A Puzzle by DMS
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
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.
It was a long wait for DMS to reappear but worth the wait. The high quality of the clues has been commented on and I echo those comments. Given the quality, it means that there were a couple of clue that stuck out like sore thumbs as not being up to the standard of the remaining clues. Often it is a good idea to put a crossword aside for a week or two after competing the clues. Then come back and be ruthless to replace the weakest clues with better ones.
Once agains the anagram count was on the high side. Rather than reduce the a little, I would aim to reduce them to about five or six per crossword. Perhaps, as training, you could set yourself the challenge of setting a crossword without anagrams to wean yourself off them as the staple go to clue type.
There were a handful of minor comment on some of the clues. There are to polish the clues. There were no major problems with them. The commentometer reads as 3/30 or 10%.
1 Snowman? (7)
CHARLIE – A lift and separate clue where the component parts of the clue give a double definition of a drug known as Snow or the solution and a man’s name. Some editors will not permit lift and separate clues of this type without an indication that the word needs to be split.
5 Loads containers? (7)
BUCKETS – Double definition, the second being another word for a pail.
9 Alternatives for those unwilling to take flight (5)
LIFTS – Cryptic definition of something that can be used in place of the stairs (flight).
10 Killer transported to a prison (3,6)
RAT POISON – An anagram (transported) of TO A PRISON.
11 Well-populated areas? (9)
OILFIELDS – Cryptic definition of areas where there are wells used to extract a natural resource from the earth.
12 The end of tiresome game (5)
OMEGA – The answer is hidden in (of) the final two words of the clue.
13/19 On reflection, they show the way ahead (4,4)
CATS EYES – Cryptic definition of the reflectors used on roads.
15 This month workers will get ticks (8)
INSTANTS – A four letter abbreviation meaning this month followed by a four-letter word for insect workers.
18 Be the property of, eg, Bolton Wandering? (6,2)
BELONG TO – An anagram (wandering) of EG BOLTON
19 See 13
22 Bar serving gin to drunk (5)
INGOT – An anagram (drunk) of GIN TO.
24 Wipe the floor of surplus juice (9)
OVERPOWER – A four letter word meaning surplus followed by word for juice in the context of electricity.
26 Romeo’s back to idle outside for Eliza (9)
DOOLITTLE – The final letter (back) of Romeo with a phrase (2, 6) meaning to idle. Perhaps a question mark to indicate that Eliza is a definition by example of the solution would be appropriate.
27 Is it parallel with 40? (5)
NINTH – A rather weak clue to part of the 49th Parallel. This one does not really work for me. First, Third, Fifth and Sixth would have been equally valid solutions.
28 Priest struggles to get round Sally (7)
RIPOSTE – An anagram (struggles) of PRIEST includes (to get) a round letter. To get is a weak inclusion indicator. You could have had Priest struggles to hide love for Sally.
29 Plant might be pointy! (7)
FACTORY – A six letter word for a point followed by the Y. Another clue that does not really work very well. If you have a lift and separate clue, they really should be confined to words where there is a natural break in the word to be split. Putting in an exclamation mark is not sufficient.
1 Many admit being inexperienced (6)
CALLOW – The Roman numeral for 100 (many) followed by a five-letter word meaning admit.
2 Overheard a young woman brewing tea for partner (9)
AFFILIATE – A homophone (overheard) of A FILLY (a young woman) followed by an anagram (brewing) of tea.
3 Overheard a young woman making cold drink (5)
LASSI – A homophone (overheard) of LASSIE (a young woman). You could have hidden the repetition of the homophone indicator by using ellipses at the end of 2d and had 3d as “… and another making cold drink”
4 Entering frightfully long line to eat starter in restaurant (9)
ENROLLING – An anagram (frightfully) of LONG LINE includes the first letter (starter in) of restaurant.
5 We are clean out of them! (5)
BATHS – Cryptic definition of where you might perform your ablutions.
6 Hot drink that is available in bars (9)
CHOCOLATE – Double definition of a drink and a confection made by Cadburys and others.
7 Follow tennis queen from time to time (5)
ENSUE – The even letters (from time to time) in the second and third words of the clue.
8 Sat before this, and German, for example, sat around this! (6)
SUNDAY – The German for “and” with a three-letter word meaning for example around it.
14 I’m the so-and-so mixing drinks (9)
SMOOTHIES – An anagram (mixing) of IM THE SO SO.
16 Feasted on nuts being totally oblivious (5-4)
STONE-DEAF – An anagram (nuts) of FEASTED ON.
17 Kicking and punching, Kate Tempest came first to the party! (9)
TAEKWONDO – An anagram (Tempest) of KATE followed by a three-letter word meaning came first and a two-letter word for a party. The over preponderance of anagrams is highlight particularly where you have three clues containing anagrams in a row. Some editors will not allow a noun to be used as an anagram indicator.
20 More excited by Billie Jean on the radio? (6)
WILDER – The surnames of two people called Billy and Gene (Billie and Jean on the radio).
21 Slyly get husband in Lycra for a change (6)
ARCHLY – An anagram (change) of LYCRA with the abbreviation for husband inserted. If change is being used as an imperative verb, it could come before the letters to be rearranged. The cryptic grammar definition get letter in anagram does not quite flow. Perhaps “putting husband in” would be better.
23 Doctor covering John in slime (5)
GLOOP – The abbreviation for general practitioner (doctor) around (covering) a three-letter word for a toilet or john.In a down clue, covering has the sense of being above, rather than going around.
24 It’s unusual to mess up true love (5)
OUTRÉ – An anagram (to mess up) of TRUE O (lover).
25 Oversleep since missing every other alarm (5)
PANIC – Reverse (over) a three-letter word meaning sleep followed by the even letters (missing every other) in since.