A Puzzle by Umber
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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 Umber who is continuing to improve. Whilst I have a number of comments on the clues, these are really fine polishing points that turn good clues into better ones. The main comment to take on board is the use of compound nouns where you cannot really clue one part of the noun by the second part of the noun. The commentometer reads as 5/32 or 15.6%.
1 Sandwich station (8)
VICTORIA – Double definition, the first being a type of cake when followed by sandwich and the second a London railway terminus and underground station. Care has to be taken. The name of the cake is a compound noun and cluing one part of the noun by reference to the other is not something that finds favour with all solvers as you cannot say that one part of the compound noun is synonymous with the other.
5 Admission to the French: It’s a cake! (6)
GATEAU – A four letter word for a means of admission followed by the French for “to the”.
9 Seven-day report: Head is failing (8)
WEAKNESS – A homophone of week (seven day) followed by a four letter word for a head of land.
10 Volunteers to have suet spread over bust (6)
STATUE – The abbreviation for Territorial Army has an anagram (spread) of suet around it (over).
12 Contract to give satisfaction (no pressure) (5)
LEASE – A six letter word meaning to give satisfaction with the initial P removed (no pressure).
13 Call God or change neckware (3,6)
DOG COLLAR – An anagram (change) of CALL GOD OR. If change is used as an imperative verb it needs to be before the letters to be rearranged otherwise it would need to be changed. As a noun it would not be acceptable as an anagram indicator. Neckware is wrong and should be neckwear.
14 Bank on black computer coming back (6)
CAMBER – A two letter word meaning about followed by the abbreviation for black and a three letter Apple computer all reversed (coming back).
16 Turn posh and flog stew (7)
GOULASH – A two letter word for a turn followed by the abbreviation for posh and a four letter word meaning to flog.
19 Drunk chose to drink port (7)
PICKLED – A six letter word meaning chose to includes the abbreviation for left (port). An indirect abbreviation going from port to left to L might not be acceptable to all editors.
21 Official and German get pay back (6)
REFUND – A three letter word for a match official followed by the German for “and”. The cryptic structure here wordplay get definition does not work. Perhaps getting would have been better.
23 Shamus Pye’s alternative accompaniment to fish and chips (5,4)
MUSHY PEAS – An anagram (alternative) of SHAMUS PYE. Making up fictitious names as anagram letters is frowned up. You can use celebrity names – for example Britney Spears is an anagram of Presbyterian.
25 Goes to nothing when he’s out (5)
PETER – Mildly cryptic definition of the name that precedes “out” to describe something going to nothing.
26 Actually starts to increase numbers for all contributing trusts (2,4)
IN FACT – The initial letters (starts to) of the final six words of the clue.
27 Tea for every working escort (8)
CHAPERON – A three letter word for tea followed by a three letter word meaning first every and a two letter word meaning working.
28 Hugo ate everything, including Whiskers! (6)
GOATEE – The answer is hidden (including) in the first three words of the clue.
29 A gem of a firework (8)
SPARKLER – Double definition, the first being a shiny gem such as a diamond and the second a small handheld firework.
1 Promise the Spanish Society these letters? (6)
VOWELS – A three letter word a promise followed by the Spanish for “the” and the abbreviation for society.
2 Daily article on airline and state coach (9)
CHARABANC – A four letter word for a cleaner or daily followed by the single letter indefinite article, the abbreviation for British Airways (airline) and abbreviation for the state of North Carolina.
3 Advertise Ann’s missing cat (5)
OUNCE – An eight letter word meaning advertise missing the original thee letters ANN.
4 Popular spin runs to illegal trading (7)
INSIDER – A two letter word meaning popular followed by a four letter word meaning spin on a ball and the abbreviation for runs. Another solution where part of a phrase has been clued by reference to the second part of the phrase. The solution on its own is no illegal trading.
6 Four tarts weaved artificial grass (9)
ASTROTURF – An anagram (weaved) of FOUR TARTS.
7 Glorify from Sussex to Lancashire (5)
EXTOL – The answer is hidden (from) in the final three words of the clue.
8 Discovers Sean and Ruth’s arrangement (8)
UNEARTHS – An anagram (arrangement) of SEAN RUTH. As a noun some editors will not allow arrangement as an anagram indicator. Arrangement of Sean and Ruth would be acceptable.
11 In the past, George got excited (4)
AGOG – A three letter word meaning in the part followed by the abbreviation for George. George is only abbreviated to G in GR (George Rex). It is not permitted to take one part of the abbreviation and use the word on its own where it is not included in the dictionary in its own right. Again the link word is wrong as you have wordplay got definition. Perhaps getting would be better.
15 Colic complaint (9)
BELLYACHE – Double definition, the first meaning the part of the body affected by colic and the second being another word for a grumble or complaint.
17 French cooking by the naked chef? (2,7)
AU NATUREL – A pun on a naked chef produces a type of French cooking.
18 Charts turned up with note – no good sending unwanted emails (8)
SPAMMING – A four letter word for charts reversed (turned up) followed by a two letter musical not and the abbreviation no good.
20 Mysterious flower power (4)
DEEP – A three letter name of a river (flower) followed by the abbreviation for power.
21 Got higher with joint and syrup (7)
ROSEHIP – A four letter word meaning got higher followed by a joint at the top of the leg. The solution is the fruit used to make the syrup. It is not the syrup itself but an adjective describing it clued as a noun.
22 King and Queen accept Reagan’s foreign currency… (6)
KRONER – A single letter chess abbreviation for king and the abbreviation for the current queen include the three letter informal name of the former president Ronald Reagan. For the cryptic grammar to work, you need accepting to give A and B accepting C is (from the ’s) D
24 …Then, providing returns on American capital… (5)
SOFIA – A two letter word meaning so followed by a two letter word meaning providing reversed (returns) and the abbreviation for American.
25 …He’s paid for playing (5)
PIPER – A mildly cryptic definition for the person paid when the payer calls the tune.