A Puzzle by ShropshireLad
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today’s new setter is our very own ShropshireLad. Some of the answers will be familiar to those who follow the blog! 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.
Welcome to the poacher turned gamekeeper as Shropshire Lad moves from blogging to setting. This was entertaining spotting the well known bloggers’ names. There were a few rough edges but overall the quality was there.
1 Our Spanish expat sailor takes a dip, naked! (7)
POMMERS – The abbreviation for petty office (sailor) followed by a word meaning to dip with the outer letters removed (naked). The “a” should have been omitted from this clue as “a dip” implies a noun but the verb to dip is required in the wordplay.
5 Famous Channel showcases website founder (3,4)
BIG DAVE – Another word for famous followed by the name of a comedy channel that shows endless repeats of terrestrial TV shows.
10 Is twitcher seen in Germany? Yes, and New England (4)
JANE – The German for Yes followed by the abbreviations for New England.
11 Commonly, they’re briefly seen down by spring water before moving on (10)
EPHEMERALS – A cryptic definition of short lived insects that appear in the spring by water sources.
12 Time to give out some material (6)
TISSUE – The abbreviation for time and a word meaning to emit or give out.
13 “Work with colour” announced visual expert (8)
OPTICIAN – A two letter abbreviation for work and a homophone (announced) of titian (colour)
14 Unholy son ceased to see church official (9)
DEACONESS – An anagram (unholy) of SON CEASED.
16 Bunk off to Anchorage? (5)
BERTH – A double definition of bed and a place where ships may be anchored. I think that the off to are misleading here and don’t help the clue other than massage the surface reading.
17 Test case (5)
TRIAL – Double definition.
19 Wow, Dad’s cuddling a loud female behind the ‘Green Man’ bar (9)
MIFFYPOPS – A two letter word meaning wow and a word for dad’s around a letter for one (a) and the abbreviations for loud and female. Although one can be used to clue an A or an I to use A to clue I is a clue to a clue A = one = I.
23 To draw level in match is excellent start! (7)
EQUALISE – A word meaning match, the IS from the clue and the first letter (start) of excellent. Perhaps the overlap between the word to match and the definition is a little too close.
24 Perspire, as no longer in good health (6)
EXHALE – An prefix meaning no longer and a word meaning in good health.
26 Nearly time to rise and deliver bedroom furniture (10)
NIGHTSTAND – A word meaning nearly and the abbreviation for time followed by a word meaning to rise. Ideally, you would not repeat the wordplay of using time for T (it was used in 12a).
27 Do, ra, me, fa, so, la, do? (4)
NOTE – How you would express the note missing from the scale.
28 A stopover spot for German shepherd (7)
KENNELS – Cryptic definition of where a dog may be boarded. Perhaps German Shepherd should have been indicated as an example of someone who uses facility but as the dog is not a direct example of the answer, this is less important than when you are using an example of the answer
29 I’m starting to buy Indian beer on every first and second Friday…to get drunk? (7)
IMBIBER – The I’m from the clue followed the initial letters (starting to ) for buy and Indian, the first letter of every and the second letter of Friday.
2 Silica’s description say, covers a limestone’s origin (7)
OPALINE – A word meaning to state an opinion around the A from the clue and the first letter (origin) of limestone.
3 Convenes at National Championships (5)
MEETS – A double definition for organising a gathering and a group of matches.
4 School’s English Head of Faculty gets run out first (7)
ROEDEAN – The abbreviation for run out followed by the abbreviation for English and another word for the head of a faculty.
6 Prisoner’s confidante loses preposterous appeal (6)
INMATE – A word for a confidante has a reversal (preposterous) of a two letter word for sex appeal removed.
7 Floppy hat priced to sell? (4,5)
DIRT CHEAP – An anagram (floppy) of HAT PRICED. The priced is doing double duty here as part of the anagram and as part of the definition.
8 Determined that a social worker supports Mr Doonican (7)
VALIANT – A word for one (a) and an insect that works in social groups goes underneath (supports) the first name of the singer Mr Doonican.
9 “Oh, harder” lisps excited county youth! (10,3)
SHROPSHIRE LAD – An anagram (excited) of OH HARDER LIPS.
15 Whisky laced sweet controlled Scotsman’s miserable outburst in US prison (9)
CRANACHAN – Inside an American word for a prison put a word meaning controlled or organised and a word that the Scottish say as a miserable outburst.
18 Repay Engineers? – they’ve got enough! (7)
REQUITE – The abbreviation for Royal Engineers followed by a word enough.
20 Release bold party leader of militants (7)
FREEDOM – A word meaning bold, a two letter word for party and the first letter (leader of) militants.
21 Could have been a Smorgasbord of colour for Picasso (7)
PALETTE – A cryptic definition of the board upon which an artist mixes paint. Perhaps Picasso should have been indicated as an example of someone who uses the board but as he is not a direct example of the answer, this is less important than when you are using an example of the answer.
22 At first, engine idles erratically – get fuel! (6)
DIESEL – An anagram (erratically) of E (the first letter of engine) IDLES
25 Article follows leading horsewoman’s new independence – she’s riding out over the moors (5)
HANNI – The indefinite article (in the form before a vowel) after the first letter (leading) of horsewoman followed by the abbreviations for new and independence. As the abbreviation for New England is a self contained abbreviation, the use of new as an abbreviation on its own here is not really a repetition of the wordplay.