A Puzzle by Jabberwock
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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 Jabberwock. This second Rookie crossword was much more accessible and polished than the first although some of the wordplay required, as it should, teasing out. There were fewer issues with the clues although the anagram in 16d have too many letters. On the subject of anagrams, nine of the was possibly on the high side. There was other wise a good variety of clue types and the surface readings were better. The commentometer registers 3/32 or 9.4%.
1 Practised escape from sack, before boring bit (4,5)
FIRE DRILL – A four-letter word meaning to sack or dismiss followed by a device that bores holes.
6 Writer is enemy of French initially (5)
DEFOE – A three-letter word for an enemy preceded by (initially) of the French for of.
9 A maize seed? (5)
ACORN – The A from the clue followed by the type of food of which maize is a variety
10 I’m male, but surprisingly resistant to change (9)
IMMUTABLE – An anagram (surprisingly) if IM MALE BUT.
11 Renaissance entertainment? (10)
RECREATION – Double definition.
12 Everyone boxes dreadfully (4)
VERY – The answer is hidden (boxes) in the first word of the clue.
14 Incite rioting after king reveals motive (7)
KINETIC – An anagram (rioting) of INCITE after the chess abbreviation for king.
15 Party with nowhere to go? Not possible! (2,3,2)
NO CAN DO – The solution suggests party with a toilet with a slang word for a toilet in the solution.
17 They support journalists’ opinions (7)
COLUMNS – Double definition.
19 Editors busy rearranging composer (7)
DEBUSSY – An anagram (rearranging) of EDS BUSY. Direct abbreviations used in anagrams are often seen. The issue usually arises where the abbreviation is indirect – for example port meaning left to clue an L.
20 Polish enthusiast? (4)
BUFF – Double definition.
22 No more thinking in Bath: rained off! (5,5)
BRAIN DEATH – An anagram (off) of BATH RAINED.
25 End rant after language gives way to force (9)
CULMINATE – A nine-letter word word rant with the initial F (force) replaced by C (computer programming language). I don’t have an issue with C being clued by language. However, the clue implies that it is the C that is removed (gives way to) and replaced by the F.
26 Poet has no right staying awake all night (5)
VIGIL – The name of an ancient Roman poet without the abbreviation for right.
27 Not as crazy as flipping new queen! (5)
SANER – Reverse (flipping) the AS from the clue and follow with the abbreviation for new and the regnal cipher for the current queen.
28 Tears erupting after obscure abuses (9)
MISTREATS – An anagram (erupting) of TEARS after a four-letter word meaning to obscure.
1 Special talent is close to legal, just about (5)
FLAIR – The last letter (close to) of legal with a four-letter word meaning just or equitable around it.
2 Smear coal tar on dental cavity (4,5)
ROOT CANAL – An anagram (smear) of COAL TAR ON.
3 Internal clock died before midday or evening (10)
DINNERTIME – A five-letter word meaning internal and a four-letter word meaning to clock with the abbreviation for died before them.
4 Stupid habit appearing after I had one round (7)
IDIOTIC – A three-letter word for a nervous habit after the abbreviated form of “iI had”, the letter representing one and the letter that is round.
5 Nothing on after light skewering (7)
LAMPOON – The letter representing nothing and the ON from the clue after a four-letter word for a type of light. Whilst skewer can be used informally as a synonym, here skewering would require the solution to end ing.
6 Lonely heart overheard numbers (4)
DATA – A homophone of “dater” (lonely heart).
7 Muscle appearing in revolutionary fairy tale (5)
FABLE – A two letter word for a muscle in a three-letter word for a fairy that has been reversed (revolutionary).
8 You all note awful corpse (9)
EVERYONE – A single letter musical note followed by a four-letter word for awful and a four-letter word for a corpse. Watch out for clues that are two similar. The overlap in this clue and 12 across is unfortunate.
13 Tanked-up gal developing absurd vice (5,5)
SCUBA DIVER – An anagram (developing) of ABSURD VICE.
14 Perhaps instruction to come down hard on Defense corruption? (9)
KICKBACKS – Split 4,5 this might be an instruction to foul football players who are defenders. Watch the differences between American and UK spellings.
16 Longing for home, Latinos go crazy, finishing off tequila (9)
NOSTALGIA – An anagram (crazy) of LATINOS GO followed by the last letter (finishing off) of tequila. As the setter has discovered, there is an extra O in the letters to be rearranged. Perhaps “Latinos briefly go crazy” or “Latinos go half crazy”
18 It’s ironic, a woman acquiring fancy cars (7)
SARCASM – The diminutive form of Samantha includes an anagram (fancy) of CARS.
19 They’re not for putting people behind wheels (7)
DRIVERS – Double definition.
21 Criminal felt incomplete with no backing (5)
FELON – The felt from the clue without the final letter (incomplete) followed by a reversal of the On from the clue.
23 Heavenly arcs looping over saints’ heads (5)
HALOS – The initial letters (heads) of the first five words of the clue.
24 Storyteller held up by minor ailment (4)
LIAR – The answer is hidden and reversed (held up by) in the final two words of the clue.