A Puzzle by Loonapick
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
It’s been a while since we had a puzzle from Loonapick, but he answered my appeal for puzzles a few weeks ago. 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 long wait has not been in vain for Loonapick’s latest crossword. There were a few rough edges, particularly in the down clues but there was a good variety of clue types and a theme of football teams. The commentometer is 4/30 or 13.3%.
1 Complain about the Catalan playing with a team (9)
BARCELONA – A four letter word meaning complain is reversed (about) and followed by the Spanish word for the, a two letter word meaning playing and the A from the clue.
6 Former PM he elected at the historic primaries (5)
HEATH – The initial letters (primaries) of the third to seventh words of the clue.
9 It may help one understand prisoner’s writings (7)
CONTEXT – A three letter word for a prisoner followed by (the ’s meaning has) a four letter word for writing. I think it would have been better for writings to have been in the singular for this clue for both the wordplay and the surface reading.
10 My fling with graduate in this city (7)
CORDOBA – A three letter word meaning my or goodness me followed by a two letter word meaning to engage in an activity (fling) and the abbreviation for Bachelor of Arts (graduate).
11 Terribly wet, say? (6)
SWEATY – An anagram (terribly) of WET SAY.
12 Round pages on English books – he’s against it! (8)
OPPONENT – The letter that it round followed by the abbreviation for pages, the ON from the clue, the abbreviation for English and the abbreviation for New Testament (books).
14 Stain caused by new coils I installed in reconditioned tandoor (13)
DISCOLORATION – An anagram (new) of COILS and separately the I inside (installed in) an anagram (reconditioned) of TANDOOR. Perhaps an indication that the I is included separately would improve the cryptic reading.
17 It’s clear friend follows one club (7,6)
CRYSTAL PALACE – A type of substance that is proverbially clear or transparent followed by a three letter word for a friend after (follows) a three letter word for one.
20 Given an unenviable task, but managed to detain Brown (8)
LUMBERED – A five letter word for a type of brown pigment inside a three letter word meaning managed.
21 Oh dear! Killing always leads to isolated state (6)
ALASKA – A four letter word meaning oh dear followed by the initial letters (leads to) of killing always.
24 Study in grand university town (7)
READING – A four letter word meaning study followed by the IN from the clue and the abbreviation for grand.
25 Everyone can see childminder taking cocaine is unnatural (7)
UNCANNY – The film classification meaning everyone can see followed by a five letter word for a childminder including (taking) the abbreviation for cocaine.
26 Film orang-utan at club (5)
CLYDE – Double definition, the first being the name of the orang-utan who played Clint Eastwood’s partner in Every Which Way But Loose and the second a football club. Perhaps replacing the “at” with “for” might have given a better cryptic reading as A at B does not read particularly well as a double definition.
27 Colour worn by 2 – a Rovers’ player bursting ball at United and England’s No 1 (5.4)
ROYAL BLUE – The name of the leading player in the fictional Rovers football team followed by an anagram (bursting) of BALL, the abbreviation for United and the first letter (number 1) of England.
1 Bottom team has support (8)
BACKSIDE – A four letter word for support followed by a four letter word for a team. Perhaps some indication that the the word for support goes before the word for team in the solution would be better – “has prior support”.
2 Team of keepers? (7)
RANGERS – Double definition for a Scottish football team and park keepers.
3 Choose to take part in online lectures (5)
ELECT – The answer is hidden (take part) in ONLINE LECTURES.
4 Swear word (4)
OATH – Double definition for a word meaning a profanity or swear and an promise or word.
5 When desperate, place bet on account – it’s all right (10)
ACCEPTABLE – An anagram (when desperate) of PLACE BET after the abbreviation for account. The positional indicator here is not helpful. The anagram of “place bet” is under not “on” the abbreviation for account.
6 Instrument in concert atonal at first (9)
HARMONICA -An eight letter word for concert followed by the first letter of atonal. The first part of the clue has a noun “concert” that would give “Harmony” as the corresponding part of the solution but the solution requires the adjectival form “harmonic”
7 Rewrite a page on top (7)
APOGEAN – An anagram (rewrite) of A PAGE ON.
8 He’s got a right to suit (6)
HEARTS – The HE’S from the clue includes (got) the A from the clue and the two letter abbreviation for right. The cryptic reading of the clue A GOT B does not read elegantly. “He’s including a right to a suit” would read better.
13 He’s still owner, but not legally? (10)
BOOTLEGGER – Cryptic definition of someone who has an illicit brewer (still).
15 To treat with gas, Galileo finally co-ordinates information – I almost understand. (9)
OXYGENISE – The final letter of Galileo followed by the letters marking the co-ordinates on a graph, a there letter word for information, the I from the clue and a three letter word meaning understand with the final letter removed (almost).
16 Maybe get wrong digital unit (8)
MEGABYTE – An anagram (wrong) of MAYBE GET.
17 Mark to critcize modest surroundings of organisation (7)
COMPANY – The abbreviation for mark and a three letter word meaning to criticise inside (surroundings) a three letter word for modest. Perhaps “in modest surroundings” would give a more fluent cryptic reading of the clue. Some editors will not allow wordplay of definition with the of as the link word.
18 Gunners and topless sailors on the way back (7)
ARSENAL – A four letter word for sailors with the first letter removed (topless) followed by a reversal (on the way back) of a four letter word for a way.
19 Circle around churchman (6)
CLERIC – An anagram (around) of CIRCLE.
22 See early comic (Mr Murray?) at pub (5)
LOCAL -A two letter word for see followed by the first letter (early) of comic and the first name of the comedian Mr Murray. I don’t think that early works as an initial letter indicator and the clue formation of wordplay at definition does not work for me either. Perhaps “See first of comics (Mr Murray) in pub” would be better.
23 Inter buy outside right! (4)
BURY – The BUY from the clue around the single letter abbreviation for right. Perhaps a few too many clues where you simply use the word from the clue in the solution.