A Puzzle by Arepo
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today we have Arepo’s 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.
1 King to be protected by officer, having spoken to commander (8)
CORPORAL – An abbreviation for king goes inside (protected by) an informal term for a policemen (officer) and this is followed by a word meaning spoken. Although the definition is not wrong, the answer being a leader of a group of miners, it seems wrong at first reading without further investigation to see if there is a more obscure definition of the word. It may be better to avoid this as people simply assume that the setter is wrong in the defined term. Because the wordplay is clear, perhaps having spoken to miners’ leader might have avoided this.
FINITE – A homophone (utterly) of FINE (pleasant) NIGHT (evening).
COTTAGES – A word for enclosures or pens includes a word meaning extravagant.
SEWAGE – A word for a period of time comes after (pursuing) the abbreviation for the part of England where the Home Counties are situated and the abbreviation for wife.
METAL DETECTOR – A word meaning encountered or came across followed by the two letter word for a schmaltzy film about an alien inside (in) an anagram (battered) of O (old) CRATE.
JAMES K POLK – An anagram (remix) of JOPL (Joplin dropping in) MAKES followed by the letter used to catalogue the works of Mozart. Although not wrong to do so, cluing more obscure answers (how many old American chiefs are there, both Presidential and Native American) as anagrams gives the solver a hard time, particularly when the checking letters are not favourable. Here the checkers were more favourable but it is a point to watch when setting.
KALE – An anagram (misspelt) of LEAK.
DEAF – A word for darling with final R (start) to read omitted (out) followed by the musical abbreviation for loud. Very well disguised definition here.
NEWSSTANDS – The first letter (primarily) of nepotist (perhaps nepotistic might have been a better word to link with the ed in the clue) followed by an anagram (organisation) of ED WANTS with the inclusion (to welcome) the abbreviation for sons.
ACTION REPLAYS – The word that the director says to start filming followed by a two letter word meaning about and another word for theatrical works.
BIGOTS – A word meaning large (plus-size) followed by the letter of a model of Ford Car surrounded by another word meaning large (plus-size).
SHOWROOMS – The informal term for magic mushrooms includes a reversal (undergoing withdrawal) of an abbreviation meaning without.
SYZYGY – The outer letters (on vacation) of the fourth to sixth letters of the clue.
REEMERGE – A four letter word for grass with the final letter removed (cut) followed by a word meaning to combine. The usual rule for hyphenating RE- words that mean doing something again is that you include a hyphen when the vowel is doubled in the resulting word.
OZONE LAYER – A two letter word for Australia (down under) followed by a word meaning A and a description of a hen.
PET NAME – The first and last (outskirts) of paradise includes (boasting) the name of an Italian volcano and the first letter (source) of milk.
RIGID – A word meaning cold with the first letter removed (decapitated). I think that decapitated ought to be avoided as a deletion indicator in current times. In published puzzles, even if not immediately contentious, by the time it appears it could coincide with news events.
LESOTHO – A three letter word for a drunk and the abbreviation for heroin or horse inside the Latin word for a lion. You often find prepositional indicators such as in Africa to indicate a place in Africa. Personally, I don’t like them but they are used regularly.
FISH CAKES – A word meaning concocts or makes something up includes a suffix meaning sort of and the abbreviation for cold.
NEW YORK CITY – An anagram (labour) of WONKERY followed by the Roman numerals for 101 and the letters of try without (to oust) the abbreviation for right. Wonkery is in Miriam-Webster’s dictionary but not in the main British dictionaries and should, possibly, have been avoided. The whole clue feels contrived and out of place in set in the midst of a fine collection of clues. I am not sure what about the answer makes it specifically a cultural capital.
TOGO – The English verb from the Latin Ire. Perhaps needing to know the Latin verb is too much of a stretch.
12 From dawn till dusk, daughter injected to ease ache (3,3,4)
ALL DAY LONG – The abbreviation for daughter and word meaning to ease followed by a word meaning to ache or pine for something.
KANDINSKY – The abbreviation for 1000 (grand) followed by the AND from the clue and a phrase 2,3 that could meaning cloudlike.
FACTORY – An abbreviation meaning nothing (as in Fanny Adams) and an anagram (about) of TO CRY.
WINDSOR – A word for a breeze or moving air followed by the first letter (originally) of sung and the abbreviation for other ranks (soldiers).
AT LARGE – A double definition.
ELOPE – A reversal (retreating) of something magnetic of which South is an example (perhaps) followed by the abbreviation for east.