A Puzzle by widdersbel
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Another new setter this week. 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.
One of the signs for me of a good quality crossword is how easy it is to explain how the clues work (it does not need to be an easy crossword, but even complex clues should be explainable without writing an essay). This review was a pleasure to write. There were a small number of minor points, but they are there to put icing on the cake. I think Silvanus is right that there are a lot of in / into / inside constructions and this is a point to watch to include more variety. The commentometer reads as 2.5/27 or 9.2%.
1 Gas leak suffocating US city leads to sacking for Biden (6)
BURLAP – A four-letter word for a belch (gas leak) around (suffocating) the abbreviation for Los Angeles (US City).
5 Out of his cage, performing seal hides in tall grass (8)
RELEASED – An anagram (performing) of SEAL in (hides in) a four-letter word for tall grass.
9 “La Maison” could become major Paris attraction (4,4)
MONA LISA – An anagram (could become) of LA MAISON.
10 Scottish fellow sips hot drink (6)
SHANDY – A short Scottish form of the name Alexander includes (sips) the abbreviation for hot.
11 Accessory for evening dress? (7,5)
IRONING BOARD – What you might need to remove the creases (evening) from a dress or other item of clothing.
13 Disagreeing with quote from Tarantino (4)
ANTI – The answer is hidden in (quote from) the last word of the clue.
14 Sheer effort by US hospital department to put pile back inside (8)
GOSSAMER – A two-letter word for an effort or shot at something and the abbreviation for Emergency Room includes a reversal (back inside) a four-letter word for a heap or pile.
17 Curse on organisation is a major setback (4,4)
BODY BLOW – A four-letter word for a mild curse after (on) a four-letter word for an organisation.
18 Hilary could be appearing regularly in The Proms (4)
TERM – The odd letters (appearing regularly) in the final two words of the clue.
20 Arouse Diane with fur underwear that’s very revealing (8,4)
FREUDIAN SLIP – An anagram (arouse) of DIANE FUR followed by a four-letter word for an item of underwear.
23 Peanuts possibly wanting a round container (6)
CARTON – The art form of which Peanuts is an example without one of the letters O (wanting a round).
24 Fresh fish packed in new tin at sea (8)
INSOLENT – A four-letter word for a type of fish inside (packed in) an anagram (at sea) of N (new) TIN.
25 Unique, like the House of Lords in recess? (8)
PEERLESS – A description of the House of Lords without the presence of the the lords and ladies of the house.
26 Such people follow band (not Wings) for something to sing along with (6)
ANTHEM – A four-letter word to describe other people after follow the inner letters (not wings) of band. A minor point but the cryptic reading of the clue required follows or following otherwise the instructions read as A follow B.
2 Above being out of bed and working (4)
UPON – A two-letter word meaning out of bed followed by a two-letter word meaning working.
3 Gift bears £1 charge (9)
LIABILITY – A seven-letter word for a gift or talent has an LI (£1) above it (bears).
4 Stir pinch of salt into protein (6)
PRISON – The initial letter (pinch) of salt inside a five-letter word for a type of protein.
5 Organise written works to represent the age of the flapper (7,8)
ROARING TWENTIES – An anagram (works) of ORGANISE WRITTEN.
6 Final moment of rampant stags, drowned in drink (4,4)
LAST GASP – An anagram (rampant) of STAGS inside (drowned in) a three-letter word meaning to drink.
7 Retiring news boss leaves with ice cream – a battle to remember? (5)
ALAMO – a phrase (1,2,4) describing serving a dessert with ice cream in the US and Canada without (leaves) a reversal (retiring) the abbreviation for editor (news boss). My feeling here is that an indication of the American usage of a word that is used in other contexts would be fairer. Also, other clues such as 1a and 14a have observed the American usage.
8 Wine, product of the Spanish race, inspiring sin (10)
ELDERBERRY – The Spanish for the followed by a five-letter word for the name of a horse race that includes (inspiring) a three-letter word meaning to sin. I don’t think that wine on its own is a sufficient definition. Type of wine would be better.
12 Provocative minx uncovered solver’s tackle (2-4-4)
IN-YOUR-FACE – The inner letters (uncovered) of minx followed by a four-letter word meaning the solvers and a four-letter word meaning to tackle or get to grips with.
15 Gold crown – auction item I bagged for George? (9)
AUTOPILOT – The chemical symbol for gold followed by a three-letter word for the crown or peak of something and a three-letter word for an auction item that includes (bagged) the I from the clue.
16 Brief fling not the first to result in marriage (8)
ALLIANCE – Remove the first letter (not the first) from a nine-letter word for a brief fling.
19 State in the style of Jamaican music (6)
ALASKA – Split 1,2,3 this could mean in the style of a type of Jamaican music.
21 Club with no parking, say (5)
UTTER – Remove the P (no parking) from a type of golf club.
22 Artist replaces top of leg with new joint (4)
KNEE – Replace the L (top of leg) with an N (new) in the name of a Swiss-German artist. Watch out for repeating wordplay indicators (N for new was used in 24a).