At The Local by 8ball
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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.
Welcome back to 8Ball. As with his first crossword, the cluing was good but let down by the repetition of wordplay indicators such as back (three times) for a reversal, around as a containment indicator (three times), top / topping for an initial letter and one for I. One tip for avoiding this is to keep a list of the wordplay indicators and abbreviations that you use. In Crossword Compiler I use the “Notepad” to jot these down in a separate window as I set the clues so that I can quickly spot if I have used a device before. In a few places, a final review to spot grammatical errors would have helped as well. These are all points that can easily be addressed and give a final polish to the crossword.
I liked the way that the number of pub games, snacks and drinks contributed to the theme indicated by the title with the added bonus of “Camra’s Passion” forming a question in the perimeter of the crossword.
The commentometer reads as 4.5/32 or 14.1%.
8 Formal dress worn on vacation after travel (4)
GOWN – The outer letters (on vacation) of worn after a two-letter word meaning travel.
9 Dangerous to begin to operate on king under the influence (5)
DRUNK – The first letter (to begin) of dangerous followed by a three-letter word meaning to operate and the abbreviation for king.
10 Stagger back to get snack (4)
NUTS – A reversal (back) of a four-letter word meaning stagger.
11 Stipulation to consume fizzy drink before losing gas (6)
CLAUSE – A three-letter word meaning to consume preceded by (before) a four-letter word for a fizzy drink brand without the abbreviation for Oxygen (losing gas).
12 In final moments, winger gets goal finally and a point that’s deserved (8)
ENTITLED – Within (in) a three-letter word meaning final moments include a three-letter word for a bird (winger) followed by the final letter of goal and the abbreviation for east (point).
13 Excessive amount of time mother knocked back drink (8)
AMARETTO – A reversal (knocked back) of a three-letter abbreviation for excessive, a three-letter word word an amount of time and a two-letter word for a mother.
15 I would fall cycling around oily substances (6)
LIPIDS – The abbreviated form of “I would” with a four-letter word meaning fall with the first letter moved to the end (cycling) around it.
17 Barmans tool to baffle regulars at first (7)
MUDDLER – A six-letter word meaning baffle followed by the first letter of regulars. A couple of points on this. The apostrophe was omitted from “Barman’s” and, as the solution is an American term, this should be indicated – “American barman’s…”.
19 Signal for help around pub after one shows signs of pressure. (7)
ISOBARS – The morse code letters for a signal for help around the abbreviation for public house all after the letter represented by one. I don’t see anything wrong with “shows” as the clue resolves to wordplay shows definition. A full stop is not required at the end of a clue.
22 Sounds like my hero’s distraught when love leaves (6)
RHYMES – An anagram (distraught) of MY HERO’S after removing the letter representing love or zero. Possibly not a precise definition as you would struggle to substitute the definition for the solution in a sentence.
24 Last of meat and potato pies I’m cooking to make perfect (8)
OPTIMISE – An anagram (cooking) of T (last letter of meat) O (last letter of potato) PIES IM. I think that “last of A and B” works as an indicator without using last of both A and B.
26 Religious leader drops a copper in centre of inhabited city (3,5)
ABU DHABI – The name of the founder of an Eastern religion without one of the letters D (drops a copper) inside the middle letters (centre) of inhabited.
28 I reportedly see double with cases of lemonade. It’s spiked! (6)
ICICLE – The I from the clue and a homophone (reportedly) of see repeated (double) followed by the outer letters (cases) of lemonade. Cases here should be the singular.
30 Despise westernly hosts small drinks (4)
SIPS – The answer is hidden in (hosts) and reversed (westernly) in the first word of the clue. Try to avoid archaic words such as westernly.
31 Manage to come back with hot date (5)
EPOCH – Reverse (to come back) a four-letter word meaning to manage and follow with the abbreviation for hot. Avoid repeating wordplay indicators such as back for a reversal – used in 10a and 13a.
32 Tango, waltz and rumba dancer ultimately a leader (4)
TZAR – The letter represented by Tango followed by the final letters (ultimately) of waltz, rumba and dancer. Again, I think that A and B C ultimately works to indicate the last letters of A, B and C.
1 Game where one starts breaking budget (4)
POOL – Double definition of a bar game and a pot of money.
2 Investigated singers heard interrupting finale (8)
ENQUIRED – A homophone (heard) of choir (singers) inside (interrupting) a three-letter word meaning finale.
3 A few weeks before Christmas lawyer retired to blow off some steam (6)
ADVENT – A reversal (retired) of the abbreviation for District Attorney (lawyer) followed by a four-letter word meaning to blow off some steam.
4 After 10, throw up (not quietly) and fight machine that gives hits back (7)
JUKEBOX – The abbreviation for Jack (card after 10) followed by a four-letter word meaning to throw up without the initial P (not quietly) and a three-letter word meaning to fight.
5 Models like traveling around wearing short and sexy tops – they’re colourful and sweet (8)
SKITTLES – The model car sold by Ford (repeated as models is in the plural) with an anagram (travelling) of LIKE around them all inside the initial letters (tops) of short and sexy. The UK English spelling of “travelling” would be better for a UK crossword. This is the third use of around as a containment indicator – used in 15a and 19a.
6 Popular pop group mostly showing rhythm (2,4)
IN STEP – A two-letter word meaning popular followed by a five-letter word for the name of a pop group without the final letter (mostly).
7 Infection from dirty place when given drug (4)
STYE – A three-letter word for a dirty place followed by the abbreviation for ecstasy.
14 Trap runner at the finish? (5)
MOUTH – Double definition for a facial feature and the estuary of a river (runner).
16 Horse drawn vehicles with five times more up front goes quick (5)
DARTS – A five-letter word for horse drawn vehicles with the initial letter (in Roman numerals) multiple by 5.
18 Catches Serena getting frustrated after wasting second of serves in tennis regularly (8)
ENSNARES – An anagram (getting frustrated) of SERENA without the second letter of serves inside the even letters (regularly) of tennis.
20 Come across beggar having casual drink in the middle of Stoke (4,4)
BUMP INTO – A three-letter word for a beggar followed by a four-letter word for a drink of beer and the middle letter of Stoke.
21 Lion frequently In bad mood seen topping food chain? (7)
DOMINOS – The even letters (frequently) of LION inside an anagram (bad) of MOOD followed by the first letter (topping) of seen. Watch for errors such as “In” in the clue which has been capitalised incorrectly. Also, as tops has already been used as a first letter indicator, a different word should have been used here.
23 Legendary ugly woman amused when given makeover (6)
MEDUSA – An anagram (when given makeover) of AMUSED.
25 Spies returning to hotel smuggled in titanium artform (3,3)
TAI CHI – A reversal (returning) of the American spy agency and the abbreviation for hotel inside (smuggled in) the chemical symbol for titanium.
27 Temporary setback puts boy on brink (4)
BLIP – The abbreviation for boy followed by a three-letter word for brink. B for boy is not an abbreviation recognised by the major dictionaries.
29 Alien not one exercising to become skinny (4)
LEAN – An anagram (exercising) of ALIEN after removing the letter represented by one. Take care not to repeat wordplay such as one for I – used in 19a.