A Puzzle by Hippogryph
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today we have Hippogryph’s third puzzle. 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.
I did not get to review Hippogryph’s second crossword as I was on a canal boat at the time. Looking back as Crpyticsue’s review and the first crossword, sadly, I don’t think that this third crossword was quite up to the quality of the first two. There was nothing drastically wrong and there were some very strong clues. However, overall there were more errors in the cluing than before and some of the surface readings were not as polished. I think that, in part, this was because Hippogryph was spreading his wings and being more ambitious in the cluing. This is a good sign but the more ambitious the clue and the devices used, the more polished and accurate the cluing has to be. The commentometer reads at 5 out of 33 or 15.2%
9 Bolt? Regularly eat fast whole entree (7)
ATHLETE – Remove (eat) the odd letters (regularly) from the final three words of the clue.
10 Common ground above a safe place (7)
OVERLAP – A four letter word meaning above followed by a place of comfort or safety for a young child.
11 Eton Mess gains special marks (5)
NOTES – An anagram (mess) of ETON followed by the abbreviation for special.
12 Service providers are pointless until joining cities without cold water (9)
UTILITIES – Remove the abbreviation for North (pointless) from UNTIL and follow (joining) the CITIES from the clue without the abbreviation seen on a cold water tap. Whilst the “are” fits the surface reading, in the cryptic reading, it leads to definition are wordplay which does not work for me.
13 Alan Sugar initials, puts pen to paper, and appoints (7)
ASSIGNS – The initial letters of Alan and Sugar followed by the act of adding you name on a piece of paper or form.
14 Cool heads being lost at the polls, we hear? (7)
ICECAPS – A three letter word meaning cool followed by a four letter word meaning heads. Whilst not necessarily wrong, though I would avoid using the device, a clue where the wordplay leads to a solution that is defined by a homophone is not usual. Try to limit the use of the device.
16 Probationary soldier on last of exercises breathes heavily (5)
PANTS – The abbreviation for a probationary driver followed by an insect described as a worker and the final letter (last of) exercises.
18 Signal rod (3)
CUE – Double definition, the rod being the one used in a game of snooker.
19 Technologically advanced vehicles suffer a setback (5)
SMART – Reverse (suffer a setback) a form of urban public transport (vehicles).
20 Involve English Queen in limbo dancing (7)
EMBROIL – The abbreviation for English followed by the single letter abbreviation for Queen in an anagram (dancing) of LIMBO.
22 Crinite, after it’s western translation, becomes dark yellow (7)
CITRINE – Move the IT in the first word of the clue to the left (western translation).
24 Hippogryph is one taken to court, reportedly, with respect to my reversing? (9)
PSEUDONYM – A homophone (reportedly) of sued (taken to court) followed by a two letter word meaning with respect to and a reversal of the MY from the clue.
25 I slave endlessly to make divine juice (5)
ICHOR – The I from the clue followed by another word for an arduous task with the final letter removed (endlessly). As pointed out by several commentators and admitted by the setter, a verb has been used to define a noun and therefore the clue does not work.
27 Falls backwards again – …. artist! (7)
NIAGARA – Reverse, backwards, the AGAIN from the clue and add the abbreviation for an artist.
28 Period style from green regeneration on city outskirts (7)
REGENCY – An anagram (regeneration) of GREEN followed by the outer letters (outskirts) of CITY.
1 Left with beard this area needs a regular trim (4)
LAWN – The abbreviation for left followed by a three letter word for a beard seen on barley.
2 Images exposed to salts finally after very strong acid (6)
PHOTOS – The level of acidity of a very strong acid on the PH scale followed by the TO from the clue and the final letter of salts. Whilst the intention was clear, the Ph level is a description of the strength of an acid, not the acid itself. I don’t think that definition exposed to wordplay works. If the definition is “images exposed” then definition to wordplay still does not work.
3 Scrabble games involving points for letters? (8)
MESSAGES – An anagram (scrabble) of GAMES includes (involving) the abbreviations for East and South (twice) (points). As points has been used for a compass direction already, a different indicator should be used.
4 Surrey Rams in compromising situations? (3-3)
SET-UPS – The area of the country were Surrey is followed by another word for male sheep. In the same way that Tyneside or an equivalent can be used to clue NE, I don’t see an object to using Surrey to define SE.
5 Call men up for impossible manoeuvres without a second thought (8)
MOBILISE – An anagram (manoeuvres) of IMPOSSIBLE without the abbreviation for post script (a second thought). Where the letter are removed from the main word in the same order as they are defined, it is not necessary to provide a secondary anagram indicator. The structure of definition for wordplay should be the other way around as wordplay for definition.
6 Punish again to reduce crudity (6)
REFINE – Split 2-4 this would be to impose a further financial penalty and as 6 means to become more genteel or less crude.
7 Complicated, frolic-free multifactorial rearrangement yields final terms (8)
ULTIMATA – An anagram (rearrangement) of MULTIFACTORIAL after removing the letters in frolic (frolic-free) with the complicated telling us that the letters in FROLIC are removed in a different order to which they appear in the main word.
8 Northern folk miss the start of local programs (4)
APPS – Remove the first letter of local (miss the start of) from the description of the residents of Lapland (northern folk). Perhaps “missing the start of” would give a better surface reading any cryptic instruction to remove the L from the clue.
13 Discovery, for example, of parish priest drowned in alcoholic beverage? (5)
APPLE – The abbreviation for parish priest in (drowned in) a three letter word for beer.
15 Bristles at being pulled up in Bishop’s Place (5)
SETAE – Reverse (being pulled up) the AT from the clue inside another word for a Diocese (Bishop’s place).
17 Elemental type – arsenic, lead and sulphur complex belong (5,3)
NOBEL GAS – An anagram (complex) of A (first letter – lead – in Arsenic) S (Sulphur) BELONG. Putting the anagram indicators between the letters to be rearranged does not work without a further indication that it is so placed. A mixed with B would work but A complex B does not.
18 In Africa lend a rand to secure a table of dates? (8)
CALENDAR – The answer is hidden in AFRICA LEND A RAND. I think that “In A is hidden B” works from a cryptic grammar point of view.
19 Spills the beans about Eastern race fixations (8)
SETTINGS – The abbreviations for Eastern and Time Trials (race) inside a four letter word meaning spill be the beans.
21 Even words from Noel’s TV show are a struggle. (6)
ORDEAL – Remover the even numbered words from DEAL OR NO DEAL (A TV show hosted by Noel Edmonds). Again, the use of “are” does not work as the cryptic reading becomes wordplay are definition. Perhaps revealing a struggle or must be a struggle would work better here. Minor point but the full stop is not needed at the end of the clue.
22 Rare machine conversely captures image collector (6)
CAMERA – The answer is hidden (captures) and reversed (conversely) inside RARE MACHINE.
23 One hip mobile device (6)
IPHONE – An anagram (mobile) of ONE HIP.
24 Rotten, rotten! (4)
PUNK – Double definition, one being the music genre associated with Johnny Rotten and the second being a word meaning rotten.
26 Solar travellers make contact on the radio, on the radio,…? (4)
RAYS – A homophone (on the radio) of RAISE (make contact on the radio).