A Puzzle by Mucky
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
This week we have another puzzle from Mucky. 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.
Welcome back to Mucky. Not bad at all. Only some minor polishing points to comment on.
1 Domestic goddess lacking a source of quality ingredients (4)
DELI – Remove the A from the first name of the TV chef Mrs Smith.
3 Item taken from hotel bill, after reflection likely to be wrong (8)
FALLIBLE – The answer is hidden (item taken from) and reversed (reflection) in HOTEL BILL AFTER. A couple of minor points – Item might be better as items. Also, reflection on its own does not sit easily as a reversal indicator on its own in the cryptic grammar. Although “after reflection” fits the bill, after would then be doing double duty as part of the wordlay.
10 Smelly gas in the morning giving more grief if audible (7)
AMMONIA – The abbreviation for morning followed by a homophone (if audible) of MONIER (giving more grief. Although setters can and do use homophones of real words to give the similar sounding syllables in the solution where they are not a real word, I have not come across a homophone of a non-existent word such as monier before. I am even less enamoured with this as I am with using a homophone of a real word to create a non-existing word as part of the solution.
11 Horrible din, with ‘YMCA’ on the go (7)
DYNAMIC – An anagram (horrible) of DIN YMCA.
12 All heart in mouth about world’s foremost scary phenomenon? (6,7)
GLOBAL WARMING – Put the middle letter (heart) of all inside a three letter word for the mouth and add a word meaning scary around (about) the first letter (foremost) of world.
14 Some heat weatherman displays (5)
THERM – The answer is hidden in (displays) WEATHERMAN.
16 In dry state, runners getting drink? (9)
SMUGGLERS – A cryptic definition of those who illegally import alcohol. I wonder whether reference to “dry state” is unfairly misleading as those who illegally import alcohol do so whether or not the country is dry.
18 Politically motivated European vote bound to adopt ‘exit’ (9)
EXPEDIENT – The abbreviation for European and the letter used to mark a vote followed by a word meaning bound or contained around (to adopt) a word meaning to exit or kick the bucket.
19 Opening where hidden Greeks emerged with no end of duplicity (5)
INTRO – A phrase 2, 4 indicating the city where the Greeks emerged from the Trojan Horse without the final letter (with no end of) of duplicity.
20 For sanction of invasion and appropriation, look in Hitler’s 1939 diatribe, perhaps (6,7)
SEARCH WARRANT – A six letter word meaning look in followed by a word that, if split 3,4 might describe a diatribe in relation to a battle.
24 Wife rotten after time in bunk (7)
TWADDLE – The abbreviation for time followed by the abbreviation for wife and a word meaning rotten. I think that its use as an adjective, whilst in Chambers, is historic, and today is only used in combining forms such as ??????-brained.
25 Try alternative way on exciting tour east (7)
REROUTE – A two letter word meaning on or about followed by an anagram (exciting) of TOUR E.
26 Hooking bowler here, ‘That’s out!’ with … (8)
HATSTAND – An anagram (out) of THAT’S followed by a word meaning with.
27 … say, reduced batting average? (4)
STAT – Take the final letter (reduced) from a word meaning say.
1 Retaining anything’s not so funny, being particularly prone to wind (10)
DRAUGHTIER – A five letter word meaning not so funny around (retaining) a five letter word meaning anything. I think that “more prone” would have been better that “particularly prone” here.
2 Uncertain state of two pieces of LEGO? (5)
LIMBO – Split the word into LEG / O and replace the LEG with a generic word for an appendage.
4 Having less to cut, top cut off tree (5)
ALDER – Remove the first letter (top cut off) from a word meaning having less hair.
5 Boy on date with brainy girl naughtily books take-away (7,7)
LENDING LIBRARY – The diminutive form of Leonard (boy) followed by the abbreviation for date and an anagram (naughtily) of BRAINY GIRL.
6 Help yourself, not saying this to a vampire? (2,2,5)
BE MY GUEST – This blood sucking creature has to be invited in. You would not want to say this to Dracula.
7 To all catching a cold, I beg your pardon (4)
EACH – A two letter interjection meaning I beg your pardon around (catching) the A from the clue and the abbreviation for cold.
8 Luckily, coins from this individual provided bows for Robin Hood, say (3- 5,6)
ONE-ARMED BANDIT – A three letter word for an individual followed by a word for provided bows (or other weapons for) and a word describing Robin Hood or any other brigand.
9 Destroy left-overs after carpet-fitting? (3,5)
LAY WASTE – If you lay a carpet, this would be what is left over.
13 Maiden in basic shelter with donkey, gold, and various things (10)
ASSORTMENT – A three letter word for a donkey, an abbreviation for gold and the abbreviation for maiden inside a word for a temporary shelter.
15 How little man might take steps, out with Anna (2,7)
EN PASSANT – An anagram (out) of STEPS ANNA. A minor point but out has already been used as an anagram indicator in 26a.
17 Inappropriate, directed at minor (8)
UNTOWARD – Split 4, 4, this would mean directed at a child or minor under the care of a guardian.
21 Not rude, unlike me (5)
CLEAN – The opposite of the setter’s pseudonym.
22 Blue having gained majority (5)
ADULT – Double definition.
23 Eliza Doolittle’s problem hay fever symptom? (4)
ITCH – Drop the H’ (as Eliza Doolittle would ‘ave done) from a word meaning a problem.