A Puzzle by Dr Diva
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
This is Dr Diva’s debut in Rookie Corner. 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:
1 Associate policeman with cunning adoption of new sovereign (9)
CO-PARTNER – A three-letter word for a policeman followed by a three-letter word for cunning, the abbreviation for new and the two-letter regnal cipher for the current monarch. I think that the solution should be indicated as 2-7. The words “adoption of” should have been omitted and the clue would have worked better without them. Looking at the cryptic reading of the clue you have A + B adoption of B + C. For the cryptic reading to work, you would need A + B adopting B + C. Even then, adopting means to contain rather than to add on to the end.
6 Thanks to note, makes sense (5)
TASTE – A three-letter word being the plural of thanks followed by a two-letter musical note.
9 Structure to improve on protest (7)
ROOFTOP – A four-letter structure over a building followed by a three-letter word meaning to improve on. I think that the definition here is a type of protest, not the protest itself.
10 Popular opinion results from uptake of language in church (7)
CLIMATE – A reversal (uptake) of an Asian language inside a two-letter abbreviation for a church. In an across clue, I don’t think that uptake indicates a reversal. It would work in a down clue.
11 Absolutely take the risk! (3,3)
YOU BET – Double definition for a phrase meaning absolutely or I agree and the second meaning to take the risk. I am not sure the second part of the double definition is synonymous as it seems only to give a clue to the second part of the solution.
12 Conclude by taking Mini south to plantation for inspection (8)
SCRUTINY – A four-letter word meaning mini comes after (conclude by taking) the abbreviation for south and a three-letter French word for a vineyard (plantation).
14 Stick to confirmation following award (4)
OBEY – The abbreviation for Order of the British Empire followed by the abbreviation for yes. Mad, I know, but the main dictionaries do not include the abbreviation for Yes. Technically, as setters should use only those abbreviations in the dictionaries, this would not be allowed!
15 Apparently android makes clumsy side entry to mistreat people (10)
DEHUMANISE – How you might describe an electronic person (1-5) (apparently android) in (makes…entry) and anagram (clumsy) of SIDE.
18 Virtual container has supporting evidence for a fruit cake (6,4)
BASKET CASE – A six-letter word for the on-line area where your purchases are recorded before paying for them followed by a four-letter word for supporting evidence. Surface readings are important. Here the surface reading does not mean much.
20 Person chased after rising stench to get brief life story (4)
OBIT – A two-letter word for a person chased in a children’s game after a reversal (rising) of the abbreviation for body odour. I don’t think that rising works as a reversal indicator in an across clue. It would be fine in a down clue. Also, whenever I played the game, it was the person chasing, not the person chased that was described as the first part of the solution.
23 Means of breathing has turn on Tube (8)
WINDPIPE – A four-letter word meaning turn or meander followed by a four-letter word for a tube.
24 Revolutionary massage for divine sidekick (6)
CHERUB – A three-letter word for a South American revolutionary followed by a three-letter word meaning massage.
26 Ref gets rid of phone. Wish in vain! (7)
WHISTLE – An eight-letter word for a referee (given what he blows when on the pitch) without (gets rid of) the final letter R. I am at a loss to see how you get from the word phone to R.
27 Boy and girl I found in Asia (7)
BENGALI – A three-letter boy’s name followed by a three-letter word for a girl and the I from the clue. Whist you sometimes see this form of definition, one of my least favourite forms of definition is the prepositional definition where “in country/place” is used to define a place or a person in that country or place.
28 Mrs Bunny has fractional indication of former act (5)
DOETH – A three-letter word for a female rabbit followed by a two-letter suffix that is added to a number to indicate a fractional part.
29 Unsure whether it immediately follows (9)
THEREWITH – An anagram (unsure) of WHETHER IT.
1 Spice up crest for grooming (9)
CURRYCOMB – A five-letter word meaning to spice up followed by a four-letter word for a crest. I think that the definition here “for grooming” needs something more to indicate that the solution is a noun. Perhaps Spice up hunt for grooming item.
2 Get successful treatment with early advantage (7)
PROCURE – A four-letter word for a successful treatment after (with early) a three-letter word for an advantage.
3 Artist’s right about the expression of preference (6)
RATHER – The two-letter abbreviation for an artist and the abbreviation for right around the “the” from the clue.
4 An upstanding subject for the axeman’s aim? (4)
NAPE – Reverse (upstanding) the AN from the clue and follow with a subject taken at school involving exercise.
5 Track direction of inappropriate care at the outset (10)
RACECOURSE – An anagram (inappropriate) of CARE before (at the outset) a six-letter word for a direction. I think that the “of” in the clue needs to be “with” to make the cryptic grammar in the clue work.
6 Test out key point back in court (8)
TRIBUNAL – A five-letter word meaning to test out has a reversal (back) of a three-letter word for a key point included within it.
7 Devon and Cornwall hail broken Italian language (7)
SWAHILI – The part of the country where you find Devon and Cornwall followed by an anagram (broken) of HAIL.
8 Poetic reflection found on the bottom of a supermodel and the head of Egyptian (5)
ELEGY – The final two letters (bottom) of supermodel and the first three letters (head) of Egyptian. It is not usual to use bottom / head / top, etc to indicate an unknown number of letters.
13 Nice tipper turns out to be astute (10)
PERCIPIENT – An anagram (turns out) of NICE NIPPER.
16 Found tumbledown stable – well, sort of (9)
ESTABLISH – An anagram (tumbledown) of STABLE followed by the three-letter suffix that is added to the end of a word to indicate sort of.
17 Penny led the pact she brokered for an official report (8)
DESPATCHES – The abbreviation for the old penny coin followed by an anagram (brokered) of PACT SHE. The cryptic grammar required Penny leads the pack she brokered for the clue to work.
19 Dawn finds nurse is upset (7)
SUNRISE – An anagram (upset) of NURSE IS.
21 Dish I poke fun back at Ian about (7)
BIRIANI – The I from the clue and a three-letter word meaning to poke fun at are reversed (back) before an anagram (about) of Ian. Try not to repeat wordplay indicators. Back has already been used as a reversal indicator.
22 Break note to be different? (6)
CHANGE – Double definition of breaking a note into different denominations and to be different.
23 Amazed that lad ended up with caught, dot ball and bowled (5)
WOWED – A two letter abbreviation for Edward (lad) after (end up) with how you might write caught, dot ball and bowled on a cricket score card. There are a few comments on this clue. You begin with a structure definition that wordplay where the link word “that” does not really work. The definition for the first three letters requires too much technical knowledge of cricket scoring and the required letters are not given as abbreviations in the dictionaries. I don’t really think that “ended up” necessarily works as a positional indicator to show that the letters come at the end.
25 Rank those who can (4)
ABLE – Double definition of a naval rank followed by seaman and a description of those who can do something.