A Puzzle by Fringilla
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Prologue. 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 Fringilla. There were a few rough edges but overall the cluing was good and the level of difficulty was about right. The grid was not one you would find in national newspapers with three unchecked letter in row. I agree that some of the surface readings of the clues were far from ideal but that comes with practice. Most if not all of the obscurities that have appeared in previous puzzles have been eliminated.
The commentometer reads as 4 / 30 or 13.3%.
1. Small, with German backing singer (4,3)
TINY TIM – A four-letter word meaning small followed by a reversal (backing) of the German word meaning with.
5. To glide down a mountain drunk, full, is clever (7)
SKILFUL – A three-letter word meaning to glide down a mountain followed by an anagram (drunk) of FULL.
8. Broken slice, AKA putter (5)
KAPUT – The answer in hidden (slice) in the last two words of the clue.
9. Be unhappy, so resign (5,4)
STAND DOWN – A five-letter word meaning “be” (as in you need to be / ????? still) followed by a four-letter word meaning unhappy.
11. Train tough pony (4,5)
IRON HORSE – A four-letter word meaning tough followed by a five-letter word for a horse. No mark down for this but I have recently had a clue rejected by an editor as a train is not a locomotive!
12. Map table (5)
CHART – Double definition.
13. Juggle ball in reproduction cupboard (7)
TALLBOY – An anagram (juggle) of BALL inside a three-letter word meaning toy.
15. Rip-off by fly (7)
SCAMPER – A four-letter word meaning a rip-off followed by a three-letter word meaning by.
17. Swamp Romeo after a date with sweetheart (7)
ADMIRER – A four-letter word for a swamp and the letter represented by Romeo in the phonetic alphabet after the A from the clue and the abbreviation for date. I am not sure that the solution and definition are precisely synonymous.
19. Encourage to sing around centre of tom-tom (5,2)
CHEER UP – A five-letter word for to sing (as a bird does) around the middle two letters (centre) of a four-letter word for a type of musical instrument of which a tom-tom is an example. As we have a definition by example, an indication of this should be given.
20. Toy dog (5)
CORGI – Double definition, the first being a brand of model car.
22. Clerk ruined hen supper (3-6)
PEN PUSHER – An anagram (ruined) of HEN SUPPER.
24. At this stage, motorcycle race in demand for attendant (9)
USHERETTE – A four-letter word meaning at this stage followed by the abbreviation for time trials (a motorcycle race) in a three-letter word meaning demand.
25. Bore, i.e. Nun, blessed (5)
ENNUI – An anagram (blessed) of IE NUN. I don’t like blessed as an anagram indicator. Chamber support the solution as a verb meaning to bore.
26. Territorials almost spoil identity paper (7)
TABLOID – The abbreviation for the former territorial army followed by a four-letter word meaning to spoil with the final letter word removed (almost) followed by the two letter abbreviation for identity.
27. Established English horse with National Savings (4,3)
NEST EGG – The abbreviation for National followed by the abbreviation for established, the abbreviation for English and a two letter word for a horse used by children and crossword setters! I think that some indication that the abbreviation for National goes at the head of the solution should be provided.
1. Consider torment, including i.e. Cook can’t whisk (4,4,7)
TAKE INTO ACCOUNT – A five-letter word meaning to torment around (including) an anagram (whisk) of IE COOK CANT.
2. Not a puzzle? You’re welcome! (2,7)
NO PROBLEM – Double definition.
3. Bird sitting on church could be a small person (5)
TITCH – A three-letter word for a small bird followed by the abbreviation for church.
4. Mean man with no time on fringe of luxury (7)
MISERLY – A six-letter word for a man without the abbreviation for time followed by the outer letters (fringe) of luxury. Fringe would be better as fringes.
5. Puppy, for example, small, but useful on board ship? (7)
SEA LEGS – A four letter word for an aquatic mammal whose young is described as a puppy (yes- it is given in Chambers) followed by the abbreviation for “for example” and the abbreviation for small.
6. Dicky or Alf plant life (5)
FLORA – An anagram (dicky) of OR ALF.
7. Finish after extensive manoeuvering at airport perhaps? (4,4,7)
LONG TERM PARKING – A four-letter word meaning finish after a four-letter word word for extensive followed by a seven-letter word for a form of manoeuvring. A couple of points on this clue. First, the usual spelling of manoeuvering omits the second e. The definition at an airport, is imprecise and incorrect. It is ???? Stay ???????.
10. English Conservative Lady in challenge to confess (7)
DECLARE – The abbreviation for English and the single letter abbreviations for Conservative and lady inside a four-letter word word challenge. I cannot find support for L = Lady in Chambers or Collins. Take care not to repeat word play indicators such as English for E. Also there are a few clues where “in” is repeated as the insertion indicator.
14. Announcer not starting after ban on e.g. iron curtain (7)
BARRIER – A three-letter word meaning ban followed by five-letter word for an announcer with the initial letter removed (not starting). This is the third use of “after” as a positional indicator.
16. Maybe rest before topless gambol (9)
PERCHANCE – A five-letter word word a roost or rest followed by a five-letter word for a gambol with the initial letter removed.
18. Said “prepare cutting type of grass” (7)
REPUTED – A three-letter word meaning prepare inside (cutting) a four-letter word for a type of grass.
19. Youngster supporting prison cafe (7)
CANTEEN – A four-letter word for a youngster underneath (supporting) a three-letter word for a prison.
21. Recuperation amongst nature habitation (5)
REHAB – The answer is hidden in (amongst) the last two words of the clue.
23. Escorts, off heroin, still drug addicts (5)
USERS – A six-letter word for escorts without the abbreviation for heroin,