A Puzzle by plumbwizard
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Another debutant this week. 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 to plumbwizard. An accomplished start from our new setter but with the rough edges that inevitably are found in a setter’s first crosswords. Overall, the surface readings were OK but some of the clues ran away with themselves – I’m looking at you 14d.
The commentometer reads as 6.5/30 or 21.67%
6 Requirement for five is pointless (7)
PROVISO – A three-letter word meaning for followed by the Roman numeral for five, the IS for the clue and a letter representing having no points (pointless).
7 Plot followed on the radio (5)
TRACT – A homophone (on the radio) of tracked (followed).
9 Solid opening gives opportunity for a dip (4)
LIDO – The answer is hidden (gives) in the first two words of the clue.
10 Irrepressible grower is sick in bowl over that female bishop (10)
WILLOWHERB – A three-letter word meaning sick in a three-letter word meaning bowl over followed by a three letter word meaning that female and the abbreviation for bishop.
11 Double ecstasy in reserve for breaks (8)
RESPITES – A four-letter word for a doppelgänger or double and the the abbreviation for Ecstasy in a three-letter abbreviation for reserve.
13 Palin moved around the east, settled in the Himalayas (6)
NEPALI – An anagram (moved around) of PALIN around the abbreviation for East. Settled in the Himalayas is not a precise enough a definition for a particular national group. Perhaps “Palin moved around eastern citizen of the Himalayas.
15 Lied about being unemployed (4)
IDLE – An anagram (about) of LIED.
17 Fey satire (5)
IRONY – The metal whose chemical symbol is Fe followed by the Y from the first word. Where you use lift and separate clues where a word has to be divided to give the wordplay, it should be with words that have a natural word break (as in 16d) and even then, not all editors would accept this.
18 Report German car (4)
AUTO – A homophone (report) of Otto (German). Possible the worst homophone for quite some time.
19 Swear in empty town pub (6)
TAVERN – A four-letter word meaning swear inside (in) the outer letters (empty) of town.
20 Book one in a hundred drinks offer (8)
LIBATION – A three-letter Latin abbreviation for book followed by the letter represented by one somewhere in the A from the clue and a three-letter word meaning a hundred. Try to vary wordplay indicators – there are several clues in this crossword where “in” is used as an insertion indicator for A in B (10a, 11a and 19a).
23 Idiotic. Like Paul and Patricia? (10)
SOFTHEADED – The musical abbreviation P represents this and the position of the letter in the words Paul and Patricia.
26 Pirate card game (4)
CRIB – Double definition, the first meaning to copy and the second a type fo card game.
27 I’m into old time jazz – just three numbers though (5)
TRIAD – The I (I’m) from the clue inside a four-letter word for old-time jazz. The I’m does not work as an indicator for inserting I here as the clue resolved to the ungrammatical “I am into…”
28 Refits the door, for example, she rang about (7)
REHANGS – An anagram (about) of SHE RANG. Another example of repeating wordplay where about has already been used in 15a.
1 Poor hen is somehow England’s top layer (10)
IONOSPHERE – An anagram (somehow) of POOR HEN IS followed by the abbreviation for England.
2 Fool provincial clown (6)
NITWIT – A two-letter abbreviation for a province in the UK followed by a four-letter word for a clown. Northern Ireland is province but that does not mean you can clue it as provincial in the same way that you cannot use Belgian to clue B for Belgium.
3 Try a left mark (4)
GOAL – A two-letter word meaning try followed by the A from the clue and the abbreviation for left.
4 A sober alternative to upcoming, hankering lawyer (8)
ATTORNEY – The A from the clue followed by the abbreviation for teetotal (sober) and a two-letter word meaning alternative to and a reversal (upcoming) of a three-letter word meaning hankering.
5 City substitute’s first hot strike (4)
LASH – A two-letter abbreviation for a US city followed by the first letter of substitute and the abbreviation for hot.
6 Award I held by advertising declining religion (5)
PRIZE – The I from the clue inside (held by) a two-letter abbreviation for advertising and a three-letter word for a religion with the final letter word removed (declining). Don’t think that declining words as a final letter deletion.
8 Bright young thing loses head but has time for a pie (7)
TARTLET – A seven-letter word word an up and coming film actor (male of female) without the first letter (loses head) with the abbreviation for time inserted. I think that “has” is a very weak insertion indicator and should be avoided.
12 Political leader hugged by dirty baby (5)
SPOIL – The initial letter (leader) of political inside (hugged by) a four-letter word meaning to dirty. Some editors will not allow constructions such as political leader as you cannot have a leader of political. Polish leader would be more acceptable has you could have a leader of the Polish. Alternatively, you could have Peru’s leader.
14 Quiet student goes to the movies, drops off mother and drinks some wine – versatile stuff (10)
PLASTICINE – The abbreviations for quiet and a student followed by a six-letter word for the movies without (drops off) a two-letter word for mother into which is inserted (drinks) a four-letter word for a fizzy wine.
16 Backward, unsuitable stretch (4,3)
DRAW OUT – Reverse (back) the ward from backward and follow with a three-letter word meaning unsuitable. Not all editors would accept and uneducated lift and separate clue where backward has to be split into back ward
17 Acts out inaccurate, unsanctioned suggestion (8)
INNUENDO – An anagram (inaccurate) of UNSANCTIONED without (out) the letters in ACTS. Where the letters to be removed from the words to be rearranged are not in the order given in the clue, it is customary to indicate this with a secondary anagram indicator. Perhaps “Randomly acts out…”
21 A climbing centre enrols amply-proportioned teacher (6)
BUDDHA – A reversal (climbing) of the A from the clue and a three-letter word for core or centre including (enrols) a large bra size (amply proportioned). The clue does not work cryptically as the instructions leave the A at the beginning of the word.
22 Skips over with German lead singer (5)
OMITS – The abbreviation for over followed by the German word for with and the first letter (lead) of singer. German lead does not indicate the first letter of German. Leader would work but leader has already been used in 12d.
24 Father essentially is nearer than that (4)
THIS – The inner letters (essentially) of father followed by the IS from the clue.
25 Blast repair (4)
DARN – Double definition, the first being a mild expletive and the second to repair an item such as a sock.