A Puzzle by Effra
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Effra is our latest recruit – enjoy his debut 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.
This was a creditable start by Effra. The basic structure of the clues and the cryptic grammar was there with only a few minor points to watch. The biggest thing to watch for is the surface reading of the clues. Some of the clues here did not make much sense in the own right.
1 Hammers coins (6)
POUNDS – Double definition, the second being the coins representing 100 pence.
4 Mouth pecker (6)
KISSER – Double definition, though the two meaning are somewhat similar. It is good practice to keep the meanings in a double definition as separate as possible
9 Square team discharging sulphur (4)
QUAD – Remove the chemical symbol for Sulphur from the beginning of a word for a team. This is a good example of where more attention needs to be given to the surface reading. As a sentence in its own right, this is not very convincing.
10 Nothing’s convenient to wear on the moon (5,5)
SPACE SUITS – A word meaning nothing followed by a word meaning convenient. Perhaps “to be worn on the moon” would be a slightly better definition.
11 Leggy bird carrying launch of bullets for West Bank city (6)
HEBRON – A bird with long legs includes the first letter (launch of) bullets.
12 Dads taking drug provide aids for getting high (8)
FEATHERS – A word for fathers includes the abbreviation for ecstasy (drug). For the cryptic grammar to work, it would have to be wordplay provides definition. Here, providing aids would be a better option.
13 Platinum and gold surround love god. Right old flier. (9)
PTEROSAUR – The chemical symbols for platinum and gold around the name of a god of love followed by the abbreviation for right.
15 Swings round beginning of stretch to the back (4)
PANS – A word meaning to stretch across has the first letter moved to the back.
16 Bet volcano flows in unexpected direction (4)
ANTE – Reverse (flows in an unexpected direction) the name of a Sicilian volcano.
17 Setting off a dog’s noise after letter (9)
EMBARKING – A two letter word the letter M followed by the noise a noisy dog makes.
21 Tree-dweller? (8)
ANCESTOR – Lovely definition of someone in a family-tree who, if you went back a sufficient number of generations would have been a tree-dweller.
22 Primarily a sexy temptress however, might actually be said to be breath-taking (6)
ASTHMA – The initial letters (primarily) of the second to seventh words of the clue. The definition here is a little clunky.
24 Unimaginative to interweave genesis of Tolkien, Homer, Orpheus and elves for creation of new legends (10)
MYTHOPOEIC – A word meaning short-sighted or unimaginative includes the first letters (genesis) of Tolkien, Homer and in a different place (interweave) the first letter of Orpheus and Elves.
25 Boy with male chromosome becomes female (4)
LADY – A three letter word for a boy followed by the letter for the male chromosome.
26 Grabbing some of madam, Ned gets sent to hell (6)
DAMNED – The answer hidden (grabbing some of) MADAM NED. It is better to try and have the hidden word not begin or end with the beginning or end of a word.
27 Sage setter’s staff is potassium-deficient (6)
MYSTIC – A two letter word meaning the setter’s followed by a word for staff with the chemical symbol for Potassium.
1 Wise one who’s easily offended by National Trust (7)
PRUDENT – A word for someone who does not like prurience followed by the abbreviation for National Trust.
2 Below milk dispenser changing penny for Newton (5)
UNDER – The cow’s organ that produces milk has one of the Ds (penny) changed to the abbreviation for Newton. Again, another example where the surface reading needs improving.
3 Saddens, rarely removes grains (7)
DESANDS – An anagram (rarely) of SADDENS.
5 Frost limit? (6)
ICECAP – A weak definition of snow and ice on a mountain.
6 Borough borough (9)
SOUTHWARK – Cryptic definition of the London Borough that includes the district known as Borough.
7 Rotter’s ruffled reposts (7)
RESORTS – An anagram (ruffled) of ROTTERS.
8 United after 45 minutes of football with coach going the wrong way nets partly underwater (4-9)
HALF SUBMERGED – The period of time for the first 45 minutes of a football game followed by a six letter word meaning united includes (nets) a reversal (going the wrong way) of a three letter word for a bus. The nets in the clue here as the containment indicator does not work in the position where it is used.
14 Spoil woman’s meat in South Yorkshire (9)
ROTHERHAM – A three letter word meaning to spoil or go putrid followed by a three letter word meaning woman’s and a three letter word for a type of meat. Although used, prepositional indicators such as “in South Yorkshire” is not universally favoured.
16 Princess Royal holds in yell. Daughter gets riled (7)
ANNOYED – The first name of the Princess Royal includes a two letter word for a yell with these letters then followed by the abbreviation for daughter.
18 Bonkers canary incubating birth of hen – chaos! (7)
ANARCHY – An anagram (bonkers) of CANARY includes the initial letter (birth as in start of) of hen.
19 Restless, negative and angry, before intensive care (7)
NOMADIC – A two letter word to express an negative and a three letter word meaning angry followed by the initial letters of intensive care. Unfortunately, the main dictionaries do not give IC as an abbreviation for Intensive Care. Even if it used in hospitals, it is best practice only to use abbreviations in one of the main dictionaries.
20 Petals upset chief (6)
STAPLE – An anagram (upset) of PETALS.
23 One leaves loo offered for rent (2,3)
TO LET – Remove the I (one) from a six letter word fro a loo.