A Puzzle by Harold
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today Harold makes his debut in Rookie Corner. 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 to Harold. This was a good first Rookie crossword. Only minor comments on some of the clues. A few repetitions with the wordplay can easily be ironed out, which is the main comment of note. The commentometer reads as 3/32 or 9.4%.
1 Bearer of moving charge fixed with bayonet? (5,4)
LIGHT BULB – Cryptic definition of a source of illumination that has a filament through which current passes and that is held in place with a bayonet fixing.
6 Practitioner treated 500 mice (5)
MEDIC – An anagram (treated) of D (500) + MICE. As a general comment, provided that the abbreviation is clear, it is permissible to use an abbreviation as part of the letters to be rearranged.
9 Metallic component of Kazakhstan nickel? (7)
STANNIC – The answer is hidden in (component of) KAZAKHSTAN NICKEL.
10 Disturbed herons love habitats like this (7)
ONSHORE – An anagram (disturbed) of HERONS O (love). Cluing an adjective can be difficult. This clue works because herons are on-shore birds so the whole clue provides a suitable definition. Habitats like this on its own would not have been an entirely satisfactory definition.
11 Setter’s inverted depression is clear (7)
EVIDENT – The abbreviated form of I have (setter’s) reversed (inverted) followed by a four letter word for a depression.
12 Runner‘s a natural flier (7)
HARRIER – Double definition, the first being another word for an athlete and the second a type of bird.
13 The best contact point for chocoholics? (5,4)
SWEET SPOT – An elliptical definition of the point that a a chocolate lover might enjoy.
15 Find girl in Lawrence’s embrace over the way (5)
THERE – A three letter pronoun for a girl inside the initials of Lawrence of Arabia.
16 Second swimmer undergoes heart transplant (5)
OTHER – The name of an aquatic mammal has the central letter changed (undergoes heart transplant).
19 Blend terrines with a hint of ecstasy for trips bringing one down to earth (2-7)
RE-ENTRIES — An anagram (blend) of TERRINES (a hint of ecstasy).
22 Mistake noted in assassination of mature leader of revolt (7)
ERRATUM – An anagram (assassination of) of MATURE R (leader of revolt). I would omit the noted from the clue.
23 Fancy – even if before time (7)
THOUGHT – A six letter word meaning even if followed by the abbreviation for time.
25 Pull in a vehicle reversing in racing event (7)
ATTRACT – The A from the clue followed by a reversal of a type of vehicle inside the abbreviation for Time Trials (racing event).
26 Consummate leader fails to finish and is engulfed by hail (7)
ACHIEVE – A five letter word for a leader without the final letter (fails to finish) inside the three letter Latin word meaning hail.
27 Noble, but endlessly dim about … about … (5)
DUCAL – A four letter word meaning dim or boring without the final letter (endlessly) around a two letter abbreviation for circa or about.
28 Medallists perhaps redistribute purse following track investigation’s conclusion (7-2)
RUNNERS-UP – A three letter word for a track followed by the final letter (conclusion) of investigation and an anagram (redistributed) of PURSE.
1 Story about special league is just a yarn (5)
LISLE – A three letter word for a story or fib around the abbreviation for special and league. I would omit the just from the clue as it does not really make the grade as a link word.
2 Building material‘s relative appeal edifies at first (7)
GRANITE – A four letter word for an elderly relative by a two letter word for sexual appeal and the first letter for edifies.
3 Line of smack leads to hospital department (7)
TANGENT – A four letter word for a taste or smack followed by the abbreviation for an hospital department.
4 Rough diamond? Endlessly awkward and loveless (5)
UNCUT – A six letter word meaning awkward or rude without the final letter (endlessly) and without an O (loveless). As endless has already been used as an indicator, a different one should ideally be used here. Also love for O has been used previously. Perhaps like a rough diamond would have been a more accurate definition.
5 Miss Davis scours almost half of Rochester for a kebab (9)
BROCHETTE – The first name of the Hollywood actress Miss Davis around (scours) the first four letters (almost half) of Rochester. I am not convinced that scours is a containment indictor. It can mean to cover or search an area but not in the sense of enclosing it.
6 Fur from married American cheat taking the essence of bonking to heart (7)
MUSKRAT – The abbreviations for married and American and a three letter word for a cheat includes the central letter (essence of) muskrat.
7 Compound in the southern States holds the leaders of Oman and Djibouti in isolation (7)
DIOXIDE – A five letter word for the Southern States of America includes the first letters (leaders of) Oman and Djibouti in separate places (in isolation). Leader has already been used to indicate an initial letter so a different indicator would have been better.
8 Gloomy Marxist sees left and right in disorder (9)
CHEERLESS – The three letter name of a famous Marxist leader followed by an anagram (in disorder) of SEES L (LEFT) R (RIGHT).
13 Frindall used it for developing records about cricket averages primarily (9)
SCORECARD – An anagram (developing) of RECORDS CA (cricket averages primarily). Frindall was possibly too obscure for most solvers who would have had to Google to find the relevance of the definition. The construction definition for wordplay does not work unless you treat the whole clue as the definition and I don’t know how Mr Frindall used scorecards.
14 Instrument used by soldier to measure variable quantity? (9)
PARAMETER – Split 4,5 this might indicate a measuring devices used by an airborne soldier.
17 Call up that woman first – she’s unorthodox (7)
HERETIC – A three letter word for that woman followed by a reversal (up) of a four letter word meaning call.
18 Lithium and essential oil together make up a hairy concoction (3-4)
RAT-TAIL – A reversal (make up) of the chemical symbol for Lithium and attar (an essential oil). Make up is slightly inelegant as a reversal indicator.
20 Foot of fabulous bird you once squeezed (7)
TROCHEE – The four letter old form of you around (squeezed) a three letter name of a fabulous bird.
21 Soprano follows artist making an entrance (7)
INGRESS – A six letter name of an artist followed by the abbreviation for soprano.
23 Teach tenor control in the auditorium (5)
TRAIN – The abbreviation for tenor followed by a homophone (in the auditorium) of rein (control).
24 Tether ram that’s inside (3,2)
TIE UP – A three letter word for a ram contains the abbreviation for that is.