A Puzzle by Wire
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today we have a debut puzzle from Wire. 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 Happy New Year to all Rookie setters and solvers.
Welcome to Wire. This was a tightly clued tricky crossword. In one or two cases, the cryptic readings of the clues needed a little more attention and some of the surface readings could have been smoother though none were nonsensical.
1 Writer of copy in series (parts 1 and 2) (6)
SCRIBE – A four letter word meaning to copy inside the first and second letters (parts 1 and 2) of series.
4 Mousetrap an example of how to destroy brownish thing (8)
WHODUNIT – An anagram of how (to destroy) followed by a three letter word meaning brownish and a two letter word for a thing or object.
10 Least disordered metal fails test (7)
TIDIEST – The chemical symbol for Titanium (metal) followed by a four letter word meaning fails and the first letter of test. For this clue to work there needs to be a first letter indicator as T on its own is not a recognised abbreviation for test.
11 Rubber sole under this dental hygienist’s instrument, maybe (7)
GUMSHOE – Fancifully, the solution (if split 4,3) could mean an tool for digging out plaque between the teeth.
12 Start register (4)
ROLL – Double definition, the first used in phrases such as cameras/wagons ????.
13 Get blue? See doctor…a real star! (10)
BETELGEUSE – An anagram (doctor) of GET BLUE SEE. Where an anagram indicator is used in the imperative, it should come before the letters to be rearranged – “doctor XYZ” rather then “XYZ doctor”. The position is slightly different to 4a where you have XYZ to destroy. In this case, the cryptic grammar works with the indicator after the letters.
15 Strong assailant tells beginners to leave Steinway in pieces (6)
SINEWY – The first letters (beginners) of assailant tells are removed from Steinway an an anagram (in pieces) made from the remaining SEINWY.
16 Toes wiggled in rhyme : ‘One gee-gee’s/ In the pastries’ (7)
PIGGIES – The one from the clue and two Gs inside a four letter word for pastries.
20 Back in Germany, the French and you spoke? (7)
UTTERED – Reverse (back) the German for “the” and the French for “and” and “you”.
21 Information out before mass energy was studied in nuclear project (6)
GENOME – A three letter word for information followed by the first letter of out and the abbreviations for mass and energy. Again, a first letter indicator is needed as O is not a a recognised abbreviation for out. A small point but “is studied” would be better than “was studied”.
24 Disgracefully fashionable female cut short love affair with cunning (10)
INFAMOUSLY – A two letter meaning fashionable followed by the abbreviation for female, a five letter word for a lover affair with the final letter removed (cut-short) and a word meaning cunning.
26 See 23 Down
28 Measure a chemical solution by narrow frequency broadcasting (7)
TITRATE – A homophone (broadcasting) of TIGHT (narrow) and a RATE (frequency).
29 Spanish product caught with shortened line at sea (7)
CHORIZO – The abbreviation for caught followed by the line where the sea meets the sky with the final letter removed (shortened).
30 Pronounced shortage and pronounced description of Bath, for example (8)
SPARSITY – A homophone (pronounced) of SPA CITY (description of bath for example).
31 Clergyman brought up May to embrace underground space (6)
CAVERN – Reverse (brought up) a three letter abbreviation for a clergyman inside (to embrace) a three letter word meaning may.
1 Be in session with naked coffee-making professional musician (8)
SITARIST – A three letter word meaning be in session (as a court might) followed by the name of a server in a coffee shop who brews the coffee with the outer letters removed (naked).
2 Scanned sound surface at the end of the world (3,6)
RED PLANET – A homophone (sound) of READ (scanned) followed by a five letter word for a surface and the first letter (end of) of the. Whilst most of the surface reading are generally OK, this one could have done with a little more polishing to give a more meaningful surface reading.
3 Abbie rowed stowing drink from Hamburg club (4)
BIER – The answer is hidden (stowing) in ABBIE ROWED.
5 Clean fracture of icy sheeting which hasn’t set (8)
HYGIENIC – Remove the letters in SET from ICY SHEETING and make an anagram (fracture of) of ICYHEING
6 Stirring orators made bizarre exit before two thirds of guests (10)
DEMAGOGUES – An anagram (bizarre) of MADE followed by a two letter word meaning to leave or exit and the first four letters (two thirds of) of GUESTS.
7 Original party leader returned to become Prime Minister (5)
NEHRU – A letter prefix meaning primitive or original followed by a three letter word for a female only party all reversed (returned).
8 Writings from a Greek urn start to fade (6)
THESES – Remove (to fade) the first letter (start) to urn from the name of the Greek hero who slew the Minotaur. Some editors will not allow start on its own to indicate the first letter with a possessive “X’s start” or using “start of X”.
9 Three played agent in theatre, causing sleepiness (5)
ETHER – An anagram (played) of THREE.
14 Savoy truffle tips mixed with same twee sugary treats (10)
SWEETMEATS – An anagram (mixed) of ST (the first two letters (tips) of savoy truffle) SAME TWEE.
17 Make sexy drug outlet retrofit around old chemicals company (9)
EROTICISE – The abbreviation for ecstasy and a five letter word for a retail outlet reversed (retrofit) around the three letter abbreviation for Imperial Chemical Industries (old chemical company).
18 Get back! You troops sit by rear of forest covering (8)
TEGUMENT – Reverse (back) the get from the clue and follow it with the single letter that is used and the abbreviated form of you when texting, a three letter word for troops and the final letter (rear of) of forest.
19 Post feathers direct to prison (4,4)
SEND DOWN – A four letter word meaning to post and a four letter word describing soft feathers.
22 Finger pies from poor epicurists and you’ll get a face (6)
RICTUS – Remove the letters in PIES from the letters in epicurists and make an anagram (poo) of the letters that remain, CURIST. The finger is a subsidiary anagram indicator as the letters in pies are not removed in the same order from EPICURISTS. Perhaps fingered pies would have fitted the cryptic reading better. I am not sure that epicurists is a word although it is given in some on-line dictionaries.
23/26 Feathered friend of Spooner’s rear out of focus (9)
BLACK BIRD – A Spoonerism of BACK (rear) BLURED (out of focus)
25 Founders of fraternities across the West abhor extreme sentence (5)
FATWA – The initial letters (founders of) the third to seventh words of the clue.
27 Fish is stored in far passage at the end (4)
CODA – A three letter word for a type of fish eaten with chips followed by the central letter (stored in) of far. The cryptic grammar does not quire work here as you would need fish HAS …