Cold Mountain by Hodd
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today we have a puzzle from a setter making his debut in Rookie Corner. 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 to Hodd. There was a lot to enjoy in this crossword and clearly a lot of thought had gone into the construction of the clues. I counted 12 full or partial anagrams in the crossword. This is far too many. Try to keep the number down to five or six. There were quite a number of niggling points as may be expected from the first foray into Rookie Corner but these are all readily addressable. The commentometer reads as 5/29 or 17.2%.
9 First couple in Chamonix to fly by helicopter, perhaps? An easy way to get to the top! (9)
CHAIRLIFT – The first two letters of Chamonoix followed by a seven-letter word meaning to fly something in by helicopter.
10 Could these help on slippery slope? (5)
POLES – An anagram (slippery) of SLOPE.
11 Shock conclusion to latest In Our Time (7)
OUTRAGE – The final letter (conclusion to) of latest in the OUR from the clue and a three letter word meaning time around.
12 Company’s detailed patent concerning hard shell, perhaps? (7)
COCHLEA – The abbreviation for company followed by a five-letter word meaning patent in which you include (concerning) the abbreviation for hard. The use of concerning here is not valid as a containment indicator. Although concerning means about, the meaning is in relation to, not around.
13 Average taken from median or mode (4)
NORM – The answer is hidden (taken from) in the final three words of the clue.
14 Quickly measure barrel, after contents removed (10)
KILOGRAMME – Think of a synonym for barrel, remove the middle letter and expand the remaining two letters from the resulting abbreviation to give a measure of weight. The quickly in the clue is unfairly misleading and should have been omitted. The wordplay is too indirect to be fair on the solver.
15 South-Easterly gales blowing – you might need these on board! (3,4)
SEA LEGS – The abbreviation for South-Easterly followed by an anagram (blowing) of GALES. The abbreviation SE is for South East, not South-Easterly.
17 Exercise on vacation, with dodgy pills to get in shape (7)
ELLIPSIS – EE (outer letters of exercise – on vacation) with an anagram (dodgy) of PILLS included (to get in).
19 A cheap Tory involved with drugdealer (10)
APOTHECARY – An anagram (involved) of A CHEAP TORY. I think that drug dealer should be two words, not one.
22 Cunning and resourceful, Clouseau hunts leads (4)
ARCH – The initial letters (leads) of the second to fifth words of the clue.
23 Aerial worker installed before girl got back (7)
ANTENNA – A three letter word for a worker insect followed by a reversal (back) of a four-letter girl’s name.
24 Sell now – supply inflated (7)
SWOLLEN – An anagram (supply) of SELL NOW.
26 Insect found in lake and river (5)
LOUSE – The abbreviation for lake followed by a four-letter name of a river.
27 A setter’s visiting old flames – they’re being marked (9)
EXAMINEES – The A from the clue and a word indicating possession (setter’s) inside (visiting) the plural abbreviation for old flames.
1 Reports return – Idris up for Outstanding Figure (8,7)
ACCOUNTS PAYABLE – An eight letter word for reports or stories followed by a three letter word meaning your monetary return from work and a reversal (up) of the surname of the actor Idris ????.
2 I ate crab, developed salmonella (8)
BACTERIA – An anagram (developed) of I ATE CRAB. As the definition is an example of the solution, this should be indicated.
3 Waste a class going back over lesson, perhaps?… (4)
UREA – The A from the clue and the abbreviation for upper (class) reversed (going back) around (over) a two-letter abbreviation for a school subject. In a down clue over means on top of, not around.
4 …Rules not hard to follow, class: detailed study of moving forces (8)
KINETICS – A six letter word meaning rules or social values without the H (not hard) following a four-letter word meaning class or sort without the final letter (detailed). Watch out for repeated wordplay indicators both hard for H and detailed for removing the final letter appeared in 12a.
5 Re-treating cuts with firm plaster (6)
STUCCO – A reversal (re-treating) of CUTS followed by the abbreviation for firm. To hyphenate retreating as re-treating (to treat again) completely changes the nature of the wordplay indicator and is, I feel, an unfair misdirection.
6 Unearthly colour’s fringing palest shape (8)
SPECTRAL – An anagram (shape) of CR (colour’s fringing or outer letters) PALEST.
7 Downhill race is all turns, some (not all) to the outside (6)
SLALOM – An anagram (turns) of ALL with the first three letters (not all) of SOME (from the clue) around the outside.
8 Impeachment case is lacking informant; extremely corrupt way to avoid facing up to the facts (6,9)
ESCAPE MECHANISM – An anagram (corrupt) of IMPEACHMENT CASE IS after removing the IT (informant extremely).
16 Improved each end with new make-up (8)
ENHANCED – An anagram (make-up) of EACH END N.
17 Britain’s relationship with EU on track to turn sour, mired in rising cost (8)
EUROSTAR – An anagram (to turn) of SOUR inside (mired in) a reversal (rising) of a four-letter word for cost.
18 Level and equal, top and bottom, to describe a pair of lines (8)
PARALLEL – A three letter word meaning level followed by the first and last letters (top and bottom) of equal around (to describe) the A from the clue and the abbreviation for lines twice (pair of lines).
20 Return from elsewhere and settle (6)
OUTPUT – A three letter word meaning elsewhere and a three-letter word meaning settle.
21 Empty love found in Parisian cathouse (6)
CHALET – The outer letters (empty) of love inside (found in) a French word for cat. Whilst some editors will allow an un-indicated lift and separate for a word like cathouse to give cat house as part of the wordplay, not many would allow this to create conjoined wordplay and definition.
25 Forget to ring chap back (4)
OMIT – The letter representing a ring followed by a three-letter man’s name all reversed (back). The third time back has been used as a reversal indicator.