A Puzzle by Harold
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Another puzzle from Harold. 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.
Harold returns with a Rookie crossword that came within a whisker of achieving 0 on the commentometer. There is a lot of excellence shown in the cluing. The only two points are very minor with an over reliance of taking the A from the clue (five times) and adding to the solution and one weak link word. The commentometer reads as 1 / 29 or 3.4%.
1 A way to liberate broadcaster (6)
AUNTIE – The a from the clue followed by a five letter word describing a way to liberate or free someone.
4 Words spoken softly while meeting a date in Rome (6)
ASIDES – A two letter word meaning while followed by (meeting) the fateful day in the in Roman calendar.
9 Banking service retrospectively provides temporary cover for damage (4)
SCAB – Reverse (retrospectively) the abbreviation for Bankers Automated Clearing Service.
10 Intense old lover superseded by a bit on the side at work? (10)
PERQUISITE – A nine letter word meaning intense has the EX (old lover) replaced (superseded by) PER (a).
11 Fear of ferret I found in secretary’s clutches (6)
PHOBIA – A three letter word for a ferret and the I from the clue inside (clutches) the abbreviation for personal assistant (secretary).
12 Miserable bastard having left angrily is even more miserable (8)
MEASLIER – An anagram angrily of MISERABLE after removing (having left) the abbreviation for bastard.
13 Greek character almost overwhelmed by indifferent setter’s profanity (9)
BLASPHEMY – The Greek letter Phi with the final letter removed (almost) inside (overwhelmed by) a five letter word meaning indifferent and followed by a two letter word meaning belonging to the setter.
15 Strange ability youth’s beginning to notice (4)
EPSY – The abbreviation for extra sensory perception followed by the first letter (beginning) of youth.
16 Writer having brief tantrum about work (4)
POPE – A three letter word for a tantrum with the final letter removed (brief) round the abbreviation for opus (word).
17 Carelessly cut and paste ends of section as piece is removed (2,7)
EN PASSANT – An anagram (carelessly) of AN (cut and) PASTE SN (ends of section).
21 Accommodation in Seattle’s ready (8)
QUARTERS – Double definition for accommodation for members of the armed forces and another word for 25 cent pieces (Seattle’s ready).
22 Take delight in pressing a good herb (6)
LOVAGE – A four letter word meaning take delight in around (pressing) the A from the clue and the abbreviation for good.
24 Decent boss unfortunately not up to scratch (6-4)
SECOND-BEST – An anagram (unfortunately) of DECENT BOSS.
25 Curse grass and heroin (4)
OATH – A three letter type of cereal or grass followed by the abbreviation for heroin.
26 Little and Large entertaining backward Liberal Democrat (6)
TIDDLY – A four letter word meaning large (as in a ???? sum) around (entertaining) a reversal (backward) of the abbreviation for Liberal Democrat.
27 Contract to pay for Thackeray’s last letter (6)
TREATY – A five letter word meaning to pay for followed by the last letter of Thackeray.
1 Drink like a fish in deserted pub (7)
ALCOHOL – The A from the clue followed by a four letter word for a Pacific salmon inside a five letter word word a pub with the inner letters removed (deserted). The only real comment to make is that the structure Definition LIKE wordplay does not work particularly well.
2 Bigwig rejected an old coin (5)
NABOB – Reverse (rejected) the AN from the clue and follow with the slang term for an old shilling.
3 Blame every devil first (7)
IMPEACH – A three letter word for a devil before (first) a four letter word meaning every.
5 Shut up, bottling question, or tell all (6)
SQUEAL – A four letter word meaning shut up or enclose around (bottling) a two letter abbreviation for question.
6 Exposes near miss brought about after 50% reduction in capital (9)
DISCLOSES – The miss from the clue around (brought about) a five letter word meaning near or stingy with the first letter of miss reduced by 50% (in terms of Roman numerals).
7 Composer totally lacking guts for surfeit (7)
SATIETY – The surname of the French composer Eric followed by the outer letters (lacking guts) of totally.
8 This politician briefly shows up in the afternoon (5,8)
PRIME MINISTER – The abbreviation for in the afternoon expanded to give the name of political office.
14 Healthy stuff could be dope for us (9)
SUPERFOOD – An anagram (could be) of DOPE FOR US.
16 Puritan heartless, not cautious (7)
PRUDENT – A five letter word meaning puritan followed by the outer letters (heartless) of NOT.
18 Sort of cast in a stellar non-European production (3-4)
ALL-STAR – An anagram (production) of A STELLAR without the E (non-European). Some editors will not allow nouns such as production as an anagram indicator as a noun cannot indicate an instruction to move things around.
19 Periodically close account missing a line (7)
NIGHTLY – A four letter word meaning close or nearby followed by a five letter word for an account without (missing) the A L (line).
20 Gangster sustains bitter disagreement concerning tenure (6)
FEUDAL – A four letter word meaning a bitter disagreement over (sustains or holds up) the firs name of Mr Capone.
23 Fiddle with a pansy (5)
VIOLA – A four letter word for a fiddle followed by the A from the clue. Perhaps a few foo many occurrences of taking the A from the clue and including it in the solution.