A Puzzle by Heno
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Heno is back with another puzzle. 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 to Heno. Whilst the wordplay was largely accurate, there was a lot of repetition in the wordplay elements that needs to be addressed. The grid was not particularly solver friendly. Whilst the large number of clues without an initial checked letter is not unusual, 12 out of 30 of the clues had less than 50% checking. Surface readings could be improved. As I mention in the notes, accurate wordplay should come first but the resulting clue should make basic sense. The commentometer reads as 5 / 30 or 16.7%.
8 Note returning wearing glasses just the opposite could be a godsend (4)
BOON – The abbreviation for note well is reversed (returning) and includes two letters O (glasses). Just the opposite tells us that the Os go inside the abbreviation and not the opposite suggested by the first part of the wordplay. A note on surface readings. For Rookies, I look for correct wordplay over perfectly polished surface readings. It is easier to develop the skill of creating convincing surface readings once the basics of clue construction have been mastered than it is to correct sloppy wordplay to fit a surface reading. However, I still like the surface reading to make some kind of sense and this clue and the next one do not make basic sense.
9 Star Maestri eddying without time they are found in wind tunnel (10)
AIRSTREAMS – An anagram (eddying) of STAR MAESTRI without the abbreviation for time.
10 Tanning salt has nickel to make Old Boys … (6)
ALUMNI – A four letter word for a salt used in tanning leather followed by the chemical symbol for Nickel.
11 …have stress with memory unit (8)
ANGSTROM – A five letter word stress followed by the abbreviation for read only memory.
12 Sonic aids onscreen it’s subtle oddly (9)
SUBTITLES – An anagram (oddly) of ITS SUBTLE. A pernickety point but the aids are visual aids not sonic ones.
14 Move canoe without leader to go off (5)
ADDLE – A six letter word meaning propel or move a canoe without the leading letter.
17 Sounds like you might need one after a sneeze? (7)
ATISHOO – After the A from the clue add a homophone (sounds like) something you might need to blow your nose.
18 Flying hub to freshen wine (7)
AIRPORT – A three letter word meaning to freshen followed by a four letter word for a type of fortified wine.
21 Good currency was mighty fine (5)
GRAND – The abbreviation for good followed by the name of the currency of South Africa. Here as in a number of clues, avoid using the past tense for a link word, “is mighty fine” would work just as well.
23 Choose way on the radio to get pole? (9)
ELECTRODE – A five letter word meaning choose followed by a homophone (on the radio) of road (way).
25 Key drug circle was changing (8)
ALTERING – A three letter word for a key on a computer keyboard followed by the abbreviation for ecstasy (drug) and a four letter word for a circle. Again the use of the past tense “was” jars. In terms of surface readings, perhaps “drug cartel” would have been better.
27 Women captured by Romans were around in base (6)
SABINE – An anagram (around) of IN BASE. Another past tense in the link word. Also the anagram indicator “around” does not work where it comes before the letters to be rearranged and you do not “around something”.
29 Youngster had a handout with perfume (10)
ADOLESCENT – The A from the clue followed by a four letter word for a state handout and a five letter word for perfume. Has would be better than had here.
30 Short shed without a religious time (4)
LENT – A phrase 4,2 for a type of shed without the final letter (short) and without the A. I like the fact that there is the double deletion with different indicators for each although this is offset by the repetition of “without” as a deletion indicator which was used in 9 across.
1 Thwart sword (4)
FOIL – Double definition, the second being a fencing sword.
2 Setback supporting soul enlivens (8)
ANIMATES – Reverse (back) the SET and above it (supporting) a five letter word for soul. Some editors will not allow a single word “setback” to indicate a reversal of part of the word. Also, given that the solution is based on the same root word as soul, it might have been better to find a different way of cluing the first part of the word.
3 Energy coming from star may retune a tin radio (9)
RADIATION – An anagram (retune) of A TIN RADIO. The “may” as the link word jars slightly. Perhaps putting the anagram first “Retune a tin radio to find energy coming from star” would have worked better.
4 Imagined this had setter in fear (7)
DREAMED – A two letter word for setter inside a five letter word for fear. Another case of the past tense of “had” where the present tense “has” would work just as well.
5 Short venerable time was part of rocket (5)
STAGE – The abbreviation for saint (short venerable) followed by a three letter word for time.
6 Took it easy after finding strange trees died (6)
RESTED – An anagram (strange) of TREES followed by the abbreviation for died. I would omit the finding from this clue.
7 Writing desk a mob made? (4)
AMBO – An anagram (made) of A MOB. The solution is a reading desk used in a church not a writing desk.
13 Speak about decapitated ram (6) (5)
UTTER – Remove the initial letter (decapitated) from a six letter word describing an animal such as a ram that is know for butting things.
15 Garish with energy for current enticed (5)
LURED – A five letter word meaning garish with the abbreviation for energy replacing the abbreviation for current.
16 Stickiness from short pass with note back in the city (9)
VISCOSITY – A four letter word for a travel document or pass with the last letter removed (short) followed by a reversal (back) of a musical note inside the city from the clue. There is a lot of wordplay repetition with both short and back being used in other clues.
19 Arc a highball back supports soldier (8)
PARABOLA – The A from the clue and a three letter word for a highball are reversed (back) and above these letters add (supporting) a four letter word for an airborne soldier. Another wordplay repetition with supporting having been used previously.
20 Lumberjack supporting a follower one comments online (8) (7)
BLOGGER – The letter following A (a follower) above (supporting – again!) followed by another word for a lumberjack.
22 Nark want the French to annoy… (6)
NEEDLE – A four letter word meaning want followed by the French masculine form of “the”. I would omit the “nark” to give a single definition.
24 …itinerant hog back with heartless agent (5)
GIPSY – Reverse (back – another repetition) a three letter word for a hog and follow with a three letter word for a secret agent with the central letter removed (heartless).
26 Pool idol swam around? (4)
LIDO – An anagram (swam around) of IDOL.
28 Nothing the French said no to Cardinal (4)
NONE – The French for no followed by one of the cardinal points of the compass.