A Puzzle by Italicus
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
This week we have a second puzzle from Italicus. 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.
Italicus continues to show his experience as a setter in various Italian publications with another commendable crossword. The only comments are really only to apply polish to an excellent set of clues.
1 Some elements on the Left added to contentious climate (8)
METALLIC – The abbreviation for left is included in (added to) an anagram (contentious) of CLIMATE. I am not keen on the structure definition on wordplay. Perhaps “Some elements from the left…” would have improved the cryptic reading.
5 Prime Minister’s ignoring a little man like me! (6)
MYSELF – The surname of the current Prime Minister (preserving the S from the ’s) has the A removed (ignoring) and a word for a mythical little man is added to the end.
9 LA radio broadcast features original Ramones tracks (8)
RAILROAD – An anagram (broadcast) of LA RADIO includes the first letter (original) of Ramones. Perhaps Ramones’ original tracks would have been a more precise first letter indicator.
10 Put right about couple (6)
REPAIR – A two letter word meaning about followed by another word for a couple.
12 Top ten finish for a gorilla, say (4)
APEX – The Roman numeral for ten goes after (finish for) the type of animal of which a gorilla is an example.
13 Horse prancing round dump in London? (10)
SHOREDITCH – An anagram (prancing around) of HORSE followed by a word meaning to dump something. A minor point, but “in part of London” would be better.
15 One can’t catch rams without a pointer (13)
BUTTERFINGERS – A cryptic description of rams around (without) part of the body used to point. Without as a containment indicator meaning outside or around is a common device but without in the sense of outside does not mean around.
19 Don has to trust bizarre description of teapot (5,3,5)
SHORT AND STOUT – An anagram (bizarre) of DON HAS TO TRUST.
23 Type of pollution found in River Test? (10)
INDUSTRIAL – The name of an Asian river followed by another word for a test or examination.
25 Ruler of national sporting body (4)
OFFA – The OF from the clue followed by the abbreviation for Football Association (national sporting body).
28 Dropped off journalist on the trail of a vampire? (6)
ABATED – The A from the clue followed by the name of the animal of which a vampire is an example all followed by (on the trail of) the abbreviation for editor (journalist).
29 Brief navy in Gulf capital (8)
FLEETING – A five letter word for a navy followed by the IN from the clue and the first letter (capital) of Gulf.
30 Former partner takes fit puff out (6)
EXHALE – A two letter word for a former partner followed by a word meaning fit.
31 Pigs nab heartless devil – a Romeo and a charlatan (8)
SWINDLER – A five letter word for pigs around (nab) the outer letters (heartless) of devil followed by the letter represented by Romeo in the NATO phonetic alphabet. The first A in the clue is redundant and should have been omitted. The second could have been omitted but the convention is that you can use the indefinite article as part of the definition.
1 Doomed? Charm or talisman offers a solution (6)
MORTAL – The answer is hidden in (offers a solution) CHARM OR TALISMAN.
2 T-bone steak gives heart to clan (5)
TRIBE – The T from the clue followed by a bone in the chest and the middle letter (gives heart) of steak.
3 Fat queen removed from food store (4)
LARD – Remover the regnal cypher for the Queen from a food store.
4 In Hove with a remarkably chivalrous character (7)
IVANHOE – An anagram (remarkably) of IN HOVE A.
6 Yankee sampling deli produce (5)
YIELD – The letter represented by Yankee in the NATO phonetic alphabet followed by an anagram (sampling) of DELI.
7 Beat up maiden in big top performance (9)
ENACTMENT – A reversal up of a word meaning to beat followed by the abbreviation for maiden inside another word for a big top.
8 Guff about the first shot outdistancing all others (8)
FARTHEST – Another word for wind or flatulence around the “the” from the clue and the first letter of shot. Some editors will not permit first on its own to indicate the first letter of a word as grammatically, first shot does not mean the first letter of shot.
11 Airmen support golf or tennis player (4)
GRAF – The abbreviation for Royal Air Force (airmen) underneath the letter in the NATO phonetic alphabet represented by golf. To maintain the cryptic reading, this should be airmen supporting otherwise the wordplay resolves as A support B.
14 A bird having sex (2,2)
AT IT – The A from the clue and a three letter word for a bird.
15 Violent scene in a bold HBO adaptation set outside Troy (9)
BLOODBATH – An anagram (adaptation) of A BOLD HBO around the abbreviation for Troy. As a noun, some editors would not allow adaptation to be used as an anagram indicator. It would have to be adaptation of… to be permissible.
16 Well-known Stewart king given overdose (3)
ROD – The abbreviation for King followed by the abbreviation for overdose.
17 Either way you look at it, it’s twelve (4)
NOON – The palindromic word (either way you look at it) for twelve o’clock midday.
18 Teatime teaser requires second guess (8)
ESTIMATE – An anagram (teaser) of TEATIME includes (requires) the abbreviation for second. Again, a noun, teaser may not be accepted as an anagram indicator. I am also less than enamoured with requires as a containment indicator.
20 Standard behaviour for a little boy (4)
NORM – Double definition, the second being the diminutive form of Norman.
21 Will be in debt, reportedly, but not too deep (7)
SHALLOW – A homophone of shall owe.
22 Harass the Spanish leaving Belgrade in disarray (6)
BADGER – Remove the Spanish for the from BELGRADE and make an anagram (in disarray) of the letters that remain.
24 Period of enchantment (5)
SPELL – Double definition.
26 Decorative touch makes French sick (5)
FRILL – The abbreviation for French followed by a word meaning sick. The order of the clue definition makes wordplay seems to be the wrong way around. It would be wordplay makes definition.
27 Thin blue paint evenly applied (4)
LEAN – The even letters (evenly applied) of BLUE PAINT.