A Puzzle by Dr Diva
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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.
Welcome back to Dr Diva. As with the last puzzle, where there were issues, 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. The commentometer reads as 4.5/30 or 15%.
1 New regulations banishing surreal art made of wood (8)
LIGNEOUS – An anagram (new) of REGULATIONS after removing (banishing) an anagram (surreal) of ART.
5 A degree with no English content results in a basic kind of life (6)
AMOEBA – The A from the clue and a three-letter abbreviation for a business degree includes (with…content) the letter representing nothing (no) and the abbreviation for English.
10 Both of us leave, having sacked both leaders of Unite (5)
WEAVE – A two-letter word meaning both of us followed by the final three letters (having sacked both letters) of leave. Some editors will not permit wordplay of definition for the structure of the clue.
11 Oct update could lead to sudden change of Govt (4,5)
COUP D’ETAT – An anagram (could lead to) of OCT UPDATE. As the convention is that the apostrophe in words is not enumerated, the enumeration in this clue is fine.
12 Worrying, not being in bed scene (9)
UPSETTING – A two-letter word meaning not being in bed followed by a seven-letter word meaning a scene.
13 Said to have rented for the minimum (5)
LEAST – A homophone (said) of LEASED (to have rented).
14 Deny row over implant (6)
DISOWN – A three-letter word meaning a row or lots of noise around (over in an across clue) a three letter word meaning implant. As the three letter word meaning implant is more associated with scattering it might have better (and added to the surface reading) to have Deny row over broadcast. Implant works but I think that it could be improved.
15 Crack actor resolved to take up position as bouncer (7)
DOORMAN – Split (crack) the actor into ACT OR and resolve into a two-letter word meaning act followed by the OR and a three-letter word meaning to take up position.
18 Plan to fire Nick and Mark (4,3)
TAKE AIM – A four-letter word meaning nick or steal and a three-letter word meaning mark.
20 Continue to care for former leader (6)
EXTEND – A four-letter word meaning to care for precedent by (leader) a two-letter word meaning former.
22 Next, your local outfitter, never sources fabric (5)
NYLON – The initial letters (sources) of the first five words of the clue.
24 Satisfaction that pioneer let outer wear get ruined (9)
REPLETION – An anagram (get ruined) of PIONEER LT (outer letters) of LET. Cryptically, this clue is flawed. The structure “definition that wordplay” does not work. Secondly, you would need “let’s out wear” to indicate the outside letter. Thirdly, the structure definition that wordplay does not work.
25 Someone with experience of historic shock loses heart (3,6)
OLD STAGER – A three-letter word meaning historic followed by a seven-letter word meaning shock without the middle letter (loses heart).
26 Make a speech without incurring tax liability? (5)
ORATE – Split 1,4 the solution would imply that the charge to tax is at 0%,
27 Support not using name as intended (6)
FIANCE – A seven-letter word meaning support with a loan of money without one it its letters N (not using name).
28 Killer let slip teardrop (8)
PREDATOR – An anagram (let slip) of TEARDROP. I agree that let slip does not imply a rearrangement of the letters.
1 Just left rubbish behind (6)
LAWFUL – The abbreviation for left followed by (behind) a five-letter word rubbish. I think, in a down clue, behind does not work as the word is under the first letter, not behind it.
2 Case of ignoring stacker confused by lever (4,5)
GEAR STICK – An anagram (confused) of IG (case or outer letters) of ignoring) STACKER. The structure here of wordplay by definition does not work. The definition can be given by the wordplay but not the other way around.
3 Attractive colt destroyed during race meeting? Altogether awful! (15)
ELECTROMAGNETIC – Put an anagram (destroyed) of COLT in the RACE MEETING from the clue and make an anagram of the resulting letters (altogether awful). Oh dear! The least said about putting a random ordering of one word into the other words and making a further anagram of the total letter the better.
4 Take cap off joiner’s ointment (7)
UNCTION – An eight-letter word for a joiner without the initial letter (take cap off).
6 Neither side of the A46, for instance, is normal (6-2-3-4)
MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD – Cryptic definition.
7 Redundant artist props up small extension (5)
EXTRA – A two-letter abbreviation for an artist underneath (props up) the abbreviation (small) of extension.
8 Fail to get behind worker’s one type of weapon (8)
ANTITANK – A four-letter word meaning to fail after (behind) a three-letter word for a worker insect and the letter representing one. Behind is used as a wordplay indicator in 1d. Try to avoid repeating yourself.
9 Delight in routine about being pompous (6)
TURGID – A three-letter word meaning delight in and a three-letter word meaning routine all reversed (about).
16 Told soldiers to transfer liquid to brother (9)
MENDICANT – A homophone (told) of MEN (soldiers) DECANT (to transfer liquid).
17 Stalemate caused by 10 not being split (8)
STANDOFF – Double definition of a stalemate and the rugby position that the number 10 player occupies. I am not convinced that the definition is caused by the wordplay.
19 Paddy follows Tim around topless to find fighter (6)
MIRAGE – A four-letter word for a paddy or temper tantrum after (follows) a reversal (around) of the Tim from the clue after removing the first letter (topless)
20 Ruler‘s more barbaric with each captive (7)
EMPEROR – An anagram (barbaric) of MORE include with…captive a three-letter word meaning each.
21 Attract listener after finale (6)
ENDEAR – A three-letter word for the organ of hearing after a three-letter word for finale.
23 This girl offers top musicality in audition (5)
LYDIA – A homophone (in audition) of LID (top) EAR (musicality). I am another for whom the homophone does not work.