A Puzzle by Fringilla
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
It’s taken Fringilla a long time to submit his second puzzle – let’s hope the next one comes a little sooner. 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 Fringilla. When his clues work, they work well. There were come good clues such as 1d and 3d. Other clues did not work so well. Particular problems were the use of abbreviations where some of the supposed abbreviations are not given in the dictionary, a lot clues where large chunks of the clue were repeated in the solution, too many hidden word clues and the use indicators to remove letters from the clue. The commentometer reads as 8.5 / 32 or 31.25%.
1 Idiot poet after cosh lost its head (7)
LUBBARD – A four letter word for cosh without its first letter (lost its head) followed by a four letter word for a poet.
5 Hate being back behind revolutionary cat (7)
CHEETAH – A three letter revolutionary leader followed by a reversal (back) of the HATE from the clue. It might have been better to use a synonym for hate here.
9 First car perhaps, in length and weight (9)
MILESTONE –imperial measurements of length and weight.
10 Guitar sound faded in Tate Gallery (5)
TWANG – A three letter word meaning faded inside the initial letters of Tate Gallery. As TG is not a recognised abbreviation, you need to find a way of indicating the initial letters of the words. You should use only those abbreviations in one of the major dictionaries.
11 Disaster if a Scot almost messed up (6)
FIASCO – An anagram (messed up) of IF A SCO (scot almost). As only the F has to be moved to give the solution, this is not much of an anagram. Anagrams with very little rearrangement of the letters should be avoided.
12 Steal ingredient (3,4)
TEA LEAF – Double definition, the first by reference to Cockney rhyming slang and the second used to make a drink. The clue does not work as the solution is the rhyming slang for the person who steals, not the act of stealing and a single item of the solution would make an exceedingly weak drink.
14 Sir! One covers press (4)
IRON – The answer is hidden (covers) in the first two words of the clue.
15 Predictably, Ally Club a/c is corrupt (10)
CALCULABLY – An anagram (is corrupt) of ALLY CLUB AC.
19 Brass rod for dipping (10)
BREADSTICK – A five letter slang word for money (brass) followed by a five letter word for a rod. The definition is here is too vague as verbal phrase to define a noun.
20 Skittish ornithologist gives warning of advance (4)
HORN – The answer is hidden (gives) in the first two words of the clue. Gives is not strong enough to indicate a hidden word. Perhaps conceals warning of advance.
22 Football Club (sic), almost all e.g. cats (7)
MUSICAL – The initial letters of Manchester United followed by the SIC from the clue and the ALL from the clue with the final letter removed. MU is not a recognised abbreviation so should not be clued a football club. This is another clue where most of the letters in the solution are given in the clue. Try to avoid repeating wordplay indicators. Almost has been used previously. As a general rule, you can capitalise a common noun to mislead but a proper noun, here Cats, should not be put into lower case.This clue also has a very poor surface reading.
25 Government I’m ever after Mr Dwight (6)
REGIME – The first name of Mr Dwight (better known as Elton John) followed by the IM from the clue and an E. Another dodgy abbreviation with E for ever that is not supported by the dictionaries.
27 In the UN, literally, it’s dark (5)
UNLIT – The answer is hidden (in) the third and fourth words of the clue. It is better to try and have hidden word clues that do not include the whole of one word (UN in this case).
28 Pink lace I foolishly used as anagram indicator (2,1,6)
IN A PICKLE – An anagram (foolishly) of PINK LACE I.
29 Execute cur: he looks guilty (7)
HANGDOG – A four letter word meaning to execute followed by a three letter word for a cur. As a noun, Chambers gives the definition as a contemptible person. As an adjective, it can mean to look guilty, but the clue requires a noun as the solution.
30 Rumour (or not!) she dislocated bone (7)
HUMERUS – An anagram (dislocated) of RUMOUR SHE after removing the OR (or not).
1 Flimsy material (4)
LAME – Double definition, the first as in a flimsy excuse and the second a glitzy fabric.
2 Offensive ringer I nearly chose (9)
BELLICOSE – A four letter word for something that rings followed by the I from the clue and the word chose with one of the letters removed. Nearly as an indicator means to remove the last letter, not any letter.
3 Support bald guitarist (6)
ASSIST – Remove the first letter (bald) from a type of guitarist.
4 ‘Ado’ or cuckoo in dales valley. Roll on ! (9)
DEODORANT – An anagram (cuckoo) of AOD OR inside a four letter word for a valley or depression.
5 Box him at 5ac, on street (5)
CHEST – The revolutionary named in 5a followed by the abbreviation for street.
6 Almost dent track’s insides (8)
ENTRAILS – The first three letters (almost) of dent followed by a word meaning track’s.
7 Evidence cut girl short (5)
TRACE – The name of a girl with the final letter removed (cut short).
8 Steep running, like an astronaut? (4-6)
HIGH-FLYING – A four letter word meaning steep followed by a six letter word meaning running quickly.
13 Cannot eat oily nut British Military Hospital cooked (3-2-5)
NIL-BY-MOUTH – An anagram (cooked) of OILY NUT BMH (British Military Hospital). Another clue where the abbreviation is not recognised. Although B for British and H for hospital are fine, M for military is not in the main dictionaries whether on its own or as BM or MH.
16 Me ol’ mate, somewhat near insect (9)
COCKROACH – A four letter word meaning an old mate followed by what I think is an an eight letter word meaning near or get close to with the first three letters removed (somewhat). You cannot use somewhat to indicate the removal of an arbitrary number of letters from a word.
17 Accountant to reserve builder (9)
BOOKMAKER – A four letter word meaning to reserve followed by another word for a builder.
18 Informed Dad he is cute, somehow without his… (8)
EDUCATED – An anagram (somehow) of DAD HE IS CUTE with the letters in HIS. If you are going use ellipses at the end of the clue, the next clue should begin with them as it indicates that the two clues run on.
21 Lego is marvellous for finding self-esteem (6)
EGOISM – The answer is hidden (for finding) in the first three words of the clue. I think that for finding does not work has a hidden word indicator.
23 Soprano, La Scala, provides room (5)
SALON – The answer is hidden (provides) and reversed in the first three words of the clue. This clue requires an indicator that the answer is reversed in the clue. Five hidden word clues in a crossword is too many.
24 Prone to losing head whilst airborne (5)
LYING – A word meaning airborne without the first letter (losing head). The whilst niggles me in this clue as it is not needed and whilst airborne does not mean flying it means whilst flying or when flying. The structure of definition to wordplay does not work.
26 Deep water with me on boat (4)
MESS -The ME from the clue followed by the abbreviation for steamship.