A Puzzle by AKMild
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
AKMild returns a little sooner than he did last time! 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 back to AKMild. This was a gentle crossword – it took me less time than Rufus this morning – but no less enjoyable for it. There was a good variety of clues and some nice touches such as the reversal of even number letters and the linking of the clues in 3 and 4 down.
7 A beige urn turns purple (9)
AUBERGINE – An anagram (turns) of A BEIGE URN.
8 Regularly tell couple to run away together (5)
ELOPE – The even letters (regularly) in TELL COUPLE.
10 The odds Scotsman got on player (8)
THESPIAN – The “the” from the clue followed by the abbreviation for starting price (odds) and an archetypal Scottish male name.
11 Start to contest East End Barnet’s seats (6)
CHAIRS – The first letter (start to) of contest followed by the word for which Barnet is Cockney rhyming slang (East End) maintaining the plural from the ‘s.
12 Is back in motoring organisation, being continent! (4)
ASIA – Reverse (back) the IS from the clue and put it inside the two letter abbreviation for a motoring association.
13 Pariahs caught, maybe, and threw stones at first (8)
OUTCASTS – What you would be in cricket if caught (maybe indicating that there are other ways of becoming this) followed by a word meaning threw and the first letter of stones.
15 Men, in the middle of selection, concealed small flowers (7)
ORCHIDS -The abbreviation for other ranks (men) followed by the middle letter of selection, a word meaning concealed and the abbreviation for small. The “in” in the clue is misleading as it suggests containment that is not present in the solution.
17 Yellow or amber toucan I frightened (7)
CAUTION – An anagram (frightened) of TOUCAN I.
20 Man or woman who might marry one of Dibley’s precursors (3,5)
THE VICAR – The first two words in the name of the TV series ending Dibley. As a general rule, unless it forms part of a proper name, you should not include the definite or indefinite article as an answer to a clue.
22 Engage in exercise, perhaps, and use performance enhancing drug (4)
DOPE – A two letter word meaning engage in or perform followed by another word for exercise. I think that the perhaps could have been omitted from this clue.
25 Use key to give someone a haircut? (6)
UNLOCK – Split 2-4, this would indicate removing the hair from someone.
26 Bring in new sign for sketches (8)
DRAWINGS – A four letter word meaning bring in followed by an anagram (new) of SIGNS.
27 Allude to either way (5)
REFER – A palindromic word (either way) that means to allude to.
28 A way to get rich, though labour doesn’t start after industrial action (6,3)
STRIKE OIL – A six letter word meaning industrial action followed by a four letter word meaning labour with the first letter removed (doesn’t start).
1 Lacy adornment found by companion in Parisian road (5)
RUCHE – The abbreviation for Companion of Honour inside the French (Parisian) for road.
2 Opposed to some clever suspects (6)
VERSUS – The answer is hidden in (some) CLEVER SUSPECTS.
3/24 A profit shown twice? It’s interminable … (5,3,5)
AGAIN AND AGAIN – The A from the clue and a word for profit shown twice with the connecting and added.
4 … so’s this, as cricket side twice holds country without opener (2,3,2)
ON AND ON – A side in cricket twice (we have three twices which is two too many in the crossword!) includes (holds) another word for a country without the first letter (without opener). The So’s this refers back to the definition in the previous clue.
5 Odd ones out, Eton fags have slept lying East to West, which is nice (8)
PLEASANT – The even letters (odd ones out) in ETON FAGS HAVE SLEPT all reversed (lying East to West). As this is a down clue, East to West is not really correct. Perhaps “slept standing up” would be better. More smutty alternatives are also available!
6 Process nothing for each country with no leader (9)
OPERATION – The letter representing nothing followed by a three letter word meaning for each and another word for a country without the first letter (with no leader).
9 A Glaswegian‘s tax perhaps (4)
SCOT – Double definition.
14 A wayward challenger loses the French celestial attendant (9)
ARCHANGEL – The A from the clue followed by an anagram (wayward) of CHAL[le]NGER without (loses) the French definite article
16/21/18 Consume Swiss roll, for instance, twice? One cannot do this! (4,4,4,3,3,2)
HAVE ONES CAKE AND EAT IT – Two ways of describing the process of munching on a bakery product.
19 Councillor briefly works on paper that will be shown at the end of a film (7)
CREDIT – The abbreviation for councillor followed be a word meaning works on paper. The briefly is not required as the abbreviation stands in its own right.
21 See 16
23 Highly regarded after reportedly having used a crowbar (6)
PRIZED – A homophone (reportedly) of a word meaning having used a crowbar.
24 See 3