A Puzzle by Dill
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
The length of the Rookie queue has meant that Dill has had to wait patiently for this one to be published. 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.
In Dill’s previous crossword (172), I commented that “A little more attention to detail (both in terms of proofreading and some – admittedly minor – points on the cryptic grammar) would have given this a professional polish.” I am delighted to say that today’s crossword showed that attention to detail. This was a polished crossword and assured enough to promote Dill by popular acclaim and the nod from your review to the pages of the NTSPP.
1 Hard and fast criminal leads European island (8)
CONCRETE – A three letter word for a criminal followed by the name of a European island in the Mediterranean. Perhaps the “and fast” could have been omitted.
5 Delivers trademark bricks round the back way (4,2)
LETS GO – The name of the children’s building bricks around a reversal (back way) of the abbreviation for street (way). I would have omitted the “the” as the back suggests a noun rather than a reversal indicator.
9 Some antelope are developed to look like Jar Jar Binks (3-5)
LOP-EARED – The answer is hidden in (some) ANTELOPE ARE DEVELOPED.
10 Internally fathomed out? On the contrary (2,4)
AT HOME – Split the inner letters (internally) of FATHOMED.
12 Float dizzily on high (5)
ALOFT – An anagram (dizzily) of AFLOAT.
13 Beastly complaint emerges from little girl’s bad mood (9)
DISTEMPER – The diminutive form of Diana’s (little girl) followed by a word for a bad mood.
14 Tribal elder initially used to 25 across native dwelling (6)
TEEPEE – The first letters (initially) of tribal elder followed by something used to fence (as a sport).
16 Argue about right source of instincts creating novel man-eater (7)
TRIFFID – A four letter word meaning argue around the abbreviation for right followed by a two letter psychological term for the source of instincts.
19 Red male converted green Beryl (7)
EMERALD – An anagram (converted) of RED MALE.
21 Say 2 neighbouring characters in Connecticut stick together (6)
CEMENT – The phonetic spellings of M and N (2 neighbouring letters) inside the abbreviation for the state of Connecticut.
23 Check again time people took in building retaining wall (9)
REVETMENT – A five letter word meaning check again around (took in) the abbreviation for time and a three letter word for people.
25 Bill covers no charge for hot property dealer (5)
FENCE – A three letter word for a bill or charge for something around (covers) the abbreviation for no charge.
26 Computer department lacking in speed for local plant (6)
CELERY – Remove (lacking) the abbreviation for Information Technology (computer department) from CELERITY (speed). I would have omitted the local here as the need to split it into lo-cal is a little too misleading.
27 Gory flower nearly expired (8)
BLOODIED – A five letter word for the head of a flower with the final letter removed (nearly) followed by a word meaning expired.
28 Retiring joiner goes inside for a drink (6)
SHANDY – A word used as a conjunction or joiner in a sentence inside a word meaning retiring or coy.
29 Diamond King left Queen after fight (8)
SPARKLER – A four letter word meaning to fight followed by the abbreviation for king, left and the current queen.
1 Vendor reported for storing bottles (6)
CELLAR – A homophone (reported) of SELLER (vendor).
2 Ikebana of regular pink with peonies from Japan (9)
NIPPONESE – An anagram (ikebana) of PI (the even letter in pink) PEONIES.
3 Slate roof on ancient stone tower first of all (5)
ROAST – The initial letters (first of all) of the second to sixth) words of the clue.
4 Altered dodgy foot pedal (7)
TREADLE – An anagram (dodgy) of ALTERED.
6 Old timers distressed by spy chief’s radical beliefs (9)
EXTREMISM – A two letter prefix meaning past of old followed by an anagram (distressed) of TIMERS and the letter in used by Jame’s Bond’s boss (spy chief).
7 Climbing plants absorb oxygen to bend down (5)
STOOP – A reversal (climbing) of a word meaning plants around (absorb) the chemical symbol for Oxygen.
8 Take manual control of complete drive (8)
OVERRIDE – A four letter word meaning complete followed a word meaning to drive.
11 Platinum rings around 2 shillings said to draw attention (4)
PSST – The chemical symbol for Platinum around the abbreviation for shillings twice.
15 Sports include final before wine is commonly drunk (9)
PLASTERED – A two letter word for sports or games as a lesson at school around a four letter word for final followed by the colour one type of wine.
17 Monetary ZA party invested in fancy tip (9)
FINANCIAL – The abbreviation for African National Congress (a political party in South Africa whose IVR code is ZA) inside (invested in) a word for a fancy or ornamental tip or end of a pole.
18 Raised levels of organised rest care (8)
TERRACES – An anagram (organised) of REST CARE.
20 Whizzed up to the ocean (4)
DEEP -A word meaning urinated (whizzed) reversed (up).
21 Spooner’s Top Gear allows queens free access (7)
CATFLAP – A Spoonerism of FLAT CAP (top gear).
22 Give back Santa’s helper that is broken and lost inside (6)
RENDER – The name of an animal that pulled Santa’s sleigh without the initials for id best (that is broken and lost).
24 Wicked person knocking off popular foreign residency (5)
VILLA – A seven letter word for a villain without the IN at the end (knocking of popular).
25 Knock-out story in America (5)
FLOOR – Double definition, the second being the American spelling of story.
The commentometer reads 1.5 out of 32 or 4.7% which is a fantastic achievement. and a great improvement on Dill’s last puzzle of 6.5 out of 30 or 21.7%.