A Puzzle by Shabbo
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Prologue. 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 Proxlic follows.
Welcome back to Shabbo. Another well crafted crossword with a good handling of the wordplay and some excellent clues such as 1a. There were, however, just a few too man niggles on the wordplay to justify promotion on this crossword. My commentometer reads as 3 out of 27 or 11.1%
1 Joint ought to be formal for a change (8,2,4)
SHOULDER OF LAMB – A five letter word meaning ought to followed by an anagram (for a change) of BE FORMAL.
9 City ignores advertising fever (4)
AGUE – Remove (ignores) the PR (advertising) from the capital of the Czech Republic (city).
10 Marine explorer drives drunkenly around island (5,5)
SCUBA DIVER – An anagram (drunkenly) of DRIVES around the name of an Island associated with Fidel Castro.
11 Workshop academic bans American (6)
STUDIO – Remove (bans) the US (American) from a word meaning academic.
12 A hundred in Malaga had trashed surrounding estate (8)
HACIENDA – The A from the clue followed by the Spanish for 100 with an anagram (trashed) of HAD around it (surrounding). I am dubious about using Spanish numbers as part of the wordplay as these may not be well known.
13 Youth speaks about pantomime character dropping in (5,4)
SALAD DAYS – A four letter word for speaks around (about) the name of a pantomime character associated with a lamp without (dropping) the IN.
15 City involved in club athletics (4)
BATH – The answer is hidden (involved) in CLUB ATHLETICS.
16 Not drinking around 25 is wrong (4)
TORT – The abbreviation for teetotal (not drinking) about the heraldic indicator for the answer to 25a.
17 Outspoken hookers and 22 might be found here (5,4)
OPIUM DENS – Where you might use Hookahs (a homophone – outspoken – of hookers) and where the detective in 22a might indulge his heroin habit. I am afraid that the homophone for hookers does not work for me. In addition to the pronunciation of the R, the OO sound is different in both words. I think that as a compound noun, here works in the clue.
21 Trojan woman wrecked sidecars (8)
CRESSIDA – An anagram (wrecked) of SIDECARS.
22 Houses sound detective (6)
HOLMES – A homophone (sound) of HOMES (houses). The surface reading here does not make much sense. Detective’s housing report would be better.
24 Against party offensive (10)
ANTISOCIAL – A four letter word meaning against followed by a six letter word for party.
25 First place or…. (4)
GOLD – The colour represented by “Or” in heraldry.
26 ….national standard (2,7,5)
ST GEORGE’S CROSS– A barely disguised cryptic clue for England’s flag. Unfortunately, the Scottish Saltire also fits the enumeration for this clue. A clue should only give one possible correct solution.
2 Drink up in the afternoon? (4,3)
HIGH TEA – A four letter word meaning up followed by the three letter word for a drink. As the solution is a meal, not a drink, this does not work for me as an all-in-one clue.
3 Ketchup endorsement’s hidden tip (5)
UPEND – The answer is hidden in KETCHUP ENDORSEMENT. I think that hiding tip would be better for the cryptic reading of the clue.
4 Record 25 initially debating conflict (7)
DISCORD – A four letter word meaning a record followed by the heraldic term for the answer to 25a and the first letter (initially) of debating.
5 Sky leaping, perhaps? More or less (7,8)
ROUGHLY SPEAKING – Split 5, (as an anagram indicator) 2, 8 this might be a clue to the solution SKY LEAPING. Reverse anagrams work on the basis that the solution stands in its own right as a crossword clue to the definition. Here, because the resulting clue in the solution gives LY SPEAKING, this detracts from the elegance of the reverse anagram.
6 Intended capital to drop first name (6)
FIANCE – Remove the first N (name) from a seven letter word meaning capital.
7 Shock restraint for girl group (5,4)
ALICE BAND – A five letter girl’s name followed by a four letter word for a group.
8 Study in 15 without a scope (7)
BREADTH – Remove (without) the A from the answer to 15a and add in a four letter word meaning study in its place.
14 Eye-catching stranger I upset (9)
ARRESTING – An anagram (upset) of STRANGER I.
16 Sandals down under about right for gatherings (7)
THRONGS – An Australian word for sandals around (about) the abbreviation for right.
18 Confirms winning catches (7)
UPHOLDS – A two letter word meaning winning followed by a five letter word meaning catches.
19 No point dropping final indicators (7)
NEEDLES – An eight letter word meaning no point without (dropping) the final letter. This is the third use of dropping / drop as a removal indicator. This repetition should be avoided.
20 Lover, soldier and 25 finally changed (6)
GIGOLO – A two letter word for an America soldier followed by the answer to 25a with the final letter changed.
23 Camp without a beer (5)
LAGER – The name for a South African camp with one of the As removed.