A Puzzle by Porcia
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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.
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A plea to all Rookies – the Rookie queue is now empty, so please send your puzzles in asap. If you have submitted a puzzle thet has not been published, it may have been lost in transit so please send it again.
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A review by Prolixic follows.
It is good to welcome back Porcia with this crossword. Relatively speaking it was easier than his previous ones though still of Toughie standard. The commentometer reads as 2.5/25 or 10%
1a/12a The last place you’d be expecting royal patient: it’s HM being treated (9,8)
MATERNITY HOSPITAL – An anagram (being treated) of ROYAL PATIENT ITS HM. Lovely topical clue with good use of the anagram material.
6a “Trump for Pope!” (4)
RUFF – Double definition, the second being a European fish.
9a Jet set (6)
STREAM – Double definition for a jet of water or an academic group of pupils.
10a Does round edges and flushes (8)
CRIMSONS – A four letter word meaning does or cheats around a four letter word for edges
12a See 1
13a Engage and pay attention when recycling (6)
ENLIST – A six letter word meaning pay attention with the first to letter cycling to the end. A little like initial letter selections, cycling or recycling means moving one letter to the beginning or end. More precision is required if you are asking the solver to move two letters.
14a Taking blade into consideration, lad’s relation to be locked up (6)
INSIDE – Where the LAD from the clue can be found in the word BLADE!
15a 18‘s clue fools around so? (5-2)
STAND-IN – A four letter word meaning fools reversed (around) put as a clue. I cannot see how the solver is supposed to know that you need to split the solution with the AND in between the pair of letters.
16a Old bastards using puff and bluster (2-5)
BY-BLOWS – A two letter word meaning using followed by a five letter plural word for both puff and bluster.
18a Bill Cash: good for getting stuff done (6)
ACTING – A two letter abbreviation for a bill or account, a three letter slang word for cash and the abbreviation for good.
21a Audibly express dejection, on account of what has to be solved (6)
CIPHER – A homophone (audibly) of SIGH (express dejection) and FOR (on account of). The homophone requires the cockney pronunciation “fer” as in tit fer tat.
22a White man braves combat (8)
PALEFACE – Single definition defined two ways.
23a Setter’s cribbing six (or a shade over) (3, 5)
SUN-VISOR – The star that sets in the evening on earth around (cribbing) the Roman numerals for 6 all followed by the OR from the clue.
24a Get present for fan (6)
WINNOW – A three letter word meaning get followed by a three letter word meaning present (in the temporal sense of the word).
25a 70s tennis player scratching backside all the time (4)
EVER – The name of the 1970’s women’s tennis player Chris ????? without final letter (scratching backside).
26a These used to catch wind, principally of Spooner’s stable boys (9)
MAINSAILS – A Spoonerism of sane (stable) males (boys).
2d Hag I initially imagined future Tory? Haggard’s She-who-must-be obeyed perhaps (9,6)
AUTHORITY FIGURE – An anagram (haggard) of HAG I I (first letter – initially of imagined) FUTURE TORY.
3d Old flames politician kept on top of tallboy as spares (7)
EXEMPTS – A three letter word for old flames includes (kept) the two-letter abbreviation for a member of parliament on the firsts letter (top of) tallboy. Looking at the cryptic grammar, it does not really tell you that both the abbreviation and the first letter are kept inside the old flames.
4d Supply me words to mean intestinal parasites (8,5)
NEMATODE WORMS – An anagram (supply) of ME WORDS TO MEAN.
5d Make someone laugh, putting article over one’s equipment (6)
TACKLE – A six letter word meaning to make someone laugh with an A (article) replacing (over) the I (one).
7d Unchecked letter? (7)
UPSILON – The Greek letter whose inner letters are surrounded by (checked) the UN from the beginning of the word. Some editors will not allow lift and separate clues of this nature. Given that the clue also relies on a cryptic reading of checked meaning to surround, it make the clue particularly solver unfriendly. I suspect that not many people will have solved this one without most of the cross-checked letters.
8d Black Ops training college? (9,6)
FINISHING SCHOOL – Cryptic definition of where assassins (Black Ops) might be trained.
11d A twit inclined (being vulnerable) to double (9,4)
IDENTICAL TWIN – An anagram (being vulnerable) of A TWIT INCLINED
17d On board Minerva he limped back into port (2,5)
LE HAVRE – The answer is hidden (on board) and reversed (back) in the third to fifth words of the clue.
19d Spanish girl born with a silver spoon in her mouth is literally speechless (7)
INFANTA – The first part of the clue is a definition of a Spanish princess, the second part is an indication that babies cannot talk from the root word of the solution which is from the Latin unable to speak.
20d A person completing this crossword without tremendous speed reveals a confused state-of-mind (6)
APORIA – The A from the clue followed by the name of the setter without the letter used to represent the speed of light.