A Puzzle by Dr Diva
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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.
Welcome back to Dr Diva. This was a distinct improvement on the two previous crosswords. However, where problems arose, they were not (in the main) the nitpicking points that are highlighted to improve clues but more fundamental errors in the clues or definitions themselves. The commentometer reads as 6/29 or 20.7%
1 Come to terms with contract once more (6)
RESIGN – Split 2-4, this solution would suggest appending your signature to a contract once again.
4 Be there at 10:50 (6)
ATTEND – The AT from the clue followed by the spelling of 10 and a Roman Numeral incorrectly thought to be 50 but which is 500. An obvious error.
8 A limit I set for combatants (7)
MILITIA – An anagram (set) of A LIMIT I.
9 Nostalgic Mayfair thoroughfare’s almost chock-a-block (7)
WISTFUL – The postcode for Mayfair followed by the abbreviation for street (thoroughfare) and a four letter word meaning chock-a-block with the final letter removed (almost).
11 Nourish kids, perhaps, via steel pipe (6-4)
BOTTLE-FEED – A six-letter word meaning steel or courage followed by a four-letter word for a feed.
12 Record failure to identify drug? (4)
NOTE – Split 3,1 this could be a failure to identify a drug (by reference to something that the drug isn’t).
13 Rush back to enhance alluring image (3-2)
PIN-UP – A three-letter word meaning to rush reversed (back) followed by a two-letter word meaning to enhance.
14 One taking heed of capitalist energy provision (8)
LISTENER – The answer is hidden (provision) in the fifth and sixth words of the clue.
16 Deal with opening shortfall (5,3)
TRADE GAP – A five-letter word meaning deal with followed by a three-letter word for an opening.
18 Trolls outraged genial reporter’s every sinew from the beginning (5)
OGRES – The initial letters (from the beginning) of the second to sixth words of the clue.
20 Dog‘s bone trouble (4)
TAIL – A type of bone in the name of a steak followed by a three-letter word meaning trouble. I think that you need type of bone rather than bone on its own.
21 Little bulb emerges from end of February just before daybreak (5,5)
FAIRY LIGHT – The last letter (end of) February with a four-letter word meaning just all followed by a five-letter word meaning daybreak.
23 Discuss best remedy for drink (7)
LIQUEUR – A homophone (discuss) of LICK (best or beat) CURE (remedy).
24 Incendiary poet initially ignored pound (7)
BOMBARD – A four-letter word for an incendiary device followed by a four-letter word for a poet without its initial letter (initially ignored). Perhaps Pound with a capital letter would misleadingly suggest Ezra Pound.
25 Set out to harm Union member during welcome (6)
AVENGE – The three-letter abbreviation for England (Union member) inside a three-letter Latin word for greeting.
26 Ridicule south-facing gardens’ covering of elder (6)
SKEWER – The abbreviation for south-facing (southern) followed by a three-letter name for some important gardens and the outer letters (covering) of elder. None of the main dictionaries give the solution as a synonym for ridicule.
1 Animal discovered in 5 countries – 1. Rwanda 2. Chad 3. Guinea 4. Uganda 5. Ethiopia (5)
RHINO – In each of the countries take the letter indicated by the number before it. A little clunky and it does not really work for me.
2 Skiing’s leading character has glove taken (7)
SMITTEN – The initial letter (leading character) of skiing followed by a six-letter word for a glove.
3 Subject of trial? Apron at concert according to Spooner! (6,3)
GUINEA PIG – A Spoonerism of PINNY (Apron) GIG ) concert. The presence of the “at” means that the Spoonerism does not work.
5 Gang member from Iran fills up a little (5)
TRIAD – The IVR code for Iran reversed (up) inside (fills) a three-letter word meaning a little. All the dictionaries give the solution as the gang itself, not one of its members.
6 Agreement that shelter stops half-wind (7)
ENTENTE – A four-letter word for a temporary shelter inside (stops) one of the points of the compass that is apparently called a half-wind. Perhaps a little known word for the direction and something less obscure would be fairer. The that does not work as you have definition that wordplay.
7 Undeniably strange duets with awful slob (9)
DOUBTLESS – An anagram of DUETS SLOB. Having two anagram indicators here does not work as it implies that there is one anagram of duets followed by a second anagram of slob.
10 Note shuttle honoured free return (5-4)
REPLY PAID – A two-letter word for a musical note followed by a a three-letter word meaning shuttle and a four-letter word word meaning honoured (as in the cheque was honoured).
13 Each person totally backs a suggestion to land quietly (3,6)
PER CAPITA – A reversal (totally backs) of the A from the clue, a three-letter word for a suggestion, a four-letter word for acre and the abbreviation for quietly. The dictionaries give only acres in the plural as the synonym required for the solution.
15 Idyllic infant courier accepts nub of royal disapproval (9)
STORYBOOK – The bird that reportedly delivers babies around (accepts) the central letter (nub) of royal and a three-letter word for a sound of disapproval.
17 Remove key flower to treat for pests (7)
DELOUSE – The key on a keyboard to remove a letter followed by a four-letter name of a river (flower).
19 Colourful display by East London artist? (7)
RAINBOW – Split 2,2,3, this would suggest an artist in an easter district of London.
21 Loud organ is thrown away (5)
FLUNG – The abbreviation for loud followed by a four-letter word for the organ used for breathing.
22 Employer‘s anger admitted by personnel department (5)
HIRER – A three-letter word for anger inside (admitted by) the abbreviation for human resources (personnel department).