A Puzzle by Sundance
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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.
Welcome back to Sundance. Whilst there were some good clues, I regret to say that this was a step backward in terms of the cluing. The biggest problem was a lack of precision in the definitions as well as some nonsensical surface readings. The basics in terms of the wordplay are largely there but there needs to be greater precision in the clues. The commentometer reads as a disappointing 7/24 or 29.17%
1/6 Playwright is recreating at rent review (8,8)
TERRENCE RATTIIGAN – An anagram (review) of RECREATING AT RENT. Unfortunately, the playwright’s first name has only one R. The surface reading is not the greatest here.
5 Searched for someone like Rip Van Winkle? (6)
PROBED – Split 3-3, this would suggest someone like Rip Van Winkle who is in favour of somewhere to sleep.
9 Sweet mother hurried to include type of gun (8)
MARZIPAN – A two letter word for a mother followed by a three letter word meaning hurried around (to include) a type of gun. To call the solution a sweet is a bit of a stretch. It is a sweet type of confectioner’s paste. The gun is an American term for a gun that fires elastic bands. It American origin should have been indicated.
10 Watching big cricket match, declare (6)
ATTEST – Split 2,4 this might mean you are attending an international cricket match.
11 We hear that strabismus can be containment (3,5)
ICE TRAYS – I presume that this is a homophone of eye strays. There is so much wrong with this clue that it requires detailed analysis. For a start, using a homophone of an obscure medical term goes beyond the bounds of fairness. The medical term is the term for a squint, the fact that the eye strays the result of a squint, not the squint itself. Finally, the definition does not define the noun required for the solution. It would need to be container to work.
12 Resources nowhere in addition (6)
WITHAL – A 11 letter word meaning resources (usually used in the phrase “I haven’t got the ****” without the “where” (nowhere). Some editors will not allow lift and separate clues without further indication that you have to split the word to give the required wordplay.
14/21 Concoction of chicken comes to the road and produces soap (10,6)
CORONATION STREET – A type of chicken dish originally produced for population to celebrate the enthronement of the Queen using limited resources followed by another word for road.
18 Seat at 24, for instance (10)
UNIVERSITY – Definition by example, being an institution of learning. Whilst you can have a seat of learning as defining the solution, I don’t think that this makes the single word as a synonym of the solution.
22 See 7 Down
23 18 followed by opening act can follow trade (8)
UNIONIST – The three letter abbreviation for the solution at 18a followed by a phase 2,3 (with the second word being an abbreviation for first) meaning that you are the opening act in a production.
24 Example of first part of 25 can come after morris (6)
OXFORD – A type of shoe (the first four letters of the answer to 25a that could also come after the name of a car called the Morris ******. The convention is that where you are using a proper noun, you keep the capitalisation, so morris should have been Morris.
25 Heard to send away fine material on foot (8)
SHOELACE – A homophone (heard) of shoo (send away) followed by a type of fine material. As we have already had “we hear” as a homophone indicator, a different indicator should have been used here. Also, the definition is no really accurate enough to define the solution.
26 Some stuff is called in for financial reasons (6)
FISCAL – The answer is hidden (some) in the third to fifth words of the clue. I am not sure that the solution means “for financial reasons”. It means relating to the treasury, which is not quite the same thing.
27 Precious London police in hasty arrangement (8)
AMETHYST – A three letter word for the London police inside an anagram (arrangement) of HASTY. You cannot use an adjective to describe a noun in the way.
1 Old cowboy star travelling to 2009 (3,3)
TOM MIX – The two from the clue followed by the Roman numerals for 2009. The travelling seems to be padding and does not fit with any of the wordplay.
2 Right in, rode out and cheated (6)
RORTED – The two letter abbreviation for right inside an anagram (out) of RODE. This is one of those unusual situations where another solution (rooked) would also have been a valid answer.
3 English man in Greece roved eastwards initially and moved home (6)
EMIGRE – The first letters (initially) of the first six letters of the clue. The definition indicated emigrated as the solution, not the name of a person who has moved home.
4 Sounds like he shouted way too much about the Lakota (5,5)
CRAZY HORSE – The second word is a homophone of hoarse, the result of shouting too much. How the first part of the solution is derived is not evident from clue. The solution is the name of a Native American, not the whole of his people that the solution suggests.
6 See 1 Across
7/22 Type of spaniel and friend with unreturned service is stately near 24 (8,6)
BLENHEIM PALACE – The name of a breed of spaniel followed by a three letter word for a friend and a three letter word for a tennis serve that is not returned. One of the clues with a very poor surface reading.
8 Fruit selection can add 24 hours (4,4)
DATE LINE – Read literally, this could suggest a selection of fruit from a palm tree. It is also the imaginary terminator where the day one one side is 24 hours ahead of the other side.
13/19 Green team found when organising steaming hot front (10,6)
NOTTINGHAM FOREST – An anagram (organising) of STEAMING HOT FRONT. To define them as the green team is a bit of a stretch, given that their colours are red and white. The only association is indirect to the colour of the second word of the clue.
15 Kills for what you may receive on your birthday – it’s not on (5,3)
BUMPS OFF – An activity children may indulge in to celebrate a birthday followed by the opposite of on. The structure of definition for wordplay is back to front. You can have wordplay for definition, not the other way around.
16 They get you upstairs but after dispensing with church they will bring in supplies (8)
AIRLIFTS – The type of device used on stairs manufactured by Stannah and others without the abbreviation for church. The wordplay is a good spot but the surface reading suffers.
17 Ring sound before song is tadpole shaped (8)
CERCARIA – A homophone (sound) of a ring followed by four letter word for an operatic song. If the intention is that the homophone is of circ for circle, then the clue does not work as the abbreviation circ is for circa or about. The dictionary gives the solution as the final larval stage of many trematode worms, not the shape of a tadpole.
19 See 13
20 Larger compiler apparently has two partners (6)
BIGAMY – A homophone (apparently) of BIGGER ME. My favourite clue though perhaps having two partners would be more precise.
21 See 14 Across