A Puzzle by Hyazinth
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Hyazinth is our latest debutant. 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 Hyazinth with a good start but with some blemishes in the clues. Whilst papers such as the Metro and Evening Standard include cryptic crosswords, there is often far more latitude in the clues than would be allowed by editors in the broadsheets. Looking at Telegraph, Times, FT, Independent or Guardian crosswords will give you a far better feel for how a good clue works.
There have been a number of comments on the surface readings but this is something that comes with practice. Unless the clue is complete nonsense as a sentence in its own right, I tend not to comment on this.
The commentometer reads as 5 1/2 / 32 or 17.17%.
1 Sport hero follows you, German artist (7)
DUCHAMP – A five-letter word for a sporting hero or winner follows the German for you.
5 In conclusion, Nirvana takes ecstasy to reach a state of satisfaction (7)
ENJOYED – A three-letter word for conclusion includes a three-letter word for nirvana and the abbreviation for ecstasy. The solution is in the past tense but the definition in the clue does not match this.
9 Tips from character actor, Malachi Elijah Ostinato, leads to a brief appearance (5)
CAMEO – The initial letters (tips from) of the third to seventh words of the clue. Try to avoid making up names in clues.
10 Unfortunately, I’m a sot. Can someone unable to smell… (9)
ANOSMATIC – An anagram (unfortunately) of IM A SOT CAN.
11 …deal with a lot of butt before a backside makes first release? (5,5)
DEBUT ALBUM – The DEAL from the clue includes all but the last letter (a lot) of the BUTT from the clue followed by a three-letter word for a backside. I don’t think that A with B implies to the solver that B is included in A.
12 The first victim screamed to become skilled (4)
ABLE– A homophone (screamed) of ABEL (this first victim).
15 There were ten remarks about Mr. Penny (12)
COMMANDMENTS – An seven-letter word for remarks around a four-letter word for a person who would be described as Mr and the old abbreviation for a penny. Perhaps “There were ten of these…” would be a better definition to give more precision in the definition.
19 Han Tree leaps about to get Dumbo’s wings? (8,4)
ELEPHANT EARS – An anagram (about) of HAN TREE LEAPS. Another instance of making up a name.
22 Every other man cites parts of a play (4)
ACTS – The even letters (every other) of the third and fourth words of the clue.
23 Trample on my foot for sound (2-10)
NO-NONSENSE – An anagram (trample) of ON followed by an eight-letter word meaning “my foot”. An anagram of two letters is not really a challenge for the solver! Perhaps “Lying back on my foot…”
26 Officially black and white? (2,7)
IN WRITING – Double definition.
28 The beginning within conceals the beginning of rhythm (5)
INTRO – A four-letter word meaning within includes (conceals) the first letter (the beginning) of rhythm.
29 Opening shop cover after the end of the day (7)
YAWNING – A six-letter word for a shop cover to keep the sun out of the display window after the last letter (end of the) of day. An instance where the inclusion of “the” before day breaks the cryptic grammar; “end of day” would be better.
30 Charles de Gaulle’s rejection replaces partners’ company for a group that’s one short of ten? (7)
NONUPLE – The French for no (Charles de Gaulle’s rejection) replaces the abbreviation for company in a seven-letter word for partners.
1 500 plus a couple of drugs with 3/5ths of a blade will get you ten years (6)
DECADE – The Roman numeral for 500 followed by the abbreviations for ecstasy and cocaine and the final three letters (3/5ths) of the blade from the clue.
2 Acquire Aristophanes’ form but with a bull’s head instead of a deer’s (4,2)
COME BY – The genre of Greek writing in which Aristophanes excelled with the first letter (head) of bull replacing the first letter of deer.
3 Roast pope pickled with hog’s head for a poetic invocation (10)
APOSTROPHE – An anagram (pickled) of ROAST POPE H (hog’s head). Try to avoid repeating wordplay indicators such as head to indicate the first letter. To compound the error, the device was in the preceding clue.
4 Empty peel holds lughole’s treasure? (5)
PEARL – The outer letters (empty) of PEEL include a three-letter word for the lughole. I am usually lenient with Rookies’ surface readings. However, where the surface reading makes no sense, I make an exception to this. This clue simply reads as a series of unrelated words with no overall meaning.
5 Electric Light Orchestra supplants bottom right corner in pattern that represents articulate speech (9)
ELOQUENCE – The usual name of the group whose full name is the Electric Light Orchestra replaces the abbreviation for SE (bottom right corner) in an three-letter word for a pattern.
6 Picks up frames for sandwiches (4)
JAMS – A homophone (picks of) of JAMBS (frames).
7 Even an abominable snowman misses me (3)
YET – The name of the abominable snowman without the single letter representing the writer (me).
8 “Unfold”! Reduction? () (8)
DECREASE – The solution split 2-6 might indicate unfold.
13 Dirty boy takes temperature (4)
BENT – A three-letter boy’s name followed by the abbreviation for temperature.
14 Prim noses powdered after self imitation (10)
IMPRESSION – An anagram (powdered) of PRIM NOSES after a single letter represent the self.
16 Blokes travelling without university education (9)
MENTORING – A three-letter word for blokes followed by a seven-letter word meaning travelling without the abbreviation for university.
17 Often a city takes guts () (8)
TENACITY – The answer is hidden (takes) in the first three words of the clue. Where you have hidden word clues it is better for the word to be completely hidden and not end at a word break.
18 Top x Time (4)
TENT – The number represented by X followed by the abbreviation for time. The X in the clue a as a Roman numeral should be in upper case.
20 Dancing part of foot? (6)
INSTEP – The answer, split 2-4 might indicate dancing.
21 1D with nothing for a crack (6)
DECODE -The solution to the clue 1D has a O (nothing) for the A in the solution.
24 Agency member (5)
ORGAN – Double definition.
25 It helps keep us connected – if I wanted to be imprisoned and strung up (2-2)
WI-FI – The answer is hidden and reversed (imprisoned and strung-up) in the sixth to eighth words of the clue. Again there is not complete containment of the hidden word and, here, the containment indicator, says that there is complete containment.
27 Ejaculation that flips both ways! (3)
WOW – A three-letter word for an expression of surprise or wonder (ejaculation) that is a palindrome (flips both ways).