A Puzzle by Zorro
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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.
Another high quality puzzle from Zorro. The main blips were the repetition of wordplay indicators and a rather poorly indicated reverse anagram clue. The commentometer reads as 1.5 / 28 or 5.3%.
1 Stick up for a foreigner caught embracing drunken revelry (12)
BACCHANALIAN – A homophone (caught) of back (support) an alien (a foreigner).
8 It’s essential to bow on the concert platform (9)
HORSEHAIR – Cryptic definition of the material from which part of the bow for playing a musical instrument is made.
9 Pooh starts to praise scenic Hundred Acre Wood (5)
PSHAW – The initial letters (starts to) of the final five words of the clue.
11 Prepare to carve ham (7)
OVERACT – An anagram (prepare) of TO CARVE.
12 Bite mushroom with bit of stuffing inside (6)
MORSEL – A five-letter word for a type of mushroom includes (with … inside) the first letter (bit) of stuffing.
14 Particle in dispersing helium (4)
ATOM – A phrase 2,4 meaning “in” without (dispersing) the chemical symbol for helium. Perhaps an indication that the letters in the chemical symbol are moved separately would be fairer to the solver. Maybe “all traces of helium”?
15 Nan losing heart in American’s dull, dull, self-contained apartment (6,4)
GRANNY FLAT – The outer letters (losing heart) of nan inside (in) the American spelling of a four-letter word for a dull colour followed by four-letter word meaning dull or insipid.
17 A time to hunt in clear oceans – proceed! (4,6)
OPEN SEASON – A four-letter word meaning clear followed by a four-letter word for oceans and a two-letter word meaning proceed.
19 Blow oddly into old English instrument (4)
OBOE – The odd letters of blow inside the abbreviation for Old English.
21 Bin Laden with bad scientist (6)
BOFFIN -The BIN from the clue includes (laden with) a three-letter word meaning bad or rotten.
23 Old maid in a great bother (7)
ABIGAIL – The A from the clue followed by a three-letter word meaning great and a three-letter word meaning bother.
25 Historic conference site in unknown country miles away (5)
YALTA – A letter used in algebra to indicate an unknown quantity followed by a five-letter name for a mediterranean Island without the initial M (miles away).
26 Stirring, stormy sonata in G – it’s not Saint-Saëns’ first, fourth or last (9)
AGITATION – An anagram (stormy) of SONATA IN G ITS after removed the first, fourth and last letters in Saint-Saëns.
27 Where marathoner might be seen eventually (2,3,4,3)
IN THE LONG RUN – Double definition of participating in a marathon and eventually.
1 Catch up with East European to get boat propeller (9)
BARGEPOLE – Reverse (up) a four-letter word meaning catch and follow with the abbreviation for East and a four-letter word for a European national.
2 Islander hiding in secret annexe (6)
CRETAN – The answer is hidden (hiding in) in the final two words of the clue.
3 Take her bra off? It’s extremely distressing (10)
HEARTBREAK – An anagram (off) of TAKE HER BRA.
4 Edible seaweed? Me neither! (4)
NORI – Split 3,1 the solution would be another way of saying “me neither”.
5 Disease damaged pores in lady’s skin (7)
LEPROSY – An anagram (damaged) of PORES in the outer letters (skin) of lady.
6 They may be seen in forests before and after fires (5)
ASHES – Double definition of a type of tree and the remains of fires.
7 Go ape, or what? (5,1,6)
THROW A WOBBLY – A reverse anagram clue where the solution gives a series of letter and an anagram indicator word that would lead to OR WHAT. The essence of a clue is that it must give sufficient information to enable the solver to reach the solution. Whilst reverse anagram clues are a good form of clue, simply adding a question mark does not give a sufficient indication that a reverse anagram is required. Perhaps “or what may be result”
10 Suffer punishment going off the straight and narrow? (4,3,5)
WALK THE PLANK – Cryptic definition of a type of naval punishment involving a straight and narrow piece of wood along which the person being punished must walk.
13 Digging land for pitching (10)
INTONATION – A phrase 2,2 meaning liking or digging followed by a six-letter word for a land or country.
16 Heavenly body’s swaying in freedom after dropping Ecstasy (9)
LIBRATION – A ten-letter word meaning freedom without the abbreviation for ecstasy.
18 Leaves brooch in Salvation Army church (7)
SPINACH – A three-letter word for a brooch inside the abbreviation for Salvation Army followed by the abbreviation for a church. There are a few clues that use “in” as the containment indicator. Try to find other indicators that would avoid repetition.
20 I’m about to venture, so to speak, somewhat above the ground (6)
MIDAIR – Reverse (about) the IM from the clue and follow with a homophone (so to speak) of DARE (venture).
22 Criminal escaped without wife – she’s back inside (5)
FELON – A five-letter word meaning escaped without the abbreviation for wife includes (inside) the last letter (back) of she. Again a repetition of inside as a containment indicator.
24 Follow cab halfway to Illinois (4)
TAIL – The first half of a four-letter word for a cab followed by the two letter state abbreviation for Illinois.