A Puzzle by Jaffa
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
This week we welcome our latest Rookie setter – what do you think about his 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.
A review by Prolixic follows:
The future’s bright, the future’s orange! A good debut puzzle from Jaffa. There were some areas where the clues could be polished to give better surface readings and there were rather a lot of deletion clues. Two of the clues seemed to lack anagram indicators which is a bit of a slip.. Otherwise, the basics were all there and there were some very good definition such as “heater from Cuba” and “strapped for cash”.
1 JDS’s literary meadow slip (7,2,3,3)
CATCHER IN THE RYE – An elliptical definition of a book by J D Salinger that might fancifully refer to a cricketer (slip) in a meadow (or what might grow there). This is one of those clues where the wordplay is evocative of the answer rather than a precise definition of that answer.
9 Top band gives shock (5)
UPSET – Split 2,3 this might describe the group or band at the top.
10 Priestly garb of old GB having lost its charge (3)
ALB – Remove the name of a charged particle from the old name of the island of Great Britain. As a technical point, the words to be removed are not a charge, they are the particle that carries the charge.
11 Brock, not right, gives sign (5)
BADGE – Remove the R (right) from the animal known as a Brock.
12 To lose gold from a mistake is a human trait (3)
ERR – Remove a two letter word for gold in heraldry from a word meaning a mistake.
13 Encourage noise? I left for a formal dinner (7)
BANQUET – Remove an I from a phrase 3,5 that may mean to encourage noise (defined negatively as outlawing silence). Perhaps I may leave would be better. Four clues in a row that require a deletion can make a puzzle seem unbalanced so it is better to try and vary the wordplay devices.
14 Red admiral or Redgrave? (7)
VANESSA – Double definition of a butterfly and an actress whose surname is Vanessa.
15 Despite no real argument initially they’re for the 2nd amendment (1,1,1)
NRA – The initial letters of the second to fourth words of clue. As a general rule, try not to have abbreviations for solutions to clues.
17 A town passage (7)
READING – Double definition of a Berkshire town and another word for a passage or section of a book that might be spoken.
19 Support for metric unit in software (7)
PROGRAM – A three letter word meaning support for and a metric unit of weight.
21 Self confidence therefore not right (3)
EGO – Remove the abbreviation for right from the Latin word meaning therefore. As R for right has already been used, a different indicator should be used here.
23 Poseidon’s chopper (3,4)
SEA KING – A cryptic definition of a naval (Poseidon’s) helicopter (chopper).
25 Bolster mixed seafood (7)
LOBSTER – An anagram (mixed) of BOLSTER.
27 Ship’s hearts are this (3)
OAK – Another evocative clue. Hearts of ***, that describes a resolute person. There were three naval vessels named heart of ***. I am not sure that this clue quite works.
28 Scratch musical arrangement (5)
SCORE – Double definition of a scratch or groove and a musical arrangement.
29 Ringer losing left end measures noise level (3)
BEL – Remove the final (end) abbreviation for left from a word meaning a ringer.
30 To prevent notice less 500 (5)
AVERT – Remove the Roman numeral for 500 from a word describing a notice.
31 So is stomach acid upset by this type of activity practised by one who may be strapped for cash (15)
SADOMASOCHISTIC – An anagram (upset) of SO IS STOMACH ACID.
1 Vintage from Sark perhaps leads to people skilled in words like you now (15)
CRUCIVERBALISTS – A three letter for vintage wine, the abbreviation describing the island of Sark and a word meaning people skilled in words. I don’t think that the “from” works in the clue here. The surface reading could be better.
2 Southern home of the devil? (8)
TASMANIA – The part of the Southern Hemisphere noted for animals described as ****** devils.
3 It’s hot elsewhere realising players ambitions for Park Lane and Mayfair (6)
HOTELS – The answer is hidden in (realising) in HOT ELSEWHERE. I don’t think that realising works as a hidden word indicator. It is better to try and not have a hidden word clue that starts with all of the letters of one of the words. Again, the surface reading is not that meaningful.
4 The back line action necessary to solve 31 (9)
REARRANGE – A four letter word meaning back and a five letter word meaning line. The definition would require *********ment rather than the answer.
5 Arrest former pupil who made his fortune out East (5)
NABOB – A three letter word meaning arrest followed by a two letter abbreviation for a former pupil.
6 Heater from Cuba used as hat north of the border (8)
HABANERO – The name of a type of hot chilli pepper from Cuba. The second part of the clue is slightly misleading as it is not used as a hat but has the name reminiscent of a hat.
7 Element which can cause a glow from the Royal Academy (6)
RADIUM – The abbreviation for Royal Academy extended fancifully to indicate from there. I don’t think that this really works as a clue as the final part of the word is not really indicated, even fancifully by the clue.
8 Choose backward men and a Pole, about to leave Canada, for on/off attraction (15)
ELECTROMAGNETIC – A five letter word meaning to chose followed by a reversal (backward) of an abbreviation for soldiers or men, another word for a type of pole that has left or is about to leave Canada. Given the definition, the answer should end ISM.
16 Coal pits with nothing in them yield description of twelve good men (9)
APOSTOLIC – An anagram (unknown indicator) of COALPITS containing an O (nothing). I am not sure if yield is an anagram indicator or a link word. As an anagram indicator it would need to be yielding. Only 11 of them were good!
18 Short time less time leads to places of constant temperature (8)
ISOTHERM – An anagram (unknown indicator) for SHORT TIME after removing the abbreviation for time. Again there does not appear to be an anagram indicator.
20 Curb grant to endow again (8)
REINVEST – A four letter word meaning curb followed by a word meaning grant. Perhaps a different indicator for the second part of the clue that is not quite so similar to the definition would be better here.
22 A river lake, not in the U.K. but overseas (6)
ABROAD – The A from the clue and another word in the Fens for a reach of water on a river.
24 A solution, not sharp, scoring greater than 7 (6)
ALKALI – The definition of a solution that has a Ph greater that 7.
26 A detective puzzle (5)
REBUS – Double definition of Ian Rankin’s detective and a type of puzzle.