A Puzzle by Brunel
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today we have another setter making his debut. 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 back after the Christmas festivities. I hope that you all had an enjoyable time and are not too turkey laden and hungover.
Welcome to Brunel. This was a very good debut crossword. I suspect it was not his or her first foray into setting given the standard of the clues. There was a good deal of inventiveness in the clueing – for example in 11d and 21d that produced a smile when the penny dropped. The only points on the wordplay are technical ones where the wordplay did not quite work grammatically. The commentometer reads at 3/30 or 10%.
1 Designed to prevent accidents, note, if seal cracks (4-4)
FAIL-SAFE – A two letter musical note followed by an anagram (cracks) of IF SEAL,
5 Witness attending trial (6)
ATTEST – A two letter word meaning attending followed by a four letter word for a trial.
9 When reversing, this should be seen by idiot (3)
OAF – A reversal of the abbreviation “for the attention of” (this should be seen by).
10 Athens’s foremost times captured by Leander in freeform piece of verse (11)
ALEXANDRINE – The first letter (foremost) of Athens followed by the letter representing times or multiplication inside (captured by) an anagram (freeform) of LEANDER IN.
12 Pub reportedly with classy food, but showing vulgarity (10)
INDELICACY – A homophone (reportedly) of another word for a pub followed by an eight letter word for classy food.
13 Problem with eye test? Yes, to some extent (4)
STYE – The answer is hidden in (to some extent) TEST YES.
15 A retro painting of retro panic (6)
ALARUM – The A from the clue followed by a reversal (retro) of a five letter word for a type of painting.
16 Secretly kept prostitute cheated on the BBC (7)
HOARDED – A homophone (on the BBC) of whore (prostitute) did (cheated). The homophone does not work for me as the vowel sound in “did” is not pronounced the same way in the solution.
18 Sunni with dervish leader changes and relaxes (7)
UNWINDS – An anagram (changes) of SUNNI W (with) D (Dervish leader).
20 A box, one used in city or country (6)
LATVIA – The A from the clue and another word for the box you watch and the letter representing one inside (used in) the abbreviation for Los Angeles (city).
23 Endorsement for entry or passage, but not tourism, initially (4)
VISA – A five letter word for a passage without the T (but not tourism initially). Perhaps there was not enough correspondence between passage and vista. Whilst a vista can be a view into the distance, especially one bounded narrowly on both sides, that does not make a passage a vista.
24 Girl has huge suture opening internally, revealing old operation (10)
BARBAROSSA – A seven letter name for a girl includes (has … internally) the abbreviation for oversized (huge) and the first letter (opening) of suture. Some editors would not allow, suture opening as grammatically, it does not indicate the first letter. It would need to be suture’s opening. The difference between this and the earlier initial letter indicator (Dervish leader) is that “Dervish leader” can mean leader of the Dervish” whereas suture opening does not mean opening of the suture.
26 Romantic land of lamp light’s beginning to appear in Eastern lake (7,4)
EMERALD ISLE – The name of a type of signalling lamp and the first letter (beginning) of light inside (appearing in) the abbreviation for eastern and a four letter word for a lake.
27 Youngster of eight, say, lacking energy (3)
CUB – The type of number of which 8 (along with 27, 64 and 125, etc) is an example (say) without the abbreviation for energy.
28 Neatly secured articulated lorry, unloaded after one (6)
TIDILY – A homophone (articulated) of tied (secured) followed by the letter representing one and the outer letters (unloaded) of lorry. A minor point but one for I has already been used so, ideally, a different indicator should have been used.
29 Perform drag routine? (8)
TRANSACT – Split 5,3, this could indicate a performance by a transvestite (drag routine).
1 He might like a dish of eggs, fried, scrambled, no end of pepper! (6)
FOODIE – An anagram (scrambled) of OO (eggs – from the shape of the item) FRIED without the R (no end of pepper). Having the deletion indicator after the anagram indicator means that you need some further indication of the deletion – perhaps scrambled with no end of pepper.
2 I don’t believe in field sports (7)
INFIDEL – An anagram (sports) of IN FIELD. I think that sports only works as an anagram indicator in the sense of casual (as in a sports jacket) but to function as an adjective, it would need to come before the words to be rearranged.
3 A pigmy might make this pitfall for the unwary (5,5)
SMALL PRINT – Cryptic definition of a the type of words in a contract designed to catch the unwary by reference to the footprint (perhaps) that a pygmy might make.
4 National requirement – a case of red and mild condiment (6,7)
FENCH MUSTARD – The name of a foreign national from across the channel followed by a four letter word meaning a requirement, the A from the clue and the outer letters (case of) red.
6 Third from left in photo. Back row (2-2)
TO-DO – The third letter from the left in photo and a three letter word for a “.” all reversed (back).
7 Gave out drug, wearing gloves? (7)
EMITTED – The abbreviation for ecstasy followed by a six letter word that could mean wearing mitts or gloves.
8 Article by mainly crooked policeman causing deep concern (3,5)
THE BENDS – The definitive article followed by a word meaning crooked without the final letter (mainly) and the abbreviation for Detective Sergeant (policeman). A picky point but I think that creating would be better link word here as the wordplay does not cause the definition but creates it.
11 Scientist, perhaps, attached to fizzy cola – oh, he drinks too much! (7,6)
ALCOHOL ABUSER – An anagram (fizzy) of COLA OH followed by a phrase (3,4) describing a scientist by reference to the facilities he or she may occupy.
14 Ground acorns beat this for providing vegetable oil (6,4)
CASTOR BEAN – An anagram (ground) of ACORNS BEAT. A stylising point, “this for providing vegetable oil” is a slightly clunky definition. Perhaps “a source of vegetable oil” might have given a smoother clue.
17 Extremely bent copper tries improperly to arrest Victor (8)
CURVIEST – The chemical symbol for copper followed by an anagram (improper) of TRIES around (to arrest) the letter represented by Victor in the NATO phonetic alphabet.
19 Kanye to finish in upmarket area (4,3)
WEST END – The surname of the rapper whose first name is Kanye followed by a word meaning to finish.
21 Belonging to leading cult, Order of Flyers, possibly (7)
INSECTA – Split (2,4,1) this would indicate that someone belonged to the leading cult.
22 Browser chat (6)
RABBIT – Double definition, the first being an animal that browses when it is not in its burrow.
25 Incredible high (4)
TALL – Double definition, the first being used with “story” to indicate an incredible tale.