A Puzzle by Jaffa
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
The puzzle is available by clicking on the above Rookie Corner link.
Here is the latest 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.
You may remember that we had a debut puzzle from Whynot a few weeks ago – I bumped into him yesterday, and he told me that he has a new puzzle in Newbie Corner on the 1 Across website, so why not solve it?
Please try to leave him feedback on the 1 Across site.
A review by Prolixic follows.
Congratulations to Jaffa with a wonderfully themed crossword. All of the across clues refer to lyrics in or the album identified by 28a. There were, perhaps, to many oblique references to the undisclosed theme in the clues that made the process of solving a little unfair. Despite this, it was quite an achievement to get the theme into all of the across clues without having too many unfamiliar words in the down clues.
8 Cressida Dick is starring (7,3,4)
TOPPING THE BILL – Cressida Dick is the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in London otherwise known as the Old Bill. The solution is from the track “Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite”.
9 This garment, worn by the fireside, may make you one of these (7)
SWEATER – A warm top worn by the fire would make you perspire and thus be the solution. The solution is from the track “When I’m Sixty-Four”. Bonus points as the garment in question was knitted by the fireside in the track.
11 Listen on board for clippers (6)
SHEARS – A word meaning listen inside the abbreviation for steamship (on board). The solution is from the track “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
12 Location in jet stream, once reportedly holy (9)
BLACKBURN – The colour of jet followed by another word for a stream. I think that the addition of the words “once reportedly holy” are an unnecessary addition even if they relate back to the lyrics as the theme is hidden. The clue works without them and they therefore could be considered unnecessarily misleading. [Setter’s note: “four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire”]
16 Uninjured doctor the French say it needed fixing(5)
WHOLE – The name of the time travelling Doctor followed by the French for the. Again the “say it needed fixing” are not necessary to the wordplay and may be considered unnecessarily misleading. Even if they relate to the track “Fixing a Hole” as the theme is a ghost theme, it is unfair to have an reference of this type in the clue.
20 Girl, sometimes welcomed we ‘ear, for her soothing nature (4)
VERA – A pun on the soothing ointment Aloe Vera as how a Cockney might greet her. The solution is from the track “When I’m Sixty Four”.
21 Beef or chicken? (5)
CHUCK – A type of week steak or an informal name for a chicken. The solution is from the track “When I’m Sixty Four”.
22 Familiar old PM going west in Nevada (4)
DAVE – The answer is hidden and reversed in (going west in) NEVADA. The solution is from the track “When I’m Sixty Four”. Bonus points for getting the last three solutions in order from the track.
23 House where contents may be found (5)
LORDS – Cryptic definition of one of the Houses of Parliament where those voting in favour are the “contents”. The solution is from the track “A day in the life”.
26 Official’s moniker or poetic description of Ms Duffy? (5,4)
METER MAID – Another name for an traffic warden and an elliptical reference to the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy who wrote about gas meters instead of the Queen’s 90th birthday and who writes in poetic meters. The solution is from the track “Lovely Rita”
31 Musical kings imprisoning knights yield legendary musician (6)
LENNON – The name of the US rock band “Kings of ????” includes the abbreviation (twice) for Knight (as knights is in the plural). The solution is the name of one of the Beatles who wrote the theme album. A minor point but for the cryptic reading to work, you would need wordplay yields definition.
32 Embarrassed about recording company vote that improved old album (7)
REMIXED – The colour you go when embarrassed around the name of an old record company (whose Abbey Road studios were used by the Beatles) and the letter that is used when recording a vote.
34 Military musician, aiding the companionless, for at least 70 years (8,6)
SERGEANT PEPPER – A cryptic allusion to the line in the theme album and track released in 1967 where the line is “It was twenty years ago today” with an allusion to the lonely hearts being the companionless. As this relies on a knowledge of the hidden theme, it is a but of a leap of faith to be able to solve this from the clue alone without the checking letters.
