A Puzzle by JollySwagman
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Puzzle number 9 from JollySwagman today – and our latest new setter next week. 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.
Some very good clues and a very well interlinked theme from JS this week. I suspect a promotion is due to the NTSPP. I don’t know if JS sets clues in order with all the across clues and then the downs, but most of the (admittedly minor) comments are in relation to the final set of down clues, almost as if in the rush to reach the finishing line, the attention to detail slipped slightly as he neared the end.
1 Film coaches working in the shed (13)
TRAINSPOTTING – A six letter word meaning coaches followed by a seven letter word describing the work a gardener may be doing in the shed.
8 Clergyman will be beheaded soon (4)
ANON – Remove the first letter (will be beheaded) from a five letter word for a clergyman.
9 What chamber orchestra’s principal player has between legs? (5)
CELLO – A four letter word for a small chamber followed by the first letter (principal) of orchestra. Depending on the composition of the chamber orchestra, the principal player may be the musician who plays this instrument.
10 Follow the rules and you might get this award one year later (4)
OBEY – A three letter abbreviation for an award followed by the abbreviation for year.
11 18 VIII’s second – 2 – one’s been annulled (6)
BOLEYN – The surname of the King’s second wife; her first name is the answer to 2d with the I removed (one’s been annulled).
12 What 5 is avoiding sleepers are doing (8)
CRASHING – Double definition of what the tank engine tries to avoid that those asleep in bed are going.
13 2’s down train doesn’t go fast! (9)
SLOWCOACH – The name of the train in the tank engine series that pulls Annie.
16 Being mad for G&S they’ve got a box? (5)
FROGS – An anagram (mad) of FOR followed by the G&S from the clue to complete the phrase as mad as a box of ……
18 5’s friend, big, 7 and tender, once played for Arsenal (5)
HENRY – Double definition of one of the characters in the tank engine series and Thierry ….. who once played for Arsenal.
19 Arranges for 5 and 18 to entertain the Queen (9)
ENGINEERS – The description of the characters named 5 and 18 include (to entertain) the two letter abbreviation for the current queen.
22 The taps are old – we might be pushing it (8)
HANDCART – The description applied to taps on a sink (describing their temperatures) followed by an old way of saying “are”.
24 Here chickens and Australians sit around discontentedly … (6)
ROOSTS – The diminutive name for kangaroos followed by a reversal (around) of the outer letters (discontentedly) of sit.
27 … that’s when I start to adore this part of the world (4)
ASIA – A two letter word meaning when followed by the I from the clue and the first letter (start to) of adore.
28 Out of retired leaders everyone liked Blair – in Balls’s book. That’s a good one! (5)
BIBLE – A reversal (retired) of the initial letters (leaders) in the fifth to ninth words of the clue.
29 Pot – and where to wash one (4)
SINK – Double definition, the first by reference to a game of snooker.
30 What 18 VIII had plenty of? Possible idea – it’s headless spouses (7,6)
ADIPOSE TISSUE – An anagram (possible) of IDEA ITS POUSES (headless spouses).
1 Old King Cole comes back inviting Gigi in – initially for a dance (5)
TANGO – The abbreviation for old and the name of the singer (… King Cole) reversed (comes back) including (inviting … in) the first letter (initially) of Gigi.
2 One of 5’s best friends is musical (5)
ANNIE – Double definition from the tank engine series and the name of a musical.
3 Lacking the necessary bottle to be a member of this party? Then it’s out of the question (2,3,2)
NO CAN DO – A whimsical description of a party without any tines of beer to give the definition.
4 Playing a 9 with biceps – not PC (6,9)
POLICE CONSTABLE – An anagram (playing) of the answer to 9 across and A BICEPS NOT.
5 Cook wanted. More might be really useful on the railway (6)
THOMAS – Triple definition of the travel agents, a Tudor lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted humanist and one of the character in the tank engine series.
6 I start to rig up an old steam locomotive (4,5)
IRON HORSE – The I from the clue followed by the initial letter (start to) of rig and a phrase (2, 5) meaning up or riding.
7 Go bowling? (5)
GREEN – Double definition, the first being the colour of the light that indicates go and the second an areas where bowling takes place. A minor point, but using an adjective to describe a noun is not my favourite clue type. Bowling on its own is not a synonym for the definition.
14 A 7d has one but it may deceive (3)
LIE – A golfing term for the slope or condition of part of the golf course known as a 7d.
15 On reflection a 7 conflict over barren land – but it was once considered great (5,3,1)
WORLD WAR I – Reverse (on reflection) another letter representing a or one, a word meaning the same as 7d (in the sense of new or fresh) and a word for an argument or conflict and put this around (over) the outer letters (barren) of land. This conflict was known as the Great War. Perhaps conflict about barren land would have been a better containment indicator here as over in a down clue is better used as a positional rather than a containment indicator.
17 Margaret catches a fish (3)
GAR – The answer is hidden in (catches) MARGARET.
20 The National has Lear returning with entertaining players (7)
ISRAELI – A single letter representing “has” as a contraction followed by a reversal (returning) of LEAR all inside (with entertaining) the Roman numerals for the number of players in a football team. A minor point but the definition is not really “The” national but “a” National. The clue might have been better without any article.
21 Possibly shoots at a bomb exploding overhead (6)
BAMBOO – An anagram (exploding) of A BOMB above the initial letter (head) of over. Definition at wordplay does not really work. Perhaps “with” would have been better here.
23 Where ratings get confused (2,3)
AT SEA – An elliptical definition of confused by reference to where ratings may be found.
25 The band drinks here (5)
OASIS – Double definition of a (not the) Brit-pop band and a watering hole in the desert.
26 10 points – perfect? (5)
TENSE – Spell out 10 and add two points of the compass.