A Puzzle by Bodger
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Our latest new setter is Bodger, but let him introduce himself:
“I’ve been doing the Telegraph cryptic for several years now and occasionally manage the Toughie! Sometimes I might even manage 60% of a Times crossword but more often then not, manage just two. But this is my first attempt at creating a cryptic and, having done so, now realise just how good all the professional setters really are! I’d appreciate any comments”.
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 Bodger. This was a fair start for a rookie setter but there is room for improvement. I have indicated the major weaknesses below. Whilst as a rule, I am forgiving of surface readings in rookie setters, there were some clues where the surface reading of the clue was nonsensical. There were some good ideas on display but they need sharpening up to make the crossword stand out. The commentometer reads as 12 / 28 or 42.9%
1 At last, angrily eye null VAT (10)
EVENTUALLY – An anagram (angrily) of EYE NULL VAT.
6 Dog without the foggiest? (4)
FIDO – A common dog’s name is also the name of a fog dispersal system trialled during WWI. Possibly a little obscure area of general knowledge.
10 Attempt another pathetic trailer (7)
RETRIAL – An anagram (pathetic) of TRAILER. The definition is a little stilted. Perhaps “Another attempt to rewrite trailer” would have flowed more easily.
11 Happy man included after animal sanctuary reproduction (7)
ZOOGAMY – A three letter word for an animal sanctuary followed by a three letter word meaning happy or blithe around an abbreviation for man. M is the abbreviation for male, not man.
12 Simultaneous party time managed drug ring before us (15)
CONTEMPORANEOUS – The three letter abbreviation for the Conservative party followed by a five letter word for time, a three letter word meaning managed, the abbreviation for Ecstasy the letter representing a ring and the US from the clue.
13 Hasten journey placing base instead of topless geisha district (8)
EXPEDITE – A ten letter word for a journey with the base used in natural logarithms replacing the ION. After some research, I think that the ION is represented by the name of the Geisha district in Kyoto with the final letter removed. Another somewhat obscure piece of general knowledge.
15 Such as frilly around heritage (6)
LEGACY – The abbreviation of “for example” with a four letter word meaning frilly around it.
17 Pickle jam (6)
PLIGHT – A single definition with the solution being a synonym for the two words in the clue. It is better to have distinct meanings. Here you could have “Pledge to provide jam.”
18 Dispersion on road to Pisa (8)
DIASPORA – An anagram (un-indicated) of PISA ROAD. The clue requires an anagram indicator and the TO in the clue is out of place as it takes no part in the wordplay.
21 A rotten porn chick endlessly making man of the moment? (15)
ANTHROPOCENTRIC – An anagram (making?) if A ROTTEN PORN CHIC (chick endlessly). I am not convinced by the definition here. The solution means human centred. Also I don’t think that making following the letters to be rearranged works as an anagram indicator.
23 Eternal Zombie? (7)
UNDYING – Double definition. The second part of the clue confuses a noun (as defined) with an adjective required by the solution. You could have zombie like.
24 Reduced fare for coach? (7)
RAILCAR – Remove the final letter (reduced) from a pass that gets you a discount on train fares. I don’t think that the pass is the same as the fare.
25 Heard fuses burn (4)
STYX – A homophone (heard) of STICKS (fuses). To described a major legendary river as a burn (a small stream) is a little unfair.
26 Clumsy canine glee? (10)
INELEGANCE – An anagram (clumsy) of CANINE GLEE. The whole clue does not quite work as a definition. Perhaps, the “The outcome of clumsy canine glee”
1 Each are anomalous for pain (7)
EARACHE – An anagram (anomalous) of EACH ARE.
2 Spinster barbarian worried? (5)
EATEN – A seven letter word for a barbarian without any letters H. A spinster is someone who has never had a husband so it does not really work as an indicator to remove one or more Hs.
3 Back dying fool for defender (4-3,7)
TAIL-END CHARLIE – A phrase (4-3) meaning back followed by a seven letter word for a fool.
4 Doctor endlessly unproductive walk (8)
ALLOPATH – A six letter word meaning agriculturally unproductive without the outer letters (endlessly) followed by a four letter word for a pavement or walk.
5 Monitor pass after girl (6)
LIZARD – A four letter girl’s name followed by the abbreviation for road (pass). I don’t think that pass and road are synonymous. As the definition is an example of the solution, this should be indicated in the clue.
7 Beloved home with rumble in a low sound (9)
INAMORATO – A tow letter word meaning at home followed a three letter word meaning to rumble or betray inside the A from the clue and the sound made by cows (low)
8 Strange Cockney man’s journey? (7)
ODYSSEY – A homophone (un-indicated) of ODD IS ‘E (strange Cockney man). The clue lacks a homophone indicator to tell the solver they the solution sounds like the wordplay. Also I don’t think that Cockney man translates to is ‘e.
9 Censor in gun kit made room for flush warder (14)
COUNTERSINKING – An anagram (made) of CENSOR IN GUN KIT. If warder is a kind of screw, its definition is not given in Chambers or Collins.
14 Deny pilot flying intentionally (9)
POINTEDLY – An anagram (flying) of DENY PILOT.
16 Feeling irrational will rupture vile scar (8)
VISCERAL – An anagram (rupture) of VILE SCAR. The will in the clue seems out of place as you have a cryptic reading of definition will wordplay.
17 Shields tablets (7)
PLAQUES – Double definition. Another single definition where the two meanings are too similar.
19 Electric expletive? (7)
ACCURSE – Split 2-5, this might might imply an expletive delivered by a form of electricity. The solution here is a verb but the wordplay suggests a noun as the solution.
20 Went off shortly after abbreviated narrative of copycat (6)
EPIGON – A three letter word meaning left (went off) with the final letter removed (shortly) after a four letter word for a long narrative with the final letter removed (abbreviated). Some editors will not allow wordplay of definition.
22 Pronounced paddy field free from toxin (5)
RICIN – A homophone (pronounced) of RICE IN (paddy field). I don’t know what the free is doing in the clue. Also wordplay from definition does not work. The definition is obtained from the wordplay. Finally, I think that you need something to indicate that is is something that describes a paddy field.