A Puzzle by Marg
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today’s new setter is Marg. 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 highly creditable debut for Marg. This was a fun and well constructed crossword with lots of different clue types. In a couple of places, a slightly different synonym would have added to clue and there was one clue where the double definition was a little too much based on the same root word one as a noun and one as verb. Nevertheless is means that the commentometer reads at 1/26 or 3.8%. Another one like this and I suspect that Marg will not spend much time in the Rookie Corner.
A small point to watch is in the grid construction. The clues for 13a, 1d, 6d, 16d and 17d had less than 50% checking letters. Too many solutions with level of cross-checking makes the grid solver unfriendly. I don’t think it was an issue here but it is something to be aware of when creating the grid.
7 Avoiding expression of disgust, finished a tense passage (6)
THROAT – A seven letter word meaning finished without the UGH (avoiding expression of disgust) followed by the abbreviation for tense.
8 These drinks could make it squeal (8)
TEQUILAS – An anagram (could make) of IT SQUEAL.
9 Lozenge made from ancient hulled millet (8)
PASTILLE – A four letter word meaning ancient followed by the central letters (hulled) of MILLET.
10 Put in enclosure (6)
INSERT – Double definition though very closely aligned in meaning. Perhaps a different clue type would have avoided having very closely associated meanings.
11 Challenge of French intended (8)
DEFIANCE – The French for “of” followed by a six letter word for someone you are about to marry (intended).
12 Closer to claret than rosé, however you look at it (6)
REDDER – A palindrome (a word that read the same either way – however you look at it).
13 Insurance against losing one’s marbles? (5-6)
CRASH-HELMET – Cryptic definition of something the a motor cyclist wears to avoid injuries to the head.
18 Caught you tucking into mashed limes for breakfast (6)
MUESLI – A homophone (caught) of YOU inside an anagram (mashed) of LIMES.
20 Reverse entry to reveal secret (8)
BACKDOOR – A four letter word meaning reverse followed by a four letter word for an entry.
22 Bound to be working (4,2)
TIED UP – Double definition, the second in the sense of being busy or occupied doing something.
23 De Niro reflected, conserving energy and taking time to get in position (8)
ORIENTED – Revers (reflected) the DE NIRO from the clue with the insertion (separately) of the abbreviations for energy and time.
24 Notices method to gamble with no unknown (8)
PLACARDS – A phrase meaning meaning a method to gamble such as poker or blackjack without the Y (with no unknown).
25 Antiquated European invested in a precious metal (3-3)
AGE-OLD – The A from the clue and a four letter word for a type of precious metal includes the abbreviation for European.
1 He arsed about, getting fleeced (7)
SHEARED – An anagram (about) of HE ARSED.
2 One lying down after wine becomes rounder (8)
PORTLIER – A four letter word for a type of fortified wine followed by a four letter word for someone lying down. Perhaps wordplay with a different root to the word required in the solution would have been better – One supine after wine…
3 Hot cake – only one left! (6)
STOLEN – A type of German cake (I think cake is fine) without one of the Ls (only one left).
4 Run into landed gent with large rodent (8)
SQUIRREL – The abbreviation for run inside a six letter word for a landed gent followed by the abbreviation for large.
5 Let off steam riding in this sedan (6)
HISSED – The answer is hidden (riding in) THIS SEDAN.
6 Block arrival soused with German beer (7)
BARRIER – A three letter abbreviation for arrival inside (soused with) a four letter word for German beer.
8 Sailor’s reaction to the sight of sperm? (5,3,5)
THERE SHE BLOWS – Cryptic definition of what a sailor see when seeing a type of whale.
14 Special mouth exercise found on line can’t be trusted (8)
SLIPPERY – The abbreviation for special followed by a three letter word for mouth, the abbreviation for physical exercise and the abbreviation for railway (line).
15 Risk destruction by Fury (8)
ENDANGER – A three letter word for destruction followed by a five letter word for fury or rage.
16 Heard foreign car bulges oddly (7)
AUDIBLE – A four letter word for a type of German car followed by the odd letters in BULGES.
17 Seriously confused by loser (7)
SOBERLY – An anagram (confused) of BY LOSER.
19 Corrupt head of state gone, finally caught in charge (6)
SEDUCE – The first letter (head of) of state followed by the last letter (finally) of gone and then the abbreviation for caught in a three letter word for a charge.
21 Finish with a kiss after making short climb (6)
CLIMAX – The CLIMB from the clue with the final letter removed (short) followed by the A front he clue and the letter representing a kiss. Again, an synonym for climb would have perhaps added to the clue – short ascent…?