A Puzzle by Twist
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today’s new setter is Twist. 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 Twist. Whilst this was tough, in most cases this was because of the clever wordplay rather than inaccuracies or errors. However, there were some points to take note of. Some of the complexity in the clues lead to bizarre surface readings but weaving complexity with natural sounding sentences takes practice.
The commentometer reads as 5.5/32 or 17.2%.
1 Gripping quote recalled backing piece introducing Gauss (8)
MAGNETIC – A four-letter word meaning quote is reversed (recalled) after (backing) a three-letter word for a chess piece into which you add (introducing) the abbreviation for Gauss.
5 Shocking treatment after bungling jab is contemptible (6)
ABJECT – The abbreviation for electro-convulsive therapy (shocking treatment after an anagram (bungling) of jam.
10 Mention inspiring note with science fiction content (7)
SATISFY – A three-letter word meaning mention includes (inspiring) a two-letter musical note and the abbreviation for science fiction.
11 Next remeasuring stores excessive (7)
EXTREME – The answer is hidden in (stores) the first two words of the clue.
12 Motorway worker shuns destructive associate (5)
ALIGN – An eight-letter word meaning destructive drops (shuns) the abbreviation for motorway and a three-letter word for a worker insect. Where the letters to be removed are not contiguous, there should some indication of this.
13 Thief cartels in disarray (9)
LARCENIST – An anagram (disarray) of CARTELS IN.
14 Reason I replaced firm’s lighting? (8)
IGNITION – A nine-letter word meaning reason with the abbreviation for company replaced by the I from the clue. I think that reasoning would be a better synonym for the word required in the solution. Although Chamber’s thesaurus lists reason, quite often the thesaurus give rather loose synonyms and it is better to go back to the dictionary to check that the synonym is precise enough. It is better to keep clues in the present tense. Perhaps “Reasoning I should replace firm’s lighting”
16 Champs, failing to start abandon Sierra, dropping to last? (5)
CHEWS -A six-letter word meaning abandon loses its first letter (failing to start) and the S (Sierra) is moved to the end.
18 Basket case exhausted nurses concerning many (5)
CREEL – The outer letters (exhausted) of case includes (nursing) a two-letter word meaning letter followed by the Roman numeral for a large number (many). I too do not like many to indicate a Roman numeral.
20 State right with regard to opposing elementary matter (8)
POSITRON – A five-letter word meaning state followed by the abbreviation for right and a four-letter word meaning with regard to. As opposing elementary matter is a complete definition, I cannot object to its inclusion, even if the definition would work without it.
23 Fugitive’s record time at large following border (9)
EPHEMERAL – A two-letter abbreviation for a record followed by a three-letter word for a period of time and the abbreviation for large after (following) a three-letter word for a border.
26 Ancient healer’s oral discharge (5)
LEECH – A homophone (oral) of leach (discharge).
27 Fish, sesame, are essential ingredients of dopiaza (7)
TILAPIA – A three-letter word for sesame followed by the abbreviation for are and the central letters (essential ingredients) of dopiaza. Given that the solution is an obscure word, it would have been fairer to the solver to have used a more friendly clue to the first three letters of the solution.
28 Double German period on endlessly awful cases (7)
BAGGAGE – The abbreviation for German repeated (double) and a three-letter word for a period of time all after (on) a three-letter word for awful with the final letter removed (endlessly).
29 Had setback grasping revolutionary crime language (6)
DANISH – Reverse (setback) the HAD from the clue around (grasping) a reversal (revolutionary) of a three-letter word for a moral crime.
30 Agent’s posts on tracks that suddenly become popular (8)
SLEEPERS – Triple definition of secret agents, posts on railway tracks and musical records (tracks) that suddenly become popular. A few points on this clue – perhaps agents’ would be better than agent’s as the apostrophe does not appear in the solution. I think that to describe the railway items as posts is misleading as posts are upright and the solution refers to horizontal items. Finally, tracks is doing double duty, which should be avoided in setting clues.
1 Tragedy as Starship Enterprise initially leaves warp (6)
MISHAP – An eight letter word meaning warp without the initial letters in Starship Enterprise. As with 12a, if the letters to be removed are not contiguous, this should be indicated. I think that tragedy conveys a meaning that is much stronger than the solution. Perhaps error would have been closer.
2 Drawing brief courage can galvanise leadership (7)
GUTTING – A four-letter word meaning courage with the final letter removed (brief) followed by a three-letter word for a can and the initial letter (leadership) of galvanise. I don’t think leadership works as an initial letter indicator. Although it can mean principal, to be an initial letter indicator it would need to precede the word.
3 Indispensable directions conveyed one by one to apprentice (9)
ESSENTIAL – The abbreviations for East and South (directions) followed by a four-letter word meaning conveyed, two different letters meaning one and the abbreviation for a learner or apprentice.
4 Disheartened, Darcy interrupts gloomy poem (5)
IDYLL – The outer letters (disheartened) of Darcy inside (interrupts) a three-letter word meaning gloomy. I don’t think that gloomy and the word required in the solution are synonymous.
6 Cover returned portion of tempeh tabouli (5)
BATHE – The answer is hidden in (portion of) and reversed (returned) in the last two words of the clue.
7 Loner’s bare, lying around sporting tie (7)
EREMITE – A four-letter word meaning bare or simple is reversed (lying around) and followed by an anagram (sporting) of tie.
8 Paper use is green at heart (8)
TREATISE – A five-letter word meaning use followed by the IS from the clue and the middle letter (at heart) of green.
9 Nottingham’s foremost craft rosé gin cocktails (8)
NEGRONIS – The initial letter (foremost) of Nottingham followed by an anagram (craft) of ROSE GIN.
15 Majestic drive carries water feature (8)
IMPERIAL – A five-letter word meaning drive or force around (carries) a three-letter word for a drowned valley.
16 Register pet with feverish condition, bringing up ring left inside (9)
CATALOGUE – A three-letter word for a feline pet followed by a four-letter word for a feverish condition that includes (inside) a reversal (bringing up) of the letters represented by a ring and left.
17 Confirmed rising music label’s enthralling disc on tango (8)
ACCEPTED – A five-letter name of a record company is reversed (rising) around (enthralling) a two-letter word for a disc or record and the letter represented by Tango in the Nato phonetic alphabet.
19 English football team spends first half of season concerned with position (7)
ECHELON – The abbreviation for English followed by a seven-letter word for a London football team without the first three letters (first half) of season followed by a two-letter word meaning concerned with.
21 Run round for every high tea (7)
OPERATE – The letter that is round followed by a three-letter word meaning for every and an anagram (high) of tea.
22 Casts about river for scraps (6)
SHREDS – A five-letter word meaning casts or gets rid of around the abbreviation for river.
24 Origins of Methone or Pallene – egg shaped moons? (5)
MOPES – The initial letters (origins) of the third to seventh words of the clue.
25 False report as programme’s implicated housing estate ultimately (5)
LIBEL – An anagram (implicated) of BILL (programme) includes (housing) the last letter (ultimate) of estate. A big no-no is indirect anagrams where the solver has to find a synonym of the word and then make an anagram of it.