Fit by The Void
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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.
After Void’s first crossword, I feared that this one would leave me with a pain in the diodes in my left-hand side. Happily it was not the case. In Rookie terms this was a superb comeback with the best improvement I have seen in some time. Some of the surface readings need attention, but unless they are complete nonsense, I tend to be more forgiving on surface readings than the wordplay. Polishing surface readings will come with practice. The commentometer reads as 2.5/30 or 8.3%
1 Thorough acupuncture? (11)
PAINSTAKING – A cryptic reference to the effect of acupuncture as a form of analgesia.
9 Maybe Marvin unravelled DNA before Ford essentially backed identification (7)
ANDROID – An anagram (unravelled) of DNA followed by the inner letters (essentially) of ford and a reversal (backed) of the abbreviation for identification.
10 Heads of television authorities start testing if excellent radio’s more appealing (7)
TASTIER – The initial letters “heads” of the third to ninth words of the clue.
11 Skips over the pond and drops the new Herald Sun quarterly (9)
DUMPSTER – A five letter word meaning drops followed by every fourth letter (quarterly) in “the new Herald Sun”. Despite some objections in the comments, I quite liked the quarterly as indicating every fourth letter.
12 Heart of gold? Yours might need the opposite, if they’ve gone bad (5)
TEETH – Cryptic definition of part of the body that may have to have a gold cap (opposed to a heart) if rotten or decayed.
13 Silenced two characters (5)
MUTED – One of the letters of the Greek alphabet and one of the abbreviated forms of Edward (together being two characters).
14 Bird: smooth musician (9)
SANDPIPER – A four letter word meaning to smooth (in woodworking) and a five letter word for a type of musician.
17 US junior group member, good in real life (saint, almost), refined (4,5)
GIRL SCOUT – The abbreviation for good followed by the abbreviation for In Real Life (supported by Collins and the OED but not Chambers), the single letter abbreviation for saint and a five letter word meaning cultured with the final letter (almost) removed.
20 Screen siren‘s role-playing knight (5)
LOREN – An anagram (playing) of role followed by the abbreviation used in chess for Knight.
22 Produce sound of secret disclosures (5)
LEEKS – A homophone (sound of) leaks (secret disclosures).
25 Satirist‘s real reversal over moonshot with Pence (9)
LAMPOONER – Reverse the real for the clue around (over) the MOON from the clue with P (pence) inserted (shot with). Some editors will not allow lift and separate clues where you have to split words like moonshot into moon and shot.
26 Double-crosses seer I mixed up with Persian invader (6,1)
XERXES I – An anagram (mixed up) of XX (double-crosses) SEER I.
27 Ghastly crime in Adam Ant’s little group of unnamed horse riders (7)
AMERICA – An anagram (ghastly) of CRIME inside AA (Adam Ant’s little). The wordplay to get the AA does not work. The definition is perhaps a little too oblique. It may also be misleading as it was principally the horse that had no name not the riders and there was only one rider.
28 Problem raisers, but they travel hopefully (5-6)
HITCH-HIKERS – A five letter word for a problem followed by a word for those who raise something. I don’t particularly like the but as a link word though it is occasionally seen. The issue is that cryptically wordplay but definition does not make much sense.
1 Top of St Paul’s fitted in gatekeeper’s measuring device (9)
PEDOMETER – One of the notable features of St Paul’s Cathedral inside the Saint who holds the keys to heaven.
2 Cromwell flattens, expires: daughter moved (9)
IRONSIDES – A five letter word meaning flattens or smooths followed by a four letter word meaning expires with the abbreviation for daughter moved down.
3 Depression? Send back into SAS! (7)
SADNESS – Reverse (back) the SEND from the clue and include in the SAS from the clue. Perhaps this could have been made more cryptic by cluing SAS as crack unit.
4 Knitwear style worn by its mad exquisite crafter (7)
ARTISAN – A letter word for a type of knitwear around (worn by) an anagram (mad) of ITS.
5 Positioned within exits of mini gun turrets’ smoke vent (5)
INSET – The final letters (exits) of the fifth to ninth words of the clue.
6 Lead British 17 (5)
GUIDE – Double definition, the second being the UK member of a girl’s uniformed organisation. Where you give a cross-reference to a clue where there are both across and down clues, you should indicate which one you are referring to.
7 Firebrand omitted part of selection method (6)
RANDOM – The answer is hidden (part of) in the first two words of the clue.
8 Dancing hurt a queen in Moore movie (6)
ARTHUR – An anagram (dancing) of HURT A followed by the abbreviation for Regina (queen).
15 Pasty person covers civil engineer of ancient age (9)
PALEOCENE – A four letter word meaning pasty followed by a three letter word for a person around (covers) the abbreviation for civil engineer. In a down clue, covers more naturally means above or over, not around.
16 Delusions from average lack of oxygen not unknown. End of diagnosis! (9)
PARANOIAS – A three letter word meaning average followed by a word meaning lack of oxygen without the X (not unknown) and the final letter (end) of diagnosis.
17 Happy to be around slack gathering of stars (6)
GALAXY – A three letter word meaning blithe or happy around a three letter word meaning slack.
18 Lubricate to try to catch swimmer (7)
OILFISH – A three letter word meaning lubricate followed by a four letter word meaning try to catch. There is perhaps too much of an overlap between the root of the word try to catch and the solution.
19 Returning, I sleep briefly with university instruments (7)
TIMPANI – A reversal (returning) of the I from the clue an three letter word meaning to sleep and the abbreviation for Massachusetts Institute of Technology (university). Perhaps university members in the kitchen might have improved the surface reading here.
21 Impossible to get right in a cold country (6)
NORWAY – A phrase (2, 3) meaning impossible includes (to get … in) the abbreviation for right.
23 Broken heater spews out some energy where temperatures are rising (5)
EARTH – An anagram (broken) of HEATERS after removing one of the Es (spews out some energy).
24 Exhausted author in street (5)
SPENT – A three letter word for a writing instrument inside the abbreviation for street.