A Puzzle by Amoeba
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Another debutant today. 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 Amoeba. This was a strong, promising debut crossword. There were no major issues with the clues other than a slight tendency to repeat wordplay indicators. Some of the longer clues became somewhat nonsensical as sentences in their own right but polished surface readings come with more practice. Commenting on some of the points in the blog, I would say that the use of italics is fine. It works best in clues like 22d where you are referencing a well known title. Perhaps 4 italicised phrases was over-egging it . The German theme worked for me with only 10a being a step too far in requiring the solver to know German words.
The commentometer reads as 3.5/30 or 11.7%.
1 Task German man’s lost husband with asking nudists directions to begin with (6)
ERRAND – The German for a man without (lost) the abbreviation for husband followed by the initial letters (to being with) of the seventh to ninth words of the clue.
5 Republican boarding train after offences – fundamentally that’s trespass (8)
ENCROACH – The abbreviation for Republican inside (boarding) a five-letter word for a train all after the central letters (fundamentally) of offences.
9 Amoeba admitted to mixing up a lilac for another flower (8)
CAMELLIA – A two-letter word for the setter (Amoeba) inside (admitted to) an anagram (mixing up) of A LILAC.
10 Routine from Rudi’s wingers leading to Leverkusen’s raucous comeback (6)
RITUAL – The outer letters (wingers) of RUDI followed by the German word (Leverkusen) for raucous reversed (making a comeback). I think that requiring the solver to know the German word for raucous is asking too much.
11 Article in German by right-winger from secessionist parliament (4)
DIET – One of the German words for “the” followed by the right most word (winger) of secessionist. Take care not to repeat wordplay indicators such as winger, used in 10a as well.
12 Smell sour, rotten article of Nancy’s, cut in stereotypically German manner? (10)
HUMOURLESS – A three-letter word for a smell followed by an anagram (rotten) of SOUR with the French plural word (Nancy’s) for “the” included (cut in).
13 Hot German treat missing essential ingredient (6)
STOLEN – A rich type of German cake without the central letter (missing essential ingredient).
14 A bite to eat in Kentish Town? (8)
SANDWICH – Double definition for a bite to eat and a town in Kent.
16 Stealing funny bits! (8)
GENITALS – An anagram (funny) of STEALING.
20 Half-German, and German upbringing, perhaps? (6)
GERUND – Half of the word German followed by the German word for “and”.
23 Religious leader‘s strange rites after publicity on the radio (4,6)
HIGH PRIEST – An anagram (strange) of RITES after a homophone (on the radio) of HYPE (publicity). After has been used as charade indicator in 5a.
25 Perhaps Goethe discarded an original idea? (4)
GERM – The nationality of Goethe without the AN from the clue.
26 Capital philosopher (6)
BERLIN – Double definition for the capital of German and the name of a philosopher.
27 Popular first part to play, On Sloth (8)
INACTION – A two-letter word meaning popular followed by a phrase (3,1) for the first part of a play and the ON from the clue.
28 Make out with beautiful people? Cheers! (8)
HEARTENS – A four-letter word meaning make out followed by a four-letter word for beautiful people. I cannot find the word for beautiful people required by the solution in the main UK dictionaries. Setters should try to use only words defined in one of the main ones.
29 Most Sensible Soccer aficionados need extremely strong thumbs, for starters (6)
SANEST -The initial letters (for starters) of the third to ninth words of the clue.
2 Perhaps like Dickens, German is following Spanish royal (7)
REALIST – The German word for is after (following) the Spanish word for royal.
3 Encouraging con’s a gamble supported by endless white powder (7)
ABETTAL – The A from the clue followed by a three-letter word for a bet and a four-letter word for a white bathroom powder without the final letter (endless).
4 Spring festival in helipad disaster (9)
DELPHINIA – An anagram (disaster) of IN HELIPAD. Perhaps some indication that this is an ancient festival would be fairer.
5 Dutch philosopher‘s calculations are rejected (7)
ERASMUS – A reversal (rejected) of a four-letter word for calculations and the ARE from the clue.
6 Prufrock headed north to protect island (5)
CORFU – The answer is hidden (to protect`) and reversed (headed north). Where possible, try to keep clues in the present tense. Prufrock heading north is protecting island.
7 Dead beast’s thrown up discharge (7)
OUTFLOW – A three-letter word meaning dead followed by a reversal (thrown up) of a four-letter word for a pack animal. I am not sure that the first three letters are an exact synonym for dead.
8 Traditional lesson I followed in German (mostly) (7)
CLASSIC – A five-letter word for a lesson followed by the German word for I without the final letter (mostly). Following has been used as a charade indicator in 2d.
15 Things that help you sleep better in dark times? (9)
NIGHTCAPS – A three-letter word word meaning out better or outdo inside a six-letter word for dark times of the day.
17 Not a good look? (4,3)
EVIL EYE – Cryptic definition of an baleful look.
18 Perhaps he inspires Obama, but not Clinton! (7)
INHALER – Cryptic definition.
19 Familiar right-wing magazine’s half-heartedly kind (7)
SPECIES – The familiar name for the Spectator magazine with the central letter removed (half-heartedly).
21 Topless resort? Hell yeah! (5,2)
RIGHT ON – Remove the first letter (topless) of a South coast beach resort.
22 Like A Virgin’s performance regularly endears you to the French (7)
NERVOUS – The even letters (regularly) of endears followed by the French plural for you.
24 Reach Germany, but setter’s lost at sea (5)
RANGE – An anagram (at sea) of GERMANY after removing the two-letter word meaning the setter’s.