A Puzzle by Gonzo
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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.
Welcome back to Gonzo. This was a step up in terms of the quality of the crossword. Apart from a couple of minor points at the end of the crossword, there were no issues with the clues. A comment on the grid is in order. The usual rule is that solutions should have at least 50% of their letters cross-checked. You may have a handful of solutions that do not do this, but overall, the cross-checking should be maintained. Here out of 26 clues, 20 had less that 50% cross-checking. Coupling this with the fact that each corner of the crossword was isolated from the centre, it meant that the grid was highly solver unfriendly.
The commentometer reads as 1/26 or 3.8%.
7 Nut from Arkansas initially needs keeping company (5)
ACORN – The state code for Arkansas and the first letter (initially) includes (keeping) the abbreviation for company CO. in (AR. + N[eeds])
8 Denial of the French Revolution tipped balance, making you speechless? (3-6)
NON-VERBAL – The French for no (denial) followed by a reversal (tipped) of the abbreviation for revolution and the bookkeeping abbreviation for balance
9 Carp in waders? (5)
SNIPE – Double definition meaning to complain or a type of wading bird.
10 Cover taken off before Prince’s hit single entertains (9)
UNWRAPPED – Before the abbreviation for Prince add a three-letter word meaning to hit and include all the letters inside (entertains) a five-letter word meaning single.
12 In pieces, garment torn up in brawl (11)
FRAGMENTARY – An anagram (torn up) of GARMENT inside a four-letter word for a brawl.
16 Officer that’s stolen binoculars gets sack (4)
LOOT – The abbreviation for Lieutenant (officer) includes (stolen) a pair of letter that look like the end of a pair of binoculars.
17 Predictable mess in DC as fun goes bad (5)
SNAFU – An anagram (goes bad) of AS FUN.
18 Impetuosity displayed in cycling lane (4)
ELAN – Move the last letter of lane to the beginning (cycling).
19 Drew out nurses at the expense of government chief, being intransigent (5-6)
WRONG-HEADED – An anagram (out) of DREW includes (nurses) a two-letter word meaning at the expense of, the abbreviation for government and a four-letter word meaning a chief.
22 Thanks to warning seizes 50 knives? (9)
TABLEWARE – A two-letter word meaning thanks followed by a six-letter word word of warning that includes (seizes) the Roman numeral for 50.
24 Traveller tumbles in pigsty when temperature drops (5)
GIPSY – An anagram (tumbles) of PIGSTY after removing (drops) the abbreviation for temperature.
25 Receipt found in tan crop-top that’s quite arresting (9)
QUITTANCE – The TAN from the clue and the first letter (top) of crop inside (arresting) the QUITE from the clue.
26 Hint of deformity (5)
HUNCH – Double definition for a hint or suspicion and a deformity from a spinal curvature.
1 Ran around in swimming cossie – what could possibly happen? (9)
SCENARIOS – A reversal (around) of the RAN from the clue inside an anagram (swimming) of COSSIE.
2 Reproduce formal style of walking in audition (9)
PROPAGATE – A homophone (in audition) of proper (formal) gait (style of walking).
3 Rector’s not about to turn over rent (4)
TORN – The abbreviation for rector has the not from the clue around it (about) with all the letters then reversed (to turn over).
4 After 6 deliveries made too tense (11)
OVERWROUGHT – A four-letter word meaning six balls or deliveries in cricket followed by a seven-letter word meaning made.
5 Hamster up the trousers to burst out? (5)
ERUPT – The answer is hidden in (trousers) the first three words of the clue.
6 Spent a penny standing between judge and journalist (5)
JADED – The A and the abbreviation for an old penny all inside the abbreviations for judge and editor (journalist).
11 A wise ruler, from the outset employing sacked casuals (11)
LEISUREWEAR – An anagram (sacked) of A WISE RULER E (the initial letter – from the outset – of employing).
13 Artillerymen can set about exercise (5)
TRAIN – The abbreviation for Royal Artillery has a three-letter word for a can around it (set about).
14 Wicked, miserly fellow called in debts (9)
NEFARIOUS – A four-letter word meaning miserly has the abbreviation for fellow included (called in) followed by the four-letter for debts.
15 First of squaddies to be carried by stretcher shoulders own kitbag (9)
HAVERSACK – The initial letter (first of) squaddies inside (to be carried by) a four-letter word for a stretcher all after (shoulders) a four-letter word meaning to own.
20 Equivocal outcome of very old illness (5)
VAGUE – The abbreviation for very followed by a four-letter word for an old illness.
21 Frequently fill up the glass (5)
FLUTE – The odd letters (frequently) of the second to fourth words of the clue. I don’t think that frequently is a alternate word indicator.
23 Contest account in Scripture? (4)
RACE – The abbreviation for account inside the abbreviation for religious education (Scripture). Religious education has not been called Scripture for nigh on 40 years. You would get short shrift from the editor of the Church Times crossword if you were to use this as the indicator.