A Puzzle by Coot
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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 Coot. There was a lot to enjoy in this crossword with some well turned surface readings. There were only a handful of points to pass comment on. The commentometer reads 3/32 = 9.4%
1 Sally‘s husband taken into care (6)
THRUST – The abbreviation for husband in (taken into) a a five-letter word word meaning care or guardianship.
5 Stop in Barking side street (6)
DESIST – An anagram (barking) of SIDE followed by the abbreviation for street.
10 Got about half a day with American mate, recently inside (9)
AMBULATED – The abbreviation for morning (half a day) followed by a three-letter word used by Americans for a friend or mate containing (inside) a four-letter word meaning recently.
11 Picture that is used as cover for periodical (5)
IMAGE – The abbreviation for that is around (used as a cover for) a three-letter word for a periodical.
12 Ingredient of healthy meal? (5)
THYME – The answer is hidden (of) in the final two words of the clue.
13 Turned all square – was winning (8)
LEVELLED – A five-letter word meaning all square followed by a three-letter word meaning was winning. I have reservations about the definition. Whilst turned a gun might be the solution, the meaning is more aimed or directed when used in this context, not turned.
15 Near the end of term, given “sin (ex + i)”: baffling! (2,8)
IN EXTREMIS – An anagram (baffling) of TERM SIN EX I.
17 One starts to laugh, someone’s offended too (4)
ALSO – The indefinite article (one) followed by the initial letters (starts to) of the fourth to sixth words of the clue.
18 Moment’s lost, a little jiggery-pokery doubtful (4)
IFFY – A five-letter word for a moment or short period of time without the initial J (lost a little jiggery-pokery). As the usual rule is that punctuation can be disregarded, I am not too concerned about the comma in the clue.
19 Animated PM: “bailouts not ideal!” (10)
SUBOPTIMAL – An anagram (animated) of PM BAILOUTS.
22 Some independence is in order (4,4)
HOME RULE – A four-letter word meaning home followed by a four-letter word meaning order. I am not sure that IS works as a link word. Definition is wordplay jars slight. Whilst you can have definition is in wordplay, here the in would then be doing double duty.
23 Step quietly, pursuing vehicle (5)
TRAMP – The abbreviation for quietly after (pursuing) a four-letter word for a public transport vehicle.
27 Diving naked, risking everything! (3,2)
ALL IN – A seven-letter word meaning diving without the first and last letters (naked).
28 Radio broadcasts one can identify with? (4,5)
CALL SIGNS – Cryptic definition of a radio ham or operator’s means of identifying themselves.
29 Leave and come back (6)
RESIGN – Double definition. I am another person who confidently entered return as the solution.
30 Two number ones for diminutive singer (6)
PEEWEE – Two slang words meaning to micturate.
2 Beheaded plump bloke (5)
HUBBY – A six-letter word meaning plump without the initial letter (beheaded). I think some indication that a married bloke is the intended solution would be better here.
3 Most unattractive pug lies totally content (7)
UGLIEST – The answer is hidden (content) in the third to fifth words of the clue.
4 Dictator‘s action embittering nationals’ hearts (4)
TITO – The central letters (hearts) of the third to fifth words of the clue.
5 Antipodean music producer doubting Spice Girl’s contribution? (10)
DIDGERIDOO – The solution might answer the question “Did Geri do nothing?. I think that to get from the clue to the intended question and then to take the final word as an indicator for the final letter is perhaps a little indirect.
6 Darted around wicket with single taken (6)
SWIPED – A four-letter word meaning darted around the abbreviation for wicket and the letter representing a single number.
7 Struggling repeatedly, alms-houses ultimately fail to land valuable contract (5,4)
SMALL SLAM – An anagram (struggling) of ALMS ALMS (repeatedly alms) includes (houses) the last letter (ultimately) of fail. Whilst hyphenation can be used to give clarity to the wordplay, the resulting hyphenated word must be a valid word. Alms-houses fails this test as it is not a valid word in the main dictionaries used by setters.
8 Thrown when entering court (4)
CAST – A two-letter word meaning when inside (entering) the abbreviation for court.
9 Count supports action that could change how he’s known (4,4)
DEED POLL – A four-letter word for a count or census underneath (supports) a four-letter word for action.
14 Party concerning landlord (10)
REPUBLICAN – A two-letter word meaning concerning followed by an eight-letter word for a landlord of a tavern.
15 European assistant served up champagne regularly (8)
IRISHMAN – A reversal (served up) of the voice activated assistant on Apple devices followed by the even letters (regularly) in champagne.
16 French girl hugs mum, round supporting nurse with relatives (2,7)
EN FAMILLE -The five-letter French word for a girl around (hugs) a reversal (round) of a two-letter word for a mum all under supporting the abbreviation for Enrolled Nurse. Try to avoid repeating wordplay indicators such as supports (9d) and supporting (in this clue).
20 CNN ignored drunk contestant in As You Like It? (2,5)
TO TASTE – An anagram drunk of CONTESTANT after removing (ignored) the CNN from the clue.
21 London university finally favouring India for eastern location (6)
BRUNEI – A six-letter word for a London University with the final letter replaced by an I (India).
24 Glean new perspective (5)
ANGLE – An anagram (new) of GLEAN.
25 Advertise job (4)
POST – Double definition.
26 Friends over for make-up (4)
SLAP – A reversal (over) of a four-letter word for friends.