A Puzzle by Webb
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
It’s been a long time since we had a new puzzle from Webb – enjoy. 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 Webb. In most cases, the wordplay is fine but some of the definitions are not exact synonyms for the solution. In the last crossword by Webb, I commented that getting the wordplay right is the first stage and that polishing the surface readings follows. Webb clearly has the technical aspects nailed down but should now look to get more sensible surface reading in some of the clues.
1 Some socially redundant instrument (4)
LYRE – The answer is hidden in (some) SOCIALLY REDUNDANT.
3 Adviser of firm Muslim ruler in a series of books (10)
CONSULTANT – The two letter abbreviation for company (firm) followed by a six letter word for a Muslim inside the abbreviation for New Testament (series of books).
10 Someone arranging earrings with a ring? (9)
ORGANISER – An anagram (arranging) of EARRINGS + O (ring). As arranging is a wordplay indicator, perhaps a stronger definition that someone is needed here.
11 Strange un-American antique (5)
CURIO – Remove the US (un-American) from the end of a seven letter word meaning strange. The solution is a knick-knack of any age. It is not necessarily synonymous with an antique. Perhaps old curio would be better.
12 Game animal (7,7)
BRITSH BULLDOG – A cryptic definition of a playground game with associations with a canine creator.
14 Wired up rum, perhaps (5)
WEIRD – An anagram (up) of WIRED.
15 See 24 Down
18 6 elating funny criminal of sorts? (9)
VIGILANTE – An anagram (funny) of VI (6) ELATING.
20 The last word of a French god, perhaps (5)
ADIEU – The A from the clue followed by the French for God.
21 Act sensibly – roll on after one tears off (6,2,6)
LISTEN TO REASON – A four letter word for a roll or rota followed by an anagram (off) of ONE TEARS followed by (after) the On from the clue.
25 I had turned back over in a state (5)
IDAHO – The I from the clue followed by a reversal of the HAD from the clue and the abbreviation for over.
26 Fillet served on mate of porcelain (4,5)
BONE CHINA – Another word meaning to fillet something followed by the word indicated in Cockney rhyming slang for a mate. Whilst correct wordplay is more important when learning to set “mate of porcelain” does not read at all well. Webb had the wordplay largely nailed down but does need to concentrate on some better surface readings. Some editors will not permit wordplay of definition.
27 Environmental essay’s statement on possible state policy (5,5)
GREEN PAPER – A five letter word for environmental followed by a five letter word for an essay.
28 So-called late fruit (4)
SLOE – A homophone (so-called) of SLOW (late).
1 King John’s leading appearance? (4)
LOOK – The abbreviation in chess notation for King preceded by (leading) a three letter word for a john or toilet.
2 Following about (9)
REGARDING – Double definition, the first as ins heeding or observing the rules.
4 Old boy’s meeting complex (9)
OBSESSION – The abbreviation for Old Boy followed by another word for a meeting.
5 Plant a piece of Irish rubric (5)
SHRUB – The answer is hidden in (a piece of) IRISH RUBRIC.
6 Pass around a companion internally (7)
LOCALLY – Reverse (around) a three letter word for a pass and follow it with a four letter word for a companion. I am not sure that the definition and the solution are synonymous.
7 Being bitter, tart tucks into Rex? Just the opposite! (5)
ACRID – The abbreviation for Rex inside a four letter word for tart.
8 It must be considered if getting a hawk (7-3)
THOUGHT OUT – A six letter word for if followed by a four letter word for hawk. Whilst the indefinite article can be included in clues, should be limited to senses where a noun in clued. Here tout is used in a verbal sense (the noun is a hawker) so the a should not be included in the clue.
9 Union director, for one (6)
UNITED – A five letter word for the name of a British workers union followed by the abbreviation. There is, perhaps, too much overlap between the wordplay and the definition here.
13 Intravenous drip fed into bulge that’s turning (10)
SWIVELLING – The abbreviation for intravenous drip inside (fed into) an eight letter word for a bulge.
16 Sanction something sought by potter? (9)
CLEARANCE – Double definition, the potter being a snooker player.
17 Revolutionary riot ideal for a paper’s article (9)
EDITORIAL – An anagram (revolutionary) of RIOT IDEAL.
19 Perjured private in rest (3,4)
LIE DOWN – A five letter word meaning perjured followed by a three letter word meaning private.
20 Cuban archive’s hidden rebel (6)
ANARCH – The answer is hidden in CUBAN ARCHIVE.
22 Reserve of society couple, we hear (5)
SPARE – The abbreviation for society followed by a homophone (we hear) of PAIR (couple).
23 Bone fragment raised in archaeology initially (5)
TIBIA – A three letter word meaning fragment reversed (raised) followed by the first letters (initially) of in archaeology.
24/15 Desire to travel when they’ve hit face in distress? (4,5,4)
HAVE ITCHY FEET – An anagram (in distress) THEY’VE HIT FACE.
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