A Puzzle by Italicus
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today we have the latest puzzle from Italicus. 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.
Sterling stuff from Italicus. As others have commented, this would be worth of a place in the NTSPP. Promotion is duly earned! There were a few niggling points but these are all things that editors will pick up on.
9 He takes a great deal of interest in report of solitary predator (4,5)
LOAN SHARK – A homophone (in report) of a four letter word meaning solitary followed by an aquatic predatory.
10 Samurai’s endlessly pressing task (5)
RONIN – Remove the first and last letters (endlessly) from a word meaning pressing (in the sense of removing creases from clothes)
11 A model of refined prose (5)
POSER – An anagram (refined) of PROSE.
12 Armed unit got redeployed by leaders of National Guard (3-6)
GUN-TOTING – An anagram (redeployed) of UNIT GOT followed by the first letters (leaders of) National Guard.
13 Hard-boiled novelist’s lost first letter M, perhaps? (7)
HANDLER – Remove the first letter from the surname of a novelist (first name Raymond) known for his style of detective fiction that is given the genre “hard-boiled”.
14 Title of papers on the transformation of Middle English (7)
EMPRESS – A reversal (transformation) of the abbreviation for Middle English (one could hardly describe it as an anagram) followed by another name for the daily papers.
17 In competition with section of Navy in Gulf (5)
VYING – The answer is hidden in (section of) NAVY IN GULF.
19 See 28
20 Valued alternatives to real tweed (5)
RATED – The odd letters (alternatives) in REAL TWEED. Alternate means every other (alternatives) are binary choices between one of two options.
21 Run into detective infiltrating sect to find guilty party (7)
CULPRIT – The abbreviation run goes into the abbreviation for a private investigator and the resulting letters are included in a four letter word for a sect.
22 Almost caught madman kidnapping two cardinals (5,2)
CLOSE ON – The abbreviation for caught followed by a four letter word for a madman with the inclusion (kidnapping) of two of the cardinal points of the compass.
24 Wrestling star embracing boxer, having taken first gold for country (9)
AUSTRALIA – An anagram (wrestling) of STAR includes the surname of the old heavyweight boxer all preceded by (having taken first) the chemical symbol for gold.
26 Go round India’s shrouded city? (5)
TURIN – A four letter word for a go or shot at something around the letter represented by India in the NATO phonetic alphabet.
28/19A/4 Intriguing elements of tale about a good dragon lacked resolution (5,3,6)
CLOAK AND DAGGER – An anagram (resolution) of A G (good) DRAGON LACKED. I don’t think that the link word “about” works in the sense of definition about wordplay but it could in Yoda speak be read as about the AG include an anagram DRAGON LACKED but the resulting cryptic instructions are tortured.
29 Company department, say, takes on girl for nine-month period (9)
PREGNANCY – The abbreviation of a possible department in a company responsible for publicity followed by the abbreviation for say or for example and the name of a girl.
1 Second album contains a hit (4)
SLAP – The abbreviation for second followed by a two letter abbreviation for an album around the letter A from the clue.
2 Average boy becomes a clergyman (6)
PARSON – A three letter word for average followed by a three letter word for a son.
3 One must pay attention to The Planets or to Elgar’s Variations (10)
ASTROLOGER – An anagram (variations) of OR TO ELGARS.
4 See 28 Across
5 He’s a kind sort despite appearances! (8)
SKINHEAD – An anagram (sort) of HES A KIND.
6 Uplifting part of choir teacher’s musical composition (4)
TRIO – The answer is hidden and reversed (uplifting part of) CHOIR TEACHER
7 Reported home with terrible cold and temperature (8)
INDIRECT – A two letter word meaning at home followed by a four letter word meaning terrible and the abbreviations for cold and temperature.
8 Catch small horse (4)
SNAG – The abbreviation for small followed by a three letter word for an old horse.
13 Starts to hear apocalyptic voices openly calling for destruction (5)
HAVOC – The initial letters (starts to) of the third to seventh words of the clue.
15 Claiming sound of cats outside Post Office can start to grate (10)
PURPORTING – A four letter word for the sound made by contented cats around the abbreviation for Post Office followed by a three letter word for a can and the first letter (start to) of grate. As starts has just been used as a first letter indicator in the previous down clue, perhaps a different initial letter indicator should have been used here.
16 Chair of Divinity originally held by Irishman (5)
SEDAN – The first letter (originally) of divinity inside a four letter Irish name.
18 Trick ailing American with one – no returns! (8)
ILLUSION – A three letter word meaning ailing followed by a two letter abbreviation for American, the letter representing one and a reversal (returns) of NO.
19 Betting on pole position for fast runner (8)
ANTELOPE – A four letter word for betting followed by an anagram (position) of POLE. I don’t think that position works as an anagram indicator here.
22 College girl has time for a drink (6)
CLARET – The name of a girl that is also the name of a Cambridge College followed by the abbreviation for time.
23 Express one’s fury going after Queen’s marauding knight (6)
ERRANT – The two letter abbreviation for the current Queen followed by a four letter word meaning to express one’s fury.
24 Mischievous artist sent up church (4)
ARCH – A reversal (sent up) of the abbreviation for an artist who is a member of the Royal Academy followed by the abbreviation for church.
25 One whose progress has been noted is a tool! (4)
RAKE – A cryptic reference to the person who’s progress was noted musically in the opera by Stravinsky.
27 They sometimes have it reprinted in glossy anthologies (4)
NAYS – The answer is hidden and reversed in GLOSSY ANTHOLOGIES. I don’t think that reprinted works here as a reversal indicator.