A Puzzle by Bungo
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
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.
All the basics are here in terms of constructing clues but, as with previous crosswords, Bungo has released his inner otter and come up with clues are are too convoluted in places. It is unfortunate that the three worst offenders were consecutive across clues which perhaps overly affected people’s views of the crossword. The commentometer reads as 2.5 / 28 or 8.9%
1 Copy corgis whirling around like spinning tops (10)
GYROSCOPIC – An anagram (whirling around) of COPY CORGIS.
6 Six at centre of lewd conviction (4)
VIEW – The Roman numeral for six followed by the inner letters (centre) of lewd.
9 Horrid seaman, having no time with his kind… (10)
ABOMINABLE – The abbreviation for able seaman followed by a phrase 1,3 indicating no minutes followed by a four-letter word indicating the capacity of the seaman.
10 …and others, tardily retires (2,2)
ET AL – Reverse (retires) a four-letter word meaning tardily.
12 Modest piece reviewing vigorous Bond (5,7)
BORIS GODUNOV – An anagram (reviewing) of VIGOROUS BOND. Although technically the clue is sound, a definition by reference to the composer’s first name and an anagram of a less well known work make the clue less fair for the solver.
15 Die determined to drink last drops from grappa, obstler and mini cognac bottles (9)
ALEATORIC – A three-letter word for beer (drink) and the last letters (last drops from) grappa, obstler, mini and cognac include (bottles) the TO from the clue. The clue works, though in a very Yoda-like fashion. This is another clue where the the art of the setter is put to the test to produce a fair clue. The solution is an unusual word which has been defined cryptically. The wordplay itself is highly convoluted. Putting all that together means that this clue is too heavily balanced against the solver.
17 Lacking direction, I love initially producing convoluted clue (5)
OTTER – A six-letter word for the crossword complier (I) without the abbreviation for south-east (lacking direction) preceded (initially) by the letter representing love. Clever and self-referential at many levels but the definition is not one given in the dictionaries and would not be known to many people, even though who are regular solvers but not setters.
18 Smooth apart from onset of unimportant cracks (5)
SUAVE – A four-letter word meaning smooth includes (cracks) the first letter (onset) of unimportant.
19 Reportedly stomach companies becoming contentious (9)
BELLICOSE – A homophone (reportedly) of BELLY (stomach) CO’S (companies).
20 Mistakenly blench at stopping charge for ultimate latitude (5-7)
CARTE BLANCHE – An anagram (mistakenly) of BLENCH AT inside (stopping) a four-letter word meaning charge or responsibility.
24 Greek hero starts to aim javelin at Xerxes (4)
AJAX – The initial letters (starts to) of the final four words of the clue.
25 Show Duke of Cambridge’s order for wedding? (4,2,4)
KISS ME KATE – A request / instruction that might be made or given by Prince William to his new wife after the making of their marriage vows.
26 Coward possibly cut heart out of book (4)
NOEL – Remove the central letter (cut heart out) of a five-letter word for a book.
27 At home, expert checks airless tyre – and how he describes it? (10)
INFLATABLE – A two-letter word meaning at home and a four-letter word meaning expert around (checks) a four-letter word describing an airless tyre.
1 Fly from nanny, say, trading old for new (4)
GNAT – The type of animal sometimes described as a nanny with the abbreviation for old replaced by the abbreviation for new.
2 Cross street outside over and over again (4)
ROOD – The abbreviation for road (street) around (outside) the abbreviation for over twice.
3 It might cause embarassment or exasparation? (4,2,3,3)
SLIP OF THE PEN – Cryptic definition of what might cause spelling mistakes such as those included in the clue.
4 Fragment from bazooka piercing African mammal (5)
OKAPI – The answer is hidden (fragment from) in the third and fourth words of the clue.
5 Extremely immoral pub draws in Joe? Absurd. (9)
ILLOGICAL – The outer letters (extremely) of immoral following by a five-letter word for a pub that includes (draws in) the abbreviation for an American squaddie (Joe).
7 Vocal modulation from Italophile, perhaps? (10)
INTONATION – Split 4,6, this would indicate someone keen on a country such as an Italophile.
8 Learned admiring description of Gunga Din? (4-6)
WELL VERSED – A description of a good poem.
11 Rollicking anthems arranged with no “dim.” (12)
ADMONISHMENT – An anagram (arranged) of ANTHEMS NO DIM.
13 Garland: she’s called to answer in song cycle (5-5)
DAISY CHAIN – The five-letter name of the girl on a bicycle made for two who was asked to answer followed by a five letter word meaning cycle. The link from cycle to the required word is tenuous.
14 About to spoil passion I must be enthralled by partnership again (10)
REMARRIAGE – The two letter word meaning about or on followed by a three-letter word meaning to spoil and a four-letter word meaning anger or passion with an I included (must be enthralled by).
16 Revolt Aslan, taking view of White Witch – … (9)
REBELLION – How the White Witch, the evil witch in the Chronicles of Narnia, would have described Aslan.
21 …he’s snarling through his nose (5)
NASAL – An anagram (snarling) of ASLAN (from the previous clue, indicated by the …). Taking one word from the previous clue indicated by the ellipses is an acceptable device but should be used sparingly.
22 Smear name in article? Quite the reverse (4)
DAUB – The indefinite article inside a three-letter word meaning to name.
23 e.g. Wilder segment of DNA (4)
GENE – Double definition of the actor and a component part of DNA.