A Puzzle by Jaffa
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
This week we have a third puzzle from Jaffa. 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.
A few issues with the crossword did not diminish the enjoyment. The grid with the triple unches in the top and bottom lines was unfortunate and you should try to avoid them. Some of the surface readings were strained or in a few placed nonsensical and needed a bit more polish. To balance this, there were some excellent clues such as 3d, 26a and 30a. Perhaps five homophones was a little on the high side.
1 Young Conservative – brass player and farm worker (6,3,4)
LITTLE BOY BLUE – A reference to the nursery rhyme of the shepherd boy who fell asleep. Perhaps the reference to young conservative needs some indication that it is a fanciful indication of the answer.
8 Are footballers caught in the covers by this? (7,4)
OFFSIDE TRAP -A snare to capture someone in the position on a cricket field where the covers are found would lead to this problem for footballers.
11 Little piggy with Roller reveals human trait (2,3)
TO ERR – The name of a body part affectionately referred to a little piggy followed by the abbreviation forRolls Royce (Roller).
12 Left and right give minimum (5)
LEAST – The abbreviation for left followed by the compass direction that points to the right.
13 Healthy food – an even distribution of fruit in saccharin (4)
ACAI – The even letters (an even distribution of fruit) in saccharin. I think that “of fruit” means pickings from.
15 Little relief heard to produce lament (4)
WEEP – A three letter word meaning little followed by letter that is a homophone (heard) of a word meaning to urinate (relief). I am not sure that relief means quite the same thing as to urinate or to relieve yourself.
17 Old loco‘s gaucho (10)
COWCATCHER – Double definition, the second being another word for a gaucho or rancher and the first being the grid on the front of an American train (which is not quite the same as an old locomotive.
19 Are Paddington bargains to be bought here? (4,6)
BEAR MARKET – A cryptic reference to the stock market cycle where shares can be acquired cheaply.
22 Article and conjunction do this (4)
ABUT – The indefinite article followed by a three letter word used as a conjunction. I can see the intention behind this clue but the in the clue, the article and conjunction don’t do this, they are separated by the “and”
25 Unmuddle regularly to reveal colour (4)
NUDE – The even letters (regularly) in unmuddle for a word meaning flesh-coloured.
26 Team paradoxically always contains a plus one (5)
EIGHT – Cryptic definition of a boat’s crew that contains the crew plus one more (the cox).
27 Different sexes have achieved some notoriety here (5)
ESSEX – An anagram (different) of sexes.
29 Dictator created from hailstorm at the end of WWII (7,4)
MARSHAL TITO – An anagram (created from) HAILSTORM AT. The et the end of WWII are padding and should have been omitted. The surface reading makes no sense at all.
30 Necessary action for 1 or the source of his problems? (8,5)
COUNTING SHEEP – What the person who is the answer to 1a should be doing as part of his duties or the cause of his falling asleep.
2 Slander with Liberal on board will anger (7)
INFLAME – A six letter word meaning to slander includes the abbreviation for Liberal. I am not keen on the cryptic reading of wordplay will definition.
3 Meanders like plot changes (6)
TWISTS – Double definition.
4 The birthplace of naturism? (4)
EDEN – Where the first couple into nudism were found according to the biblical story.
5 One who believes in a good soaking (7)
BAPTIST – A cryptic definition of a denomination into full immersion baptism for adults.
6 Let loose Uncle Pasha without scruffy cap (7)
UNLEASH – Remove an anagram (scruffy) of CAP from UNCLE PASHA.
7 Blackbird, present on 28th December, wavers in disorder (12)
COLLYWOBBLES – Bird presented on the fourth day of Christmas (in older versions of the sonf) followed by a word meaning wavers.
9 Sounds like Irishman’s deflection (8)
RICOCHET – A homophone (sounds like) of Rick O’Shea (a putative Irishman).
10 Porcini contain it but are not farmed using it (4,8)
CROP ROTATION – An indication of what the first four letters in PORChini undergoes. Although it matches the surface reading, in the cryptic reading, contain could be contains.
14 Car thief found on the merry-go-round? (8)
JOYRIDER – Double definition, the second being whimsical.
16 Under this one feels sick unless on course (3)
PAR – A double definition of the phrase under *** which can mean ill or ahead on shots on a golf course..
18 Infusion, a bechamel ingredient (3)
CHA – The answer is hidden in (ingredient) in beCHAmel.
20 Report needing a blessing or one of these say (7)
ATISHOO – A homophone (say) of A TISSUE.
21 Islanders, at least three, holding vote (7)
MANXMEN – A self-referential clue. One male followed by two or more males, include the mark used when voting. Since you need to know the answer to know the wordplay, it does not quite hit the spot.
23 Ask for passage noisily to lead up the garden path (7)
BEGUILE – A homophone (noisIly) of BEG (ask for) AISLE (passage).
24 The law can be a source of this (6)
WEALTH – An anagram (can be a source of) THE LAW.
28 Headcover I hear, was a politician (4)
WHIG – A homophone (I hear) of wig (headcover). The surface reading here is nonsensical, for an old politician would have been much better..