A Puzzle by Fringilla
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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.
Fringilla has improved considerably with his latest crossword. Whilst there are some minor points, they are largely to polish rather than to correct obvious errors. Four hidden words is possibly too many. The commentometer reads as 3 / 32 or 9.4%
1 Rushes, lets off behind vehicle (7)
BUSTLES – A three letter public transport vehicle followed by an anagram (off) of LETS.
5 Fixed total includes present (7)
ADHERED – A three letter word meaning total (as a verb) includes a four letter word meaning present.
9 Place in organic heap (5)
NICHE – The answer is hidden (in) in the last two words of the clue.
10 Fit powerful convertible (9)
ADAPTABLE – A five letter word meaning fit or change followed by a four letter word meaning powerful or capable. Perhaps there is too much of a similarity between the first part of the wordplay and the solution.
11 Outwardly foul Yankee squeezing dimple (9)
EVIDENTLY – A four letter word meaning foul or nasty and the letter represented by Yankee in the NATO phonetic alphabet include (squeezing) a four letter word for a dimple or depression.
12 Smeared old revolutionary food shop (5)
OILED – The abbreviation for old followed by a reversal (revolutionary) of four letter word for a specialty food shop.
13 Fresh immersion gives sparkle (7)
SHIMMER – The answer is hidden in the first two words of the clue. I am not convinced by gives as a hidden word indicator.
15 Man, taking blame quietly, was ambushed (7)
TRAPPED – A three letter man’s name (shortened form of Edward) includes (taking) a three letter word for blame and the abbreviation for quiet. The link word was does not work. Wordplay was definition does not make sense. Is ambushed would suffice.
17 Slim despatcher included money (7)
SLENDER – A six letter word meaning slim includes the abbreviation for pounds (money). Try not to repeat wordplay indicators. Includes has been used in 5a and the present tense is to be preferred over the past tense. I think that the “despactcher” would be better as dispatcher. Whilst despatch is a variant for the noun, the verbal form requires the more usual spelling according to Chambers. An interesting point on the use of the abbreviation. You have to get from money to pounds sterling to the abbreviation L. The use of two steps to get from the wordplay to the definition has been commented on. However, setters often use pressman or journalist to go via editor to ed so the rule is not absolute.
19 Purveyors of Roger’s cold bananas (7)
GROCERS – An anagram (bananas) of ROGERS C (cold).
21 Partisan German concealed bug (5)
ANGER – The answer is hidden (concealed) in the first two words of the clue. The present tense would be better for the hidden word indicator. The first two words of the clue continue to conceal the answer.
23 Story behind fanciful romance (5,4)
FAIRY TALE – A five letter word meaning fanciful followed by a four letter word for a story. There is too much overlap between the wordplay and the definition here.
25 Sunday teacher in call for notice (9)
DISMISSAL – The abbreviation for sabbath (Sunday) and a four letter word for a female teacher inside a four letter word meaning call or ring.
26 Escape English enemy leaders holding Lord (5)
ELUDE – The initial letters (leaders) of English and Enemy include (holding) a three letter word for Lord.
27 Go in favour of Church Journalist (7)
PROCEED – A three letter word meaning in favour of followed by a two letter abbreviation for the Church of England and the abbreviation for Editor (Journalist).
28 Constant, except after tip (7)
ENDLESS – A four letter word meaning except after a three letter word for the tip of something.
1 Crazy Ken robs at random (7)
BONKERS – An anagram (at random) of KEN ROBS.
2 Abandon bag, right, in case of freeze (9)
SACRIFICE – A three letter word for a bag (in biological terms) followed by the abbreviation for right, a two letter word meaning in case of and a three letter word meaning freeze.
3 Lean on Government energy Chief (5)
LIEGE – A three letter word meaning lean followed by the abbreviations for Government and Energy.
4 First course for race official (7)
STARTER – Double definition of a course of a meal that comes first and a race official who begins the race.
5 Tanya left Sweden to become researcher (7)
ANALYST – An anagram (to become) of TANYA L (left) S (Sweden).
6 Fiery Duke of York, e.g. leads to awkward situation (3,6)
HOT POTATO – A three letter word for fiery and a vegetable of which Duke of York is a variety.
7 Run riot among immature Belgians (5)
REBEL – The answer is hidden (among) the last two words of the clue.
8 Fearsome Director studied on bed without book (7)
DREADED – The abbreviation for director followed by a four letter word meaning studied and the bed from the clue without the abbreviation for book.
14 Scruffy denim = zero progress! (9)
MODERNIZE – An anagram (scruffy) of DENIM ZERO. You should use the English rather than American spellings where you are able to do so. If you need (because of cross-checking letters) to use an American spelling, you should indicate this in the clue. Here, you could (to maintain the anagram) have has progress for Trump. I think that the = here does not work as it needs to convey with for an anagram of A with B.
16 Jumping the gun before ready (9)
PREMATURE – A three letter prefix meaning before followed by a six letter word meaning ready or ripe.
17 Fail to meet comedian (5,2)
STAND UP – Double definition, the first meaning to jilt and the second a comedian who performs solo in front of a mike.
18 Turned down Judge, experienced (7)
REFUSED – A three letter word for a judge or match official followed by a four letter word meaning experienced.
19 Graciously, I enquired initially about pike, for attendant (7)
GHILLIE – The first letters (initially) of the first three words of the clue around (about) another word for a geographical feature that can be referred to as a pike. The initial letter of a single letter word does not seem very elegant. Whilst not incorrect, perhaps using a name such as Irene would have improved the clue.
20 Prods kebabs (7)
SKEWERS – Double definition but the crossover between the two is very close. Try to keep a degree of separation in the two meanings of a double definition.
22 Run round you and me, ending that pleasure (5)
GUSTO – A two letter word meaning run around the word that describes “you and me” and the last letter (ending) of that. Some editors would required “ending of that”
24 Give up earnings (5)
YIELDS – Double definition, the first meaning cedes and the second representing the earnings from a given investment.