A Puzzle by Meles
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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.
Another cracking crossword from Meles. The commentometer reads as 1/28 or 3.5%. After three excellent crosswords all with a very low number of comments, I think the NTSPP beckons for Meles.
1 Heist organised by couple succeeded but it lasted ten years (3,7)
THE SIXTIES – An anagram (organised) of HEIST followed by the letter representing by or times, a three-letter word meaning to couple or join and the abbreviation for succeeded. I am not a fan of but as a link word as wordplay but definition does not scan grammatically. Perhaps an “and” instead of “but” would be better.
6 This woman died for Slough (4)
SHED – A three-letter word meaning this woman followed by the abbreviation for died.
9 A circular field might be so used for a particular purpose (4-6)
RING-FENCED – Double definition, the first part cryptic. On the subject of including the indefinite article, Don Manley refers to the use of the indefinite article being acceptable by longstanding convention when referring to a noun in his Chamber’s Crossword Manual (Fifth edition, page 101).
10 One with explosive potential, concealed by quiet nature (4)
ETNA – The answer is hidden (concealed by) in the final two words of the clue.
12 Flags arranged in various shapes, primarily pentagons (6,6)
PAVING STONES – An anagram (arranged) of I V S (initial letters – primarily – of in various shapes) PENTAGONS.
15 Insect runs on sticky substance around pint glass (4,3)
BEER MUG – A three-letter word for an insect followed by the abbreviation for runs and a reversal (around) of a three-letter word for a stick substance.
16 Charlatan about to take over United in season (7)
SCAMMER – The two-letter abbreviation for about replaces (to take over) the abbreviation for united in one of the seasons of the year.
17 They can choose role-playing over shock therapy (7)
ELECTOR – An anagram (playing) of ROLE around (over) the abbreviation for a type of shock therapy. Even though the role is reversed, the letters are rearranged so it is an anagram but it feels unsatisfactory. They can be used to indicate a singular person where you want to avoid being gender specific. As a legal draftsperson, most legal documents now use they in place of he or she in phrases such as “The expert must give their decision within four weeks after they are appointed.” Chambers indicates that it is unacceptable to some, particularly in written English. However, the usage is becoming more widespread.
19 French mathematician and swimmer? (7)
POISSON – Double definition, the first being a mathematician most well known for giving his name to a form of statistical distribution.
20 Doctor and former soldier boxing in a ring, half-cut (12)
VETERINARIAN – A seven-letter word for a former soldier around (boxing the IN A RI (ring half-cut).
23 Without heart, ideology becomes argument (4)
BEEF – A six-letter word for an ideology or faith without the central two letters (without heart).
24 Stimulate excitation? (10)
INTOXICATE – An anagram (stimulate) of EXCITATION. As the whole clue defines the solution, this is a very good &Lit (and literally so) clue.
25 Perch with special back for swallows (4)
EATS – A four-letter word for a perch or chair with the abbreviation for special moved to the end (back).
26 New country estate includes section where ownership may be disputed (2-4,4)
NO-MAN’S LAND – The abbreviation for new and four-letter name for a Middle Eastern country followed by a four-letter word for an estate all around the abbreviation for special.
1 Some grass turned orange, possibly after I abandoned it? (4)
TURF – A five-letter word of which an orange is an example (possibly) reversed (turned) without the letter I (abandoned it).
2 Heroines oddly overlooked for a really long time (4)
EONS – The even letters (oddly overlooked) of the first word of the clue.
3 It blows up around violent sport – close to deliberately provocative (12)
INFLAMMATORY – An eight-letter word for something used to blow up tyres or balloons around a three-letter abbreviation for mixed martial arts (acceptable as an abbreviation as it is given in Collins and the OED, though not in Chambers) followed by the final letter (close to) of deliberately.
4 Two quintets perform music together, getting tighter (7)
TENSING – How many player there would be in two quintets followed by a four-letter word meaning to perform music together.
5 Comes out with English blends (7)
EMERGES – The abbreviation for English followed by a six-letter word meaning blends.
7 Inconsistent batter with duck (3,3,4)
HIT AND MISS – How you might describe a cricketer who scores a duck.
8 Close bag by this street dealer, ultimately engaged in sketchy activity (10)
DRAWSTRING – The abbreviation for street and the final letter (ultimately) of dealer all inside a seven-letter word describing the action of sketching something.
11 Instrument speeds up and it’s initially different for audience (12)
STRADIVARIUS – A reversal (up) of a five-letter word meaning speeds followed by the first letter (initially) of it and a homophone (for audience) of various (different).
13 Pants Bob reveals can be seen (10)
OBSERVABLE – An anagram (pants) of BOB REVEALS.
14 Irritation about setter lacking in thought (10)
RESENTMENT – The two letter word meaning about followed by a nine-letter word meaning thought or feeling without the letter I (setter lacking).
18 Chance upon hit when driving (3,4)
RUN INTO – Double definition.
19 Somewhat ornamental ogre pointing skywards is a garden feature? (7)
PERGOLA – The answer is hidden in (somewhat) and reversed (skywards) in the second to fourth words of the clue.
21 10’s output left covering northernmost part of island (4)
LAVA – The abbreviation for left replacing (covering) the first letter of a four-letter name of an Indonesian island.
22 Understand now but in the past embarrassed in audition (4)
READ – A word that in the present tense means understand but when pronounced in the past tense sounds like (in audition) red (embarrassed).