A Puzzle by loonapick
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Prologue. 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.
Loonapick did well to get all of the across clue and the clue to 1d to be TV series without getting obscure words in the down clues. The clues themselves were well written though grammatical purists would have issues with some of the letter indicators. Particular mention must go to 29a as an excellent clue.
1 Rod can return a Russian fighter to Georgia (8,5)
SPITTING IMAGE – Another word for a rod on which things are roasted followed by another word for a can and a reversal of the A and a Russian fighter plane and finally the IVR code for the country of Georgia.
8 Central Europe to get bigger (7)
ROSWELL – the central letters of Europe followed by a word meaning to get bigger.
9 Orally examined a student (7)
SCANDAL – A homophone (orally) of scanned (examined) followed by the A from the clue and the abbreviation for a student.
11 Belgium to do without bank (9)
BLACKPOOL – The IVR code for Belgium followed by a word meaning to do without and another word for a bank (as in a stock of money).
12 Chops both ends off vegetables (5)
ARROW – Remove the first and last letters of a type of vegetable (assuming you are referring to the bean variety as the squash variety is a fruit).
13 Last letter about Roman art (1-4)
Z-CARS – The last letter of the alphabet followed by the one letter abbreviation for about and the Latin (Roman) word for art.
15 Ploughed hectares (8)
TEACHERS – An anagram (ploughed) of HETCARES.
19 Chance to say thanks by text (8)
CASUALTY – A word meaning chance as in a chance or unarranged meeting followed by the text form of thank you.
20 As heard on the radio tower? (5)
DEREK – A homophone (as heard on the radio) of derrick (tower).
23 West invading bits of Lebanon and Israel (5)
LEWIS – The abbreviation for west inside (invading) the first two letters (bits of) of both Lebanon and Israel. Some editors would only allow bit of to indicate the first letter and so bits of could only then indicate the L and I.
25 Unable to see, see (5,4)
BLIND DATE – Another word meaning unable to see followed but another word for see as in a romantic encounter.
27 Last in liquor still gets half cut (7)
REVENGE – The last letter of liquor followed by a word meaning still and half of the word gets.
28 In British Isles, zero gravity (3,4)
BIG LOVE – The abbreviation for gravity inside an abbreviation for British Isles and another word used in tennis for zero. The abbreviation BI is not recognised in Chambers for British Isles. Whilst B on its own can be an abbreviation for British, I is not an abbreviation for isles but for Isle (singular).
29 Walk, kick, etc? Nothing’s missing (7,3,3)
STEPTOE AND SON – A word meaning walk followed by a word meaning kick and an expression (3,2,2) meaning etc from which one of the Os has been removed (nothing’s missing).
1 Second club game leads to brief success (6)
SCRUBS – The abbreviations for second and club followed by the abbreviation for Rugby Union and the first letters of brief and success. A pernickety point but one that may be picked up on, but the abbreviations for cards are always given in the plural c = clubs, h = hearts, d = diamonds and S = spades.
2 Representative examples of attitudes to batting (9)
INSTANCES – Split (2,7) this might describe the attitudes to batting.
3 Just show everyone your quick bottoms (5)
TWERK – The last letters (bottoms) of the first five words of the clue with the whole thing providing the definition.
4 Hold Chanel’s only essence (6)
NELSON – The answer is hidden in (essence) of CHANELS ONLY.
5 Abused protected non-amateur (8)
INSULTED – Remove the abbreviation for amateur from a word meaning protected.
6 A sudden rush of pain overcoming very first chap (9)
AVALANCHE – A word for pain goes around (overcoming) the first letter of very and a man’s name. Some editors would not allow xxxxx first to indicate the first letter of a word as grammatically it does not mean the first letter. The first of xxxxx or xxxxx’s first would be acceptable.
7 Ethnic leaders design elaborate regal entrances for chief (5)
ELDER – The first letters (entrances) of the first five words of the clue.
10 Fresh towels for bottom (6)
LOWEST – A anagram (fresh) of TOWELS.
14 Seasoned racers beginning to develop judgement along the way (4,5)
ROAD SENSE – An anagram (to develop) of SEASONED R (the R being the first letter – beginning – of racers). Like 6d, some editors may not allow racers beginning but would allow racer’s beginning.
16 Lifts voters’ tax for conservative (9)
ELEVATORS – Another word for voters has the C (conservative) replaced by the abbreviation for value added tax. As noted in the comments, the word play leaves two Ts in the answer.
17 One preparing fish to weigh snapper’s tail (6)
SCALER – A word meaning to weigh followed by the final letter (tail) of snappers.
18 Protection from pointed attacks? (4,4)
STAB VEST – A mild cryptic definition of something to protect people from knife attacks.
21 Likely to involve one in scandalous libel (6)
LIABLE – An A (one) goes inside an anagram (scandalous) of LIBEL.
22 River always runs between two points (6)
SEVERN – A word meaning always goes between the abbreviation for South and North.
24 Normally part of turbulent sea view, that is missing (5)
WAVES – An anagram (turbulent) of SEA VIEW after removing the abbreviation for that is. The whole clue elliptically defines the solution.
26 Instruction to the hungry archaeologist? (3,2)
DIG IN – A cryptic definition of an instruction to eat and what an archaeologist does.