A Puzzle by Skinny
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Here is the latest puzzle from Skinny. Sorry for the late publication – I hope it won’t spoil your enjoyment. 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 Skinny. The was an excellent crossword with some really groan-worthy clues. Perhaps four homophone based clues was a little on the high side bu there were some corkers, particularly with 29a. Some points to watch are first the repetition of wordplay indicators with four duplications, secondly not to include full stops at the end of clues and finally, to be careful with grid construction. There were four across clues with less than 50% checking letters. Some editors baulk at too many of these as they make the grid solver unfriendly, particularly as they had the initial letter unchecked. All of these are minor points. I think if the next one is as good as this with the repetitions eschewed, Skinny will be soon appearing on Saturdays. The commentometer for this crossword is 2.5 / 30 or 8.3%.
1 Imagine somehow taking first of remedies for ailment. (8)
MIGRAINE – An anagram (somehow) of IMAGINE includes (taking) the first letter of remedies.
6 Values location of Bathildon? (6)
ETHICS – How someone with a lisp might pronounce ESSEX (the location of Bathildon).
9 Song giving edge to worker. (6)
ANTHEM – An insect synonymous with a word followed by a three letter word for an edge. Perhaps wordplay giving definition would be better than definition giving wordplay as this seems back-to-front.
10 It could be Stockholm – extremely sexy with modern development. (8)
SYNDROME – The outer letter (extremely) of sexy followed by an anagram (development) of MODERN.
11 Boil sugar for one family member. (9)
CARBUNCLE – The shortened form of carbohydrate (sugar for one) followed by a five letter word for a family member.
13 Under a cow? (5)
LOWER – Double definition, the second by reference to the sound a cow makes.
15 Outdoor pursuit equipment popular with golfers, primarily (6)
KITING – A three letter word for equipment followed by a two letter word meaning popular and the first letter (primarily) of golfers.
17 Fight amongst hares is thrilling. (6)
RESIST – The answer is hidden in (amongst) HARES IS THRILLING.
18 Just taking exercise in public (6)
OPENLY – A four word meaning just includes (taking) the abbreviation for physical exercise. Taking repeats an inclusion indicator so a different one could have been used here.
19 Sex-change dwarf is one feeling restless. (6)
FIDGET – A six letter for a dwarf has the M changed to an F (sex-change).
21 First of leads in cases for cops (5)
PLODS – The first letter of leads inside a four letter word for cases (as may contain peas).
22 Design stage in additional shop, large one. (9)
MEGASTORE – An anagram (design) of STAGE inside a four letter word for additional.
25 Attachment had distorted sound setback. (8)
ADHESION – An anagram (distorted) of HAD followed by a reversal (setback) of a word for sound.
26 Problems? Yes indeed. (3,3)
ILL SAY – A four letter word for problems or ailments followed by a two letter word meaning yes.
28 Spy not originally the French kind. (6)
GENTLE – A five letter word for a spy with the first letter removed (not originally) followed by the French masculine singular word for the.
29 What a pirate might say – on reaching four-score years, we hear? (3,5)
AYE MATEY – A homophone (we hear) of I’M EIGHTY.
2 In the middle of beginning a hotel. (3)
INN – The answer is the middle three letters of beginning.
3 Kicking horse here? (5)
REHAB – Cryptic definition of where someone trying to kick a heroin (horse) habit might be.
4 I’m heading off very soon. (10)
IMMINENTLY – The IM from the clue followed by a word meaning very (as in very qualified) with the first letter removed (heading off).
5 Sickeningly, queen’s left, just like that. (6)
EASILY – Remove the two letter abbreviation for queen from the beginning of a word meaning sickeningly.
6 It might explode, upping the stakes. (4)
ETNA – Reverse (upping) a word for gambling stakes.
7 What farmer does in his field is disturbing. (9)
HARROWING – Double definition.
8 Might they provide the words for a report on King Edward? (11)
COMMENTATOR – A homophone (a report on) COMMON TATER (King Edward? The they implies a plural answer so “Might one” or “Might this person” would be better. The structure of the clue with definition for wordplay is back-to-front. It should be wordplay for definition.
12 Recognise that Willy’s upset, left by the perimeter hugging Charlie. (11)
ACKNOWLEDGE – Reverse the name of the chocolate maker Willy and include a C (hugging Charlie) and follow with the abbreviation for left and a word for a perimeter. Perhaps a definition by example indicator would have been helpful.
14 Varieties left to go to ruin? On the contrary. (10)
REVITALISE – An anagram (to go to ruin) of VARIETIES L (left). As L for left was used in the previous clue, a different indicator in one of them would improve the crossword.
16 Latest efforts to keep objective on time (9)
TRENDIEST – A word meaning efforts includes (keeping) a three letter word for an objective or aim followed by the abbreviation for time.
20 Complaint upset some diva in 3 (6)
HERNIA – Add the answer to 3d to DIVA IN and your will find the answer hidden and reversed (upset some) within. Another repetition in a wordplay indicator – upset has been used as a reversal indicator in 12d.
23 City in OK setting. (5)
TULSA – The name of a city in Oklahoma (whose state abbreviation is OK).
24 Volume of exhalations reported. (4)
SIZE – A homophone (reported) of SIGHS (exhalations). Again, there is a repetition of a wordplay indicator have already used report in 8d.
27 Parrot, one with hollow plumage (3)
APE -A letter meaning one followed by the outer letters (hollow) of plumage.