A Puzzle by Median
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
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 Median. With a crossword with a puzzles theme. A number of comments have been made about cross-referenced clues. They are fair game for the setter but can divide solvers. They did not put me off the crossword. I think that they work better if you are solving on paper. On screen, you have to scroll up and down to see the cross-referenced clues which makes solving more fiddly. Some of the surface readings could have been smoother but, as I have said before, this comes with practice and, unless the clue as a sentence is completely non-sensical, I tend to be more lenient than the massed commentariat! Overall this was enjoyable. Most of the errors were minor technical ones. The commentometer reads as 3.5/32 or 10.9%.
1/5 Struggle to remember carbon sinks are messy (4,4,6)
RACK ONES BRAINS – An anagram (messy) of CARBON SINKS ARE.
9 Worn out old shoe finally caught on mine (8)
DECREPIT – The final letters of old and shoe followed by the abbreviation for caught, a two-letter word meaning on and a three-letter word for a mine.
10 Bundle of hay absorbs very loud sound control (6)
BAFFLE – A four-letter word for a bundle of hay includes (absorbs) the abbreviation for very loud in musical terms.
12 Worried, I’m on alert – it’s my job (4,5)
LION TAMER – An anagram (worried) of IM ON ALERT. Although the definition is not an exact one, I think it works here as the remainder of the clue refers elliptically to it.
13 Arms components in wireless with I/O switch (5)
RADII – A five-letter word for a wireless set with the O changed to an I.
14 Winners run away from contests (4)
ACES – A five-letter word for running contests without the initial R (run away).
16 Confuse new burden with flipping record-entering (7)
NONPLUS – The abbreviation for new followed by a four-letter word meaning a burden that include a reversal (flipping) of a two letter abbreviation for a long-playing record.
19 From start to finish, layer abuts a new church. That’s better! (7)
ENHANCE – A three-letter word for a bird that lays eggs with the first letter moved the end (start to finish) followed by the a from the clue, and the abbreviations for new and the Church of England. A blip on the repetition radar with the abbreviation for new used in 16a
21 Old crisis about God (4)
SUEZ – Reverse (about) a four-letter word for a Greek god. If you use about as a reversal indicator it should follow the word or letters to be reversed.
24 E Nesbit partly recalls playwright (5)
IBSEN – The answer is partly reversed (recalls) in NESBIT. As the word is hidden only in Nesbit, the E should have been omitted. For the cryptic grammar to work, recalls should be recalled. Ideally, hidden words should not end at a word boundary such as “Playwright knocking back some Stones bitter”
25 This angry promise, impossible if 30? (9)
CROSSWORD – A five-letter word meaning angry and a four-letter word meaning a promise with two definition.
27 Learner leaves before time after medic is gloomy (6)
DREARY – The abbreviation for learner is removed from a five-letter word meaning before time and the remaining letters follow (after) the abbreviation for doctor (medic).
28 A cushy register of sixteen teasers in choice beginners’ puzzle (8)
ACROSTIC – The initial letters (beginners) of the first eight words of the clue.
29 Cold, damp and reportedly spacious (6)
RHEUMY – A homophone (reportedly) of ROOMY (spacious).
30 Stupid 25, lacking hints? (8)
CLUELESS – Double definition.
1 Used to sift cryptic verse (6)
RIDDLE – Double definition.
2 Pest in the nest that calls its name? (6)
CUCKOO – The onomatopoeic name of the bird that lays it eggs in other birds’ nests.
3 Old athlete‘s finished, missing last race (5)
OVETT – A four-letter word meaning finished without the last letter followed by the abbreviation for Time Trials (an IOM race).
4 Heading north, spirit is gripped by identical mysteries (7)
ENIGMAS – A reversal (heading North) of a three-letter word for a type of drink (spirit) inside (gripped by) a four-letter word meaning identical.
6 Set new time to change score (9)
REARRANGE – Double definition, the first to set a new time for a meeting and the second to change a musical score.
7 Disbelievers find lies all over (8)
INFIDELS – An anagram (all over) of FIND LIES. All over on its own does not work as an anagram indicator. All over the place would be much better.
8 Get parliament to accept the end of taxes – most unworthy (8)
SEEDIEST – A three-letter word meaning get or understand followed by a four-letter word for a parliament around (to accept) the last letter (end) of taxes.
11 Secretly, Lawrence was an architect (4)
WREN – The answer is hidden in (secretly) in the second word of the clue. Like Silvanus, I am not convinced by secretly as a hidden word indicator. Perhaps Lawrence welcomes former architect would be better.
15 1 down Tory on a French instrument (9)
CONUNDRUM – A three-letter abbreviation for Tory followed by the French masculine singular for A and a four-letter word for a musical instrument.
17 16 is violent in drink (8)
BEWILDER – A four-letter word meaning violent inside a four-letter word for an alcoholic drink.
18 Some DNA under abandoned shop produces toxic gas … (8)
PHOSGENE – A four-letter word for some DNA under an anagram (abandoned) of SHOP.
20 … and so on. Hydrogen’s cut (4)
ETCH – A three-letter abbreviation meaning and so on followed by the chemical symbol of Hydrogen.
21 Uncomplaining on escaping from fantastic locations (7)
STOICAL – An anagram (fantastic) of LOCATIONS after removing (escaping) the ON from the clue.
22 Got on swallowing iodine, which will cure this (6)
GOITRE – The GOT from the clue and a two-letter word meaning on includes the chemical symbol of Iodine. Another blip on the repetition radar with on having been used in 9a as the relevant indicator.
23 Government orders saint-killing to rise? (6)
EDICTS – The abbreviation for saint and the combining form of word meaning killing in homicide, fratricide, etc.
26 Fuel pottery centre (5)
STOKE – Double definition.