A Puzzle by Bardwig
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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 Bardwig. This was a step up in terms of the complexity of the cluing, partly because in a few cases, there were some stretches required in terms of getting to the required wordplay in the solutions from the clues provided. However, overall the clues were more polished and enjoyable. The commentometer reads as 2.5/28 or 8.9%.
A very merry Christmas to all the Rookies who have entertained us over the past 12 months and to all who have commented, encouraged and critiqued their creations.
1 Sportswoman Eleanor briefly accepts hitherto unspecified bet during training run (7,6)
NETBALL PLAYER – A four letter diminutive form of Eleanor includes the abbreviation for to be arranged (hitherto unspecified) and the resulting word is followed by a three letter word meaning to bet inside (during) the abbreviation for physical exercise (training) all followed with the abbreviation for run. I think to get from hitherto unspecified to the required abbreviation is too much of a stretch.
8 Kim Jong Un’s Force for Justice doctored strong evidence (7,3)
SMOKING GUN – An anagram (doctored) of KIM JONG UNS with the J (justice) replaced by G for Force. Whilst J for justice is OK, the abbreviation for force is F. G is the abbreviation for the acceleration due to gravity, and to get from force, to gravity to G is too indirect, particularly when used in an anagram type of clue.
9 Some of Seamus Heaney’s schmaltz (4)
MUSH – The answer is hidden (some of) in the third and fourth words of the clue.
10 Jerk blanked church architect (4)
WREN – A six letter word meaning twist or jerk with the abbreviation for church.
11 Encounter tramp with American piebald (4,4)
BUMP INTO – A three letter word for a tramp followed by a five letter word for an American piebald horse.
13 Eccentric takes after current Establishment figure creator (3-5)
ICE-SKATE – An anagram (eccentric) of TAKES after the abbreviation for electrical current and the abbreviation for Church of England. I think to get from Establishment to Church of England is probably a little too much of a stretch. As the solution is the instrument that creates the figures, even if under the control of the person wearing them, I think that the definition is OK in the same way that a writer can describe a pen even though it is under the control of the author.
14 1000 men backing gulf state painter (6)
MOREAU – The Roman numeral for 1000 followed by the abbreviation for Other Ranks (men) fan a reversal (backing) of the abbreviation for United Arab Emirates (gulf state).
16 Cinema crowds getting one for nothing (6)
FLICKS – A six letter word meaning crowds with the O (nothing) replaced by an I (one).
18 Fine gold lock in the Tower of London perhaps (8)
FORTRESS – The abbreviation for fine and a two letter word for gold in heraldry followed by a five letter word for a lock of hair.
20 Reject hawk holding hard line (5,3)
THROW OUT – A four letter word meaning sell or hawk includes (holding) the abbreviation for hard and a three letter word for a line.
22 Groom reflected a way of working in ancient days (4)
COMB – The abbreviation for modus operandi (way of working) inside the abbreviation for before Christ (ancient days) all reversed (reflected).
24 Opening window (4)
SLOT – Double definition for a small opening and a period of time or window of opportunity for doing something.
25 Where Elaine Paige became famous by embracing tyro willy-nilly (10)
INEVITABLY– A phrase (2,5) for the show that propelled Elaine Paige to greater public recognition followed by the by from the clue around the abbreviation for learner (tyro).
26 State lost when EU was abandoned (3,5,5)
NEW SOUTH WALES – An anagram (abandoned) of LOST WHEN EU WAS.
1 Heard modern miracle re-established a kind of order (9)
NUMERICAL – A homophone (heard) of new (modern) followed by an anagram (re-established) of MIRACLE.
2 Thus initially a royal son proceeds (7)
TAKINGS – The first letter (initially) of thus followed by the A from the clue, the name of a royal male ruler and the abbreviation for son.
3 Relative value not expressed evenly (4)
AUNT – The even letters in the second and third words of the clue.
4 Easy to read French articles about Soldier Boy’s origin (7)
LEGIBLE – The French masculine singular definite article used twice (articles is in the plural) around the abbreviation for an American soldier and the first letter (origin) of boy.
5 Far from brief note: lines characteristic of a grudge-bearer? (4,6)
LONG MEMORY – A four letter word meaning far from followed by a four letter word for a note and the abbreviation for railway (lines).
6 Two dollars off, medium dry could be more palatable (7)
YUMMIER – An anagram (could be) of MEDIUM DRY after removing the abbreviation for dollars on both occasions where it appears. As Collins gives d for dollar in its own right as an abbreviation, this is an acceptable use.
7 Sappers prepared fresh start (5)
RESET – The abbreviation for Royal Engineers (sappers) followed by a three letter word meaning prepared. Perhaps to start afresh to give the verbal form would be better although Collins gives the nounal form of the solution
12 He sang of maids not performing (4,6)
FATS DOMINO – An anagram (performing) of OF MAIDS NOT.
15 Gathers up small litter in Napoleonic retreat (9)
ASSEMBLES – The abbreviation for small followed by a four letter word for litter inside the name of the island where Napoleon was exiled with all the letters reversed (up).
17 Native American guard holding ball carrier’s head up (7)
CHOCTAW – A five letter word meaning guard includes (holding) a letter resembling a ball followed by the first letter (head) of carrier with all the letters then reversed (up). The repetition of the wordplay indicator “up” is particularly noticeable as it was used in the previous clue. There is also a repetition of holding and a containment indicator.
18 Natural survivors meet match at Lords maybe (7)
FITTEST – A three letter word meaning meet or proper followed by the word for an international cricket match that might be held at Lords. Note that the correct spelling is Lord’s.
19 Stun completely somewhere between Shannon and Malin (7)
ROCKALL – A four latter word meaning stun followed by a three letter word meaning completely for the name of one of the shipping areas.
21 Classical beauty with style will secure win ultimately (5)
HELEN – The last letters (ultimately) of the third to seventh words of the clue.
23 Opinion that is held by German carmakers (4)
VIEW – The abbreviation for “that is” inside (held by) the two letter abbreviation for Volkswagen (German carmakers).