A Puzzle by Raven
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
This is Raven’s second puzzle 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.
Welcome back to Raven. I think that this was not a tough as his first crossword. There was a lot of attention to the wordplay in the crossword and some good misdirection. However, as with his first crossword, the use of abbreviations needs attention. In particular, setters should only use abbreviations that are recognised by one of the major dictionaries. There were some stretched definitions as well in a couple of places where, in an effort to maintain the surface reading of the clue, the accuracy of the definition was sacrificed.
The grid has a number of entries with fewer than half of the letters cross-checked. As these clues also did not have the initial letter checked, this adds a level of complexity.
In terms of the commentometer, today’s scores on the doors are (5/24) or 20.8%
1 Immediately happy ending, American, tacked onto Doctor Who? (9)
ANONYMOUS – A four letter word meaning immediately followed by the last letter (ending) of happy, a two letter abbreviation for a doctor the abbreviation for United States (American). Even with the question mark, the definition is a bit of a stretch.
8 Prepared for war in bad dream, with some overwhelming fear (5,3,5)
ARMED AND READY – An anagram (bad) of DREAM followed by a three letter word for some around (overwhelming) a five letter word for fear.
11 Writer with lie about being related to Johnson? (6)
PENILE – A three letter word for an instrument used for writing followed by an anagram (about) of LIE. The definition is a slang expression for the male reproductive organ not related to any individual.
12 Criticise doctor’s regressive examination for cancer (8)
BLASTOMA – A five letter word meaning to criticise followed by a two letter abbreviation for a doctor reversed (regressive) and the abbreviation for advanced as in A-Level (examination). A couple of points on this clue. The abbreviation for doctor has already been used in a 1a so a different abbreviation should ideally has been used. Also to clue the A for examination is misleading as the A is short for Advanced and not examination. A on its own is not an examination.
14 Record for sleepers perhaps – not one bed empty (10)
TRANSCRIBE – Remove the I (not one) from a word for a type of transport of which sleepers are an example, follow this with a four letter word for a child’s bed and an abbreviation for empty. E for empty is not a recognised definition in the dictionaries for Empty. As mentioned in his first crossword, setters should use only abbreviations recognised by one of the main dictionaries. Also the structure of the clue with definition for wordplay does not work. It should be wordplay for definition.
15 Stable future homeowner spoke of? (4)
BYRE – A homophone (spoke of) of buyer (future homeowner). Perhaps spoken of would be better grammatically.
17 Deli working is shiftless (4)
IDLE – An anagram (working) of DELI.
18 Scrambler maybe given short time to salvage energy lost (10)
MOTORCYCLE – A two letter word for a short period of time followed by the TO from the clue and a word meaning to salvage or reuse without an E (energy lost).
20 Striving for equality, give weight to animal disability (8)
HANDICAP – Double definition, the first used in racing terms to describe equalising the weight of horses and the second (closely related) a disability.
21 Heavyweight completes trek primarily deficient in salt (6)
ALKALI – A four letter word for a trek with the first first letter removed (primarily deficient) followed by the name of a world champion heavyweight boxer. I suspect that whilst salts may have the chemical ph property of the solution, this does not make the solution salts.
23 Lenient ethics irritated philosopher (13)
LIECHTENSTEIN – An anagram (irritated) OF LENIENT ETHICS. In terms of definitions, there is no well known philosopher of this name.
24 Ancient German rye bread fermented (9)
GREYBEARD – The abbreviation for German followed by an anagram (fermented) of RYE BREAD.
2 Unnecessary hassle on Saturdays (8)
NEEDLESS – A six letter word meaning irritate or hassle followed by two letters S (Saturdays). S for Saturday is not a recognised definition. To get the required letter requires a two step solving process to get from Saturday to the Jewish Sabbath to the required abbreviation as S.
3 Need a try, getting nothing even close (4)
NEAR – The odd letters (getting nothing even) in the first three words for the clue. Perhaps with nothing even would be better.
4 One might overlook the third eye, being unintellectual? (10)
MIDDLEBROW – A cryptic definition of what might sit above a third eye on a persons forehead. I would not say that the answer being unintellectual – it is mid-way after all.
5 On edge of misfortune as yields reduced (6)
UNEASY – The answer is hidden in (reduced) in MISFORTUNE AS YIELDS.
6 Taoiseach initially governed, rested, then left on jaunt over to America (13)
TRANSATLANTIC – The first letter (initially) of Taoiseach followed by a three letter word meaning governed, a three letter word meaning rested, the abbreviation for left and a five letter word for a jaunt.
7 Unconventional dictionary is arranged by chapter (13)
IDIOSYNCRATIC – An anagram (arranged) of DICTIONARY IS followed by the abbreviation for Chapter.
9 Draw attention to small round swollen belly (9)
SPOTLIGHT – A six letter word meaning small around a three letter word for a fat or swollen stomach.
10 Stuntman survived generation, died in retirement (9)
DAREDEVIL – A reversal (in retirement) of a six letter word meaning survived, a three letter word for a generation or period of time and the abbreviation for died.
13 Grant royal reform in haughty manner (10)
ARROGANTLY – Aan anagram (reform) of GRANT ROYAL.
16 Gangrene’s covering most of nerve – to lift, one uses a chisel!… (8)
SCULPTOR – A reversal (to lift) of a word describing gangrene with the final S from the ’s in the clue around a word for nerve or courage with the final letter removed.
19 …One separates dead flesh from affected person! (6)
MINCER – Double definition for something used to chop meat and an affected person.
22 Planter chopped stake (4)
ANTE – The answer is hidden in (chopped) PLANTER.