Four Lads Who Shook The Wirral by Gonzo
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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.
Thanks to Gonzo for a good workout today with this crossword. Overall, the constraints of the theme presumably gave rise to some surreal surface readings and probably reflects the style of the group. I am assuming that the clues and the solutions reference songs by the group alluded to by the introduction to the crossword but I lack any knowledge of the theme to check this. Only a few points on the clues themselves but with 10 anagrams and lots of initial and final letter clues, overall it felt unbalanced.
The commentometer reads as 2.5 / 28 or 8.9%.
1 In gym, lean, working out with net – beginning to look like Jim Reeves? (11)
GENTLEMANLY – An anagram (working out) of GYM LEAN NET.
8 It may be cooler in a saloon, but it’s warmer at home (8)
RADIATOR – Definition of something that cools a car such as a saloon and something that warms a home.
9 Course of salts? (5)
EPSOM – A race course that is also the name of a type of salts.
12 To a large extent in agreement, after intro to Architecture and Morality (1,4,4)
A GOOD DEAL – A four-letter word for an agreement after the initial letter (intro to) of architecture and a four-letter word for morality. I don’t think that morality gives the word required in the solution – it would need to be moral to work.
13 Work’s over on late show… (4)
EXPO – The abbreviation for opus (work) reversed (over) after (on) a two letter word meaning late or former.
14 …in retrospect, pay maybe for show not worth much (6)
GEEGAW – Reverse (in retrospect) a four letter word for pay and the abbreviation for “for example” (maybe).
16 Fred Titmus starts to get hurt in deal put before wastrel (8)
UNTHRIFT – The initial letters (starts) of Fred Titmus with an anagram (deal) of HURT IN before them (put before).
19 Ginger Spice in no ordinary tour – “America Naked” (8)
TURMERIC – Remove the abbreviation for ordinary from tour and follow the letter letters that remain with inner letters (naked) of America.
20 Melancholy, soon losing heart outside entrance to Papworth General (6)
SPLEEN – The outer letters (losing heart) of soon around (outside) the first letter (entrance to) Papworth and the three letter name of a General.
22 Small unmusical group, revolting and insignificant (4)
NULL – The answer is hidden (group) and reversed (revolting) in the first two words of the clue.
23 Bar secured to host divorced earls’ jollification (9)
BEANFEAST – A three-letter word meaning bar or prohibit and a four-letter word meaning secured each included (host) the abbreviation for earl (divorced implying they are included separately).
26 Musicians, carrying on without a break, perhaps content to litigate (5)
SEGUE – The abbreviation for “for example” (perhaps) inside a three-letter word meaning to litigate.
27 Bob Todd’s face omitted from “Things Ill Sculpted” ? (8)
SHILLING – An anagram (sculpted) of THINGS ILL with the T (the initial letter (face) of Todd).
28 I employ racy sports in 1996, say (7,4)
OLYMPIC YEAR – An anagram (sports) of I EMPLOY RACY
2 Hesitate at nothing for lyrical inspiration (5)
ERATO – A two letter word expressing a hesitation followed by the at from the clue and the letter representing nothing.
3 Dame Thora’s usual fee, you might say, is not much to write home about (5-4)
THIRD RATE – Split 1,4, 4 this would indicate T(hora) Hird’s usual fee.
4 Encounter with snooker’s top referee at last promoted admiration (6)
ESTEEM – A four-letter word meaning encounter followed by the initial letter (top) of snooker and the final letter (at last) of referee all reversed (promoted).
5 Something in the sky over Dallas leads to intense reflections in a flat (8)
AIRPLANE – The initial letters (leads to) of intense reflections in the a from the clue and a five-letter word meaning flat. Unless related to the theme, I am not sure what “over Dallas” adds to the solution. Typing in (using quotes) “something over the sky in Dallas” into Google gives a very rare occurrence, only one hit being this page!
6 Search repeatedly for Old English vegetable (4)
LEEK – A four-letter word meaning search with each O (old) replaced by an E (English).
7 Oddly irate – Trumpton Riots becoming persistent (11)
IMPORTUNATE – An anagram (riots) of IAE (the odd letters in irate) TRUMPTON.
10 Ultimately, time flies by after work in physical relationships (3,4)
SEX LIFE – An anagram (after work) of E (ultimately time) FLIES X (by). I think this is on the wrong side of being an indirect anagram as the X is a synonym for by or times not a direct abbreviation.
11 Her eery superiority like this irritated? Could be er … I hate Nerys Hughes! (11)
HAUGHTINESS – An anagram (could be) of ER I HATE NERYS HUGHES gives HER EERY plus the solution.
15 In Peru, the sun god gave us life tips first, coming up with an aid to sleep (7)
EARPLUG – The two letter word for the Egyptian sun god inside the IVR code for Peru with the initial letters (tips) of gave us life before them (first) with all letters reversed (coming up). I doubt that one of these on its own would not be an aid to sleep – perhaps a partial aid to sleep!
17 Rogue fly up hole is looking on the bright side (9)
HOPEFULLY – An anagram (rogue) of FLY UP HOLE.
18 Special order to break up crowds, papers about to reveal (8)
DISBOSOM – The abbreviation for special order inside (to break up) a four-letter word for crows and the abbreviation for papers all reversed (about).
21 Island doubled its turnover covering Albert Hammond’s No. 1s (6)
TAHITI – The IT from the clue twice (doubled), each reversed (turnover) around (covering) the initial letters (No 1s) of Albert Hammond.
24 Addicts’ self-help group admits Pence regularly a cause of lost sleep in the States (5)
APNEA – The abbreviation for Alcoholics Anonymous includes (admits) the odd letters (regularly) of Pence.
25 Seal clubbing live (4)
VEIL – An anagram (clubbing) of LIVE. Unless an old usage, this relies on seal meaning to cover and to cover meaning the solution without the two (seal and the solution) being synonymous.