A Puzzle by Sundance
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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.
Sundance is definitely ironing out the kinks in his clues. Having reigned in the difficulty level in his previous crosswords, this one improves on the surface readings. The main issue here was an over reliance on certain clue types and the repetition of wordplay indicators. Definitely heading in the right direction. The commentometer reads as 4.5/34 or 12.8%.
8 Substitute good sort of order (8)
STANDING – A phrase 5-2 for a substitute or locum followed by the abbreviation for good.
9 Small measurement acquired small gold bars (6)
INGOTS – The abbreviation for inch (small measurement) followed by a three-letter word meaning acquired and the abbreviation for small.
10 Mr Bean has spiritual meeting without church (4)
SEAN – A six-letter word for a spiritual meeting without the abbreviation for Church of England.
11 Crikey – some heartless birds (5)
GEESE – A three-letter word meaning crikey followed by the outer letters (heartless) of some.
12 Get up and pull (4)
DRAG – Double definition for “get up” as a form of costume and as to pull or two something.
13 Emphasised state of anxiety (8)
STRESSED – Double definition of having given emphasis to something and a state of anxiety. Perhaps being in a state of anxiety would be better as the second part of the double definition as “state of anxiety” on its own gives the solution without the “ED” ending.
16 Police man’s swindles (6)
STINGS – The lead singer of the Police maintaining the ’s in the solution.
18 One of best artistes (4)
STAR – The answer is hidden in (of) the final two words of the clue. A nice &lit clue.
20 Secured but assembled without her (5)
GATED – An eight-letter word meaning assembled without the “HER”. Perhaps for the cryptic reading definition “and” wordplay would be better than definition “but” wordplay. Try to avoid using repeated wordplay indicators. Without has been used as a deletion indicator already in 10a.
21 Alternatives suggested for those who row (4)
OARS – A homophone (suggested) of ORS (alternatives).
22 Go back on some serene gesture (6)
RENEGE – The answer is hidden in (some) the final two words of the clue.
23 Call team for the best seats (8)
RINGSIDE – A four-letter word meaning call or telephone and a four-letter word for a team.
26 Fruit – peeled or pealed? (4)
RANG – Remove the outer letters (peeled) from a citrus fruit.
28 D or E possibly attacked in reverse (5)
NOTES – A phrase 3,2 meaning attacked is reversed.
30 Traps spirits (4)
GINS – Double definition of traps used to snare animals and alcoholic spirits.
31 Want abode Sir Elton John has (6)
DESIRE – The answer his hidden (has) in the second to fourth words of the clue. The “John” could be omitted from the clue.
32 Make concoction of 20d (8)
GENERATE – An anagram (concoction of) the answer to 20d.
1 Certify that the largest has been beheaded (6)
ATTEST – A seven-letter word meaning having the most fat (the largest) without the initial letter (has been beheaded).
2 A French refusal shortly (4)
ANON – The A from the clue followed by the French for no (refusal).
3 Prongs holding a thousand pale colours (6)
TINGES – A five-letter word for the prongs of a fork includes (holding) the abbreviation for grand (thousand).
4 Thus arises the monster (4)
OGRE – A reversal (arises) of the four-letter word in Latin for thus.
5 Insult facilitated the sick (8)
DISEASED – A three-letter word meaning to insult followed by a five-letter word meaning facilitated.
6 Old painter mostly turns up (4)
AGED – A reversal (turn up) of a five-letter name of a painter after removing the final letter (mostly)
7 Particularly odd foreigner (8)
STRANGER – Double definition of a word meaning “particularly odd” and a foreigner.
14 Strange eastern lake (5)
EERIE – The abbreviation for eastern followed by a four-letter name of one of the Great Lakes of America.
15 Put off taking bomb from judge (5)
DETER – A nine-letter word meaning to judge without the mine at the end (taking bomb from).
17 Presses a little hair on scalp (5)
IRONS – The answer is hidden in (a little) the final three words of the clue.
19 32 somehow after 12 (8)
TEENAGER – An anagram (somehow) of the answer to 32a.
20 Environmentally friendly garment heard to be popular in Japan (5,3)
GREEN TEA – A five-letter word word meaning environmentally friendly followed by a homophone (heard) of a kind of shirt or garment. I think that “something popular in Japan” would be better definition.
24 Sniffing some of a cappuccino’s ingredients (6)
NOSING – The answer is hidden in (some of a) the final two words of the clue. Five hidden word clues is far too many. At most, three is acceptable and if three are used, usually one should be a reversed hidden word. Also try to avoid reusing wordplay indicators such as some to indicate a hidden word.
25 Give fruit that’s holding on (6)
DONATE – A four-letter word for a dried fruit includes (holding) the ON from the clue. Another repetition of a wordplay indicator with holding as a containment indicator having been used already.
27 Resolve to treat an icy road (4)
GRIT – Double definition for resolve or courage and to treat an icy road.
29 Takeaway country (4)
TOGO – A phrase 2,2 meaning takeaway.
30 Game soldiers give blood (4)
GORE – A two-letter word for a Japanese game followed by the abbreviation for Royal Engineers (soldiers). For the cryptic reading to work it would need to be wordplay gives solution or wordplay giving solution. Here give would be better as giving.