1 Code novice is a small person (6)
MORSEL – The name of the code consisting of dots and dashes followed by the abbreviation for a learner or novice.
2 Nice PA produces breathless state (6)
APNEIC – An anagram (produces) of NICE PA. The answer is not given in Chambers or Collins. It seems to the American version of the English Apnoeic so perhaps should have some indication as such – Perhaps Nice PA produces Trump’s breathless state.
3 A wooden feature secured at the altar? (4)
KNOT – You tie or secure this at the altar when getting married.
4 Possibly a feature of a fast Arabian’s head (4)
STAR – The answer is hidden in (possibly a feature of) in FAST ARABIAN. The possibly could have been omitted.
5 Present maybe or just strained (5)
TENSE – Double definition of a for of verb to indicate the time of action and to be strained or tense.
6 Advanced technology is used in a successful recording with little reverberation (2,4)
HI TECH – A three letter word for a successful recording followed by a word for reverberation with the last letter removed (little).
7 Liechtenstein exam about plants (6)
FLORAL – The IVR code for Liechtenstein followed by a word for a spoken examination.
10 Mimic early bird (3)
EMU – A word meaning mimic without the late (as in early = not late). Where you need to get from early to not late, it might be better to say “presumably early” to indicate that there is something more to the wordplay than a synonym for early.
12 Slant of small girl with evil surroundings (5)
BEVEL – The shortened form of the name Beverly followed by the outer letters (surroundings) of evil.
13 Speaker who is more blonde but quiet (5)
AIRER – A word for more blonde without the F (quiet being not loud). Again like the earlier clue, this would have benefitted from having “by implication quiet” to show that there is something more to the wordplay.
14 Short single male composer (4)
BACH – The abbreviation for Bachelor and the name of a prolific composer.
15 The colour of a French windmill? (5)
ROUGE – A mild cryptic reference to the French cabaret venue whose name translates as the Red Windmill.
17 American city expresses surprise after meritorious award (5)
OMAHA – The abbreviation for Order of Merit followed by a word that expresses surprise.
18 Paper boss brings in fellows to alter text (5)
EMEND – The abbreviation for editor (paper boss) includes a three letter word meaning fellows.
19 Pretender’s destination sounds like a colourful source of night time delight (4)
SKYE – The island to which the Young Pretender, Bonnie Prince Charlie, fled across the sea and the place where you would see colourful lights such as the Northern or Southern Lights.
24 Verses supported by the Sally Army on the Black Sea (6)
ODESSA – A word for poems or verses followed by the abbreviation for Salvation Army. My dislike of prepositional indicators makes me want to change this to place on the Black Sea.
25 Foreign noblemen grab gold but become angels (6)
DONORS – The plural for Spanish nobles includes (grab) an abbreviation for gold in heraldry. The cryptic reading would be better as “Foreign noblemen grabbing gold becoming angels”
27 Stone target regularly seen in Thebes (3)
TEE – The odd letters (regularly seen in THEBES for the target used in curling.
28 Confusions arising from the outset of Ximenean clues but not downs (3-3)
MIX-UPS – A lovely defined clue indicating the reversal of the first three letters of Ximenan. This clue does not really work for me.
29 Undoubtedly conveyancing details may be found here (6)
INDEED – Split 2,4 this describes the requirement for any conveyancIng document imposed by section 52 of the Law of Property Act 1925.
30 Mountains ‘eard to be connected to armies (5)
ANDES – A play on the pun that armies are connected to handies (with the Cockney pronunciation again applied). Perhaps having used the Cockney trick once, another device should have been used here. Perhaps a question mark or exclamation mark to indicate the pun could have been added.
32 Mystic symbol found at any number in French street (4)
RUNE – The abbreviation for any number in the French word for street.
33 Be depressed about loss of old penny from small bike (4)
MOPE – Remove the abbreviation for an old penny from the end of a word for a small motorbike.