A Puzzle by Dr Diva
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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 belated review by Prolixic (having attended the superb Classic FM Live concert at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday night there was no time to write it up then).
Another enjoyable puzzle from Dr Diva. The commentometer reads as 4/29 or 13.7%
6 Criticise expert’s article indicating remedy (7)
PANACEA – A three-letter word meaning to criticise followed by a three-letter word for an expert and the indefinite article.
7 Before assuming positive response, circle hideous building (7)
EYESORE – A three-letter word meaning before in the poetic sense includes (assuming) a three-letter word for a positive response and the letter that is circular.
9 Vacuous gravedigger buries a person who’s not quite dead (5)
GONER – The outer letters (vacuous) of gravedigger include (buries) a three-letter word meaning a.
10 A lasagne I cooked without discomfort (9)
ANALGESIA – An anagram (cooked) of A LASAGNE I.
11 Rallying cry of friend’s boring, though. Not half! (5-2)
TALLY-HO – A four-letter word for a friend inside (boring) half of the word though.
13 Party cancelled after overstepping the line? (2,4)
NO BALL – Read as statement this would indicate a party that has been cancelled though the solution relates to the result of a bowler overstepping the line. The after in the clue here implies that the solution is “party cancelled” and is found after the wordplay, so perhaps should have been avoided.
15 An old falconer collapsed finally (4,3,3,3)
ONCE AND FOR ALL – An anagram (collapsed) of AN OLD FALCONER.
19 Review story about outstanding chronicle (6)
RELATE – A reversal (review) of a four-letter word for a story with a two-letter word meaning about around it (outstanding). Try as I might, and having looked at the definition of outstanding, I cannot make outstanding mean that the letters in the clue go around.
20 Obscure celeb occasionally takes smack with son (7)
ECLIPSE – The even letters (occasionally) of celeb include a four-letter word for a smack and the abbreviation for son.
23 Got rid of unpleasant woman, primarily kicked out for ridiculing revered custom (6,3)
SACRED COW – A six-letter word meaning got rid of an employee and a three-letter word for an unpleasant woman with the K (primarily kicked) removed and replaced with an R. I don’t think that the wordplay quite works here as there is no indication (other than straining the role of primarily) to indicate that the initial letter of ridiculing it used in the solution.
24 Hot rock publication’s academic?!! (5)
MAGMA – A three-letter word for a publication followed by a two-letter abbreviation for an academic degree.
26 Unreliable boat in Sicily on vacation (7)
SKETCHY – A five-letter word for a boat in the outer letters (vacuous) of Sicily. Having used vacant as an outer letter indicator, perhaps a different indicator should have been used here.
27 Throw eggs first? Animal! (7)
ROEBUCK – A four-letter word meaning to throw with a three-letter word for fish eggs before it (first).
1 Presently unknown (4)
ANON – Double definition, the second being the shortened form of anonymous.
2 Contemptible principal character in show’s voluptuous (6)
SCURVY – The first letter (principal character in) of show followed by a five-letter word meaning voluptuous.
3 Most important mistress doesn’t close books (9)
PARAMOUNT – An eight-letter word word for a mistress without the final letter (doesn’t close) followed by the abbreviation for New Testament (books).
4 I get into fix with black French negligee (8)
PEIGNOIR – The I from the clue inside a three-letter word meaning to fix followed by a four-letter word in French for black. The cryptic grammar of A get into B does not work here.
5 Medic turning a spot of serotonin to paste is nonsense (10)
CODSWALLOP – A three-letter word for a medic reversed (turning) followed by the first letter (a spot) of serotonin followed by a six-letter word meaning to hit or paste.
6 Filthy place for a pen (6)
PIGSTY – Two definition pointing to a place where farmyard animals may be kept and by reference to a filthy place.
7 Cut up head of mouse to test (4)
EXAM – A three-letter word meaning to cut reversed (up) followed by the first letter (head) of mouse.
8 Facilitate return of “The Spanish Curse” (6)
ENABLE – A reversal (return) of the Spanish for the and a four-letter word for a curse.
12 Get secured area completely surrounded (10)
LANDLOCKED – A four-letter word meaning to get or win followed by a six-letter word meaning secured.
14 Back on board, minor queen makes an entrance later (9)
AFTERWARD – A three-letter word for the rear on a boat (back on board) followed by a four-letter word for a minor with the regnal cipher for the queen included (makes an entrance).
16 Establish brief access to buxom woman without introduction (8)
ENTRENCH – A five-letter word meaning access without the final letter (brief) followed by a five-letter word for a buxom woman without the first letter (without introduction).
17 Leaders of countries resist insurgencies, sending extra soldiers for emergencies (6)
CRISES – The initial letters (leaders of) the third to eighth words of the clue.
18 Comment apropos result (6)
REMARK – A two-letter word meaning apropos followed by a four-letter word for a result or score in an exam.
21 Slim Bermudan’s somewhat flexible (6)
LIMBER – The answer is hidden (somewhat) in the first two words of the clue.
22 Feeling the pain of every unknown tip off (4)
ACHY – A four-letter word meaning every followed by the letter used to represent an unknown quantity without the first letter of the resulting letters (tip off).
25 Pick up badly damaged trinket (4)
GAUD – A homophone (pick up) of GORED (badly damaged). This is one of those instances where technically the clue works but I question the fairness for the solver as there are a wide range of words that could mean badly damaged and the solution is an obscure word.