A Puzzle by Hubble
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Although this puzzle marks Hubble’s debut in Rookie Corner, there are more of his puzzles on his own website. Hubble Crosswords. 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 be Prolixic follows.
Welcome to Hubble. A very good start but let down by three indirect anagrams. The commentometer reads as 6 / 30 or 20%.
1 Palm of deserter getting colour (6)
RATTAN – A three-letter word for a deserter followed by (getting) a three-letter word for a colour.
4 Exceptional group (two males) (8)
ABNORMAL – A blood group followed by the shortened forms of two male names.
9 Said to be waitin’ for president (5)
BIDEN – A homophone (said) of a six-letter word meaning waiting without the final G (as in the waitin’ from the clue). As the president’s name is pronounced differently to the wordplay, this clue does not work particularly well.
10 Singer Cher joins trios in new composition (9)
CHORISTER – An anagram (in new composition) of CHER TRIOS.
11 Half ran back to conference (7)
SEMINAR – A four-letter word meaning half followed by a reversal (back) of the ran from the clue.
12 Mother chopped vegetable beforehand for money (7)
DRACHMA – A two-letter word for mother with an anagram (chopped) of CHARD (vegetable). The rule for standard cryptic crosswords is never to use indirect anagrams (anagrams where the words to be rearranged are not given directly in the clue but have to be inferred from the wordplay). The other point to note in this clue is that the solution is no longer a monetary unit so the definition should have indicated this.
13 Son of duke’s head rolled back to some extent (4)
LORD – The answer is hidden and reversed (back) in D ROLLED where D is the first letter (head) of Duke.
14 Who in France gets involved with search engine optimization when they’re forest dwellers? (8)
SEQUOIAS – A three-letter word meaning who in French inside the abbreviation for Search Engine Optimisation followed by a two letter word meaning when. As the abbreviation is given in Collins, Chambers and the OED, this is a fair for the setter to use.
17 Rush to endorse back-to-front flower (8)
STAMPEDE– A five-letter word word meaning to endorse followed by a three-letter word for a river with the last letter moved the the front.
19 Mexican food served during pasta course (4)
TACO – The answer is hidden (served during) the final two words of the clue.
22 Soldier almost finished model (7)
PARAGON – A four-letter word for a soldier followed by a four-letter word meaning finished with the final letter removed (almost).
24 Bird caged by immigration authority trainees (7)
INTERNS – A four-letter word for a bird inside the abbreviation for Immigration and Naturalisation Service. As the abbreviation is for an American service, this should have been indicated.
25 Director giving long speech to Austrian composer (9)
SPIELBERG – A five-letter word for a long speech followed by a four-letter word for an Austrian composer. The structure definition giving wordplay is the wrong way around. The wordplay can be given by the wordplay but does not give it.
26 Sounds like equine scam artist (5)
BACON – A homophone (sounds like) of BAY (equine) followed by a three-letter word for a scam.
27 Washington e.g. follows tale of wisdom (8)
SAGACITY – The type of conurbation of which Washington is an example after a four-letter word for a tale. Some editors will not allow wordplay of definition though the reverse, definition of wordplay is accepted.
28 James of old, a Scottish wimp (6)
JESSIE – Double definition of an old US outlaw and a Scottish word for a wimp. Unfortunately, the outlaw’s name does not have the I in the spelling.
1 Energetically steal American television when train departs (8)
ROBUSTLY – A three-letter word meaning steal followed by a two-letter abbreviation for American and a five-letter word for television without the two-letter word for an American elevated railroad. There is a difference between a train and a railroad.
2 Shorelines? (9)
TIDEMARKS – Barely cryptic definition of the patters left by waves.
3 Trading unopened sunshade (6)
AWNING – A seven-letter word word trading without the initial letter P (unopened).
5 Excited Nordic bulldog creating horror (12) (13)
BLOODCURDLING – An anagram (excited) of NORDIC BULLDOG.
6 Paperwork for soldiers meeting their American counterpart on the way up with French friend (7)
ORIGAMI – The abbreviation for Other Ranks (soldiers) followed by a reversal of a two-letter abbreviation for US soldiers and a three-letter word in France for a friend. The structure of definition for wordplay does not work. You can have a wordplay for a definition.
7 With German, going to church to dodge lessons (5)
MITCH – A three-letter word in German meaning with followed by a two-letter abbreviation for church.
8 Officer catches tune pitched by cowboy (6)
LARIAT – The abbreviation for Lieutenant (officer) includes (catches) a four-letter word for a song.
10 Wow! One who answers to journalist (13)
CORRESPONDENT – A three-letter word meaning wow followed by a ten-letter word for one who answers.
15 Fake diamonds proudly worn by the Irish (9)
SHAMROCKS – A four-letter word meaning fake followed by a five-letter word for diamonds.
16 Unruly behaviour on northeast cape is disrupted (8)
NONSENSE – An anagram (is disrupted) of ON NE NESS (cape). Another indirect anagram which is not a valid clue form in standard cryptic crosswords.
18 Blissful cherub with heart of vice (7)
ANGELIC – A five-letter word for a cherub followed by the inner letters (heart) of vice.
20 Text message about father’s tremors (6)
SPASMS – A three-letter abbreviation for a text-message around a three-letter word meaning father’s.
21 Firmly established Spanish leader on board (6)
STABLE – The first letter (leader) of Spanish on a five-letter word for a board.
23 Regretting game with spilled drink (5)
RUING – The abbreviation for Rugby Union (game) followed by an anagram (spilled) of GIN (drink). Another clue where there is an indirect anagram.