A Puzzle by Hodd
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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 Hodd. Like the first crossword, there was a lot to enjoy but there were quite a few rough edges. The commentometer reads as 7/30 or 23.3%
7 Silver ring from the past (3)
AGO – The chemical symbol for silver followed by the letter that looks like a ring. The structure wordplay from definition is back to front, the definition comes from the wordplay.
8 Diagram centres on Italian growth of farming industry (11)
AGRICULTURE – The central letters of diagram followed by the abbreviation for Italian and a seven letter word for a growth. Centres should be centre (there Is only centre being used. The abbreviation for Italian is IT, it is the abbreviation for Italy that is I. Some editors will not allow the structure wordplay of definition.
11 Casts off beads (5)
DROPS – Double definition.
12 General punctuation nerd in a tizzy (9)
COMMANDER – The name of a punctuation mark followed by an anagram (in a tizzy) of NERD.
13 Overarching project to explore planet Mars (6,4)
MASTER PLAN – An anagram (to explore) of PLANET MARS. I don’t think that to explore had sufficient force as an anagram indicator. It does not imply rearrangement of the letters.
14 Good solver, ultimately? I’d fill this (4)
GRID – The abbreviation for good followed by the final letter (ultimately) of solver and the ID from the clue.
16 Light taking seconds to become universal (6)
COSMIC – A five letter word meaning light or frivolous includes (taking) the abbreviation for seconds.
18 Oddly thin, grey flower (6)
TIGRIS – The odd letters of thin followed by an old word for grey. As the dictionary says that the usage is obsolete, perhaps old grey or use French grey.
22 One’s unhappy about being mentioned (4)
SAID – The letter representing one has a three letter word meaning unhappy around it.
23 PR firm’s heartless error put unstable international leader ahead (6,4)
PUERTO RICO – The abbreviation for company (firm) preceded by (ahead) an anagram (unstable) of EROR (heartless error) PUT and the first letter (leader) of international.
26 European Union measures to check acidity of river (9)
EUPHRATES – The abbreviation for European Union followed by phrase 2, 5 which indicates measures to check acidity. Another clue with wordplay of definition that may not find favour with some editors.
27 Result from European banks’ appeal (5)
ENSUE – The outer letters (banks) of European followed by a three letter word meaning to prosecute or appeal.
28 Ruin on outskirts of Nice (city in France) (11)
CARCASSONNE – A seven letter word for a ruin or hulk followed by the ON from the clue and the outer letters (outskirts) of Nice. Not convinced that ruin and the word required are quite synonymous.
29 Company’s good to unimportant employee, perhaps? (3)
COG – The abbreviations for company and good. Try to avoid repeating indicators such as good for G (used in 14a).
1 Hysteria surrounding democrat is affecting everyone (8)
PANDEMIC – A five letter word for hysteria around a three letter abbreviation for democrat.
2 Happy to be just on your own, until sobbing starts (6)
JOYOUS – The initial letters (starts) of the fourth to ninth words of the clue. I think that the “to be” could be omitted here.
3 In fairness, hapless son is not an ostentatious type (4,5)
SANS SERIF – An an anagram (hapless) of IN FAIRNESS without one abbreviation for son. I don’t think that “son is not” implies sufficiently that the S is to be removed.
4 Bob‘s down about love (5)
FLOAT – A four letter word meaning down around the letter represented by love.
5 Killer Queen, by Queen, has upbeat intro (8)
MURDERER – The abbreviation for the current queen twice preceded by (intro) of a four letter word meaning to beat reversed up. Some editors would not allow upbeat as one word to be separated into up beat.
6 Deviated from ever-changing journalist (6)
VEERED – An anagram (changing) of EVER followed by the abbreviation for editor.
9 Instructions for making une crepe? (6)
RECIPE – An anagram (maKING) OF I (UNE) CREPE. This is verging on an indirect anagram as you need to get from une to one to I for the anagram.
10 Arrange a time to fight (6)
COMBAT – A four letter word meaning to arrange or neaten followed by the A from the clue and the abbreviation for time.
15 T for tea-time tool, perhaps? (3,6)
TIN OPENER – read as a cryptic clue, the solution would give the letter T.
17 Elusive, like a fox, say, carrying headless fish for breakfast (8)
SLIPPERY – A three letter word describing the behaviour of a fox around (carrying) a seven letter word for a fish eaten for breakfast without the initial letter (headless).
19 One gets a beating from caveman, for example (5-3)
STONE AGE – An anagram (beating) of ONE GETS A. I don’t think that caveman as a noun, even as a definition by example, defines an adjective or the period in which he lived.
20 Silly question not in inverted commas? (6)
QUOTES – An anagram (silly) of QUESTION after removing the IN.
21 Back inside? No, sir, please! (6)
PRISON – Th answer is hidden (inside) and reversed (back) in the final three words of the clue. The solution is not fully inside the final three words. Also, there is no separate definition and I don’t think that the whole clue defines a prison.
22 Disgusting smell of sulphur and fish (6)
STENCH – The chemical symbol for sulphur followed by a five letter breed of fish.
24 Bug member of cult? (6)
INSECT – Split 2,4 the solution would define someone who is a member of a cult.
25 “It’s very unusual to shoot rifle,” I conceded (5)
FREAK – A four letter word meaning to shoot and a two letter make of rifle without (conceded) the I. I don’t think that AK on its own defines the rifle – It is an AK-47.