A Puzzle by Alan
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
I met Alan at an S&B meeting in Nottingham, and solved one of his puzzles on the train home. This puzzle is available on fifteensquared, along with a couple of others, all of which were originally handed out to attendees at S&B meetings in Nottingham and Macclesfield. Today we have a new puzzle as his debut in Rookie Corner. 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 to the latest recruit to the Rookie Corner. Judging by this first crossword, I suspect his tenure here will be a short one given the standard of this crossword. Perhaps the main thing to concentrate on is the surface reading of the clues so that they read a little more naturally.
1 See 9
5 Don’t lag, avoid grounding (4,2)
KEEP UP – Double definition, the second in relation to the buoyancy of a boat.
9/1 Theresa May and Dr No are confused with my cozy mystery series (8,3,5)
ROSEMARY AND THYME – An anagram (confused) of THERESA MAY DR NO MY. The use of the names of people real and fictional gave an added bonus to the crossword. It did mean that the longer clues had to rely exclusively on anagrams. Cozy mystery is an American term for the type of detective series, the British equivalent would be cosy mystery.
10 See 16 Down
12 First mate at Trump-less contract meeting (5)
EVENT – The name of Adam’s wife (first mate) followed by the abbreviation for No Trumps in bridge (Trump-less).
13 Co-driver, a reptile, with service cut for everyone (9)
NAVIGATOR – The name of a close relative to the crocodile (a reptile) with the ALL (everyone) replace by the first three letters (cut) in Navy (service).
14 Prevent release of oxygen, arrest yours truly on way back (7)
EMBARGO – The chemical symbol of Oxygen followed by a four letter word meaning to arrest or snatch something and a two letter word for the setter all reversed (on way back).
15 Old woman wraps up one-day cricket century a little bit (7)
MODICUM – A three letter word for an old women (or any mother of whatever age) around (wraps up) the abbreviation for One Day International (one-day cricket) and the abbreviation for century.
18 Tight 35 writer’s gone crazy (7)
THRIFTY – An anagram (crazy) of THIRTY FIVE after removing the I’VE (writer’s gone).
21 Silly smile going around starts to explain my latest unexplained fault (7)
GREMLIN – A four letter word for a silly smile around the initial letters (starts to) of My Latest.
23 Wicked moneymaker aboard shuttle service is a part of this (9)
BADMINTON – A three letter word for wicked and a four letter word for the institution that prints or coins money and a two letter word meaning aboard.
25 A sweet stabbing (5)
ACUTE – The A from the clue followed by a four letter word meaning sweet.
26 Little nipper to eavesdrop (6)
EARWIG – Double definition, the first being the name of a small insect with pincers.
27 Musical note is a constant lesson, by the sound of it (8)
MINIMISE – A five letter word for a musical note followed by the IS from the clue and the letter that represents the natural logarithmic base. Generally is is not a good idea to have wordplay followed by a clue that is defined by wordplay.
28 Cost a grand covered by honoured lady (6)
DAMAGE – The A from the clue and the abbreviation for grand have a four letter word for a titled or honoured lady around them.
29 Mailed envelope takes nearly a week (8)
SENNIGHT – A four letter word meaning mailed an envelope around (takes) a word meaning nearly. I think that this clue works if envelop is not used as the containment indicator otherwise it would need to be envelopes as a verbal form.
1 See 19
2 Make legless brides dance round setter (married)? (9)
DISMEMBER – An anagram (dance) around a two letter word for the setter and the abbreviation for married.
3 Pet recovered from R. Thames (7)
HAMSTER – An anagram (recovered from) R THAMES.
4 Warmonger stripped and shot in battle (7)
MARENGO – An anagram shot of ARMONGE (the inner letters (stripped) of WARMONGER.
6 Silence in valley, on reflection, is spoken for (7)
ENGAGED – A three letter word meaning to silence inside a reversal (on reflection) of a four letter word for a valley.
7 Grape vine cut at each end and placed in pan (5)
PINOT – The inner letters (cut at each end) of VINE inside (placed in) a three letter word for a pan. Alan was right to keep grapevine split as grape vine. Whilst some editors will allow setters to have un-indicated lift and separate clues to require the solver to mentally split grapevine to read grape vine, this is usually in the context of the wordplay alone. It is rarer to all a word to split so that the definition and the wordplay are part of one word, even if hyphenated.
8 Show off model puzzle (5)
POSER – Triple definition.
11 Gove naked with, er, gamete (4)
OVUM – The inner letters (naked) of Gove followed by another verbal hesitation similar to er.
16/10 Nicola Sturgeon is crazy about gravity dyes (9,6)
COLOURING AGENTS – An anagram (crazy) of NICOLA STURGEON around the abbreviation for gravity. This is probably the best example of where the surface reading could be greatly improved. There is also a repetition of crazy as an anagram indicator.
17 If you do this you could get team a sweet or savoury mass (9)
MINCEMEAT – A reverse anagram. The solution split 5, 4 could give TEAM as an answer.
19/1 Nigel Farage plays with T. Emin in case of dispute (7,9)
FAILING AGREEMENT – An anagram (plays) of NIGEL FARAGE T EMIN
20 Once the half-time monster (4)
YETI – The old English word for the followed by half the letter in time.
21 Real dope found on university head in Europe (7)
GENUINE – A three letter word for dope or information followed by the abbreviation for university, the IN from the clue and a letter representing Europe. A common mistake but E is the abbreviation for European not Europe.
22 Dodging 5 across in racket reversal (7)
EVASION – A reversal of a five letter word for a din or racket around the Roman numeral for 5 and the abbreviation for across. Interestingly given their use in crosswords, A for Across and D for Down are not recognised as abbreviations in Chambers or Collins. Some editors will therefore not permit them.
23 See 24
24/23 Amber Rudd and union leader cooked dough made from semolina (5,5)
DURUM BREAD – An anagram (cooked) of AMBER RUDD U (Union leader).