A Puzzle by Shabbo
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Shabbo has waited patiently for this, his third, puzzle 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.
Welcome back to Shabbo. This was a well construction crossword – a pangram (using all of the letters of the alphabet) without using obscure words. There was a good variety of clues with only some minor edits that would be required to polish this to a high standard.
The commentometer reads at (4/28) or 14.3%.
1 Exact retribution for Geneva massacre (6)
AVENGE – An anagram (massacre) of GENEVA. Whilst you can have wordplay for definition, the structure definition for wordplay does not work particularly well.
4 Accommodating island retreat is after name change (8)
AMENABLE – After an anagram (change) of NAME add a reversal (retreat) of an Italian island.
9 2 somehow lost old record books (6)
NOVELS – Remove the abbreviation for old and a type of record from the answer to 2d and make an anagram (somehow) of the words that remain. As the letter to be removed are not in the order set out in the clue, some editors would require an indication of this.
10 France shelving controversial process (8)
FRACKING – The single letter IVR code from France followed by another word for shelving.
12 Game the French dominate (4)
RULE – The abbreviation for Rugby Union (game) followed by the French masculine for “the”.
13 Mixes drink at fund raising event (6,4)
JUMBLE SALE – A seven letter word for mixes followed by a three letter word for beer (drink). The link word with wordplay at definition does not work particularly well.
15 Legislative body clears up a pot problem (7,5)
APPEALS COURT – An anagram (problem) of CLEARS UP A POT. Whilst the solution is not a legislative body in the Parliamentary sense, its rulings have the force of law and it legislates on disputed decisions from the lower courts. Some editors would not allow a noun as an anagram indicator. If it were used in an adjectival sense, it would be better to place it before the letters to be rearranged – in the same way as you would have a problem child.
18 Bowl containing an old railway snack (6,6)
DANISH PASTRY – The an from the clue goes inside (containing) another word for a bowl and this is followed by another word for old and a two letter word for a railway.
21 Change two characters in soap for Chinese, perhaps (10)
EASTERNERS – Change two of the letters in the name of a BBC soap opera set in Walford. Perhaps a little more precision about the letters to be replaced would be helpful for the solver.
22 Monarchist embraces bow (4)
ARCH – The answer is hidden (embraces) in MONARCHIST.
24 Sarcastic press won’t get fat on this! (8)
IRONICAL – A four letter word to press (as in clothes) followed by a phrase 1, 3 that would describe something that is low calorie.
25 Look after soldiers at inspection (6)
REVIEW – The abbreviation for Royal Engineers (soldiers) followed by a word meaning look. Again there is the wordplay at definition issue.
26 Sexy secretaires shared spaces (3,5)
HOT DESKS – A three letter word meaning sexy followed by another word for the type of furniture of which secretaries are an example. Whilst the wordplay has been questioned, I could quite see Tim Wannacott describing a piece of furniture as such.
27 In the middle of trading hydrofoil for small boat (6)
DINGHY – The answer is hidden (in the middle of) TRADING HYDROFOIL. Editors might require middle to mean the exact middle, not off-entered in the hidden word.
1 Sailor is given ordinary rum (8)
ABNORMAL – The abbreviation for able seaman (sailor) followed by a word meaning ordinary.
2 Covers French on bicycle with plastic sheet at the start (8)
ENVELOPES – The French for on a bicycle followed by the initial letters (at the start) of plastic sheet. As has been pointed out, the correct French construction is A Velo. Where possible, you should maintain the correct French construction. I have had clues rejected where I have used UN French word where the French word is a feminine noun and would therefore require UNE.
3 Top award secured twice in Bordeaux (4)
GOLD – The element / colour whose abbreviation (in two forms) appears twice in BORDEAUX.
5 Screen legends spoil ten colleagues (4,8)
MARX BROTHERS – A three letter word meaning spoil followed by the Roman numeral for ten and another word for colleagues.
6 Conflict‘s outcome is unclear (7,3)
NUCLEAR WAR – A reverse anagram where the solution, read as an anagram clue would give the answer UNCLEAR.
7 Sound control of union party (6)
BRIDAL – A homophone (sound) of a form of control for horses.
8 League’s rubbish without United as high fliers (6)
EAGLES – An anagram (rubbish) of LEAGUES after removing the abbreviation for United.
11 Challenge once ready in Germany? (8,4)
QUESTION MARK – An eight letter word meaning challenge followed by the name of the currency used in Germany before the advent of the Euro.
14 Brown sugar or brown eyes on the radio (10)
CARAMELISE – A seven letter word for brown followed by a homophone (on the radio) of EYES.
16 Bird scaring is heartless (8)
STARLING – A nine letter word meaning scaring without the central T (is heartless).
17 Where to find pavement artist’s work, incidentally (2,3,3)
BY THE WAY – A cryptic definition of where a pavement artist’s work would be seen with a straight definition as well.
19 It’s the high point in a dozen, I think (6)
ZENITH – The answer is hidden in DOZEN I THINK.
20 Old car key has nothing on radio technology for starters (6)
ESCORT – A three letter word for a key on a computer keyboard followed by the initial letters (for starters) of ration technology. As start has already be used as an initial letter indicator, perhaps a different indicator could have been used here.
23 Distribution halved for food store (4)
DELI – Half of the word DELIVERY (distribution).