A Puzzle by Bardwig
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Many thanks for your response to my appeal for more Rookie Corner puzzles. I now have a few in the queue and that includes three new setters. Today’s puzzle is a debut by Bardwig. 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 warm welcome to Bardwig. New setters are always welcome whatever their level of ability. These puzzles give them the chance to cut their teeth and learn from the commentators and fellow setters. In terms of ability, this was a polished crossword. The main comment is that nearly 60% of the clues required some level of general knowledge in either the definition or the wordplay. This is on the high side. Fortunately, most of the wordplay was helpful to the solver in reaching general knowledge definitions and many of the definitions has clear solutions so that the general knowledge wordplay could be worked out.
The commentometer reads as 3.5/27 or 12.96%.
1 Carpenter’s interlocutor cut across original line the opposite way (6)
WALRUS – A three letter word meaning cut around (across) a two letter prefix meaning primitive or original and the abbreviation for line all then reversed (the opposite way).
5 Lively session follows cold comfort (8)
COSINESS – An anagram (lively) of SESSION after (follows) the abbreviation for cold.
9 Karpov’s a bitter rival of his! (8)
KASPAROV – An anagram (bitter) of KARPOVS A. I am not convinced that bitter is an ideal anagram indicator.
10 Bilbao language graduates with a question in Cordoba (6)
BASQUE – The abbreviation for Bachelors of Arts (in the plural for graduates) followed by a Spanish word that can indicate a question?
11 Norma Jean’s policy of convenience used by capital commuters (8,4)
BAKERLOO LINE – The adopted surname of Norma Jean (also known as Marilyn Monroe whose real surname was Moretenson) followed by a phase 3,4 that could describe a policy in relation to a toilet.
13 Half sounds like more! (4)
DEMI – Double definition, the second being the first name of the actress ???? Moore (sounds like more).
14 Skittles over 22: Vladimir Ilyich loses his head (8)
NINEPINS – A reversal (over) of the solution to 22d and the Russian leader whose first names were Vladimir Ilyich without the leading L (loses his head). I don’t think that over works given its position in the clue as it needs to operate as an imperative interaction in the cryptic reading and you would not “over something”.
17 347 Series and so on: Hingis forgoes the second one (8)
ETCHINGS – The abbreviation for “and so on” followed by the HINGIS from the clue without the second I. So far every clue has required some general knowledge other than 5a. Here, the definition is too specialist but the wordplay is very clear to compensate.
18 Sharks from Greater Manchester initially spiked drink (4)
SALE – The first letter (initially) of spiked and a three letter word for a type of beer (drink).
20 Preparing egg diet? Try an alternative (7,5)
GETTING READY – An anagram (alternative) of EGG DIET TRY AN.
23 Hera’s husband cut short good mother in a forum and a frenzy, perhaps (6)
ZEUGMA – The name of the Greek God and husband of Hera without the final letter (cut short), the abbreviation for good and a two letter word for a mother.
24 Crumby actor in a sequel to Kidnapped (8)
CATRIONA – An anagram (crumbly) of ACTOR IN A. Again this is perhaps requiring too much general knowledge.
25 Audacious aristocrat aboard iron ship (8)
FEARLESS – A four letter word for an aristocrat inside the chemical symbol for iron followed by the abbreviation for steamship.
26 Recorded conservationists interrupting senior citizen’s ecstasy (2,4)
ON TAPE – The abbreviation for National Trust inside a three letter abbreviation for a senior citizen followed by the abbreviation for ecstasy. What did setters do before they could use ecstasy?!
2 Trojan War hero gives a judge a kiss (4)
AJAX – The A from the clue, the abbreviation for judge, the next A from the clue and the letter that represents a kiss. The cryptic construction definition gives wordplay is the wrong way around. The wordplay gives us the definition.
3 Enjoy going round The Tavern to make a second impression? (9)
REPUBLISH – A six letter word meaning to enjoy around a three letter word for a tavern.
4 American umpire’s call to down tools (6)
STRIKE – Double definition of a call that might be made by the umpire in a baseball game and industrial action by workers.
5 Jokes about past love nest: thus conceal the evidence (5,4,6)
COVER ONES TRACKS – A six letter word meaning jokes around (about) a four letter word meaning past, the letter representing love or zero and the NEST from the clue.
6 Summons from a pub one’s trashed (8)
SUBPOENA – An anagram (trashed) of PUBONES.
7 Ivana’s allegedly a bit of a nose (5)
NASAL – The answer is hidden in (a bit of) IVANAS ALLEGEDLY.
8 Wayward Sylt nun swallows gin cocktail in spectacular fashion (10)
STUNNINGLY – An anagram (wayward) of SYLT NUN includes an anagram (cocktail) of GIN.
12 Say if one’s a keen observer (7,3)
WEATHER EYE – A homophone (say) of “whether I” (if one).
15 Russian protest group put one in rising Conservative’s drink (5,4)
PUSSY RIOT – Put the letter representing one inside a five letter word meaning conservative’s (maintaining the ‘s) and follow with a three letter word meaning to drink and reverse all of the letters (rising).
16 Overwhelm antinude freak (8)
INUNDATE – An anagram (freak) of ANTINUDE.
19 Tit’s equal partner also provides ink (6)
TATTOO – The word that can follow TIT in an expression of reciprocity and a three letter word meaning also.
21 Castleford player in row about the heart of rugby (5)
TIGER – A four letter word meaning a row or line around the central letter (heart) of rugby. As we have had about and a containment indicator, a different indicator should ideally be used.
22 Bargain one found amongst the Edinburgh separatists (4)
SNIP – The letter representing one (third time of usage) inside an abbreviation for the ruling party in Scotland (Edinburgh separatists).