64 to 225 by JT
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The puzzle is no longer available.
This week we have another new setter (and there are four more waiting in the wings!). 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.
There were some good ideas on display here but overall it was overambitious. I don’t think that this clues translated at all well from an Australian audience to a UK audience. I have indicated where the main issues occurred. Some greater variety in the clue would be helpful too. There were 13 full or partial anagrams which is about double the amount that is the ideal. There were also too many clues that required two to three steps to get from the wordplay to the definition such as in 1a or 21a.
The commentometer reads as 8 / 30 or 26.7%.
1 12-across listened to Eminem product? (7)
MILLION – A homophone (listened to) of Eminem might give M ’n M which expands the close to “M and M product”, replace the M as Roman numeral and solve the equation for the solution. As a general observation, clues work best when there are not too many intermediate steps. Here you have to get from the homophone, expand it, substitute the Roman numeral and then solve the clue.
5 See 31
10 Feathers the ball, adopting casual, slow rhythm (9)
DOWNTEMPO – A four letter word for feathers and the letter that looks like a ball includes (adopting) a four letter word for a casual worker. A minor point, but “the ball” would be better as “ball” as the “the” implies a definite article not a general description.
11 Gets to swig whisky with top model? (5)
TWIGS – An anagram (whisky) of SWIG after (with top) of the model of car sold by Henry Ford. A few minor points, “with top” to indicate the letter comes first works best with down clues. The anagram only requires one letter to be moved. Anagrams work best with longer words where more rearrangement is required. The anagram indicator “whisky” is a noun and does not mean to be whisked. Finally, the cryptic reading of the clue has definition to wordplay. To as a link word should be used in the sense of wordplay to definition.
12 Agree with conservative (6)
SQUARE – Double definition, the first meaning to reach a deal and the second meaning conservative in the sense of dated or old-fashioned.
15 Book another resort (7)
REORDER – Double definition of making a second booking and to rearrange (re-sort) something.
17 Clearly net return was constrained by TL pay deal (8)
PATENTLY – Reverse (return) the NET in clue inside and anagram (deal) of TL PAY. I assume that TL has some meaning in Australia. It is not a recognised abbreviation in the UK so the clue does not have a convincing surface reading. Try to keep to the present tense in wordplay “net return is constrained by…” works better.
18 12-acrosses‘ odor repels female, perhaps? (5)
BOXES – The abbreviation for body odour followed by a three letter word of which female is an example. When producing a crossword for a foreign audience, try to observe the spelling conventions of your solvers. Odour, not odor.
20 Ditched “101 Corgies”, went dotty giants? (5)
OGRES – Remove (ditched) the Roman numerals for 101 from the Corgies in the clue and make an anagram (went dotty) of the remaining letters. Another point on spelling, but the UK plural of “corgi” is corgis”.
21 TripAdvisor lift Djibouti’s capital for improved air quality? (8)
ODORISED – A three letter contraction of odometer (trip advisor) followed by a four letter word meaning lift and the first letter (capital) of Djibouti. The contraction of odometer is not given in UK dictionaries and requires too many steps from the solver to split trip advisor from the single word, get the synonym odometer (where trip advisor is not a UK synonym) and then contract it. The solution is not a term used in the UK and uses the foreign spelling.
22/16 Oversees organisation of strike over hospital hazards… (4,3,4)
RUNS THE RISK – A four letter word meaning oversees or manages followed by an anagram (organisation of) of STRIKE around (over) the abbreviation for hospital
24 … vegetable said to be languishing in wings of RMH (6)
RADISH – An anagram (to be languishing) of SAID in the outer letters (wings) of RMH. Another Australian abbreviation that would mean nothing to a UK solver.
26 Chick got towel-whipped (5)
OWLET – An anagram (whipped) of TOWEL. The clue structure definition got wordplay does not work. Chick’s towel-whipped would be better.
27 Three strikes and you’reâ€¦ a winner?! (3,3,3)
TIC TAC TOE – The symbol that appears when you get a strike in ten-pin bowling written three times would give a winning line in this pencil and paper game. Although usually known as noughts and crosses in the UK, I think the alternative name is well known enough to be fair. Something went wrong with the type setting of the clue with the odd characters appearing.
