A Puzzle by Melvis
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today Melvis has re-entered the building. 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:
A very good crossword with a very bad clue!
1 Floral arrangement with droop in the centre (7)
CORSAGE – A three letter word meaning droop goes inside a four letter word for the centre.
5 Erase mark (7)
SCRATCH – Double definition, the first meaning to remove or withdraw something and the second an unwelcome mark on the paintwork of a car perhaps.
9 Two-way tracker (5)
RADAR – A form of tracking device whose name is reads the same backwards as well as forwards.
10 Captured spirit of musical instrument (5,4)
SNARE DRUM – A six letter word meaning captured followed by a three letter word for a type of alcoholic spirit. Bonus points for having the split in the two words defining the answer in a different place to the split in the solution. This is always a more satisfying form of charade for multiple word answers. Some editors will not allow the cryptic reading of “Definition OF wordplay”.
11 Stones hit nothing back (5)
OPALS – A four letter word meaning to hit with the hand followed by the letter representing nothing all reversed (back).
12 Initial manoeuvre over outbuildings creates beastly noise (3)
MOO – The initial letters (initial) of the second to fourth words of the clue. Initial on its own to indicate the initial letters does not work. Perhaps Manoeuvre over outbuildings originally creates beastly noise.
13 Frighten small fish (5)
SHAKE – The abbreviation for small followed by a four letter word for a fish that is a deep-sea member of the cod family.
14 Favoured furnished surroundings for confused old Peruvian (7)
FANCIED – A three letter word meaning furnished or provided with food around (surroundings for) an anagram (confused) of INCA (old Peruvian). It was all going swimmingly and we have the fabled sighting of the indirect anagram – where the letters to be rearranged are not give directly in the clue. These hardly ever appear in standard cryptic crosswords. The simple rules are if you are a beginner, never use them. If you are a veteran never use them. If you are setting an advanced cryptic use them with caution and wear three layers of Kevlar body armour, three protective helmets, emigrate to the opposite side of the world and duck.
16 Gulls collecting rubble by church (7)
SCREECH – A five letter word for loose stones or rubble on a hillside followed by the abbreviation for church.
18 The rocks of Leicestershire (3)
ICE – The answer is hidden in (of) in LEICESTERSHIRE.
19 Blackouts, unconscious a long time (7)
OUTAGES – A three letter word meaning unconscious or asleep followed by a word meaning a long time. A slight blot is that the first three letters of the solution form the last three letters of the first word in the clue.
21 Frank example from passages in a translation (7)
SINATRA – The answer is hidden in (from) PASSAGES IN A TRANSLATION.
23 Minor accident (papa made a phone call) (5)
PRANG – The letter represented by Papa in the NATO phonetic alphabet followed by a four letter word meaning made a phone call.
25 Look back through microscope at fantastic creature (3)
ORC – The answer is hidden and reversed (look back) in MICROSCOPE. Perhaps looking back through would have been better and the structure wordplay AT definition does not work. Perhaps Fantastic creature seen looking the wrong way through microscope.
27 Sources of knowledge primarily gathered using Reading University students (5)
GURUS – The first letters (primarily) of the final five words of the clue.
28 Change shape (9)
INFLUENCE – A single definition (or at least the answer means very closely) both change and shape. Perhaps a greater separation between the meanings would have been better.
29 US lawman harbours memory of crisis (5)
DRAMA – The abbreviation for District Attorney (US lawman) includes (harbours) a type of computer memory.
30 Draws around everything, squares (7)
TALLIES – A word meaning draws (in the sense of scores in a game) around a three letter word meaning everything.
31 Owns hosiery to protect the knees (7)
HASSOCK – A three letter word meaning owns followed by the singular of a type of hosiery worn in pairs. Some better indication of a nounal answer than a partial verbal phrase would have been better.
1 Elementary impression of energy efficiency (6,9)
CARBON FOOTPRINT – The name of a chemical element followed by the type of impression you might make if walking along the beach.
2 River warden wandering, marked out again (7)
REDRAWN – The abbreviation for river followed by an anagram (wandering) of WARDEN.
3 Stopping striking (9)
ARRESTING – Double definition of what the police might be doing when stopping someone and striking as finding something amazing.
4 Mopes about town (5)
EPSOM – An anagram (about) of MOPES.
5 Reportedly observe shores adapted for marine life (9)
SEAHORSES – A homophone (reportedly) of a word meaning observe followed by an anagram (adapted) of SHORES.
6 Resistance to cries of fear – that stinks! (5)
REEKS – The abbreviation for resistance followed by a word for cries of fear. The link word wordplay THAT definition does not work.
7 Say many thanks for steak? (7)
TARTARE – A homophone repeated (many) of a word meaning thanks. Perhaps many is OK but Repeatedly heard “thanks for steak”, although the punctuation is misleading.
8 Beat leading con, a big fish (10,5)
HAMMERHEAD SHARK -A six letter word meaning beat or hit repeatedly followed by a four letter word meaning leading and a five letter word for a conman.
15 Ignores nuts dancing after nightclub (9)
DISCOUNTS – A five letter word for a nightclub followed by an anagram (dancing) of NUTS.
17 Rebels see danger brewing (9)
RENEGADS – An anagram (brewing) of SEE DANGER.
20 Upset end of fight leads to telling off (7)
TEARFUL – The last letter (end of ) of fight followed by a six letter colloquial word meaning a telling off.
22 Make heavy weather of tandoor cooking (7)
TORNADO – An anagram (cooking) of TANDOOR.
24 Good car for architect (5)
GAUDI – The abbreviation for good followed by German make of car.
26 Broadcast threat to king from Europe (5)
CZECH – A homophone (broadcast) of a threat to the king in a game of chess.