Lord Chancellors by Gollum
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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 Gollum with his second outing as a Rookie. I thought that this was a more polished offering than the first crossword. There were some minor issues that I have highlighted but none of them detracted from the crossword. I was a shame that the now redundant title had been carried across from the earlier version of the crossword as it was distracting to keep thinking if any of the solutions matched the name of the one of the Lord Chancellors.
The commentometer reads as 3/26 or 11.5 %.
7 Dads wearing long hair is wrong (8)
TRESPASS – A three-letter word for dads has five-letter word for long hair around it (wearing).
9 Ingenious article which audibly leaves spa town (6)
ADROIT – The indefinite article followed by the name of a Worcestershire spa town from which a a homophone (audibly) of which.
10 Untruthful spokesman for East-West Rail (4)
LIAR – A reversal (East – West) of Rail. The structure of the clue “Definition for wordplay” does not work. You can have the wordplay for the definition, but not the reverse. From would be a suitable replacement.
11 Cold girl (maiden) – a setback for some of her schoolfriends? (10)
CLASSMATES – The abbreviation for cold followed by a four-letter word for a girl, the abbreviation for maiden, the A from the clue and a reversal (back) of set. Not all editors will accept the lift and separate required to get from setback to set back.
12 Blunt little Adrian in a haunt of vice (6)
DEADEN – The diminutive form of the name of Adrian in a three-letter word describing a place of vice. On the subject of surplus articles in clues, if they can be omitted, it is better to do so but (having checked again in Chamber’s Crossword Manual) the convention is that the article can be retained with nouns. It must be omitted is where it would incorrectly appear to be part of the letters to be rearranged in an anagram.
14 Waved as stepdaughters roamed less beaten paths (8)
GESTURED – An anagram (roamed) of STEPDAUGHTERS after removing the rearranged (beaten) letters in PATHS.
15 AGA controls I’m adjusting in connection with the science of good eating (13)
GASTRONOMICAL – An anagram (adjusting) of AGA CONTROLS IM.
17 Old politician greets bad actor (8)
HAILSHAM – A five-letter word meaning greets followed by a three-letter word for a bad actor.
19 Repeated alternation as Bray deals spades instead of hearts (6)
SEESAW – A six-letter word for the sound of donkey (bray) with the Hs (hearts) replaced by Ss (spade).
21 Delegates’ decisions to obstruct the franchise (5,5)
BLOCK VOTES – A five-letter word meaning to obstruct followed by a five-letter word for the franchise. I would have thought that “the franchise” would lead to the singular in the second part of the solution.
22 Horrible-sounding old instrument (4)
VIOL – A homophone (sounding) of vile (horrible). I think that the hyphenation here makes it clear that the homophone indicator relates to horrible.
23 Close attention may bind in gratitude (6)
ENDEAR – A three-letter word meaning close followed by a three-letter word meaning attention.
24 John Peel from St Neots, perhaps? (8)
HUNTSMAN – Fancifully how you might describe someone from Huntingdonshire.
1 Cook‘s support is something irrational (6)
BRAISE – A three-letter word for a female support garment followed by the IS from the clue and the letter representing the natural base number (irrational).
2 In part, that’s a redhead of old Russia (4)
TSAR – The answer is hidden (in part) in the third to fifth words of the clue. Whilst some editors will allow unclued lift and separate devices in the wordplay, it is not permitted to merge the wordplay and the solution in the way that has been done here.
3 Car felon punished – one who does bird! (8)
FALCONER – An anagram (punished) of CAR FELON. I am not sure that the definition works here.
4 Islamic State in power for a little time? They’re often narrow (6)
WAISTS – The unit for electrical power has one of the T’s replaced by the abbreviation for Islamic State (given as a permitted abbreviation in Collins and OED but not in Chambers).
5 Relative mistreating a cruel gent (5-5)
GREAT UNCLE – An anagram (mistreating) of A CRUEL GENT.
6 Maybe the right team from Madrid – of the stars! (8)
SIDEREAL – A four-letter word for the right followed by a four-letter word for Madrid football team.
8 Heretical Anglicans? Might I leave a quarrel? (8,5)
SLANGING MATCH – An anagram (heretical) of ANGLICANS MIGHT without one of the Is (I leave). Grammatically, the cryptic instruction “I leave” does not work in the cryptic grammar. “I may leave” would be better. Note, though that Ieave having been used as a wordplay indicator so a different one should be used here.
13 Muddled Ed’s come top of the poll, but been rejected as a candidate (10)
DESELECTED – An anagram (muddled) of EDS followed by a seven-letter word meaning come come of the poll. I think that the “been” could have been omitted from the clue.
15 Where keeper plays game – violent wrestling with earl! (4,4)
GOAL LINE – A two-letter word for a board game followed by a phrase (3,2) for a violent no-holds barred) type of wrestling and the abbreviation for earl.
16 Treating wrongly, vanished round the bend (8)
MISUSING – A seven-letter word meaning vanished around the shape of a plumbing bend.
18 Lingers over odd hush outside (6)
HOVERS – The over from the clue with the odd letters of hush around it. For alternate letters, you need something like “oddly” not “odd”.
20 One of five, I heard a frank confession (6)
AVOWAL – A homophone (heard) of one of the five letters in the Alphabet that are not consonants.
22 Great account – save up in it (4)
VAST – The answer is hidden and reversed (up in it) in the second and third words of the clue. I am not sure that the it at the end of the clue works to refer to the two words in the clue that hide the solution.
A milestone of 400 Rookie Crosswords is impressive. Around 137 Rookie setters have been featured with many having gone on to the NTSPP and to be published in national papers including the Independent and the Daily Telegraph. Congratulations to all the new setters who have been brave enough to put their talents on display and to have their crosswords reviewed. Big Dave deserves the biggest vote of thanks for his vision in setting up this series in 2014 and for his work every week in setting up the crosswords and publishing them.