A Puzzle by Hodd
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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.
An enjoyable and accessible crossword from Hodd this week. There were some good ideas on display here particularly in 18a and many smooth clues and surface readings. The commentometer reads as 3.5/28 or 12.5%
1 Clue‘s initial letters (8)
SIGNPOST – Split 4,4 the solution could mean to append your name to letters being sent to someone.
5 Man has answer to ‘name a country‘ (6)
GUYANA – A three-letter word meaning a man followed by the abbreviations for answer and name and the A from the clue.
9 True map managed to take us finally closer to the source (8)
UPSTREAM – An anagram (managed) of TRUE MAP includes (to take) the final letter (finally) of us.
10 Brave French king caught after retreating, eh? (6)
HEROIC – The French word for king and the abbreviation for caught after a reversal (after retreating) of the HE from the clue.
12 Animal burying money in small ditch (5)
HYENA – The name of the currency of Japan (money) is included (burying) in half (small) of a word for a ditch. I don’t think that small works as an instruction to use only half of the word.
13 Is this how they choose Donald’s suit? (5,4)
TRUMP CARD – Cryptic definition by reference to the current US president of how the prevailing suit is picked in some games. I am not sure that the cryptic definition quite gets you to the solution.
14 Great artist missing brilliant and astute investment opportunity? (3-4-5)
GET RICH QUICK – Remove the abbreviation for artist from the first word from the clue and follow with a four-letter word meaning brilliant and a five-letter word meaning astute. I am not sure about the link between brilliant and the second word of the solution.
18 Terrible toenail trail, for example? (12)
ALLITERATION – An anagram (terrible) of TOENAIL TRAIL gives a word that describes the first three words of the clue.
21 An operator – that’s it (5,4)
MINUS SIGN – The hyphen in the clue is also called this mathematical operator.
23 Make up middle-class accent (5)
ATONE – The middle letter of class followed by a four-letter word meaning accent. Some editors wold not allow middle-X to indicate the central letter as in the cryptic grammar you need middle of X.
24 Defender started entertaining league (6)
SHIELD – A five-letter word meaning started or jumped includes (entertaining) the abbreviation for league.
25 Convinced setter’s after advance (8)
POSITIVE – A three-letter contraction of I have (setter’s) after a five-letter word meaning advance.
26 Hunk‘s catch after weapon, in retrospect (6)
NUGGET – A three-letter word meaning catch after a reversal (in retrospect) of a three-letter word for a weapon. Try to avoid repeating wordplay indicators. Having A after B in 25a and again in 26a jars.
27 Waves of destruction from giant sun – am I safe?! (8)
TSUNAMIS – The answer is hidden in (from) the final five words of the clue.
1 Snow lingers upon sunny hilltops; by day’s end is half melted (6)
SLUSHY – The initial letters of the first five words of the clue followed by the last letter (end) of day. The initial letter indicator is found by splitting the hilltops into hill tops and using tops as the initial letter indicator. Not all editors will accept this form of clue. In addition, a superficial reading of the clue means that solvers may initially think there is a mistake in the clue as there is no initial letter indicator. A clue that looks as thought it has a mistake even where it does not is probably best avoided.
2 Try and stretch endlessly for the truth (6)
GOSPEL – A two-letter word meaning try followed by a five-letter word for a stretch of time with the final letter removed (endlessly).
3 Every hospital department is filled with people not going anywhere (9)
PERMANENT – A three-letter word meaning every and a three-letter abbreviation for a hospital department includes (is filled with) a three-letter word meaning to people or staff. I think that the three letter word meaning every means “for every” or each rather than every on its own.
4 Brian can be a disorganised person! (12)
SCATTERBRAIN – Split 7, 5 this would be a reverse anagram clue where the first seven letters are an anagram letter and the final five letters when rearranged would give Brian. Perhaps a stronger indication that this is a reverse anagram clue would be helpful. “To my mind, Brian is a disorganised person!”
6 Finish writing down “Heart of Jesus”? (3,2)
USE-UP – An expression that describes how you might write a description of the central letters (heart of) in Jesus. Perhaps “Finish how you might describe the heart of Jesus” would give a better indication of you need to reverse engineer the clue.
7 Redolent of an actor lacking direction, I’m all over the place (8)
AROMATIC – An anagram (all over the place) of AN ACTOR IM after removing (lacking) a compass direction.
8 Old prince‘s bow outstanding, admitted king (8)
ARCHDUKE – A four-letter word for a bow or curve followed by a three-letter word meaning outstanding or owing that includes the abbreviation for king.
11 Idly snubs autocue, getting under the skin (12)
SUBCUTANEOUS – An anagram (idly) of SNUBS AUTOCUE.
15 Tender words (9)
QUOTATION – Double definition of a tender or price offered and a notable group of words attributed to someone.
16 Usual table bearing cheese (8)
PARMESAN – A three-letter word meaning usual or normal followed by a four-letter word for.a table top mountain in the US and a compass bearing. I think that abridging the name of the mountain to just table is a little too oblique.
17 Flashing ostentatious jewellery, concealing tattoo (8)
BLINKING – A five-letter word for ostentatious jewellery includes (concealing) a three-letter word for tattoo.
19 Stand by Pence’s condemnation (6)
PODIUM – The abbreviation for pence followed by a five-letter word meaning condemnation.
20 Non-dominant gene I’ve deleted for depression (6)
RECESS – A nine-letter word for a non-dominant gene without the IVE from the clue.
22 Loves rearranging the letters to get the answer (5)
SOLVE – An anagram (rearranging the letters) of LOVES.