A Puzzle by Sundance
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Sundance 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 Sundance. This was a good start but with some rough edges that need to be addressed. I have pointed this out in the relevant clues. A couple of general points. The grid is one that you see in daily crosswords but it is not the most solver friendly of grids as there are four intersecting crosswords. This means it is difficult to get cross-checking letters across the quadrants of the grid. The other is the use of full stops in the clues themselves. They may be used but too many any the clues become stilted. The commentometer reads as 51/2 out of 27 or 20.4%. Most of the errors are ones that are simple to remedy.
1 Do (holding Goodman). The state of a church when occupied (8)
PLENARTY – A five letter word for a social event around the name of Mr Goodman from Strictly Come Dancing fame. As Goodman is used as a definition by example of someone with the first name required, this should be indicated. Also, attention needs to be paid to the surface readings. Whilst I am lenient because good surface readings development with practice, this one is pretty meaningless.
5 Complain and French will reprimand severely (6)
CARPET – A four letter word meaning complain followed by the French for and. This has a much better surface reading. It is what the setter should try to achieve with all clues though perhaps the will should be omitted as wordplay will definition does not read well cryptically.
9 The longest sentence. Similar and very realistic (8)
LIFELIKE – The longest prison sentence that can be given followed by a four letter word meaning similar.
10 Blood type of old queen found in Crewe (6)
ABBESS – A two letter blood type and the diminutive name given to Queen Elizabeth I. I am not happy with the definition. It references a book title “The … of Crewe” which, if you do not know the book, makes the definition meaningless. Also, the “of” is out of place as it is not an indicator requiring you to join the blood type and old queen together.
11 Lover is average. The morning belongs to us (8)
PARAMOUR – A three letter word meaning average, the abbreviation for morning and a three letter word meaning belonging to us.
12 African therefore African country (6)
SOMALI – A two letter word meaning therefore and a four letter name of an African country.
14 See 19 Down
18 He’s a very clever young gentleman, don’t you know (10)
MASTERMIND – A six letter word or a young gentleman and a four letter word meaning “don’t you know”. The definition should omit the a so that it reads “He’s very clever” and wordplay adjusted to take this into account.
22 Most of day (no day) with northern god (6)
SATURN – The name of the final day of the week without the “day” followed by the abbreviation for northern.
23 Strong drinks responsible for ride bans (8)
BRANDIES – An anagram (unindicated) of RIDE BANS. There is no anagram indicator here. Responsible for, is not sufficient and as a link word, the definition is not responsible for the wordplay, the wordplay is responsible for the definition.
24 Ladies principles (6)
IDEALS – An anagram (unindicated) of LADIES. Again, there is no anagram indicator. I don’t think that the suggestion that a adding an apostrophe would solve this as the property of ladies is not the same or suggestive of an anagram of ladies.
25 Sluggish beetle n insect (8)
STAGNANT – A type of horned beetle followed by the N from the clue and a three letter social insect.
26 Germ cell or type of pie for Lawrence (6)
GAMETE – A type of pie with ingredients such as wild birds and animals such as partridge, pheasant, deer, and hare followed by the initial of the writer Mr Lawrence. The “for” here is out of place. It does not form any function in the wordplay.
27 Be ingenious in half an acre at Iver, Bucks (8)
CREATIVE – The central letters of “acre” followed by an anagram (bucks) of AT IVER. Half as an indicator usually means the front or back half of a word, not the middle two letters. The “Be” should be omitted as “be ingenious” would indicate “create” as the solution.
1 Many an afterthought for small growths (6)
POLYPS – A four letter prefix meaning many followed by the abbreviation for postscript (afterthought).
2 Determined attempt for 6th letter or model (6)
EFFORT – The phonetic spelling of the 6th letter of the alphabet followed by the OR from the clue and the model of car sold by Mr Ford. The structure of the clue as definition for wordplay is not the right way round. You can have wordplay for the definition but not the reverse.
3 Initially a fire’s lit. Ashes may ensue (6)
AFLAME – The initial letters of the final six word of the clue.
4 Shorten limbs and go to war (4,2,4)
TAKE UP ARMS – The solution cryptically read might mean to reduce the length of your limbs.
6 Boar and hart combine for home of the smokies (8)
ARBROATH – An anagram (combine) of BOAR HART.
7 Falcon, for example somehow parroted (8)
PREDATOR – An anagram (somehow) of PARROTED.
8 It mixed with 21 can make you most irritated (8)
TESTIEST – An anagram (mixed) of IT and the solution to 21 down.
13 Winter’s rig tidied up by someone who gets the message out (10)
SIGNWRITER – An anagram (tidied up) of WINTER’S RIG. Try to avoid repeating clue types in successive clues. Four anagrams in a row is excessive and seven anagrams in the space of nine clues gives the crossword and unbalanced feel.
15 Impacting something wonderful (8)
SMASHING – Double definition.
16 Is mother possibly found on a map (8)
ISOTHEM – The Is from the clue followed by an anagram (possibly) of MOTHER.
17 Listen. Races holding the French small organ (8)
HEARTLET – A four letter word meaning listen followed by the abbreviation for time trials (races) around (holding) the French for “the”.
19 /14a: Gamine offering me a gin (6,10)
ENIGMA VARIATIONS – Gamine and me a gin are both anagrams of this piece of music read as a clue. Nice as the idea is, this clue is incomplete as there is no definition as such and no indication that there is a reverse anagram.
20 A livid variety of festival (6)
DIVALI – The A from the clue followed by an anagram (variety) of LIVID. Some editors will not allow definition of wordplay.
21 Fly back to New York s time (twice) (6)
TSETSE – Reverse (back) the abbreviation for Eastern Standard Time twice.