A Puzzle by Nudger
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today we welcome a debut puzzle from Nudger. 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 warm welcome to Nudger with a good debut crossword. Overall, the basics were there with only a handful of errors that can easily be corrected. There were some comments about the length of clued. However, this is a matter of style for the setter of the crossword, there are no hard and fast rules. Nine anagrams is on the high side but you will often find more than nine in a nationally published puzzle. The commentomter reads as 3.5/28 or 12.5%.
1 Monster hiding here? He’d be turned around (5,3,3)
UNDER THE BED – An anagram (around) of HED BE TURNED.
9 Insistence upper class rule without monarchy and without energy (7)
URGENCY – The abbreviation for upper class followed by a seven-letter word meaning rule without a monarchy without the first E (without energy).
10 Bung initially plugs hole in middle of gondola meandering somewhere in Italy (7)
BOLOGNA – The initial letter of bung replaces the middle letter in GONDOLA and the solution is an anagram (meandering) of GONBOLA. Plugs hole in does not work for me as an instruction to replace a letter.
11 Scarlets, say, scrummaging, in two lines each, after 50-50 (8)
LLANELLI – An anagram (scrummaging) of IN LL (two lines) EA (each) after LL (50-50). I think that this is too complex to be entirely fair to the solver. You have a definition that requires a fair degree of general knowledge and an anagram where 4 out of six letters are derived from abbreviations.
12 Last lap altercation (3-2)
RUN-IN – Double definition.
14 Walk backwards in quicker tempo (4)
TREK – The answer is hidden and reversed (backwards in) the final two words of the clue.
15 Hollow voice interrupting what might be said at the chalet bunks (6,3)
SKIVES OFF – The outer letters (hollow) of VOICE inside (interrupting) a phrase 4,3 that may be said at a chalet when winter sports enthusiasts arrive back and want to go inside.
17 Bricklayer’s rockery contains large sandstone formation? (5,4)
AYERS ROCK – The answer is hidden (contains) in the first two words of the clue.
19 Cutting first of claws turns dog into a bear (4)
POOH – The initial letter of claws is removed (cutting) for a five-letter word used informally to describe a dog.
21 About time, a knight returned and fought here? (5)
ARENA – Reverse (about) a three-letter word for a period of time and followed with a reversal (returned) of the A from the clue and the abbreviation for knight. About as a reversal indicator does not work when it precedes the letters to be reversed.
22 Left-back ran around and had a tantrum (8)
STROPPED – A reversal (back) of a four-letter word meaning left on a ship has a four-letter word meaning ran around it.
25 Pleased drunk ran out (7)
ELAPSED – An anagram (drunk) of PLEASED.
26 I’ve heard song has arrived in African country (7)
TUNISIA – A homophone (I’ve heard) of TUNE IS HERE.
27 Starts to bake a nice “apple n almond” brioche, to study cake (6,5)
BANANA BREAD – The initial letters (starts of) of the first seven words of the clue followed by a four-letter word meaning to study.
1 Improve source of Danube in Prague perhaps (7)
UPGRADE – The initial letter (source) of Danube in an anagram (perhaps) of Prague.
2 Reception might see your first, and possibly children’s first, English (5)
DANCE – An anagram (possibly) of AND followed by the first letter of children and the abbreviation for English. Try to avoid repeating wordplay indicators. Here first as an initial letter indicator has been used in 19a.
3 Old French king, according to James VI for example, holds gold cup (5,5)
ROYAL ASCOT – A three-letter word being the old French for king followed by a phrase 1,2 meaning according to and a four letter word for the nationality of James VI.
4 Centres of Wolverhampton, South Edinburgh and Bristol become focal points (4)
HUBS – The central letters of Wolverhampton, South, Edinburgh Bristol.
5 Gives a false impression about French towers (8)
BELFRIES – A six-letter word meaning gives a false impression around the abbreviation for French.
6 Start meal, as above, replacing first Tango with booze (3,4)
DIG INTO – A six-letter word meaning as above with the first T (Tango) replaced by a three-letter word for a type of alcoholic spirit.
7 Horror comedy about a fated she-hound (5,2,3,4)
SHAUN OF THE DEAD – An anagram (about) of A FATED SHE HOUND.
8 A hateful damsel in distress gives the order to move quickly (4,5,5)
FULL STEAM AHEAD – An anagram (in distress) of A HATEFUL DAMSEL.
13 TT bike cuts out: find a receipt (6,4)
TICKET STUB – An anagram (out) of TT BIKE CUTS. It is good practice to try and mix wordplay devices between clues. Three anagrams in a row begins to make the crossword feel a little stilted.
16 Murderer to offend, like soldiers before (8)
ASSASSIN – A three-letter word meaning to offend with a two-letter word meaning like and the abbreviation for an elite group of soldiers before it.
18 I’ve heard you hit newcomer on the farm (3,4)
EWE LAMB – An homophone (I’ve heard) of YOU LAM (hit). Another wordplay repetition. I’ve heard was used as a wordplay indicator in 26a.
20 Incompatible work presented (7)
OPPOSED – A two-letter word for work followed by a five-letter word meaning presented.
23 16th Century in North-East where French originated (5)
OUNCE – The abbreviation for century in the abbreviation for North East with the French word for where before it (originated). I don’t think that 16th is sufficient as a definition.
24 Centipede nests overshadowing garden (4)
EDEN – The answer is hidden (overshadowing) in the first two words of the clue.