A Puzzle by MP
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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.
A warm welcome back to a blogger with multiple personalities who has, thankfully, retained his pseudonym for this crossword. The crossword was a gentle one with the parsing of 27a requiring the only cogitation for parsing. There are a few minor points on the cluing but offset by some excellent clues such as 4a and 8d. The commentometer reads as 3/30 or 10%.
1 Fancy Artex may be a bonus (5)
EXTRA – An anagram (fancy) of ARTEX.
4 Design pen to hold creature say (8)
STRATEGY – A three-letter word for a animal pen includes a three-letter word for a rodent (creature) and the abbreviation for “for example” (say).
10 Brick used for foot support when rowing (9)
STRETCHER – Double definition of a type of brick and a foot support in a rowing boat.
11 Plant splintering internally (5)
INTER – The answer is hidden (internally) in the second word of the clue. Slightly unfortunate that the answer is also the first five letters of the hidden word indicator!
12 Act strangely when suddenly striking (7)
WILDCAT – A reverse anagram clue. An anagram indicator and the letters to be rearranged could be a clue to ACT. Perhaps the strangely is not quite strong enough to indicate that this is a reverse anagram. Perhaps “This could lead to act that’s suddenly striking”
13 Roll a die true and become knowledgable (7)
ERUDITE – An anagram (roll) of DIE TRUE. The A in the clue should be omitted here as it looks like part of the letters to be rearranged.
14 Dylanish singing. Initially nice and soothing. Always laudable (5)
NASAL – The initial letters (initially) of the last five words of the clue.
15 Punish Dave’s partner with knotted ties (8)
CHASTISE – The four-letter name of the Cockney singing duo including Dave followed by an anagram (knotted) of TIES.
18 Reflected upon motorway, bishop, soldiers and a journalist (8)
MIRRORED – The two-letter name of a motorway followed by the two-letter abbreviation for a bishop, the abbreviation for other ranks (soldiers) and the abbreviation for an editor (journalist).
20 European Union Inn adapted for boredom (5)
ENNUI – An anagram (adapted) of EU (European) INN.
23 Flyers from Burscough Football club (7)
LINNETS – The name of the birds that is also the nickname of the said football club. General knowledge of county league football clubs is perhaps a little unfair.
25 Modern city life is a desert challenge (3,4)
RAT RACE – A three-letter word for desert followed by a four-letter word for a competitive challenge.
26 Regularly scour rhino for furbelow (5)
CURIO – The even letters (regularly) of the second two words of the clue (ignoring the space between them).
27 Contrary rhymster holds joint hardware (9)
MACHINERY – The contrary girl in the nursery rhyme includes (holds) a five-letter word for the backbone. Watch out for spelling in the clues. An e is missing.
28 Shelter others around one most cautious (8)
LEERIEST – A three-letter word for a shelter followed by a four-letter word for others around the letter representing one.
29 Full up? Partly after one’s ate dinner (5)
SATED – The answer is hidden (partly) in the final three words of the clue. The “after” is padding. Grammatically, one’s eaten dinner, not ate it.
1 Cruel blow for Poppins means of propulsion (4,4)
EAST WIND – Double definition for a cold meteorological condition, also the one that blew in Marry Poppins.
2 Arouses amusement (7)
THRILLS – Double definition.
3 Detail cut relating to a joint (9)
ARTICULAR – A ten-letter word meaning detail without the first letter (cut).
5 Jack, Queen and king scheme to find the lady (5,4,5)
THREE CARD TRICK – A general description (5,4) of Jack, Queen and King followed by a five-letter word for a scheme.
6 Pass away in American university. So long (5)
ADIEU – A three-letter word meaning pass away inside the abbreviations for American and University.
7 Brings about hospital department troubles (7)
ENTAILS – A three-letter abbreviation for a hospital department followed by a four-letter word for troubles.
8 O’Kerry bowled one of these (6)
YORKER – An anagram (bowled) of OKERRY
9 Smashing tea with Chris’s Ma. Not a winter treat (5,9)
WHITE CHRISTMAS – An anagram (smashing) of TEA WITH CHRISS MA without one of the As.
16 Histrionics shown in excessively dramatic behaviour (9).
THEATRICS – Two definitions of the same word. The two meanings are the same. It is better to have a degree of separation between double definitions.
17 Western fish seen agog (4,4)
WIDE EYED – The abbreviation for western followed by a three-letter word for a type of fish and a four-letter word for seen.
19 Popular bottle to supply nervous energy (7)
INNERVE – A two-letter word meaning popular followed by a five-letter word for bottle or courage. Perhaps changing nervous energy to “stimulus” as nervous overlaps with the solution.
21 North East area remains closest (7)
NEAREST – The abbreviations for north-east and area followed b a four-letter word for remains.
22 Antifreeze in singly coloured container (6)
GLYCOL – The answer is hidden in…container the third and fourth words of the clue.
24 Initially every man only just identifies digital icons (5)
EMOJI – The initial letters (initially) of the second to sixth words of the clue. Try to avoid using duplicate wordplay indicators. Initially was used in 14a.