath this type of crossword. You definitely need access to the internet to check some of the answers.
1 B on two wheels, small car gets to King’s Cross quickly (6)
MERCKX – The short name (small) of a Mercedes Benz followed by the abbreviation for King and the Letter representing a cross. I think that the quickly is padding that could have been omitted.
4 Smudged, rubs less for capital (8)
BRUSSELS – An anagram (smudged) of RUBS LESS.
10 What you might have if you’re happy with musical Mr Kelly? (3,4)
GAY GENE – An semi-all in one with a three letter word meaning happy and the first name of the star of musicals – Mr Kelly. The difference between an all in one and semi all in one clue is that for an all in one (or &lit) clue, all of the words contribute to the wordplay and form the definition. For a semi all in one clue, all of the words contribute to the definition but only some of the words contribute to the wordplay.
11 B who represented fall of Icarus – initially birdlike, regret attaching to sticky substance (7)
BRUEGEL – The first letter (initially) of birdlike followed by a word meaning regret and a word for a sticky substance.
12 He overdoes it in Rudge riots with novel’s end (8)
INDULGER – The IN from the clue followed by an anagram (riots) of RUDGE L (the L being the last letter – end – of novel).
13 B who pioneered new style in short architecture (5)
HORTA – The answer is hidden (in) in SHORT ARCHITECTURE.
15 Reset a reader by subtracting? (4)
TARE – The answer is hidden (by subtracting) in RESET A READER. I can only assume that the whole clue is the definition but I cannot see that there is a direct meaning like that given. Tare means the net weight of something after subtracting the weight of fuel and cargo, but this is a noun, not a verb as the whole of the clue would require.
16 B who had subjects polled freely about start of organisation (7)
LEOPOLD – An anagram (freely) of POLLED around the first letter (start of) organisation.
20 Creative B has starters of veal and yoghurt with cook on vacation (3,4)
VAN DYCK – The first letter (starters) of veal and yoghurt V AND Y followed by the outer letters (on vacation) of cook.
21 B who’s contributed to sombre lyrics? (4)
BREL – The answer is hidden in SOMBRE LYRICS.
25 Double refusal to reverse about one may lead to tears? (5)
ONION – Reverse two NOs around the letter representing one.
26 Blamed as work of extremist B (8)
ABDESLAM – An anagram (work) of BLAMED AS. As a clue, this may be considered distasteful by some given the recent terrorist attacks in Belgium and France. As a general rule when using relatively unknown names or words, using an anagram although perfectly legal, is possibly not the fairest clue for a solver. Some editors would not allow wordplay of definition as a construction.
28 Turner – or art to blur (7)
ROTATOR – An anagram (blur) of OR ART TO.
29 The beginnings of renegotiation has EU backtrack – call off deal (7)
RENEGUE – The first five letters of renegotiation followed by a reversal (backtrack) of EU. Not all editors would accept the beginnings of to indicate an unknown number of letters from the start of a word.
30 Is sent in confused, insubstantial state (8)
TININESS – An anagram (confused) of IS SENT IN.
31 Set table fit for King – B King (6)
ALBERT – An anagram (set) of TABLE around (fit for) the abbreviation for king.
1 Tobacco-holder initially seen in treacherous art images not as it seems according to this B (8)
MAGRITTE – An anagram (treacherous) of ART IMAGES after removing the AS.
2 B top diplomat gives up around capital of Yugoslavia (8)
REYNDERS – A word meaning gives up (as in doing this to Caesar what is due to Caesar) around the first letter (capital) of Yugoslavia.
3 Shows respect, smooth backing taking note (6)
KNEELS – A word meaning smooth reversed (backing) around (taking) the abbreviation for note.
5 Takes in for observation (4)
ROBS – The answer is hidden in FOR OBSERVATION. Four hidden word clues in a puzzle is a tad too many.
6 Cunning to take rich one in, so as to tug at heartstrings (8)
SLUSHILY – A word meaning cunning around (to take) a word meaning rich or decadent and the letter representing one.
7 They cut outlying parts to change genders, not neuter (6)
EDGERS – An anagram (to change) of GENDERS after removing the abbreviation for neuter.
8 B has soap-making process – firstly scrub over yourself around flushed lav (6)
SOLVAY – The initial letters (firstly) of scrub over yourself around an anagram (flushed) of LAV.
9 Put to confused Dane, Scot or Brit with these? (9)
REFERENDA – A word meaning put to followed by an anagram (confused) of DANE.
14 Mars or Milky Way, maybe, use these after period (5,4)
SPACE BARS – A loose description of the chocolate and their universal nomenclature!
17 Against one no trump opener by East, North B who produced suits (3,5)
VAN NOTEN – The one letter word for versus or against followed by a word meaning one, the no from the clue, the first letter (opener) of trump and the abbreviations for east and north.
18 After shot from pistol, Ovett leaps in front in false start (8)
PROLOGUE – The first letter (shot from) pistol followed by a word meaning false in which you add the initial letter (in front) of Ovett and leaps.
19 Let Miss splurge and take on small mass – she’s lost the most? (8)
SLIMMEST – An anagram (splurge) of LET MISS includes the abbreviation (small) for mass.
22 B detective – root out with private investigator involved (6)
POIROT – An anagram (out) of ROOT includes the abbreviations for private investigator. I don’t think that this works as the anagram does not include both letters. If you omit the involve, the clue would work better.
23 Colour in illustrated B (6)
TINTIN – A word meaning colour followed by the IN from the clue.
24 Go head over heels after knights enter King Charles’ home … (6)
KENNEL – Another word meaning to go or urinate is reversed (head over heels) and includes two abbreviations for knights.
27 … swift to remove King’s head, or to chop off other body part (4)
BRIS – A word meaning swift has the abbreviation for King removed. The definition requires a verb for the answer but the solution is give only as a noun in Chambers.