A Puzzle by Exit
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
I have met Exit several times at S&B meetings – this is his debut in Rookie Corner. 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 debut puzzle for Exit. The main comments are very much nitpicking ones which, for a first puzzle, is a good sign. The only points really to concentrate on are firstly to try and let some clues not run out of control when trying to maintain a theme creating unduly long clues, secondly to make some of the anagrams (in 10a and 8d) true anagrams with greater sorting of the letters required and thirdly to try and avoid obvious definitions.
There was a good Nina in the grid with the top line being the abbreviations of the headings in a league table (13a) and the bottom row giving the final column.
7 A fellow in Indian dress for expedition (6)
SAFARI – The A from the clue and the abbreviation for fellow are inserted into a four letter word for and Indian dress.
8 To pine after teacher, maybe, is rash (8)
HEADLONG – A four letter word for the principal of a school or college followed by four letter word meaning to pine.
9 Feeling unwell on cruise? Remedial treatment includes meclizine at first, but without iodine. (3,2,3)
MAL DE MER – An anagram (treatment) of REMEDIAL M (meclizine at first) after removing the chemical symbol for Iodine. Some editors would not permit a noun (treatment) to act as an anagram indicator.
10 Backers new angles … (6)
ANGELS – An anagram (new) of ANGLES. As the anagram only involves swapping the LE around, perhaps a different treatment of the wordplay would have been better.
11 …on supply of funding (8)
RESOURCE – A two letter word meaning on or about followed by a six letter word meaning supply. Some editors will not permit wordplay of definition although they would be happy with definition of wordplay.
12 Shelter in decline with moves to the right (6)
AWNING – A six letter word meaning in decline with the abbreviation for with moved one place to the right.
13 Record of performance: ale spilt, blue gate damaged (6,5)
LEAGUE TABLE – An anagram (spilt) of ALE followed by an anagram (damaged) of BLUE GATE.
18 Strange affair of basket-making material (6)
RAFFIA – An anagram (strange) of AFFAIR. Again wordplay of definition might not find favour with some editors.
20 Drain fluid – suitable for drinking? (3,5)
TAP WATER – A three letter word meaning to drain something followed by a colourless potable liquid.
22 Part beryllium, 50% (6)
BEHALF – The chemical symbol for beryllium followed by a four letter word meaning 50%.
23 Divas quarrel gives jazz fan fright – not right! (3-5)
CAT-FIGHT – A three letter word for a jazz fan followed by the FRIGHT from the clue without the abbreviation for right. Perhaps a synonym for fright (such as scare) would have helped make this clue a little more complex and satisfying to crack. The link word here jars slightly as we have definition gives wordplay whereas it should be the wordplay that gives the definition.
24 Wine involved alums, etc in its production (8)
MUSCATEL – An anagram (involved) of ALUMS ETC.
25 Make certain of spaces by river (6)
ENSURE – A word for spaces (in the plural) used by printers followed by a three letter name of a river in North Yorkshire.
1 Grand manner (not hard) a universal remedy (7)
PANACEA – A seven letter word meaning grand manner or style without the abbreviation for hard followed by the A from the clue. As not … has already been used as a removal indicator, perhaps something else could have been used. The definition here could have been disguised as it is rather an obvious one.
2 Rising archbishop, maybe, to sketch clothes (8)
WARDROBE – The four letter Latin name of the Archbishop of York followed by a word meaning to sketch all reversed (rising).
3 Not so bright lighting control required (6)
DIMMER – A double definition although as one is named for the other, perhaps it is more a single definition. Where double definition clues are used, it is a good idea to keep a good degree of separation between the two meanings. I think that the “required” could have been omitted.
4 Skirt molten rock engulfing a convenience (4- 4)
LAVA-LAVA – A four letter word for molten rock goes around (engulfing) the A from the clue and another word for a toilet or convenience.
5 Standard working measure of ale? (6)
FLAGON – Another word for a standard followed by a two letter word meaning working.
6 An international queue for dyes? (7)
ANILINE – The A from the clue and the abbreviation for International followed by another word for a queue. The answer is a substance found in dyes or when followed by the word dyes, synthetic dyes. Perhaps the definition could have been “colouring agent”.
8 Heretical men initially upset – confused about interpretation of scripture. (13)
HERMENEUTICAL – An anagram (confused) of HERETICAL MEN U (initially upset). There is even less rearrangement in this clue than in 10a. The MEN and the U are individually inserted in the HERETICAL for the solution.
14 Bogart could provide evidence of Kilroy’s visit (8)
GRAFFITI – Split the BOGART into BOG ART for an example of scribbles on the wall.
15 The French festival cycling the greenest? (8)
LEAFIEST – The French masculine for “the” followed by a word for a festival with the last letter moved to the front (cycling).
16 Accepted a chap among sheep… (5,2)
TAKEN UP – The A from the clue and the abbreviated form of Kenneth (chap) in (among) a three letter word for a sheep.
17 …but not one of these sheep! (7)
WETHERS – I thing that this is simply a play on the fact that the sheep in 16d is a sheep used for breeding but these castrated rams would be incapable of being used for breeding.
19 In Sofia, Scott is a failure (6)
FIASCO – The answer is hidden in SOFIA SCOTT
21 Shoe for girl, 10 (6)
PATTEN – The abbreviated name of Patricia followed by the spelling of the number 10. The structure for definition for wordplay is back to front. You can have wordplay for a definition but not, strictly, the reverse.