A Puzzle by Bardwig
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Prologue. 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 very creditable performance from Bardwig today. The only major issue was with 5d. The commentometer reads as 2/28 or 7.1%. The rugby theme when straight over my head. Congratulations to Bufo for spotting it.
1 Amateur clubs almost completely free (6)
ACQUIT – The abbreviations for amateur and clubs followed by a five letter word meaning completely with the final letter removed (almost).
5 Pack members of ’55 accepting misfortunes? On the contrary (6)
WOLVES – A four letter word meaning misfortunes includes the Roman numerals for 55.
8 European boxer I beat outside (7)
ITALIAN – The I from the clue and a three letter word meaning to beat around the three letter name of a heavyweight boxer.
9 Bunter’s form master finally gets rid of stains (7)
REMOVER – The six letter word for the name of the form in which Billy Bunter was a student followed by the final letter of master. Whilst verbal phrases can be used to define nouns, they work best when they identify a specific noun. Here the solution is a generic noun for anything that removes.
11 An Eisenhower alternative replacing Western obsession: act honourably (2,3,5,5)
DO THE RIGHT THING – A five letter word meaning alternative replaced the W in the first name of of Eisenhower with the resulting letters followed by a five letter word for an obsession.
12 Listener beginning to lose count (4)
EARL – A thee letter word for the organ by which we listen followed by the first letter (beginning to) of lose.
13 Unpleasant character stymied in a broadcast (10)
DISAMENITY – An anagram (broadcast) of STYMIED IN A.
17 Struggling to name a town in Cheshire (10)
WARRINGTON – A seven letter word meaning struggling followed by the TO from the clue and the abbreviation for name.
18 Partner adopts recipe for strong line (4)
WIRE – A four letter word for.a female partner with the F (strong) replaced by the abbreviation for recipe.
20 Tea addict’s advice: bad beer initially gives hidden danger alert (3,2,3,7)
TIP OF THE ICEBERG – Split 3, 2, 5 the first part of the solution would meaning advice from a tea addict which is then followed by an anagram (bad) of beer and the first letter (initially) of gives.
23 Swindling Conservative wiped out bird colony (7)
ROOKERY – An eight letter word meaning swindling with the abbreviation for conservative removed from the beginning.
24 Fire a friend from the Six Counties (7)
ANIMATE – Split 1,2,4 this would indicate a friend from the part of Great Britain that has six counties.
25 Judge’s command not including one Arab country (6)
JORDAN – The abbreviation for judge followed by a six letter word meaning command without the letter indicating one.
26 Substitute some of Liszt as recorded retrospectively (6)
ERSATZ – The answer is hidden (some of) and reversed (retrospectively) in fourth to sixth words of the clue.
2 Gossip’s indecent retreat after church (9)
CHATTERER – The abbreviation for church followed by an anagram (indecent) of RETREAT. Indecent is listed as an anagram indicator in Chambers but I think it is rather indirect as it relies on indecent meaning corrupting and corrupting meaning spoiling.
3 In France one is old and gender neutral (6)
UNISEX – The French word for one followed by the IS from the clue and a two letter preface meaning old.
4 Model sporting short skirt no good for metal extraction (3,6)
TIN MINING – The model of the original Ford car followed by a two letter word meaning wearing or sporting, a four letter word for a short skirt and the abbreviation for no good.
5 King Tut in house with rising value (5)
WORTH – An imaginary regnal cipher for King Tut inside the abbreviation for house and the abbreviation fro with all reversed (rising). Making up regnal ciphers to give an abbreviation is not advisable.
6 Third man about to break hearts of Unter den Linden (4,4)
LIME TREE – The surname of the Third Man in the film of that name followed by a two letter word meaning about inside (to break) the middle letters (hearts) of Unter den.
7 Concluding remarks from forgotten voices (5)
ENVOI – The answer is hidden (from) in the final two words of the clue.
8 A wet end: pier collapsed, leaving one thus? (2,4,5)
IN DEEP WATER – An anagram (collapsed) of A WET END PIER.
10 Margaux regularly wears blue grey when playing game (5,6)
RUGBY LEAGUE – The even letters (regularly) of Margaux inside (wearing) an anagram (when playing) of BLUE GREY.
14 Despise a topsy turvy crowd: that’s natural, so to speak (9)
ABOMINATE – The A from the clue followed by a reversal (topsy turvy) of a three letter word for a crowd and a homophone (so to speak) of innate (natural).
15 Peripatetic charm worker accommodates Home Ruler (9)
ITINERANT – A two letter word for charm or sex appeal and a three letter worker insect around (accommodates) a two letter word meaning home and the abbreviation for the current queen (ruler).
16 Slip by cover, say (8)
MISFIELD – Cryptic definition by reference to a mistake made by someone playing cricket.
19 Run scripture classes in Ely and Exeter perhaps (6)
SERIES – The abbreviation for religious instruction (scripture classes) inside the ecclesiastical areas of which Ely and Exeter are examples.
21 Snap consists of Vietnamese soup, one third tomato (5)
PHOTO – A three letter word for Vietnamese soup followed by one third of the letters in tomato.
22 Heard high note finale of Austrian composer (5)
HAYDN – A homophone (heard) of high D (note) followed by the last letter (finale of) Austrian.