A Puzzle by Hubble
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Prologue. 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.
We are being spoilt at the beginning of this year with some very good Rookie crosswords. Hubble does not disappoint. There are some very minor issues but the commentometer reads as 1.5/33 or 4.5%.
9 Unaware old boy has to abide mostly with debts (9)
OBLIVIOUS – The abbreviation for old boy followed by a four-letter word meaning to abide without the last letter (mostly) and a four-letter word meaning debts.
10 Cut grass back towards middle of bank in May, for example (5)
WOMAN – A three-letter word meaning to cut grass reversed (back) followed by the middle letters of bank. A minor point: towards may not be the best charade indicator here. I would have preferred something like next to middle of bank. However, towards can mean near as we are getting towards a solution so it is just about ok.
11 Sign up first of recruits caught by one in revolt (5)
ENROL – The first letter of recruits inside (caught by) a reversal (in revolt) of a four-letter word meaning one.
12 Quotes about boy and father’s youthful innocence (5,4)
SALAD DAYS – A four-letter word meaning quotes or utters around (about) a three-letter word for a boy and a two-letter word for a father.
13 Bond arresting individual in private say (7)
SOLDIER – A six-letter word meaning to form a bond around the letter representing an individual.
14 Row involving a knight good for city (7)
TANGIER – A four-letter word for a row or level around (involving) the A from the clue and the abbreviations for knight and good.
17 Getting worried, doctor attempted to create issue (5)
MATED – An insertion (getting) of a three-letter word meaning worried into a two-letter abbreviation for a doctor. I am not a fan of getting implying containment in a crossword clue as I do not thing it implies the inclusion of one part of the clue in another.
19 Dimwit nearly returning to school (3)
POD – A four-letter word for a dimwit with the final letter removed (nearly) and reversed (returning).
20 Drink whisky for large bet (5)
WAGER – A five-letter word for an alcoholic drink with the L (large) replaced by a W (Whisky). When used in the NATO phonetic alphabet, the correct spelling is Whiskey.
21 Solo Scandinavian dismissing a guide from maze (7)
ARIADNE – A four-letter word for a solo operatic piece followed by a four-letter word for a Scandinavian without (dismissing) the letter A
22 Oven in California beside the sea (7)
COASTAL – A four-letter word for an oven inside the three-letter abbreviation of the state of California.
24 Where to eat while training (6,3)
DINING CAR – Cryptic definition of where to eat on a train.
26 Each first lady on track (5)
EVERY – The name of the first woman named in the bible followed by the abbreviation for railway (track).
28 Material Tiffany longingly clutches (5)
NYLON – The answer is hidden (clutches) inside the second and third rows of the clue.
29 Those in favour announced exercise for visual issue (9)
EYESTRAIN – A homophone (announced) of ayes (those in favour) followed by a five-letter word meaning exercise.
1 Bird took the plunge in America (4)
DOVE – Double definition for the bird of peace and how Americans spell the past tense of dive.
2 Referring to more than one friend swallowing majority of bait (6)
PLURAL – A three-letter word for a friend includes (swelling) a four-letter word for bait without the final letter (majority of).
3 Malicious journalist supporting nasty guard (4-6)
EVIL-MINDED – A two-letter abbreviation for editor (journalist) beneath (supporting) a four-letter word meaning nasty and a four-letter word meaning guard.
4 Tanker bringing old weapons to the Queen (6)
BOWSER – A four-letter word for weapons used by archers followed by the two-letter regnal cipher for the current queen. I think that the wordplay can bring the definition but am not convinced that the definition is bringing the wordplay.
5 Dealt differently after standards body separated (8)
ISOLATED – The abbreviation for International Organisation for Standardisation followed by an anagram (differently) of DEALT.
6 Had obligation, love, to marry (4)
OWED – The letter representing love or nothing followed by a three-letter word meaning to marry.
7 Setter’s secretary, Heather’s, piercing (8)
IMPALING – A two letter word meaning the setter is followed by the abbreviation for personal assistant (secretary) and a four-letter word meaning heather.
8 Social workers like hugging conservationists (4)
ANTS – A two-letter word meaning like around (hugging) the abbreviation for National Trust (conservationists).
13 Arab masquerade holds up dance (5)
SAMBA – The answer is hidden and reversed (holds up) the first two words of the clue.
15 Ann gets Wes to dance for those in the rag trade? (10)
NEWSAGENTS – An anagram (to dance) of ANN GETS WISE.
16 Rustic king sitting on range in Russia (5)
RURAL – The abbreviation for rex (king) on a four-letter word for a mountain range in Russia.
18 Audibly make effort to bend instrument (8)
TRIANGLE – A homophone (audibly) of try (to make an effort) followed by a five-letter word meaning to bend.
19 Child’s hero follows quiet clergyman (8)
PREACHER – The surname of a character Jack in the novels by Lee Child after (follows) the abbreviation for quiet.
22 Sailors each propping up officer’s cover for Iris (6)
CORNEA – The abbreviations for royal navy (sailors) and each after (propping up) the abbreviation for commanding officer..
23 Saw function featuring players (6)
TREPAN – The abbreviation for tangent (function) includes (featuring) a three-letter abbreviation for a group of actors.
24 Eat chard in enormous bites (4)
DINE – The answer is hidden (bites) in the second to fourth words of the clue.
25 Number batting during finals in Edgbaston and Melbourne (4)
NINE – A two-letter word meaning batting inside (during) the final letters of Edgbaston and Melbourne.
27 American tug (4)
YANK – Double definition.