A Puzzle by Dumber
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Dumber joins the ever longer list of budding setters making their debut here 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 fofllows.
A creditable start for Dumber. There were some good clues here but the use of abbreviations and repeating wordplay indicators needs to be addressed. The commentometer reads as 4.5/29 or 15.5%.
1 Board game with model of car kept in old northern theme park (11)
CHESSINGTON – A five letter board game with white and black pieces followed by a two letter abbreviation for a type of car in the in from the clue and the abbreviations for old and northern. The “in” in the clue is doing double duty as part of the containment indicator (kept in) and the IN as it appears in the solution. I am not persuaded by the car-kept in old… argument.
7 Catered for agent (3)
FED – Double definition of having provided food for and an American agent.
9 Charlie and Ruby love this doctrine (5)
CREDO – The letter represented by Charlie in the NATO phonetic alphabet followed by another word for the colour ruby and the letter representing love or zero.
10 She sings in clubs to husband and, to the audience, against trees (9)
CHANTEUSE – The abbreviations for clubs and husband followed by a homophone of anti yews (against trees). As the solution does not have the same pronunciation of the final seven letters, I think solvers would be right to grumble that the homophone does not work in the solution. It is something I have (rightly) been picked up on.
11 Getting better non-themed arrangement (2,3,4)
ON THE MEND – An anagram (arrangement) of NON THEMED. As you need only to move the first N to the right, this is not really an anagram that demands much of the solver.
12 Scandinavian alternative hidden in named quarter (5)
NORSE – A two letter word expressing an alternative inside the abbreviation for named and the abbreviation for south-east (quarter). Whilst name can be used as an abbreviation for name, the dictionaries do not support its use as an abbreviation for named. NSE on its own is not an abbreviation for a quarter.
13 Motorists clubs (7)
DRIVERS – Double definition, the second being golf clubs.
14 It goes pear-shaped for this disagreeable person (6)
EGOIST – An anagram (pear-shaped) of IT GOES.
16 Small amount of paper with hidden credit charge (6)
SCREAM – The abbreviation for small and a four letter word for a quantity of paper includes an abbreviation for credit. Again, the abbreviation usage here is questionable. The abbreviation for credit is CR. However, the R in the solution is already accounted for with the definition of the quantity of paper. C on its own is not a recognised abbreviation for credit. There is also the repetition of hidden as a containment indicator. To scream along can mean to charge or move rapidly.
18 Interrupt DA’s removal from bargained reshuffle (5,2)
BARGE IN – An anagram (reshuffle) of BARGAINED after removing the letters in DA.
20 Wife to doctor: “Rust in Otto’s sausage!” (5)
WURST – The abbreviation for wife followed by an anagram (doctor) of RUST.
21 Sickened by new article, upstart sat down (9)
NAUSEATED – The abbreviation for new and a single letter article followed by the first letter (start) of up and a six letter word meaning sat down. Some editors will not allow constructions such as upstart where you have to split the word to give the wordplay.
22 Ambiguous? It’s the same as the non-instrumental part (9)
EQUIVOCAL – Split 4-5 this might mean that it is equivalent with the sung part.
23 Tipped the French worker… (5)
LEANT – The French for the followed by a three letter word for an insect associated with work.
24 …even so, the elusive creature didn’t finish (3)
YET – A mythical Himalayan snowman with the final letter removed (didn’t finish).
25 Ted keeps Pep confused after team’s avoided (11)
SIDESTEPPED – The TED from the clue keeps an anagram (confused) of PEP after a five letter word for team’s (preserving the ‘s in the solution). As kept has been used as container, a different indicator should ideally be used here.
1 Frigid head of state holds flower for cheated husbands (8)
CUCKOLDS – A four letter word meaning frigid and the first letter (head) of state includes a three letter name of a river whose source is in Wales that flows through to the Severn Estuary.
2 The model-racing version of Silverstone? (8,7)
ELECTRIC CIRCUIT – An appalling cryptic definition where the solution bears little or no resemblance to the definition even allowing for a lot of poetic licence. A resounding thumbs down on this one.
3 Arsenal-supporting policemen and private eyes (5,10)
STORE DETECTIVES – A five letter word for an arsenal followed by a ten letter word for policemen.
4 Two kilos of joints are ignored, university admitted to core group (7)
NUCLEUS – The joints in the fingers without the two Ks (two kilos ignored) include (admitted) the abbreviation for university.
5 Rabbit starts to walk like a duck (7)
TWADDLE – The first letter (starts) of to followed by a word describing how a duck walks. Starts implies two or more letters so this does not really work.
6 Use entirely non-U loo? Never! (3,2,4,6)
NOT ON YOUR NELLIE – An anagram (use) of ENTIRELY NON-U LOO
7 Light virus or two points to Penny (American, red cap) outside Los Angeles (11,4)
FLUORESCENT LAMP – A three letter word for a severe viral cold followed the OR from the clue, two points of the compass, an American coin equivalent to the penny and the abbreviation for a military policeman redcap inside the abbreviation for Los Angeles. Chambers gives redcap as one word, not two.
8 Having eaten healthily, Lawrence dropped dead outside (6)
DIETED – The initials Lawrence of Lawrence of Arabia fame inside a four letter word dropped dead. Try to avoid repeating wordplay indicators. Outside was used in the previous clue.
15 Ovbiously this clue wasn’t checked (8)
UNEDITED – A clue that has a mistype and allowed through the checking process would be this.
17 Hands account to newspaper boss when threatened (7)
MENACED – A three letter word for hands or a crew followed by the abbreviation for account and the abbreviation for editor. Perhaps when works better with the structure definition when worplay rather than wordplay when definition.
18 Lies about gold and black (many Egyptian) trinkets (7)
BAUBLES – The abbreviation for b******t around the chemical symbol for gold, a Roman numeral for a large number (many) and the abbreviation for Egyptian. The abbreviation for Egyptian is another not supported by dictionaries.
19 Outdoorsy, kind of square and feeble (6)
TWEEDY – A type of square used by a draughts-person followed by a word meaning feeble.