A Puzzle by Jaffa
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
A review by a grumpy old man.
Perhaps I am feeling too grumpy following the weekend’s announcements, necessary though the second lockdown appears to be from all the evidence. However, I did not enjoy this as much as many of Jaffa’s previous crosswords.
1 Migratory bird, spoken of as an oenophile (4,6)
GREY PLOVER – A homophone (spoken) of grape lover (oenophile).
6 Siren needs two electrical units (4)
VAMP – The abbreviation for volt and the unit of electrical current.
9 Simple diet varied for drug control? (5,5)
SPEED LIMIT – An anagram (varied) of SIMPLE DIET. Although a solution can be described cryptically, case has to be taken that there is a direct link between the cryptic definition and the solution. Therefore, for example, a “stomach” could be defined as a food processor but not as a grizzly animal = bear = stomach. Here, I am not convinced that the link between drug control and the solution is direct enough.
10 Odd apostasy back in Zeno’s lecture theatre? (4)
STOA – A reversal (back) of the odd letters in the second word of the clue. Normally, you would need oddly to indicate the odd letters. Perhaps “Apostasy oddly returns in…”
12 Springbok cooked polenta with last sausage (8)
ANTELOPE – An anagram (cooked) of polenta followed by the last letter of sausage. You should use “lastly” to indicate the last letter.
13 Favourite digested by Tijuana chomper (5)
NACHO – The answer is hidden (digested) in the final two words of the clue.
15 Decidedly dotty mutual exchange employed by Schrödinger (6)
UMLAUT – The dotted notation above the O is an anagram (exchange) of MUTUAL.
17 Rude man overboard from the Isle of Wight ferry? (8)
INSOLENT – Split 2,6, the solution would describe where a man overboard from the Isle of Wight ferry would be.
18 Dog gets help for Manx cat’s reconstructive surgery? (8)
TAILBACK – A four-letter word meaning dog or follow followed by a four-letter word meaning help. Another clue where the cryptic definition of the solution whist witty does not define the solution.
21 Gangster comic is said to be lacking in colour (6)
ALBINO – The two-letter word name of a famous American gangster followed by a homophone (said) of Beano (comic).
24 Avian rerouted for Donald’s First Lady (5)
IVANA – An anagram (rerouted) of Avian.
25 A Highlander’s cudgel, reportedly not electric (8)
ACOUSTIC – The A from the clue followed by a homophone (reportedly) of how a Scotsman might pronounce cow and stick. To ask the solver to get from Highlander to Highland cow stick and then how a Scottish person would pronounce it is too many steps for the solver.
28 Virtual assistant performs volte-face for girl (4)
IRIS – A reversal (performs volte-face) of the name of the Apple virtual assistant.
29 Confusing telly based consumer advice. Biblically seventy? (4-2,4)
SELL-BY DATE – An anagram (confusing) of TELLY BASED. I would have omitted the final two words of the clue as they are too confusing.
30 Belittles men and supporters (4)
GUYS – Triple definition.
31 Initially Del Boy’s nous acquires French and German articles for plonker (10)
DUNDERHEAD – The initial letter of Del and a four-letter word meaning nous includes the French indefinite article and the German definite article. The Boy in the clue should have been omitted as it is simply padding.
1 Grand tree is split (4)
GASH – The abbreviation for grand followed by a three-letter word for a type of tree.
2 Indestructible schooner harboured by ale being drunk (7)
ETERNAL – A four-letter word for a three-masted schooner inside an anagram (being drunk) of ALE.
3 Rooms for theological studies delivered by chaplain (5)
PADRE – A three-letter word for rooms and a two letter abbreviation for theological studies. I think delivered by is one of those link words that only works in one direction. The solution is delivered by the wordplay, not the reverse.
4 Senior losing energy and getting old resorts to prayer (6)
ORISON – An anagram (resorts) of SENIOR O (old) after removing the abbreviation for energy. For the cryptic grammar to work here, resorted would be better than resorts.
5 Down to earth Greek gourmet drops dog for good (7)
EPIGEAN – A nine-letter word for a gourmet as a three-letter word for a dog removed and replaced by the abbreviation for good.
7 Newsreader’s aid announcing 18? (7)
AUTOCUE – A homophone (announcing) of auto queue – a tailback.
8 Applied soap lotion can control rise and fall at the keyboard (5,5)
PIANO STOOL – An anagram (applied) of SOAP LOTION.
11 Straighten a Parisian contraceptive (6)
UNCOIL – The French indefinite article followed by a four-letter word for a contraceptive device.
14 Limiting old veterinary practice? (10)
CURTAILING – What vets would do docking part of a dog’s anatomy before the practice was banned.
16 Ghostly medicine man, appearing in painting, decapitated (6)
UMBRAL – A two letter abbreviation for a medical person inside a five-letter word for a wall painting with the first letter removed (decapitated).
17 Type of lawyer, no saint (3)
INK – Another name for a QC without the single letter abbreviation for a saint.
19 At home, auntie regularly has time for unknown silliness (7)
INANITY – A two-letter word meaning at home followed by the odd letters in auntie, the abbreviation for time and a letter representing an unknown amount. The for in the clue is out of place as the abbreviation for time does not replace the unknown letter which is what, cryptically, you are telling the solver to do.
20 Fellow taking the water at Aix-les-Bains has a beret perhaps (7)
CHAPEAU – A four-letter word or a man followed by the French word for water.
22 Fake, I note, at art gallery (7)
IMITATE – The I from the clue followed by a two-letter musical note and a four-letter word for an art gallery.
23 Parliamentarian discovered in the sack – he’s out! (6)
BOWLED – A three-letter word for the bird whose collective noun is a parliament inside a three-letter word for a sack or sleeping place.
26 Aerial shot for broadcaster to the Queen (5)
SKYER – A three-letter word for a satellite broadcaster followed by the abbreviation for the current queen.
27 Heavy metal axeman (4)
LEAD – Double definition.