A Puzzle by bob
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
The latest setter to offer a debut puzzle in Rookie Corner is bob. 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.
Bravo Bob. As debut crosswords go, this is up there with the best. The cluing was tight and well indicated with only two or three minor points to raise. If Bob can continue this standard, his tenure as a Rookie will be short-lived.
Although the grid was an awkward one, this is explained by the large number of birds and literary references in the crossword.
The commentometer is a very creditable 2 / 39 or 4%.
1 Look askance in case of grid winning medal (4)
GOLD – A letter word meaning look is reversed (askance) and put in the outer letters (case of) of grid.
4 Flier featuring female facial feature with sides swapped over (5)
FINCH – The abbreviation for female followed by a facial feature with the pairs of letters swapped (sided swapped over).
7 Taking partial break: I wish to be antipodean (4)
KIKI – The answer is hidden (taking partial) in BREAK I WISH.
9 Revolutionary soldiers getting into study plan (6)
DESIGN – The plural abbreviation for American soldiers is reversed (revolutionary) an put inside a three letter word for a study.
10 Assorted rags clothing men etc. essentially (8)
GARMENTS – An anagram (assorted) of RAGS around the MEN from the clue and the middle letter (essentially) of etc.
11 Eccentric hairstyle not taking short time, feathered one (4)
HAWK – A six letter word for an eccentric haircut without the initial MO (not taking short time).
13 Seed of trouble’s beginning after peacekeepers’ U-turn (3)
NUT – Reverse (U-Turn) the abbreviation for United Nations (peacekeepers) and follow with the first letter (beginning) of trouble.
14 Clutch thick hair having doffed cap (5)
HATCH – A six letter word for thick hair without the initial letter (having doffed cap).
15 Look round taking in opening of Brighton pavilion (6)
GAZEBO – A four letter word meaning look and the letter that is round go include (taking in) the first letter of Brighton.
18 One in military police, 14, going across (6)
REDCAP – Another name for the bird given by the solutions to 1 across and 4 across. I don’t like the un-indicated need to split the 14 to give 1, 4 to get the solutions required. Perhaps 1/4 going across.
21 PM’s fringe disorder (6)
MAYHEM – The name of the Prime Minister (at least at the time of typing though whether this will be the case by the time you read this is anyone’s guess) followed by a three letter word for a fringe.
23 Swallowed depression, returned first place (6)
LOCATE – A three letter word meaning swallowed or consumed after a reversal (returned) of a three letter word for a depression or pass in a mountain.
26 A Charlie having sex the wrong way with Charlie in lofty place (5)
ATTIC – The A from the clue followed by a three letter word for a Charlie or prat with the IT (sex) reversed (the wrong way) and the letter represented by Charlie in the NATO phonetic alphabet.
28 Need you see contents? (3)
USE – The answer is hidden in (contents) YOU SEE.
29 Bird missing Heather with heavenly body (4)
STAR – The name of an eight letter bird without the LING at the end (missing Heather).
31 Corbyn in government forgetting about admitting millions forcing entry (8)
JEMMYING – The first name of Mr Corbyn and the IN from the clue and the abbreviation for Government without (forgetting) the abbreviation for about and including (admitting) the abbreviation for millions.
32 Man on board that is green like me (6)
ROOKIE – A four letter name of a chess piece (man on board) and the abbreviation for “that is”.
33 This maybe ends in sorrow: no wonder ahead (4)
WORD – The final letters (ends in) of the final four words of the clue.
34 Excited by good date tinkering with DIY (5)
GIDDY – An anagram (tinkering) of G (good) D (date) DIY.
35 The enemy that flies? (4)
TIME – Double definition or single definition with a cryptic sense, the second being the word the begins the phrase (X flies when you are enjoying yourself) or X flies like an arrow.
2 A delegate backtracking since nothing works (5)
OPERA – Reverse the A from the clue, a three letter word for an agent and the letter representing nothing. The since in the clue sits awkwardly and a way should have been found to remove it.
3 Sea and sex on the beach? (5)
DRINK – Double definition, the second being a type of cocktail.
4 Relative in France, boundlessly rich, source of easy money (7)
FINANCE – A three letter word for an elderly female relative inside the IVR code for France, the inner letters (boundlessly) of RICH and the first letter (source of) of easy.
5 Messed-up loveless goth in dark (5)
NIGHT – An anagram (messed up) of GOTH IN without the O (loveless).
6 Dog endlessly biting female is more savage (7)
HARSHER – A five letter word meaning to dog or pester without the final letter (endlessly) goes around (biting) a three letter word meaning a female.
7 Ken, zealot, oddly got into submissive position (5)
KNELT – The odd letters in the first two words of the clue.
8 What can mark up one at post (8)
WATCHMAN – An anagram (up) of WHAT CAN M (mark).
12 Judge group of ladies grand (3)
WIG – The abbreviation for Women’s Institute followed by the abbreviation for grand.
16 Remains absent, second husband (3)
ASH – The abbreviations for absent, second and husband.
17 One awake at 5, miserable, head slumped right down (3)
OWL – A three letter word meaning miserable has the first letter (head) moved to the end (slumped right down).
19 Work: In the end, without point (3)
DOT – A two letter word meaning work followed by the final letter (in the end) of without.
20 Hot stuff in the style of writer Nesbo circling (8)
JALAPENO – A phrase 1,2 meaning in the style of and a three letter word for a writing instrument has the first name of the writer Nesbo. I don’t know how well known the writer is and whether this could be simplified if it relies too much on general knowledge of more obscure authors. Perhaps described by Nesbo/ woman.
22 Taking off legwear, first pair removed by Mike (7)
MOCKING – Replace the first letter letters from type of women’s leg wear and replace them with the letter in the NATO phonetic alphabet represented by Mike. Perhaps replaced by Mike would be better.
24 Variable recall: variable without doubt (7)
CLEARLY – An anagram (variable) of RECALL followed by a letter used in algebra to represent a variable.
25 Pig upbeat, leaving pub drunk (3)
EAT – Remove (leaving) an anagram (drunk) of PUB from upbeat.
27 Chicken measured 35 English going for independence (5)
TIMID – A five letter word meaning having measured the answer to 35 across with the E (English) replaced by I (independence).
28 Pushed drug cocktail containing ecstasy (5)
URGED – An anagram (cocktail) of DRUG includes (containing) the abbreviation for Ecstasy.
29 One should be prepared to yell if temperature drops (5)
SCOUT – A five letter word meaning to yell has the H (hot) replaced by C (cold) (if temperature drops).
30 Principle of equivalence centrally: X=10 million (5)
AXIOM – The middle letter (centrally) of equivalence followed by the X 10 from the clue and the abbreviation for million. As we have already had millions in 31, perhaps a different indicator should have been used in one of the clues. Perhaps in this one you could have X = 10 millimetres / 2.