No Prizes by Mucky
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Because of continuing problems with the CrypticCrosswords.net site, I have uploaded this week’s puzzle to the Crossword Info site.
There will be no downloadable versions available (for Crossword Solver or AcrossLite), although a pdf may be printed from Crossword Info. Update: All the usual versions are now available.
This week we have another setter making his debut in Rookie Corner. Mucky tells me that his alias is a nickname he was given at school, loosely based on his surname. 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:
That was about as tough as they come in the Rookie corner. The wordplay when unravelled was fair but I felt that some of the definitions and requirement for general knowledge of what happened in horse race some 60 years ago was a stretch.
9 Smashed ace? Punier serving only best for him (9)
EPICUREAN – An anagram (smashed) of ACE PUNIER
10 Argentinian scored (i.e. God helping) (5)
DIEGO – The answer is hidden in (helping or portion of) SCORED IE GOD.
11 It’s ‘Exit’ for Cornwall, if 50% (all extremists) for devolution (5)
DEVON – Half of the outer letters (50% all extremists) of DEVOLUTION. My main observation on the crossword is that some of the definitions are stretched beyond what is fair in some cases even allowing for cryptic licence. This is one of those definitions.
12 Man United with desire for no score draw (4,5)
LOVE MATCH – The word used in tennis for no score followed by another word for a draw or game between two sides.
13 Rich are horsing about – a week’s Polo? (4,3)
HIRE CAR – An anagram (horsing about) of RICH ARE.
14 Awful bellyflop’s first mistake, instead of finishing run (7)
RUBBISH – The first letter of bellyflop followed by a four letter word for a mistake all replacing the final letter (finishing) of RUN.
17 Standing for office, losing nomination initially, and finally wishing you hadn’t? (5)
RUING – A word meaning standing for office with the central NN removed (losing nomination initially and finally (first and last letters)).
19 Oh, come on, 2! (3)
GEE – My best attempt is what you might say to a horse (called Silver – Lone Ranger) to get it to move on with the subsidiary parts loosely meaning the answer too.
20 Cheeky move‘s slight adjustment, losing a rook instead (5)
TWERK – A work meaning a slight movement with the abbreviation for rook replacing the A.
21 Go through with Alice’s transformation to alien? (7)
ENFORCE – To transform Alice to Alien you have to put an EN FOR CE.
22 No time for dishonesty – work steadily for peanuts (7)
CHEAPLY – A word for dishonest with the T removed (no time for) followed by a word meaning work steadily.
24 Remoaner‘s endlessly regretful, having only spun European integration (4,5)
SORE LOSER – A word meaning regretful with the final letter removed (endlessly) includes (having) a reversal (spun) of a word meaning only and the abbreviation for European. I think that having is a weak containment indicator but can be justified with I am having / eating a meal.
26 Enjoy losing race from this position? Unlikely (3,2)
LAP UP – If you were in this position in a race (so far ahead) it is unlikely that you would lose.
28/3 Winston, when intimate and divested of habit, just not managing it (5,3,2,5)
CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR – A word meaning intimate and how you would describe Winston Churchill without his trademark smoke (divested of habit).
29 Mention individual city in US warzone hell (9)
NAMECHECK – The postcode for city of London inside a three letter word for an American war zone and a four letter word meaning hell.
1/13 No profit from flogging this 11 8, say (4,5)
DEAD HORSE – Cryptic definition that is based on your knowing a 1950’s trivia piece of knowledge which may be considered unfair for younger solvers.
2 Having lost one leg, he went for gold in second, getting this (6)
SILVER – Cryptic definition of the Treasure Island pirate leads to the solution.
3 See 28 Across
4 What 11 8 did in front of Queen Elizabeth’s huzzy (6)
FELLER – Another piece of general knowledge about the obscure horse followed by the regnal cypher for Her Majesty. The definition is not a word known the the dictionaries consulted.
5 Almost entirely inexperienced, having one all-encompassing object (8)
UNIVERSE – A word meaning inexperienced without the final letter (almost entirely) includes (having) the letter meaning one. Having has already been used as a containment indicator so a different one would be better here.
6 First lady’s other half is a crazy revolutionary (4)
ADAM – The A from the clue followed by a word meaning crazy reversed (revolutionary).
7 See 15
8 Up north finally, dip in mountains here? (4)
LOCH – The final letter of North followed by another word for a pass or dip in the mountains all reversed (up). The whole provides a stretched definition of the solution.
13 See 1
15/7 Having recovered, fickle lady abused me in text: ‘Try again, loser!‘ (6,4,4,4)
BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME – A word meaning having recovered followed by another word for a fickle lady and an anagram (abused) of ME IN TEXT.
16 Sentimental about forgotten stick game (5)
HOKEY – A game played with sticks with the abbreviation for about removed (forgotten).
18 One new alternative to entertain perhaps – fire anyone who’s not the boss (8)
INFERIOR – The letter representing one (another repetition of wordplay) followed by the abbreviation for new and a two letter word meaning alternative inside which (entertaining) you include an anagram (perhaps) of FIRE.
19 Wild shots, for which no prizes (8)
GUESSING – What completes the phrase “No prize for …”
22 Thin layer of protection which Romeo carries (6)
CHROME – The answer is hidden (carries) in WHICH ROMEO.
23 Defeated seed played without professionalism, knocked out (6)
PIPPED – A three letter word for a seed followed by the PLAYED from the clue without the LAY (without professionalism knocked out).
24 Are losers in a rut? No end of a rut (4)
SUCK – A word meaning in a run without the T (no end of a rut).
25 What’s left of Bruce? (4)
LEES – A word meaning what belongs to Bruce by reference to the surname of the martial arts expert.
27 Lakeland’s top predator (4)
PIKE – Double definition.