A Puzzle by AKMild
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
It’s been over a year since AKMild’s debut appearance – now you can enjoy his second 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.
This was well constructed and fun to solve. The main points to watch are frequent repetition of wordplay indicators and finding some smoother surface readings. Otherwise, this was a creditable second appearance in the Rookie Corner.
8 Smart Kelvin takes Felicity to see a girl’s film (5,5)
CHICK FLICK – A four letter word meaning smart or trendy followed by the abbreviation for Kelvin and a shortened form of the name Felicity. It is not strictly necessary to indicate the shortened form of a name but it could be done by saying “little Felicity”.
9 Peruse text on the present (4)
READ – The two letter word meaning on or about followed by the abbreviation for the current age.
10 Scanty Sue’s first to analyse (6)
SPARSE – The first letter of Sue followed by a word meaning to analyse a sentence.
11 Structural division on main road back in southern Belgium (8)
WALLONIA – A structural division in a building followed by the ON from the clue and a reversal (back) of a main road running south to north sometimes referred to as the Great North Road.
12 Sounds like gangster has elbow-room in outside passage (8)
ALLEYWAY – The first name of Mr Capone (Gangster) followed by a homophone (sounds like) of leeway (elbow-room). Part of me feels that the homophone indicator should come before elbow room rather than gangster. Perhaps “Gangster has elbow-room in the house’s outside passage.”
13 Broke purdah (4-2)
HARD-UP – An anagram (broke) of PURDAH. Strictly, broke is doing double duty as the defined term and part of the wordplay which would not be acceptable for some editors.
14 The two of us back cowboy movie (7)
WESTERN – A two letter word meaning the two of us followed by a word meaning back.
16 Investment in Caracas, perhaps (7)
CAPITAL – Double definition, Caracas being a definition by example.
19 Old classification for 18 (1-5)
X-RATED – A mildly cryptic definition of the film classification that is now known as 18.
21 Sheeran leaves building, to be replaced by Garfunkel – such cunning! (8)
ARTIFICE – Replace the first name of Mr Sheeran with the first name of Mr Garfunkel in another word for a building.
23 Irrigate desert to find aquatic creature (5,3)
WATER RAT – A word meaning to irrigate followed by a word meaning to desert or run away.
25 Picture house – Caroline’s first in Eastern Massachusetts (6)
CINEMA – The first letter of Caroline followed by the IN from the clue, the abbreviation for Eastern and state code for Massachusetts. As first has already been used as a first letter indicator in 10a, ideally a differing indicator should be used.
26 Said thousand for a slip (4)
SKID – Replace the A in SAID with the abbreviation for 1000.
27 Taking in king within sailor’s choice (10)
ABSORPTION – A one letter abbreviation for King inside an abbreviation for a sailor and a word meaning a choice.
1 Church primate left for printing office (6)
CHAPEL – A two letter abbreviation for a church followed by a word for a primate and the abbreviation for left.
2 Starts to sing choral themes about ram – it’s most frightening! (8)
SCARIEST – The initial letters (starts to) of the third to fifth words of the clue about another same for the sign of the Zodiac represented by the ram.
3 Place for souls where War I and War II are often found? (10)
AFTERWORLD – Literally where the words WAR I and WAR II are usually found when describing the two global conflicts.
4 ‘Vent’ means ducts that provide ventilation (7)
AIRWAYS – Another word meaning to vent followed by a word meaning means.
5 Sample of cask Olaf cheers! (4)
SKOL – The answer is hidden (sample of) in CASK OLAF.
6 A jolly short time providing protection (6)
ARMOUR – The A from the clue followed by the abbreviation for a Royal Marine (jolly) and a period of time with the first letter removed (short). Conventionally, short is used to indicate removing the final letter.
7 40% state “short seabird and a crazy Roman” (8)
CALIGULA – 40% of the letters in a West Coast state of America followed by a seabird with the final letter removed (short) and the A from the clue. To use the same word to indicate a letter removal in the consecutive clues is not ideal.
13 Former PM pockets money leading to concern for service provided by hospitals (10)
HEALTHCARE – The name of the old Conservative PM (Ted ……) includes (pockets) the abbreviation for pounds (money) followed by (leading to) a word meaning concern.
15 Designates funds for organ belonging to Evangelist, we hear (8)
EARMARKS – The organ of hearing followed by the second of the gospel writers (in book order) with the S (as in belonging to).
17 Boundlessness bound up in silvery tin if nickel-plated (8)
INFINITY – The answer is hidden and reversed (bound up in) SILVERY TIN IF NICKLE-PLATED.
18 Footballers, books and arsenic – end of my dream (7)
FANTASY – The abbreviation for Football Association followed by the abbreviation for New Testament, the chemical symbol for arsenic and the final letter (end of) my.
20 Up-to-date target, Noddy oddly (6)
TRENDY – The odd letters of target noddy.
22 Wimbledon, for example, may be vulgar (6)
COMMON – Double definition, the first being an area of land in Wimbledon.
24 Was up or used oars, we hear – that’s the way! (4)
ROAD – A double homophone (we hear) of RODE (was up) and ROWED (used oars). As the indicator “we hear” has already been used, a different indicator should ideally have been used.