A Puzzle by Sundance
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
This is the puzzle that I had scheduled for two weeks ago. Unfortunately when I went to set it up a couple of clues had gone missing. Now, fully restored, you can have a go. 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 Sundance. Overall, this crossword was enjoyable and not too difficult but, as with previous appearances, there are still rough edges. With the notable exception of 10d, the clues themselves do not have major problems. I have indicated where there are areas that need to be improved. These are often points that a test solver would spot before the crossword is submitted or that the editor would require to be changed.
The commentometer reads as 5.5/28 or 19.6%
1 Living with something to bear – promise this should be easy (5,9)
QUICK CROSSWORD – A five letter word meaning living (used in the creeds in the book of common prayer as the “????? and the dead”) followed by a five letter word for something to bear (from the New Testament) and a four letter word for a promise.
8 Type of squash not ideal on foot (5)
ACORN – A type of American gourd or squash split 1,4 would something painful on your foot. I am not sure that this type of squash is particularly well known in the UK.
9 Chairman and prophet heard something growing (5-3)
MOUSE-EAR – A homophone (heard) of MAO (chairman) SEER (prophet).
11 Put on another coat and relax on the road from London to Edinburgh (7)
RESTAIN – A four-letter word meaning to relax followed by the name of the Great North road from London to Edinburgh with (by implication) an N for going northwards. I think that a clearer indication that you need to add the N to the name of the road (which is just known as the A1) is required here,.
12 Pancake including a measure for an artist (7)
BELLINI – A five letter word for a type of pancake includes as two letter word for a measurement. I have not been able to find a reference to “el” as being a unit of measurement in Chamber, Collins or the OED. Ell is given as a measure of cloth but not the shortened “el”. Try to avoid using indefinite articles as the clue suggests that the A from the clue is included in the solution.
13 In Nicaragua nothing is waste (5)
GUANO – The answer his hidden in the second and third words of the clue.
15 New town is not odd in a period (9)
STEVENAGE – A four letter word meaning the opposite of odd in a five letter word for a period. Again the presence of the A in the clue implies it is part of the solution.
17 Opts out and interprets traffic notices (4,5)
STOP SIGNS – An anagram (out) of OPTS followed by a word meaning interprets for people with no or limited hearing.
20 Some are natives of Wembley, perhaps (5)
ARENA – The answer is the second word and part of the third word. Where you have a hidden word clue, try to avoid having the solution form the whole of one of the words. Perhaps “Some self-aware natives in Wembley, perhaps”. Some editors will not allow clues where you have the structure wordplay of definition.
21 Missionaries are first in the planet (7)
MARISTS – The abbreviation for first inside the name of the red planet. The are here does not work as you have definition are wordplay, which does not make grammatical sense. You could omit the “are” to leave “Missionaries, first in the planet.”
23 Hat Spooner found in the door (3,4)
CAT FLAP – A Spoonerism of FLAT CAP. I think that to indicate a Spoonerism you would need “Spooner’s …” or “… for Spooner”. Here “Spooner’s hat found in the door” would have been better. I am not a fan of definition such as “found in door” to describe part of a door.
25 Contrary river flows both ways to the location (8)
OPPOSITE – The two letter name of an Italian river written forwards the backwards followed by a four letter word meaning a location.
26 Most of King’s work is not giving (5)
MISER – A six letter book title by Stephen King without the final letter (most of). Not giving would imply miserly as the solution, not the noun.
27 Top team enact chemistry test (10,4)
MANCHESTER CITY – An anagram (test) of ENACT CHEMISTRY. Test does not work as an anagram indicator in the position you have used it. Although test can mean to assay or refine, it is a transitive verb and therefore would need to be before the letters to be rearranged.
1 One of four angers French friend up before Easter (12)
QUADRAGESIMA – A four letter word meaning one of four followed by a five letter word meaning angers and a reversal (up) of the three letter French word for a friend. Describing the first Sunday of Lent as “before Easter” is a tad imprecise.
2 Presses on in the clutches of the American taxman (5)
IRONS – The ON from the clue inside (in) the three letter abbreviation for the American tax service.
3 Rage and regrets apparently after a thousand jumpers (9)
KANGAROOS – The abbreviation for 1000 followed by an homophone (apparently) of ANGER (rage) RUES (regrets). It is a shame that the clue and the clue for 1 down use the same synonyms of anger / rage.
4 Detains mother in tears (7)
REMANDS – A two letter word for a mother inside a five letter word meaning tears. Watch out for repeated wordplay indicators – there are several clues where “in” is used to indicate A inside B.
5 Perform acrobatics after small fall (7)
STUMBLE – A six letter word meaning perform acrobatics after the abbreviation for small.
6 Expression of delight for large follower of Catherine (5)
WHEEL – A four letter word for an expression of delight followed by the abbreviation for large. The “for” in the clue does not work.
7 Bring round tea a miner stirred (9)
REANIMATE – An anagram (stirred) of TEA A MINER.
10 I leave African country with record that is pretentious but far from totalitarian (7,5)
LIBERAL PARTY – Remove the I from the seven letter name of an African Country and follow with the abbreviation for a long playing record and a four letter word meaning pretentious. The “that is” does not works “that’s” would have been better as the clue, cryptically, would then read “that has”. I don’t think that “Far from totalitarian” works as a definition of the noun that is the solution. There is also an issue with “I leave”. As you are indicating the removal of a letter, “leave” on its own does not work (you would not say “A leave, B leave”. The trick here is to use “I may leave…”
14 New approach has your first fake news (9)
APOCRYPHA – An anagram (new) of APPROACH includes the first letter of your. Has as a containment indicator does not work particularly well.
16 A molester fiddled with rubber, possibly (9)
ELASTOMER – An anagram (fiddled with) of A MOLESTER.
18 Talk loudly – anger will warm you up (3,4)
GAS FIRE – A three letter word meaning talk followed by the musical abbreviation for loudly and a three letter word meaning anger.
19 So…a return journey for an artist (7)
SICKERT – A three letter Latin term meaning so or thus followed by a reversal (return) of a four letter word for a journey.
22 At first some teenagers occasionally invite criticism yet are uncomplaining (5)
STOIC – The initial letters (at first) of the third to seventh words of the clue. As first has already been used as an initial letter indicator, perhaps Originally some teenagers… would have been better. The link word “are” again does not work as you have wordplay are definition.
24 Girl’s not finishing drink (5)
LASSI – Remove the E (not finishing) for a generic term for a girl.