A Puzzle by Fringilla
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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.
As with previous crosswords by Fringilla, there are a mixture of good and bad clues. Particular issues here are two uses of indirect anagrams, too many uses of people’s names and some surface readings that are far from ideal. The simple clues work well, such as 28a, 2d, 6d and 20d.
Perhaps time reading some of the guides to setting available on line or a book such as Don Manley’s excellent guide to setting cryptic crosswords would pay dividends.
The commentometer reads as 7 / 32 or 21.9%
1 Gave back mixed drink crush (6)
DEFEAT – A three letter word meaning gave food to is reversed (back) and followed with an anagram (mixed) of TEA (drink). An inauspicious start. The final part of the wordplay requires an indirect anagram. The basic rule is the best to follow. Don’t use them. The device is used again in 14d.
4 Herbs Mac mixed for ‘bible’ I now use (8)
CHAMBERS – An anagram (mixed) of HERBS MAC. A number of points on this clue. The anagram indicator “mixed” repeats the indicator in the previous clue. Try not to repeat indicators. The surface reading is nonsensical. Try to get more convincing sentences for the clue. Finally, whilst the definition is OK within the context of a crossword blog, it would not convert to another publication where the link between Chambers and crossword setting would not be known.
9 Concerned an Ex promises to pay (7)
ANXIOUS – The AN from the clue followed by the letter phonetically pronounced EX and the abbreviation for debts.
11 Freeze mountain salad item (7)
ICEBERG – A three letter word meaning freeze followed by a four word for a mountain.
12 Hit ‘F’ string arrangement on play’s opening (5,5)
FIRST NIGHT – An anagram (arrangement) of HIT F STRING. The link word “on” does not work in the cryptic reading of the clue as wordplay on definition.
13 Clue? Well, it’s a long story… (4)
SAGA – Not sure of the wordplay here. It makes no obvious sense.
15 …Same again! (5)
DITTO – A straight definition.
16 Bride’s collection consists of a fish with tail cut off, the week-end and water (9)
TROUSSEAU – A type of freshwater fish without the last letter (with tail cut of) followed by the abbreviation for Saturday and Sunday and the French word for water. A couple of points here. S is an abbreviation for Sabbath, which translates as Sunday but S on its own is not an abbreviation for Saturday. If you are using a foreign word, it should be indicated.
17 Below par result is a possibility (3-6)
OFF-CHANCE – A three letter word meaning below par followed by a loose synonym for a result.
21 Mandolin diehard embraces music (5)
INDIE – The answer is hidden (embraces) in the first two words of the clue.
23 Browse page (4)
LEAF – Double definition thought they are too closely related as one is the action of looking through the other.
24 Mum, Ian and I not at sea for e.g. shells and slugs (10)
AMMUNITION – An anagram (at sea) of MUM IAN I NOT.
27 No Kiwis initially amongst Dutch settlers? Mad! (7)
BONKERS – The initial letters of the first two words inside (amongst) the name of the Dutch settlers in South Africa.
28 Composed case (7)
PATIENT – Double definition, the second being a person being seen by a doctor.
29 Metal mop is, apparently, quite rare (4,4)
GOLD DUST – A four letter precious metal followed by a word meaning mop. The synonym for mop is not precise enough. They are two separate activities.
30 Brown boy protecting girl (6)
TANNED – A three letter girt’s name inside a three letter boy’s name.
1 Small fight contained by Director Fellow (5)
DWARF – A three letter word for a fight inside (contained by) the abbreviations for director and fellow.
2 Run after cheat for a dance (7)
FOXTROT – A four letter word meaning run after a three letter word meaning cheat.
3 Punctuation mark for a support Hospital in moor (10)
APOSTROPHE – The A from the clue followed by a four letter word for a support and the abbreviation for hospital inside a four letter word meaning to moor.
5 Cheery expression from 1 dn perhaps? (5-2)
HEIGH-HO – Another straight definition.
6 Link up for racing (4)
MEET – Double definition.
7 Promote increase (7)
ELEVATE – Double definition though again the two meanings are perhaps too close.
8 Smell is up over dung without the man Frank (9)
SIGNATURE – A four letter word for a smell and the IS from the clue are reversed (up) and followed by a six letter word for dung without the MAN. The definition here must operated as a verb but the solution is a noun.
10 Avoid Women! (please note that this is not really the opinion of the setter) (5)
SKIRT – Double definition. The words in brackets are not necessary and detract from the clue. However, it could have been woven into the wordplay as “Avoid a derogatory term for women”.
14 Plant me under snake, before man comes up with mangled rodent (10)
ASPIDISTRA – A three letter word for a venomous snake followed by a single letter word representing the setter (me), a reversal of a three letter mans name and an indirect anagram (mangled) of RAT. Try to avoid having too many references to men and women’s names. This is another clue where the surface reading does not make much sense.
15 Flea, after drawing bomb (9)
DOODLEBUG – A thee letter word for a flea after a six letter word for drawing. As flea is a definition by example, this should be indicated.
18 Two men rise around noon? Nonsense (7)
FLANNEL – Two three letter men’s names reversed (rise) around the abbreviation for noon.
19 Moi in Nebraska, South; is that fate? (7)
NEMESIS – A two letter word for moi inside the abbreviation for Nebraska, the abbreviation for South and the IS from the clue.
20 Provide Ecstasy joke (5)
EQUIP – The abbreviation for ecstasy followed by a four letter word for a joke.
22 Run home for food on the go? (5-2)
DRIVE-IN – A five letter word meaning run followed by a two letter word meaning home.
25 No man is distinguished (5)
NOTED – The no from the clue followed by a three letter man’s name. The overuse of names has been noted but this one also repeats the name used in 30a. As the two clues intersect, this was even more obvious
26 Garden drug (4)
WEED – Double definition, the second being a slang word for cannabis.