30 Announced opening for Rodman? (6)
FISHER – A homophone (announced) of fissure (opening). Some editors would not allow definitions that have to be split (here rod man).
31/5 Exclusive news coverage of Holden written off by Echo with adults-only TV 12-across (7,6)
SHELDON COOPER – A five letter word for a news exclusive around (coverage) an anagram (to be written off) of HOLDEN followed by the letter represented by Echo in the phonetic alphabet and the letter used to indicate adults only. The solution is the name of a nerd (square) in the series the Big Bang Theory. R-Rated is another term that does not translate for a UK audience. The cryptic grammar would read better with “Exclusive news covering Holden written off by…”
1/26 Ponzi scheme crook heard to have absconded (4,3)
MADE OFF – A homophone (heard) of [Bernie] Madoff (Ponzi scheme crook). I am not sure that the homophone works here as his surname is pronounced MAD OFF with no E sound
2/8 Service slower and of inferior quality (3-3)
LOW-RES – An anagram (service) of SLOWER.
3 Ran into uncoordinated aliens tossing frisbee on work sites? (9)
INTRANETS – An anagram (uncoordinated) of RAN INTO after removing the O (tossing frisbee – the frisbee is O shaped) followed by the abbreviation for extra-terrestrials.
4 Soldier returns to war (‘3) (3)
NAM – Reverse (returns) a three letter word for a soldier. A minor point, but try to avoid repeating wordplay indicators such as returns for a reversal – used in 17a.
6 Healthcare worker who massages and soothes, hands-free (5)
OSTEO – An anagram massages of AND SOOTHES after removing (free) the letters in HANDS. Some editors would be require a secondary anagram indicator to show that the letters in HANDS are removed in a different order. I would omit the “who” from the clue.
7 Post office list their regulars as ultimate 12-acrosses (11)
POINDEXTERS – The abbreviation for post office followed by a five letter word for a list, the odd letters (regulars) in THEIR and the final letter (ultimate) of AS. Some editors would require as “ultimately” to indicate the final letter. The solution is an American usage that editors would require to be indicated in the clue. It does not appear in Chamber or Collins but is the Oxford Dictionary of English.
8 See 2
9 12-across goes off-road? (4,2,4)
FOUR BY FOUR – A type of off-road vehicle.
13 Team dumped leader; controlled leg spin with little sandpaper 12-acrosses (11)
QUADRANGLES – A five letter word for a team without (dumped) the initial letter followed by a three letter word meaning controlled, an anagram (spin) of LEG and the first letter (little) of sandpaper.
14 Lovers of connection foolishly revert to sex without the pill (10)
EXTROVERTS – An anagram (foolishly) of REVERT TO SEX without the letter E (ecstasy pill).
16 See 22 Across
18 Risky setup… Can’t see it bearing fruit? (5,4)
BLIND DATE – A five letter word meaning can’t it followed by a four letter word for a type of fruit from a palm tree. The bearing here seems out of place. A bearing B in a down clue would mean A under B or, in an across clue, B inside A. I don’t think it works as a charade indicator for A followed by B.
19 Spoke in favour of 12-across (4)
FOUR – A homophone (spoke) of FOR (in favour of). A minor point but with the solution already appearing in 9d, it looks rather clumsy to have the same word in 19d.
23 Heading is the 12-across-type tile distribution! (5)
TITLE – A type of the solution to 12a used in technical drawing followed by an anagram (distribution) of TILE. Some editors will not allow a noun (distribution) to function as an anagram indicator.
25 Hit British comic character? (4)
BEAN – Double definition, the first being an informal term meaning to hit on the head and the second a Rowan Atkinson comic character.
26 See 1
28 Sin offset by salad? (3)
COS – A mathematical function that is an 90 degree offset of the sine function and a salad item.
29 A little rough today? Didn’t take your uppers? (3)
TAD – An anagram (rough) of TODAY after removing the upper letters in your.