A Puzzle by Hippogryph
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
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.
Sorry Hippogryph, but this is really not the standard of crossword that we expect from our Rookie setters. There were far too many examples of good surface readings, accurate wordplay, misdirections and attention to detail. With hardly a hair out of place, I think you would be far better suited to putting your talents to work in the NTSPP. The commentometer reads at 1/28 or 3.5%
This review was prepared before my foray to a restaurant and any consumption of vin rouge so any miscounting of letters in this review (unlike Saturday’s NTSPP) is down to my usual (as opposed to wine-induced) incompetence!
1 Spooner’s potentially hazardous gardening technique is amazing! (11)
MINDBLOWING – A Spoonerism of Blind Mowing (hazardous gardening technique). According to Chambers, Collins and the OED, the enumeration of the answer should be 4-7.
9 One hesitates about going back to western state (7)
WAVERER – The two letter word meaning about is reversed (going back) beside (to) the abbreviation for Western and a four letter word meaning state or declare. Rather like A on B meaning B followed by A, I think that A to (or beside) B can made B followed by A.
10 Three times thirty? (7)
TRIPLEX – A written description of XXX (thirty in Roman numerals)
11 Crazy reloading endlessly after using first of bullets from ammo belt (9)
BANDOLIER – An anagram (crazily) of RELOADING after removing the last letter (endlessly) and adding the first letter in bullets. Wordplay from definition does not work. First of bullets in… would have been much better.
12 Trip to a higher place precedes death? (5)
UPEND – A two letter word meaning to a higher place followed by a three letter word meaning death.
13 Job rotation in Denmark’s a trial (4)
TASK – The answer is hidden and reversed (rotation in) in the last three words of the clue.
14 Deep-sounding owl flicked tail to head, quietly irritated. (3- 7)
LOW-PITCHED – The “owl” from the clue with the last letter moved to the front (flicked tail to head) followed by the musical abbreviation for quiet and a six letter word meaning irritated.
16 Two US states are restricted by licence to provide senior accommodation (6,4)
GRANNY FLAT – A five letter word for a licence around the abbreviations for New York and Florida and are (as in the unit of area).
19 Crack picture game (4)
SNAP – Triple definition of another word for crack or break, a photograph or picture and a card game.
21 Slow movement of fabulous ship on lake (5)
LARGO – The abbreviation for lake followed by the name of the ship used by Jason and the Argonauts.
22 Extremely poor behaviour of dishevelled tailors in Manhattan after vacation (6,3)
MORTAL SIN – An anagram (dishevelled) of TAILORS IN MN (the outer letters – after vacation – of Manhattan).
24 King Charles perhaps explains mix up having lost the vote (7)
SPANIEL – An anagram (mix up) of EXPLAINS after removing the X (having lost the vote)
25 Deprived children found in Orleans once Polish extremists displace the French (7)
ORPHANS – Remove the French masculine form of the from Orleans and replace with the outer letters (extremists) of Polish.
26 Rub out complex term in a technical abstract (11)
EXTERMINATE – The answer is hidden in (abstract) the third to seventh words of the clue.
1 Magicians strove excitedly to create transport machine (6,9)
MOVING STAIRCASE – An anagram (excitedly) of MAGICIANS STROVE
2 US agent ran climbing business (5)
NARCO – Reverse (climbing) the “ran” from the clue and follow with the abbreviation for company. Perhaps organised climbing business might have added an additional layer of complexity for the solver here.
3 Donkey without appeal could be on the menu? (7)
BURRITO – A five letter word (originally Spanish) for a donkey around (without) a two letter word for appeal.
4 Sudden emergence of leaders from Oxford University tragically cut short (7)
OUTCROP – The initial letters of Oxford University tragically followed by a four letter word meaning cut short.
5 Gross injustice in variable housing – I resign! (8)
INIQUITY– The IN from the clue and a letter representing an algebraic variable includes the I from the clue and a four letter word meaning resign.
6 Midas touch gained at the end of career? (6,9)
GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – Cryptic definition of a remuneration package give to a person who leaves a job.
7 Inferior Bostonian old boy taken in by fool (3-3)
TWO-BIT – The abbreviation for old boy inside (taken in by) a four letter word for a fool. Bostonian indicates that the solution is an American term.
8 Banned, docked one hundred pounds, and discharged (6)
EXUDED – An eight letter word mean banned with the abbreviations for one hundred and pounds removed (docked).
15 Pro UK American President loses heart visiting Scottish Island (8)
UNIONIST – The surname of the US president involved in the Watergate scandal without its middle letter (loses heart) inside (visiting) a four letter word for a Scottish island. The island is North or South Uist. Together the islands (plural) can be referred to as Uist.
16 Goals smashed with hard boot covering (6)
GALOSH – An anagram (smashed) of GOALS H (hard)
17 Female Cockney’s less arrogant – unlikely to be a keeper (7)
FUMBLER – The abbreviation for female followed by a word meaning less arrogant without the H (cockney).
18 Theoretically, brother’s head is in excellent condition (1,6)
A PRIORI – The name for the head of a monastery inside a two letter word meaning in excellent condition.
20 Like wordplay with only one noun? That’s fine (6)
PUNISH – A word meaning like a pun (wordplay) with only one N (noun)
23 Being the most powerful, gallop ahead regularly (5)
ALPHA – The even letters in the fifth and six words of the clue.