A Puzzle by Acnestis
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Another new setter, Acnestis, makes his debut. 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 Acnestis. As has been commented, an impressive debut. Most of the comments are minor ones where small mistakes could be polished. There were lots of very good clues and I look forward to the next one before too long. The commentometer reads as 4/28 or 14.3%
1 Island nation imports small savoury pastry (6)
SAMOSA – The name of an Oceanic island includes (imports) the abbreviation for small.
5 I was wrong to turn up with a camel (3,5)
MEA CULPA – An anagram (to turn) of UP A CAMEL.
9 Sent back puddings under pressure (8)
STRESSED – A reversal (sent back) of an eight-letter word for puddings.
10 Director’s dog turned away, as it were (6)
GODARD – A reversal (turned) of DOG followed by the A from AWAY and the abbreviation for road (away). Some editors would allow away to be split without indication. However, the setter here has provided an indication that the split is required.
11 Buffoons oddly dismissing Foo Fighters (4)
UFOS – The even letters (oddly dismissing) of the first word of the clue. Looking the cryptic reading of the clue “oddly dismissed” would be better.
12 Dividing agricultural Scottish region but not Soho, oddly (10)
TRISECTING – An anagram (agricultural) of SCOTTISH REGION without the letters in SOHO with the oddly being a secondary anagram indicator to indicate that the letters are removed in a different order. I don’t think that agricultural works as the anagram indicator. The intended meaning of clumsy is not given in the dictionaries.
13 Computer is regressing — English artist’s still taken by it (6)
CAMERA – A reversal (is regressing) of a three-letter make of Apple computer followed by the abbreviation for English and the abbreviation for an artist.
14 Kind of well-worn satire in article (8)
ARTESIAN – An anagram (worn) of SATIRE inside the two-letter indefinite article. Most editors will not accept joining the definition to the wordplay with a hyphen.
16 Main lover almost hasn’t got inside (5,3)
BLACK SEA – A four-letter word for a lover with the final letter removed (almost) with a five letter word meaning hasn’t go inside.
19 Aim low when one’s old (6)
OBJECT – A six-letter word meaning low has the initial A (one) replace by the abbreviation for old.
21 Become fluent in a language to get it at your fingertips (4,6)
NAIL POLISH – A four letter word meaning to succeed at something followed by a six-letter Eastern European language.
23 See a shape (4)
CONE – The letter that that can spelled see as the phonetic equivalent followed be a three-letter word meaning a.
24 Opulent Parisian couple tour Luxembourg and Spain (2,4)
DE LUXE – The French word for two (Parisian couple) around the IVR code for Luxembourg all followed by the IVR code for Spain. The cryptic reading resolves to A tour B. Touring would give a better cryptic reading.
25 Not so resilient Englishman doubles back before the French Revolution (8)
BRITTLER – A four letter word for an Englishman with the final letter doubled (doubles back) followed by the French masculine singular form of the and an R for revolution. R on its own is not a recognised abbreviation. Although used in other abbreviations such as RPM, you should not use part abbreviations where the single letter is not recognised in its own right.
26 Poet’s always wearing apron where the poor stay on board (8)
STEERAGE – A three-letter word used by poets to refer to always inside (wearing) a five-letter word for part of a theatre of which an apron is an example. As the wordplay involves a definition by example, this perhaps should be indicated.
27 Head to Kenya with a respect for combat sport (6)
KARATE – The initial letter (head to) of Karate followed by the A from the clue and a four-letter word meaning respect.
2 Bill passed dashing policeman at art fair’s opening (3,2,10)
ACT OF PARLIAMENT – An anagram (dashing) of POLICEMAN AT ART F (fair’s opening).
3 Supervise poetry written in Old English (7)
OVERSEE – A five-letter word for poetry inside the abbreviation for Old English.
4 McKellen entertains Pacino for some French people (9)
ALSATIANS – Split 2’1, 2, 4, the solution would indicate that Al Pacino is being entertained by Ian McKellen.
5 Skirting tax collectors, produced a sort of wine (7)
MADEIRA – A four-letter word meaning produced around (skirting) the abbreviation for the former tax collecting authority in the UK. Perhaps old tax collectors would be better as tax collection is undertaken by HMRC.
6 Guardian drops European slant (5)
ANGLE – A five letter word for a guardian has the E (European) moved to the bottom.
7 Modernises happy times (7)
UPDATES – A two-letter word meaning happy followed by a five-letter word for times.
8 M6 to Lancaster? Penny nearly gets her mum’s approval (8,7)
PARENTAL CONSENT – An anagram (mangle – M + the answer to 6d) of TO LANCASTER PENN (penny nearly). A nice idea to have M + the answer to 6d but I think to be fair to the solver it would have been better to have had a simple anagram indicator such as Travelling to Lancaster. Again, the definition is a definition by example so a ? to indicate this would be appropriate.
15 Small wooden tool‘s not fine enough, Papa’a gathered (9)
TOOTHPICK – A phrase 3, 5 meaning not fine enough includes the letter represented by Papa in the Nato phonetic alphabet. Watch out for spelling errors in the clues.
17 Conspire with student halfway through playing Cluedo (7)
COLLUDE – The abbreviation for a learner or student in the middle of an anagram (playing) of CLUEDO.
18 Can I be friendly? (7)
AMIABLE – Split 2,1,4 the solution is another way of saying “Can I be”.
20 Sailor finds what Spooner keeps his nails in (4-3)
JACK-TAR – A Spoonerism of Tack Jar (what Spooner keeps his nails in). Finds as a link word here give definition finds wordplay. As the solution is found from the wordplay, this is the wrong way around.
22 Cycling, gastronome conceals letter (5)
OMEGA – Move the GAS in gastronome to the end of the clue and the answer is hidden in the letters that remain. Cycling means moving one letter to the end or beginning. Here you have to move two or more letters for the clue to work.