Breakfast by Alf
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Alf offers a tasty debut puzzle! 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.
A very creditable start from Alf. The setter did well to maintain the theme of the crossword without it being strained and without introducing unusual words into the grid. The good sign of a crossword from a Rookie is that the comments are ones of a technical nature. All the basics are present. The commentometer reads as 5/31 or 16.13%
1 Porridge resembles milky sauce, they say (7)
CUSTODY – A homophone (they say) of CUSTARDY (resembles milky sauce)
5 Standard practice following South African food – it might be silly (7)
SAUSAGE – A five-letter word meaning standard practice after a two letter abbreviation for South African. The abbreviation SA is for South Africa. It is not permissible to change this to South African in a clue.
10 Put a bit of cream in cake and stick a candle in it (6)
SCONCE – The initial letter (a bit) of cream inside a five-letter word for a type of cake. Whilst you can have verbal phrases to define nouns, it is better to stick phrase them to lead to a noun, not a verb “where you might stick a candle”.
11 Regularly fail sick friend in financial matters (8)
FISCALLY – The odd letters (regularly) of “fail sick” followed by a four-letter word for a friend.
12 Ate frightfully English breakfast? (3)
TEA – An anagram (frightfully) of ATE. Anagrams of three letter words are not a particularly effective form of clue.
13 Full English and thin rye off and on (6)
ENTIRE – The abbreviation for English followed by the even characters (off and on) of “and thin rye”.
14 Stir-fry sultana, wanting an abundance of in-flight meals? (8)
TRAYFULS – An anagram (stir) of FRY SULTANA after removing the AN. Not all editors would accept joining wordplay and letters to be rearranged with a hyphen as one word.
15 Memory of butty crusts set to return (5)
BYTES – The outer letters (crust) of butty followed by a reversal (to return) of set.
16 Sweet spread on loaf creates first break in marriage? (9)
HONEYMOON – A five-letter word for a sweet spread created by bees followed by a four-letter word meaning to loaf.
19 Swimmer is blushing pink (3,6)
RED SALMON – A three-letter word meaning blushing followed by a six-letter word meaning pink.
21 Kickback with grub at last: tucked into cheese (5)
BRIBE – The final letter (at last) of grub inside a four-letter word for a type of French cheese.
24 Fried eggs in lard, trimming edges and lubricating (8)
GREASING – An anagram (fried) EGGS IN AR (the AR being the inner letters – trimming the edges) of lard).
26 Honours daughters after top-class fight (6)
AWARDS – A pluralised abbreviation of daughter after a single letter representing top-class and a three-letter word for a fight. Daughter’s could be used to indicate DS but daughters without an apostrophe indicates DD.
27 Choose filling of Pop Tarts (3)
OPT – The answer is hidden (filling of) in the final two words of the clue.
28 Setter settled score outside (8)
ALFRESCO – The name of our setter today followed by an anagram (settled) of SCORE.
29 Characters angling like The Pearl Fishers? (6)
ITALIC – Two examples of the same thing. Characters angling would suggest a plural solution but the correct solution is in the singular.
30 European resort has new kind of following (7)
SPANISH – A three-letter word for a resort followed by the abbreviation for new and a three-letter suffix that is used indicate “kind of”.
31 Scoundrels‘ unpleasant urges (3,4)
BAD EGGS – A three-letter word meaning unpleasant followed by a four-letter word meaning urges.
2 Bread roll topped with cunning? That’s weird (7)
UNCANNY – A three-letter word for a type of bread with the first letter removed (topped) followed by a five-letter word meaning cunning.
3 Oranges the Queen scrubbed with special zest (9)
TANGINESS – A ten-letter word for oranges without the two-letter abbreviation for the current queen followed by the abbreviation for special.
4 Reduced-fare pass to explore Dakotas’ capitals (6)
DIETED – A three-letter word meaning to pass followed by the initial letters (capitals) of the fourth to six words of the clue. I think that the hyphen in the definition is misplaced in this clue.
6 Mollifies with butchers sausages (8)
ASSUAGES – An anagram (butchers) of SAUSAGES – A shame that the wordplay includes the solution in an intersecting across clue. The surface reading of the clue needs to maintain grammatical correctness so that butchers needs an apostrophe but this would prevent it being a an anagram indicator. The two issues together suggest that a different approach is needed for this clue. Some editors do not like “with” as a link word to the solution.
7 Breakfast: French stick (5)
STAFF – An anagram (break) of FAST followed by a single letter representing French. Not all editors would accept an un-indicated split in a word to give wordplay and letters to be rearranged. More importantly, the abbreviation for French is Fr, F is the abbreviation for France and the two cannot be interchanged.
8 Astronomer lass: “Io concealed: beginnings of lunar eclipse” (7)
GALILEO – A three-letter word for a lass followed by the IO from the clue around (concealed) the initial letters (beginnings) of the final two words of the clue. Try to keep wordplay in the present tense. The IO from the clue conceals the letters, putting concealed in the past tense implies this is no longer the case.
9 Marge is covered in much slime: dabbing top is no help! (1,3,3,2,4)
A FAT LOT OF GOOD – A three-letter word for margarine inside (covered in) a phrase (1, 3,2,3) implying much slime followed by the first letter (top) of dabbing.
17 Spooner’s spiritual leader manufactured jam (9)
MARMALADE – A Spoonerism of LAMA MADE. As the spiritual leader is the Dalai Lama, perhaps “Buddhist monk” would have been better.
18 Served up some beans I spilled… (8)
ELLIPSES – The answer is hidden and reversed (served up some) in the final three words of the clues.
20 Auditor behind funk organ cover? (7)
EARFLAP – A three-letter word for the organ of hearing (auditor) before a four-letter word for a funk or panic. Behind does not work as a positional indicator in this clue. In an across clue it is before or in front of the second word. In a down clue it is over or above the word.
22 Promising black pudding, unopened (7)
BUDDING – The abbreviation for black followed by the word pudding without its initial letter (unopened).
23 Journalists’ article about half-cut Martin Sheen (6)
PATINA – The abbreviation for press association (journalists) and the indefinite article around half the letters in Martin.
25 Brief interest for borrowing one incomplete cookery kit (5)
APRON – The abbreviation for annual percentage rate (briefing interest for borrowing) followed by the one from the clue without the final letter (incomplete).