A Puzzle by Acnestis
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
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.
A superb crossword with that most rare of accolades – there are no comments on the clues!!! The commentometer therefore reads a 0%. Given this and previous crosswords, I think that the NTSPP beckons.
1 Careful of wanton mistress? Good luck with that! (4-4,6)
FOUR-LEAF CLOVER – An anagram (wanton) of CAREFUL OF followed by a five-letter word for a mistress.
8 Idiots brief judge (5)
ASSES – A six-letter word meaning to judge with the final letter removed (brief).
9 I hear Ms Pavlova had a snake (8)
ANACONDA – A homophone (I hear) of ANNA (Ms Pavlova) and CONNED (had) followed by the A from the clue.
11 Tom maybe runs around before I provide food (7)
CATERER – A three-letter word for the type of animal of which a tom is an example and the abbreviation for runs all around a three-letter word meaning before.
12 Enthusiast has a look for large beast (7)
BUFFALO – A four-letter word for an enthusiast followed by the A from the clue and a two-letter word meaning look.
13 Gain 20 points (5)
SCORE – Triple definition.
15 Reclaim ground outside city that used to be unstable (9)
MERCURIAL – An anagram (ground) of RECLAIM around the two letter word for an old biblical city.
17 Tried exposing matter with Mike Pence and Senator Cruz (9)
ATTEMPTED – The inner letters (exposing) of matter followed by the abbreviations for Mike and Pence and the first name of Senator Cruz.
20 You may eat till pub closes prematurely (3,2)
DIG IN – A three-letter word meaning to till or work the ground followed by a three-letter word for a pub with the final letter removed (closes prematurely).
21 Old impressionist and dumb performer, both uninitiated (3-4)
ONE TIME – A five-letter surname of an impressionist artist and a four-letter word for a dumb performer each with the first letter removed (uninitiated).
23 Grandma rings tax collectors once Victor reaches tranquil state (7)
NIRVANA – A four-letter word for a grandma around (rings) the old abbreviation for the UK tax collectors (now part of HMRC) and the letter represented by Victor in the NATO phonetic alphabet.
25 One with no faith in Indonesia’s top bowman (8)
PAGANINI – A five-letter word for someone with no faith followed by the IN from the clue and first letter (top) of Indonesia.
26 Window of opportunity’s opening by Cambodian capital (5)
ORIEL – The initial letter (opening) of opportunity followed by a four-letter word for the currency (capital) of Cambodia.
27 European treating cholera with pretty shocking cure (14)
ELECTROTHERAPY – The abbreviation for European followed by an anagram (treating) of CHOLERA PRETTY.
1 Philosopher is rasher to support dictator without basis (7,5)
FRANCIS BACON – The IS from the clue and a five-letter word for the meat that comes as rashers underneath (to support) the name of a Spanish dictator without the final letter (without basis).
2 Found cycling leads to trouble (5)
UPSET – Written in a circle (cycling) the word SETUP provides the answer reading from the letter U.
3 Ray‘s arms able to move freely, shackles gone finally (5,4)
LASER BEAM – An anagram (to move freely) of ARMS ABLE around (shackles) the final letter of gone.
4 What could be oppressing for pop singers? (7)
ANAGRAM – This wordplay device applied to oppressing could give pop-singers.
5 Church with yellow room (7)
CHAMBER – The abbreviation for church followed by a five-letter word for an orangey yellow colour.
6 Intermittent provision of face masks (2-3)
ON-OFF – The answer is hidden in (masks) the second to fourth words of the clue.
7 Bring Cockney’s trial to a close — charming! (9)
ENDEARING – How a Cockney would say end hearing (bring trial to a close).
10 Where you can get a spare container in kitchen (7,5)
BOWLING ALLEY – A four-letter word for a container followed by the IN from the clue and a six-letter word for a kitchen.
14 Directly apply varnish here? (2,3,4)
ON THE NAIL – Double definition.
16 Rare deer found in wild kicks out if agitated (9)
UNDERDONE – An anagram (wild) of DEER FOUND IN without an anagram (agitated) of IF.
18 Youth foundations to fundraise for about one more minute (7)
TEENIER – A four-letter word for a youth and the last letters (foundations) to “fundraise for” around the letter represented by one.
19 Make a bad impression on first person performing extractions? (7)
DENTIST– A four-letter word meaning to make a bad impression on a surface followed by the three-letter way of saying first.
22 Patriarch is about to tour America on vacation (5)
ISAAC – The IS from the clue and the single letter meaning about around the outer letters (on vacation) of America.
24 Soul musician I’m avoiding, not all there (5)
ANIMA – The answer is hidden in (not all there) the second to fourth words of the clue.