A Puzzle by Webb
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
This week we have another setter making his second appearance – this time it is Webb. 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.
A review by Prolixic follows:
Welcome back to Webb. The wordplay here was, with a notable exception, fine and the definitions were clear and not as obscure as some of those in his first crossword. Whilst comments have been made about some of the surface readings (and I agree that some of them could have been smoother or told more of a story), it is more important to get the wordplay right first and then to polish the surfaces.
1 While Hector’s staggering wide bolts in a straight line… (2,3,4,5)
AS THE CROW FLIES – A two letter word meaning while followed by an anagram (staggering) of HECTOR, the abbreviation for wide and another word meaning bolts or runs quickly.
9 …male Leonard briefly makes for Trojan queen (5)
HELEN – A two letter pronoun for a male followed by a diminutive form of the name Leonard.
10 Stud at a star dance from Brazil (5,4)
BOSSA NOVA – A four letter word for a stud followed by the A from the clue and a word for a type of star.
11 Insect page gets more attractive over time (4-6)
LEAF-CUTTER – Another word for a page (as in a sheet) followed by a word meaning more attractive around (over in an across clue) the abbreviation for time.
12 It’s kind of petty to break off end of assault… (4)
TYPE – An anagram (kind of) of PETTY after removing one of the Ts (break off end of result). The definition is doing double duty here has it is also the anagram indicator. This would not normally be allowed.
14 …wise raconteur covers for an age (3)
ERA – The answer is hidden in (covers) in WISE RANCONTEUR. The ellipsis between the previous clue and the previous one does not really work. In 1a and 9a there was a Greek legend connection but in this pair of clues there is no discernable connection or reason for the ellipsis. I think that whilst “covers” works for a hidden word indicator, following it with “for an” changes the emphasis slightly and “Wise raconteur covers up/hides age” would be better.
15 Shy international socialist gripping public (11)
INTROVERTED – The three letter abbreviation for international followed by the colour associated with a socialist around (gripping) a five letter word meaning public.
18 Child ambassador, a character in every detail (2,3,6)
TO THE LETTER – A three letter word for a child followed by the abbreviation for an ambassador and another word for a character of the alphabet.
19 Secretary’s step to dance (3)
PAS – The abbreviation for a personal assistant (secretary) with the S from the possessive form in the clue.
20 Dead figure not graced by Queen (4)
NUMB – Another word for a figure or numeral with the abbreviation for the Queen removed (not graced by).
22 Western European‘s left posh visitor’s detailed guide at last (10)
PORTUGEUSE – The nautical term for left followed by the single letter used to represent posh, another word for a visitor with the final letter removed (de-tailed) and the final letter (at last) of guide. I don’t object to the word “Western” being included as it is a help to the solver given the number of potential countries involved. The ‘s could have been omitted.
25 Worker pursues without being rampant (3,2,4)
OUT OF HAND – A four letter word for a worker goes after (pursues) a phrase (3,2) meaning without.
26 Sailor’s given one bones in foot (5)
TARSI – A three letter word for a sailor with the s from the possessive included followed by the letter representing one.
27 Unites again about study with sound by a backing group (14)
RECONSOLIDATES – A two letter word meaning again followed by a three letter word meaning to study, a five letter word meaning sound or stable, the A from the clue and the reversal (backing) of a three letter word for a group.
1 Ancient Greek hero mounts nurse working part of leg (8,6)
ACHILLES TENDON – The name of an ancient Greek hero before (mounts in a down clue) a four letter word meaning nurse and a two letter word meaning working. As the name of part of the leg is named after the Greek character, this was a little bit samey on both sides.
2 Distinguish between section following order to advance (4,5)
TELL APART – A word meaning section followed a four letter word meaning order and the abbreviation for advance.
3 Excited Hun I seduce’s castrated (10)
EUNUCHISED – An anagram (excited) of HUN I SEDUCE. Comments have been made about some of the surface readings in the clues, with which I agree to an extent. Correct wordplay is more important but in this clue, the wordplay is not a grammatical sentence.
4 Discredit from rising underground stem (5)
REBUT – Revere (rising) another word for an underground root or stem.
5 Pale women cast in August in Nice (6-3)
WASHED-OUT – The abbreviation for women followed by another word meaning to cast or slough off inside the French (in Nice) for August.
6 Front shown by topless appeal (4)
LEAD – Remove the first letter (topless) from a word meaning appeal.
7 Strong resin in depot’s stripped axes (5)
EPOXY – The inner letters (stripped) of depot followed by the letters give to the axes on a graph.
8 He had brasserie redesigned for sellers of sewing equipment (14)
HABERDASHERIES – An anagram (redesigned) of HE HAD BRASSERIE.
13 Isolated label brought up in tailored degrees (10)
SEGREGATED – Reverse (brought up) a three letter word for a label inside an anagram (tailored) of DEGREES.
16 Abstainers from drink of cha, say, meeting counts (9)
TEETOTALS – A homophone (say) of another word for tea followed by (meeting) a word meaning counts or enumerates.
17 Private Troy’s surgical work upon cryptic (3-6)
TOP-SECRET – The abbreviation for troy followed by a two letter word for surgical work and a word meaning cryptic.
21 Little bit about right for crafting church hat (5)
MITRE – A word for a little bit or crumb around the abbreviation for right.
23 Note colloquial father’s liberal ebbing and flowing (5)
TIDAL – A two letter word for a note on the musical scale followed by a two letter colloquial word for a father and the abbreviation for liberal.
24 Thick, bushy hairstyle shown by a strong trio regularly (4)
AFRO – The A from the clue, the musical annotation of strong or forte and the even letters (regularly) of trio. As shown by has been used it could have been replaced by an alternative link word but there is, I think) more leeway with repetition given the limited number of link words.