A Puzzle by Conto
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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.
Welcome back to Conto. After the first crossword, this was a welcome step backwards in terms of the difficulty of the cluing. The theme of the children’s cartoon series was well woven into the solutions and the clues with many of the characters from the original series (rather than the later reboot on Boomerang) included.
There were still one or two rough edges in the clues. The main point of concern was the use of abbreviations with many of them not supported by the dictionaries setters use.
I am unable to find a satisfactory explanation of 19d.
The commentometer reads as 4/36 or 11.1%.
1. See 32
4. Despicable pop star found inside with lolly wrapper (9)
DASTARDLY – A three-letter word for pop or father includes the star from the clue and is followed by the outer letters (wrapper) of lolly.
9. Draft new ending to 11 (5)
ROUGH – A five-letter word meaning the answer to 11a has a new letter to replace the last letter of the word.
10. Damn good time (5)
BLAST – Double definition, the first meaning to condemn and the second being an informal word to say that you have had a good time.
11. Trot back in homemade rompers (3)
RED – The answer is hidden and reversed (back in) in the final two words of the clue.
12. Leaves Gibraltar after quiet morning (8)
SHAMROCK – A four-letter word describing Gibraltar after a two-letter word meaning be quiet and a two-letter abbreviation for the morning.
14. Performance of ‘Gas‘, one-act play (6)
OCTANE – An anagram (play) of ONE ACT.
15. Machine belonging to 4 is average (4)
MEAN – Double definition for the car driven by 4a in 32a 1a and a word meaning average.
16. Exactly what’s required for each foxtrot, etc. – dancing (7)
PERFECT – A three-letter word meaning for each followed by the letter represent by Foxtrot in the phonetic alphabet and an anagram (dancing) of ETC.
18. Burlap or hemp? To be determined (7)
PENDING – A description of the last letter of both burlap and hemp. I think something more than a question mark is required in this clue to indicate that the solution is related to the final letter of the words in the clue.
20. Take Rupert, for example (4)
BEAR – Double definition meaning to take or accept responsibility for an the children’s story character.
24. Cooks tell it how it is in Lilliput (6)
LITTLE – An anagram (cooks) of TELL IT. Having the anagram indicator cooks before the letters to be rearranged does not work in the cryptic grammar – it would be OK after the letters. Perhaps “Excitedly tell it how it is…”
25. Pipes stimulate each tear (8)
TRACHEAE – A anagram (stimulate) of EACH TEAR.
27. A new telephone worker (3)
ANT – The A from the clue followed by the abbreviations for new and telephone. T for telephone is not an abbreviation recognized in the main dictionaries.
28. Opening the end of a flower (5)
MOUTH – Double definition of an opening in the face and the end of a river (flower).
30. Initially round, until Baron Igor Kartoffel invented the cube (5)
RUBIK – The initial letters (initially) of the second to sixth words of the clue.
31. Can’t wait? Conto can! (9)
IMPATIENT – Split 2, 7, this would indicate that Conto (as the setter) can wait.
32. & 1A E-cars? (5,5)
WACKY RACES – A build your own anagram clue. A five-letter anagram indicator followed by another arrangement of the letters that would give E-CARS. Rather like the clue to 18a, I think that slightly more is needed to indicate that this is a build your own anagram clue.
1. Bloody good bloke, the sort most difficult to find (6)
RAREST – A four-letter word meaning bloody (in terms of cooking) followed by the abbreviation for saint (good bloke).
2. A cursed, maniacal campaign (7)
CURSADE – An anagram (maniacal) of A CURSED.
3. Sarah exchanged letters with an Algerian? (7)
SAHARAN – An anagram (exchanged) letters followed by the AN from the clue.
4. Recall friend’s name (3)
DUB – Reverse (recall) a three-letter American term for a friend. Perhaps an indication that it is an American term for a friend should be added.
5. Cinders – single girl, upset (4)
SLAG – The abbreviation for single followed by a reversal of a three-letter word for a girl. The abbreviation is that for “singular” not “single”.
6. E.g. an item in magazine (7)
ARTICLE – Double definition, the first being an description of AN and the second another word for a printed item in a magazine.
7. Lovelorn bouncer in the middle of nightclub, doing nothing (7)
DORMANT – A seven-letter word for a bouncer has one of the Os removed (lovelorn) followed by the middle letter of nightclub. The “in” in this clue is out of place. The clue should be re-written to omit it.
8. Different start to lots of songs (6)
YODLES – A six-letter word for lots has a different first letter to begin.
13. Fourth month in Guernsey? Another island is the answer! (5)
CAPRI – The three-letter abbreviation for the fourth month of the year inside a two-letter abbreviation for the island group of which Guernsey is a part.
17. Layman (5)
ROGER – A lift and separate clue to give a crude term for intercourse and the name of a man. Not all editors would accept this form of lift and separate clue. Outside the Cyclops cryptic in Private Eye, none would accept the crudity of the clue.
18. When Stewart retired, finally, in Warsop, childless and bereft without IT work (3-4)
PIT-STOP – The final letters in Warsop, Childless and Bereft around (without) the IT from the clue followed by a two-letter word meaning work. I don’t think that “finally in” works as a last letter indicator when used in the cryptic grammar of the clue.
19. Never-ending pop song from the Netherlands (2,5)
NO-LIMIT – Pass!
20. Drive taxi round to the rear of cinema (4,3)
BACK ROW – A four-letter word for drive and a three-letter word for a taxi are reversed.
21. Climb oddly up tree before getting dry (7)
ACERBIC – The odd letters in climb are reversed (up) after a four-letter type of tree.
22. Antacid component of chalk, a limestone (6)
ALKALI – The answer is hidden in (component of) the final three words of the clue.
23. Quietly and without heart, Muttley devours diced leek (6)
MEEKLY – The outer letters (without heart) of Muttley includes (devours) an anagram (diced) of LEEK.
26. He wrote two books, including ‘Universal King: the Spanish Uprising’ (4)
LUKE – The Spanish word for the is reversed (uprising) and includes the abbreviations for universal and king.
29. Each side contains a bowler? (3)
HAT – The abbreviations for Heads and Tails includes the A from the clue. Another clue where abbreviations have been used abandoning the use of a dictionary.