A Puzzle by Perceval
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today’s puzzle is a second one from Perceval. 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 Perceval. After a very large score on the commentometer for his first crossword, there is a much improved score in this crossword – possibly the biggest improvement between crosswords that we have seen. The score here is 4 out of 29 or 13.7%.
A few points to watch. First, there was an over reliance on foreign names and words. A better balance gives a smoother experience when solving. Secondly, overly complex clues like 9d, whilst technically correct are off putting. Where possible, shorter snappier clues are better (and sometimes more difficult to solve!).
1 Earn lots deviously and veer astray (3,4)
GET LOST – A three letter word meaning earn followed by an anagram (deviously) of LOTS.
5 Court deliberated finally on austerity measure – relief? (7)
WOODCUT – A three letter word meaning court (in a romantic sense) followed by the final letter of deliberated and a three letter word for an austerity measure.
10 Sense King is implicated in summons (4)
WRIT – The abbreviation for king inside (is implicated in) a three word for sense (or humour).
11 Novel, “Dans Le Ciel”, reveals adulteries (10)
DALLIANCES – An anagram (novel) of DANS LE CIEL. The letters to be rearranged are incorrect as there is an extra E and a missing A. Whilst you could have “Dans La Ciel”, this would not be a valid clue as Ciel required the masculine article “le”.
12 Love nest next to southeast port (6)
ODENSE – The letter representing love or zero followed by a three letter word for a nest or study and the abbreviation for Southeast.
13 Wheel of fortune stops halfway – audible gasp – then rolls (8)
ROULEAUX – The first half of a wheel used in gambling followed by a homophone (audible) of “oh” (gasp). A minor point but the plural can end (according to Chambers) AUX or AUS. Either would be an acceptable solution based on the wordplay.
14 What about politician? A jerk – that’s clear! (8)
EMPHATIC – A two letter word meaning what around the abbreviation for Member of Parliament (politician) followed by the A from the clue and a three letter word for a sudden jerk.
16 Releases crosspieces and doesn’t show (5)
BAILS – Triple definition, the first being part of a legal process to release an accused pending a trial, the second being crosspieces across cricket stumps and the third meaning doesn’t show up.
17 Detective has company club (5)
DISCO – The abbreviation for a detective with an S (has = ’s) followed by the abbreviation for company.
19 Circus performers you’d have a drink with? (8)
TUMBLER – Double definition, the second being a type of glass.
23 “Regret thus” said philosopher (8)
ROUSSEAU – A homophone (said) of RUE (regret) SO (thus).
24 Reportedly spacious but damp (6)
RHEUMY – A homophone (reportedly) of ROOMY (spacious). A minor point but try not to have consecutive clues with the same clue type – here homophones.
26 Trying fashion for strange rites with Hindu symbol at Fenland cathedral (10)
TIRESOMELY – An anagram (strange) of RITES followed by a two letter word used as a mantra or word said in Hindu meditation and the name of a Cathedral in the Fens. A couple of points – the Hindu word is a syllable not a symbol. The clue structure of definition for wordplay is the wrong way around. The structure with for is “wordplay for definition.”
27 Heartless Friar at the French lady in Berlin (4)
FRAU – The outer letters (heartless) of Friar followed by the French of “at the”.
28 Almost poetry expert but was designer (7)
VERSACE – A five letter for poetry with the final letter removed (almost) followed by a three letter word meaning expert.
29 Yes! Approval among ship’s councils (6)
SYNODS – The abbreviation for Yes and a head gesture signifying approval inside the abbreviation for steamship. Strange but true, neither Chambers or Collins give “Y” an abbreviation for yes.
2 Discrimination over student subculture rising in private domain (7)
EARLDOM – A three letter word meaning discrimination in music before (over) the abbreviation for a learner or student and reversal (rising) of a musical subculture.
3 It’s disclosed in letters from Aristotle to Nicomachus (3,2)
LET ON – The answer is hidden in ARISTOTLE TO NICOMACHUS.
4 Perverted individual, missing eye apparently, keeps diamonds and drugs – most uncool (7)
SADDEST – A six letter word for a perverted individual who delights in inflicting pain without the I (eye apparently) includes (keeps) the abbreviations for diamonds and ecstasy (drugs).
6 Take too many debts? Nasty (6)
ODIOUS – The abbreviation for overdose (take to much) followed by a word representing debts.
7 Rendezvous spot where model Jerry is instructed to cavort? (5,4)
DANCE HALL – As an imperative instruction this would instruct the model Jerry to move around to music.
8 A Spanish fellow is biased (7)
UNEQUAL – The Spanish for A followed by a word meaning fellow or similar.
9 German playwright impressed by Pacino and setting up rerun (switching Nicholson for Depp initially) to show “Renaissance Man” perhaps (8,5)
ALBRECHT DURER – The first name or the actor Pacino followed by the name of a German playwright (first name Bertolt) followed by a reversal of the rerun from the clue with the N changed to a D (Nicholson for Depp initially). The convoluted nature of the clue is not particularly attractive for solvers. The technical term for a convoluted clue is an “otter” – don’t ask me why! More of an issue is the use of “impress by” that does not work as a charade indicator. It implies that the AL goes inside the name of the playwright.
15 They go from door to door and get horribly stuck wearing woman’s belongings (9)
HUCKSTERS – An anagram (horribly) of STUCK has a word meaning belonging to a woman around it (wearing).
18 Glorify beheaded queen by spreading lies (7)
IDOLISE – The name of the Queen of Carthage in Virgil’s Aeneid has the first letter removed (beheaded) followed by an anagram (spreading) of lies.
20 Late believers? (7)
MARTYRS – Cryptic definition. This does not quite word for me as there is no indication that the believers were put to death, which the solution would require. Perhaps “Unwillingly late believers”
21 Artists lurking in and outside centre to get loot via window (3-4)
RAM-RAID – A three letter word meaning centre has the abbreviation for an artist before it and within it.
22 Selfless ethical centre shelters debased sex symbol (6)
HEROIC – The three central letters of ethical includes the name of a love god without the final letter (debased).
25 The end according to Almodóvar is playful and mischievous (5)
ELFIN – How Almodovar (a Spanish filmmaker) would say the end. Perhaps too much general knowledge required about Spanish filmmakers needed for this clue.