A Puzzle by Raven
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Our latest Rookie goes under the name of Raven. 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 Raven. This was a tough but generally fair crossword. There were only a few minor points to pick up on, which is a good sign.
9. Close to absurdness while having bitter exterior? (9)
SARCASTIC – The final letter (close to) of absurdness) followed by a two letter word meaning while with a six letter word meaning bitter or cold around it (having … exterior). Whilst the entire clue is mean to be a definition of the answer, I don’t think that the answer is necessarily close to absurdness.
10. Twang guitar string with tender hand (5)
DRAWL – The musical note to which one of a guitar’s strings is tuned followed by a three letter word meaning tender or sore and the abbreviation for one of hands.
11. Potential to insure a result in this game! (7,8)
RUSSIAN ROULETTE – An anagram (potential) of TO INSURE A RESULT. I like the irony in this clue that the outcome of this game would be uninsurable.
12. Coat in spice, mostly (3)
MAC – Remove the final letter (mostly) of a type of spice.
13. Earthquake-prone city breaking up in descent, rebuilt underground (11)
CLANDESTINE – The abbreviation for a West Coast city in America prone to earthquakes inside (breaking up) an anagram (rebuilt) of IN DESCENT.
15. Noisy duet, end rendered discordant (7)
DETUNED – An anagram (noisy) of DUET END. As one of the definition of noisy is turbulent, I see no problem with this as an anagram indicator.
16. Stages broadcast from Siberian locations (7)
STEPPES – A homophone (broadcast) of STEPS (stages). The link word here is the wrong way around. The definition comes from the wordplay. The wordplay from definition does not quite work for me.
17. DJ is follower of Jesus’ example? (11)
TURNTABLIST – A cryptic reference to Jesus’s actions in the temple when he overturned the table of the moneylender.
19. Bow as current royal is received (3)
ARC – The abbreviation for alternating current includes (is received) a single letter abbreviation for a king or queen (royal).
21. Fine leg’s aggressive movement is indicator to expect quicker delivery? (5,5,5)
FIRST CLASS STAMP – A phrase (5,5) meaning fine followed by a word meaning an aggressive movement of the leg.
24. Legislate for staff retiring ahead of time (5)
ENACT – Reverse (retiring) a four letter word for a rod or staff and follow it with the abbreviation for time.
25. No enthusiasm to acquire aluminium – price too high (9)
OVERVALUE – A single letter meaning no or zero and a five letter word meaning enthusiasm includes (to acquire) a three letter abbreviation for aluminium. I cannot find a dictionary that supports ALU as a three letter abbreviation for Aluminium. The chemical symbol is Al.
1. Burnt powder linked to cannon’s retreat (6)
ASHRAM – A three letter word for burnt powder followed by a three letter word meaning to cannon or run into.
2. Written statements followed by censored alternative from lawyer (10)
PROSECUTOR – A five letter word for written statements followed by a three letter word meaning censored and a two letter word used to express an alternative. I think that the modifier “statements” here is potentially misleading as, by making the wordplay more specific, it unfairly leads the solver away from the more general meaning of a piece of writing.
3. Homer’s epic missing central figure in write-up by artist (4)
DALI -Remove the middle letter (missing central character) from one of Homer’s epic stories and reverse the remaining letters (written up).
4. Stage Shakespeare without opening that’s customary (8)
STANDARD – Another word for a stage or podium followed by another word for Shakespeare with the first letter removed (without opening).
5. A line sung in harmony (6)
ACCORD – The A from the clue followed by a homophone (sung) of another word for a line.
6. A sense of redundancy in youth? (10)
ADOLESCENT – The A from the clue followed by a phrase 4,5 that might describe the smell of the money you receive if you are redundant.
7. Bond returns, in flat cap! (4)
PACT – The answer is hidden and reversed (returns in) FLAT CAP. It is more usual for a hidden word not to be wholly contained within one word and part of another.
8. Leaving setter feeling superfluous and ignorant? (8)
CLUELESS – A cryptic definition of what might make a crossword setter feel superfluous? This does not work for me as if a crossword does not have these, the settler is definitely required.
13. Cute tots in ridiculous make up (10)
CONSTITUTE – An anagram (rIdiculous) of CUTE TOTS IN.
14. Fierce wild mammal missing a chain (10)
IMPLACABLE – The name of an African antelope without (missing) one of its As and another word for a chain.
15. Cheap sale of alcohol lacks responsibility? (4-4)
DUTY-FREE – Double definition of where you might be able to buy booze cheaply and someone without any obligations or responsibility.
16. OAP seems like one could be 17? (8)
SPINSTER – A whimsical reference to one who spins records. I don’t think that the definition OAP is a fair definition for the required answer.
18. Hairless, tailless, headless amphibian is unreal creature! (6)
BALROG – A word meaning hairless without the final letter (tailless) followed by a type of amphibian without the first letter (headless).
20. Ginger fuzz (6)
COPPER – Double definition, the second being a policeman.
22. Kiwi loses tail going North to migrate (4)
ROAM – Remove the final letter from the name for an indigenous New Zealander and reverse the remaining letters (going North).
23. Woman originally is head over heels for Spanish club legend? (4)
SEVE – Reverse (head over heels) a contraction of Eve (woman originally) Is.