A Puzzle by Metman
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today we have Metman’s latest puzzle. 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.
Something of a curate’s egg from Metman. I did not mind the three letter solutions. You will get them in crosswords an you have to learn to live with them. There were no gross errors, but the crossword could have done with a test solve to polish some of the clues where the surface readings strayed into the nonsensical. In a couple of places, American usage should have been indicated. The number of anagrams was a little on the high side.
1 L. Orient is in the lowest order (5)
LEAST – The L from the clue followed by another word for the Orient. Rather than having the slightly ungainly L. Orient you could have had “Originally Leyton Orient is in the lowest division”
4 Accessible royal dynasty gives unlimited hospitality (4,5)
OPEN HOUSE – A four letter word meaning accessible followed by a five letter word for a royal dynasty.
9 Heracles perhaps appears in dodge I’m arranging (7)
DEMIGOD – An anagram (arranging) or DODGE IM. With arranging as the anagram indicator, it should come before the letters to be arranged.
10 Barter with the queen for driver (7)
TRUCKER – A five letter word meaning barter followed by a two letter abbreviation for the Queen. As Chambers gives barter as a definition of the first five letters, I don’t have an issue with this.
11 The Spanish of Paris have united to avoid capture (5)
ELUDE – The Spanish for “the” and the French (Paris) for “of” includes (have) the abbreviation for united. Have is a weak containment indicator and having would fit the cryptic reading better.
13 Reformed demon leaves Ohio and finds energy to change for the better (5)
EMEND – An anagram (reformed) of DEMON after replacing the single letter abbreviation for Ohio with the abbreviation for energy.
15 One part of a broadcast serial (3)
OAT – One part (like an ear of corn) of a homophone (broadcast) of serial.
16 This might be a month (3)
MAY – Double definition of a month and a word meaning might be.
17 Northern dish drops calories and is drunk (5)
SOUSE – Remove the abbreviation for calories from a Northern dish – a type of stew or hash made with meat strips. As a noun, the answer is used in America and this should have been indicated. The surface reading, with or without this, would still need a little polishing.
19 Sort of green mixture (5)
GENRE – An anagram (mixture) of GREEN.
21 Uncovered gripping gravity reminder (5)
NUDGE – A word meaning bare or uncovered includes (gripping) the abbreviation for gravity. The surface reading of this clue is not the greatest.
23 Is this moved further towards the stern later? (5)
AFTER – A word meaning later could fancifully (hence the question mark) mean further aft (moved further towards the stern).
24 Informal account indicates military staff position (3)
TAB – An informal bar account is also the name of the badge worn on the collar to indicate a military rank.
25 My Missus actually carries a bag (3)
SAC – The answer is hidden (carries) in MISSUS ACTUALLY. The MY in the clue is padding and could have been omitted.
26 French philosopher returns for spice (5)
SUMAC – Reverse (returns) the name of a French philosopher.
28 What’s all this then, a greeting? (5)
HELLO – Double definition, the first, often repeated in folklore as a policeman enquires what’s going on.
29 Unbridled memory makes one gasp (7)
RAMPANT – The abbreviation for a type of computer memory followed by a word meaning gasp. I don’t like the “makes one” here as it it not a charade indicator and the four letters required in the solution do not mean makes one gasp.
31 Left to flounder? – Not on a log! (7)
UNSAVED – Double definition, the second meaning not having been recorded (not on a log).
33 Animal sort of can attack vigorously (5,4)
BILLY GOAT – A type of cooking can used on a camp fire followed by a phrase 2,2 meaning to attack vigorously.
34 Pound to always exert force (5)
LEVER – The abbreviation for pounds sterling followed by a word meaning always.
1 A damsel in distress – could be his fault (6,3)
LADIES MAN – An anagram (in distress) of A DAMSEL IN.
2 Our army is shaken but holds weaponry (7)
ARMOURY – An anagram (is shaken) of OUR ARMY. An anagram where you move three of the letters sideways is not much cop!
3 Label is child’s play (3)
TAG – Double definition of a label and a children’s game.
4 I dole out for an OAP (5)
OLDIE – An anagram (out) of I DOLE.
5 Oddly, Einstein, at the beginning held a medical qualification (3)
ENT – The first three odd letters of EINSTEIN. The dropping of the final odd letter was not elegantly handled and the answer is not a medical qualification. Perhaps “Oddly, Einstein leaves one behind in medical department” would have been better.
6 Badger a canine (5)
HOUND – Double definition, the first as a verb, the second as a noun.
7 Calculating it’s value should solve your problem (7)
UNKNOWN – A weak cryptic definition of value to be found in an equation.
8 Sadness is defined as losing head for bird (5)
EGRET – Remove the first letter (losing head) from a word meaning sadness. Perhaps the “is defined as losing head” is slightly clumsy. Perhaps “Rue losing head for bird” would be better.
12 Different directions that hold the upper class to follow (5)
ENSUE – The abbreviations for East, North, South and East includes the abbreviation for upper class. A pedantic point but as the abbreviation for East is repeated, the directions are not all different!
14 Build in devastated Crete (5)
ERECT – An anagram (devastated) of CRETE.
18 One in Paris has weapon to take away (5)
UNARM – The French (in Paris) for One followed by another word for a weapon. As the “in Paris” device has already been used, a different indicator should have been used.
19 Corporation measure? (5)
GIRTH – A cryptic definition of the measurement around the stomach (corporation).
20 Exaggerate? I heard so (9)
EMBROIDER – A homophone (I heard) of so gives another word meaning the answer.
22 There has to be a point when using this system (7)
DECIMAL – A weak cryptic definition of the numerical system that includes a point.
24 Part of telephone viva is scrambled for place in the Levant (3,4)
TEL AVIV – The abbreviation for telephone followed by an anagram (is scrambled) of VIVA. The surface reading here is non-sensical. If part of means the first three letter, this is too imprecise.
25 Knock out an inferior side (5)
SCRUB – Double definition, the second being a term for an American inferior team. The Americanism should have been indicated.
26 Vehicle held by gutted spy – it’s frightening (5)
SCARY – A type of vehicle inside the outer letters (gutted) of spy.
27 Supplier of food flavouring (5)
CRUET – What holds salt and pepper and other food flavourings.
30 Also stood unprotected (3)
TOO – Remove the outer letters (unprotected) from stood.
32 Rosalyn enjoys a Spanish bread additive (3)
SAL – The answer is hidden in (enjoys – as in holds he enjoys the support of…)