A Puzzle by Gonzo
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
This puzzle was received back in November, but slipped through the net until I was nudged by the setter. 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 Gonzo. Overall, a very good crossword. There were a few unusual wordplay elements but I don’t think that they were too strained. The wordiness of the clues did not worry me. Different setts have different styles. What I would say is that wordier clues often reveal the intended wordplay more easily than a concise clue. Overall, wordiness can make a crossword easier to solve. I counted seven anagrams which is about the top end for a crossword though you do see published crosswords with many more. The commentometer reads as 2/28 or 7.1%
8 Force through edict before 12, with a number defecting (8)
BULLDOZER – The four letter word for a papal edict followed by a word describing a group of twelve with the abbreviation of an unspecified number removed (defecting).
9 Padre disrupted hanging… (5)
DRAPE – An anagram (disrupted) of PADRE.
10 … monster therefore returned… (4)
OGRE – Reverse (returned) the Latin word meaning therefore.
11 … in cruel play I redrafted especially (10)
PECULIARLY – An anagram (redrafted) of CRUEL PLAY I.
12 Not just somewhere to give back prizes? (6)
UNFAIR – Definition and a cryptic definition – If you get prizes at a fair, where might you give them back. The cryptic element of this clue does not really work for me.
14 Store announced stock merger with lucrative concerns (4,4)
CASH COWS – A homophone (announced) of CACHE (store) followed by animals that might form part of the stock on a farm.
15 In Asia, those running with packs regularly pay heed to limitations of GPS (3,4)
PYE DOGS – The odd letters (regularly) in pay heed to followed by the outer letters (limitations) of GPS.
17 Naval officer‘s splendid parts to be removed (7)
ADMIRAL – A nine letter word meaning splendid without (removed) the letters (parts to) in be.
20 Two Persians, perhaps, the first looking back in very detached sort of play (8)
STACCATO – The animal of which Persians are an example with the first reversed (looking back) inside a two letter word meaning very.
22 A head of a Greek god (6)
APOLLO – The A from the clue followed by a four letter word for head and the single letter abbreviation for of (as in Man O’ War).
23 Plant has religious community taking in work (10)
FRITILLARY – A six letter word for a religious community includes (taking in) a four letter word meaning to work the soil.
24 Divisive construction taken by constitutional lawyer rejected (4)
WALL – The answer is hidden (taken by) and reversed (rejected) in the fifth and sixth words of the clue.
25 Describing argument, on reflection take notice of former PM (5)
BROWN – Around (describing) a three letter word for argument put a reversal (rejected) of the abbreviation for take note.
26 The how and why of reversing in the highroad? (8)
CAUSEWAY – Reversed the order of (reversing) a three letter word meaning “The how of” and a five letter word meaning “the why of”
1 Diamonds inlaid into fancy gun, ruby red (8)
BURGUNDY – The abbreviation for diamonds inside (inlaid into) an anagram (fancy) of GUN RUBY.
2 Down By Law – uncut edition premiers (4)
BLUE – The initial letters (premiers) of the second to fifth words of the clue. The word premier as an adjective meaning first or prime. In the plural as a noun, it means a person of pre-eminent rank. It would need to be premieres to work correctly.
3 Company with royal insigne accepts tuppence for old boiler (6)
COPPER – The abbreviation for company and the regnal cipher for the current queen includes two letters P (tuppence).
4 With a quick kiss on the cheeks, one takes care of flashy bird (7)
PEACOCK – A four letter word for a quick kiss around (on the cheeks or sides) a single letter representing one and the abbreviation for care of.
5 Rear end missing from sculpture of soldier I’d put on a pedestal (8)
IDOLISED – An anagram (sculpture) of SOLDIER with the final letter removed (rear end missing) inside (put on) the ID from the clue. In a down clue, put on really means A on B not A around B.
6 Liqueur has chairman so drunk… (10)
MARASCHINO – An anagram (drunk) of CHAIRMAN SO.
7 … the old fellow, anaemic and looking jaundiced (6)
YELLOW – The two letter old form of the followed by the fellow form the clue without the FE (anaemic meaning a lack of iron)
13 Dereliction of sailor’s accepted, in a manner of speaking … (10)
ABDICATION – A two letter word meaning sailor followed by the single letter abbreviation for accepted inside a seven letter word meaning a manner of speaking.
16 … fish in gallons chucked over the bulwark, so they say? (8)
GRAYLING – The abbreviation for gallons followed by a homophone (so they say) of RAILING (bulwark). Chucked over is perhaps too misleading as to the intended wordplay. Going over might have been better.
18 Respite from danger of summons about to end with real upheaval (3-5)
ALL CLEAR – A four letter word meaning summons with the letter being the abbreviation for about moved to the end followed by an anagram (upheaval) of REAL.
19 A month (round about) to see Queen? (7)
MONARCH – A five letter month of the year around a two letter word meaning about.
21 Beats brothers without hesitation when stirred up (6)
THROBS – An anagram (when stirred up) of BROTHERS without the two letter word used when expressing a hesitation.
22 Refuge from abuse saves youth initially found atop chimney in Scotland (6)
ASYLUM – The initial letters (initially) of the third to fifth words off the clue followed by a three letter Scottish word for a chimney.
24 Troglodytes twice specifically acclaimed architect (4)
WREN – Double definition, the first being the bird whose Latin name is Troglodytes Troglodytes and the second a notes architect who designed St Paul’s Cathedral. Perhaps the specifically could have been omitted from the clue.