A Puzzle by Metman
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Here is the latest puzle from Metman. 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.
Metman’s latest crossword has all the basics more or less in place but lacks a little finesse in some areas. It is the sort of crossword that a few changes to polish some of the cryptic grammar and the surface readings could have elevated the crossword considerably. I have tried to indicate where changes could have helped.
Eight anagrams and three hidden words was at the maximum end of what would be considered normal though admittedly some daily crosswords contain more than this number of anagrams.
6 Governess found by Bracknell spreads the light (5)
PRISM – The name of the Governess in the Importance of Being Earnest is also the name of an optical instrument that refracts light.
7 A post without app can be soothing (8)
OINTMENT – Remove the letters APP from another word for a post or position one occupies in a job. The A could have been removed. I am not sure that the surface reading makes much sense. “Preparation to remove apprentice from post”
10 Retain Jure defence cover for being damaged (7)
INJURED – The answer is hidden (cover for) in RETAIN JURE DEFENCE. Again the surface reading could have been improved here with something like “Damaged section of certain Jure defences”
11 Eastern masculine influence covering family exerting quite a pull (7)
YANKING – The Chinese masculine counterpart to Yin around (covering) a three letter word for family.
12 Chucking the puck is considered saucy (7)
KETCHUP – An anagram (chucking) of THE PUCK.
13 Awful liar etc., but gives a performance (7)
RECITAL – An anagram (awful) of LIAR ETC. Perhaps “Awful liar etc giving a performance” would give a better cryptic reading as wordplay BUT definition jars a little.
14 One French noble can be too big to handle (11)
UNCOUNTABLE – The French masculine form of one followed be a five letter word for a noble and word meaning can. The word “can” on its own does not mean able – it means “able to” Not sure that the definition here is quite correct – perhaps “too many to comprehend” would have been better. Also the structure wordplay BE definition does not work. Perhaps “Hundreds may be powerless to arrest nobleman”
19 Tomboy let date slide (7)
LADETTE – An anagram (slide) of LET DATE.
21 Hair no longer fashionable may upset the workers (7)
LOCKOUT – Another word for a tress of hair followed by word meaning no longer fashionable.
23 Severely censure during break for out-of-date street light (3,4)
GAS LAMP – A four letter word meaning to severely censure inside (during) a three letter word meaning break. The surface reading here is marginal.
25 Element to prevent food protection (7)
TINFOIL – A three letter metallic element followed by a word meaning to prevent.
26 Ask, was it upsetting this emblem of evil? (8)
SWASTIKA – An anagram (upsetting) of ASK WAS IT. The position of the anagram indicator here is wrong. If you are using upsetting it needs to be upsetting -> letter to be rearranged. Perhaps “Ask was it dire, this emblem of evil” would have been better.
27 Chainmail I acknowledge protects this artery (5)
ILIAC – The answer is hidden in (protects) CHAINMAIL I ACKNOWLEDGE.
1 How the Japanese throw a party (8)
JIUJITSU – A cryptic reference to a Japanese martial art form that involves throwing a person or party.
2 Crumpled hard scrim may get rid of this (6)
SMIRCH – An anagram (crumpled) of H (hard) SCRIM.
3 Author’s cover memo led pun to be misunderstood (3,2,5)
NOM DE PLUME – An anagram (to be misunderstood) of MEMO LED PUN.
4 At first early naval vessel yawed bringing a feeling of discontent (4)
ENVY – The initial letters (at first) of the third to sixth words of the clue.
5 Smear with 7a (6)
ANOINT – A straight definition with nothing at all cryptic that I can see.
6 Uses sick PR to needle someone (6)
PRICKS – An anagram (uses) of SICK PR. Uses as an anagram indictor in this sense does not work. Using or Employing might be better here. Also the definition does not lead to the plural required by the answer. Perhaps “Employing sick PR needles someone”.
8 Small carrier of fare (7)
MINICAB – A cryptic definition of a smaller vehicle that may carry a fare paying passenger.
9 Turned fifty-one in age but nimble (5)
AGILE – Reverse (turned) the Roman numerals for 51 inside the AGE from the clue. The structure wordplay BUT definition does not sit quite right. “Perhaps turned fifty-one in age being nimble” would have been better.
13 Old banger upset cart (10)
RATTLETRAP – A word meaning to upset or disturb followed by another word for a horse drawn cart.
15 Injure Northern girl with this (7)
CUTLASS – A three letter word meaning to injure followed by a four letter word for a girl. I don’t think that the qualifier “Northern” is required here.
16 Funnily, one comic referred to business (8)
ECONOMIC – An anagram (funnily) of ONE COMIC.
17 Martial ignorance conceals line-up (5)
ALIGN – The answer is hidden (conceals) in MARTIAL IGNORANCE.
18 A bent on the written word (6)
ITALIC – The name given to type that is inclined (bent) on the page. This is one of those instances where there is not a direct equivalence of A = B and B = C meaning that A = C. Here A bent can mean an inclination and and inclination can indicate a slope but that does not mean that bent means slope.
20 Deny it belongs to her (6)
DISOWN – A three letter possessive form of Diana’s followed by a word meaning belongs to.
22 Was able, acted, and was quite open about it (6)
CANDID – A word meaning was able followed by a word meaning acted. The tense used here is not correct – was able leads to could, not the first three letters of the clue. Maybe “Canon acted and was quite open about things” would have worked better.
24 Parisian food could give great anguish (4)
PAIN – The French word for bread is something than in English means great anguish.