A Puzzle by Moolally
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Moolally says that this, his debut, crossword is based on the Times Quick Cryptic in terms of size (13×13), style and intended difficulty. 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.
Our thanks to Moolally for an encouraging debut in the Rookie Corner. Overall, a very good start. The main thing to concentrate is to produce some some meaningful surface readings. Whilst they can be surreal, they should make some kind of sense.
1 Recognize smasher after five hundred and one seconds (7)
DISCERN – The Roman numeral for 500, the letter representing one, the abbreviation for second and the name of the European facility for smashing together sub-atomic particles at high speed.
5 Point a round record store (5)
DEPOT – A three letter word for a point or spot goes around an abbreviation for a record.
8 Kitchen appliance cooled professor, compare, exchange and lose the French (4,9)
FOOD PROCESSOR – Within the phrase “cooled professor” exchange the letters that make up the Latin abbreviation for compare and remove the French masculine form of the. I don’t think that compare exchange is necessarily a clear enough indication to take the letters from the abbreviation and swap them around. The surface reading of the clue is meaningless.
9 Needle used to make a woman perhaps? (3)
RIB – Double definition, with needle meaning to tease and an allusion to the source of Eve in the creation stories in Genesis.
10 Count and jeer first two theatregoers making ticket office (9)
TOLLBOOTH – A four letter word meaning count (or number of casualties) followed by the sound an audience may make to jeer someone and the first two letters from theatregoers. Depending on the editor, first two may need to be “first two of”, or “leading pair of” to satisfy the cryptic grammar.
12 Emergency credit is double (6)
CRISIS – The abbreviation for credit followed by two lots of the IS from the clue.
13 Guard caused loss of hearing, I hear? (6)
DEFEND – A homophone of deafened (caused loss of hearing). Not sure that the homophone works for me.
15 Candid creeps regularly see the name used by postman (9)
ADDRESSEE – The even letter in cAnDiD cReEpS followed by the SEE from the clue.
16 Boat with the front sawn off towards the back (3)
AFT – Remove the first letter (with the front sawn off) from a type of boat used by the Kontiki expedition.
18 Crooked P R maniac’s game a slanderous plan to discredit (5,8)
SMEAR CAMPAIGN – An anagram (crooked) of PR MANIACS GAME
20 Throw English class (5)
CASTE – Another word for throw followed by the abbreviation for English.
21 Unlearn estuarian amongst serious minded (7)
EARNEST – The answer is hidden in UNLEARN ESTUARIAN. I don’t think that the hidden word indicator “amongst” works when it comes after the words to be used and the answer.
1 Worldwide fervour, partly put off (5)
DEFER –The answer is hidden (partly) in WORLDWIDE FERVOUR.
2 Confused blondness wins sight loss from UV rays (4-9)
SNOW BLINDNESS – An anagram (confused) of BLONDNESS WINS. Another clue where the surface reading makes little sense.
3 Identify worried atheist MEP without cross (9)
EMPATHISE – An anagram (worried) of ATHEIST MEP after removing one of the Ts (without cross). Using cross for a T is not a usual indicator but does represent the shape of one form of cross used as a means of execution.
4 Head found in chicken chow mein! (6)
NOODLE – One of the ingredients in a chow mein is also the name for a head.
5 Colour seen in gaudy enamel (3)
DYE – The answer is hidden in GUADY ENAMEL.
6 Following secret agent after surgery (4-9)
POST-OPERATIVE – Another word meaning following and another word meaning a secret agent.
7 Cremated editor under mountain church (7)
TORCHED – A three letter word for a rocky hill or height (hardly a mountain!) followed by the abbreviation for church and the abbreviation for editor.
11 Retain queen after worker for man with a skep (9)
BEEKEEPER – An insect associated with workers followed by a word meaning retain and the abbreviation for the current queen.
12 Both typical and outstanding? (7)
CLASSIC – A double definition.
14 Bolt found onboard, top left (6)
ESCAPE – One of the keys found on a keyboard without the “key” (top left). Some editors would not be happy with the requirement to split onboard to on board without an indication that the split is needed.
17 Principle returns too (5)
TENET – A palindromic (returns too) word for principle
19 Or first eight scrambled eggs (3)
ORE – An anagram (scrambled) of OR E (first eight). Three letter anagrams are rarely worth the effort. Some editors would require first of eight.