A Puzzle by Dharma
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today Dharma makes makes their debut in the Rookie Corner. 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.
Dharma has made an impressive debut with his crossword. Welcome on board and we look to further crosswords from you. Most of the points raised are minor ones so the commentometer is a respectable 3 / 29 or 10.3%
1 Wet after last bit of job, that’s clever! (6)
BRAINY – A five-letter word meaning wet after the final letter (last bit) of job.
4 Heartless ginger parrots eat these? (6)
GRAPES – The outer letters (heartless) of ginger followed by a four-letter word meaning parrots or copies.
9 Wanting current journalist, carefully considered boss (4)
STUD – A six-letter word meaning carefully considered without (wanting) the final three letters (being the abbreviations for current and editor).
10 Old lover escaping from deportations in customary ways (10)
TRADITIONS – The two-letter word for an old lover removed (escaping0 from a twelve-letter word for deportations.
11 Picked up homespun starter say (6)
COURSE – A homophone (picked up) of coarse (homespun).
12 Look around, chill and hold your nerve (4,4)
KEEP COOL – A reversal (around) of a four-letter word meaning look followed by a four-letter word meaning chill.
13 Article on crazy Southern rock band (3,6)
THE MANICS – The definite article followed by a five-letter word meaning crazy and the abbreviation for southern. Whilst I knew of the band by their full name, I was not aware of that they were referred to be the shortened name. With bands that are less well known, it may be a step too far for people to know the shorter name of a band.
15 Pops back for a ride (4)
SPIN – A reversal (back) of a four-letter word meaning pops as in pops back somewhere.
16 Best tool (4)
PICK – Double definition meaning the best or cream of items and a labourers tool
17 City LA, once disrupted following boycott (9)
BARCELONA – An anagram (disrupted) of LA ONCE after (following) a three-letter word meaning boycott or ban.
21 Seat repairer possibly with fancy chic name (8)
MECHANIC – An anagram (fancy) of CHIC NAME.
22 Shunning doctor, finally deteriorate and slip away (6)
ELPASE – A seven-letter word meaning deteriorate without (shunning) the final letter of doctor.
24 City supporters? (10)
FINANCIERS – Cryptic definition of bankers, stockbrokers, et al, whose work supports the City of London.
25 Awful deli unoccupied (4)
IDLE – An anagram (awful) of DELI. Whilst sometime seen, anagrams of only four letters are best avoided as they do not offer much of a challenge to the solver.
26 Selection of Lego is too easy for braggart (6)
EGOIST – The answer is hidden (selection of) in the third to fifth words of the clue. Try to avoid padding words in a clue. Here “easy” has been added to fit the surface reading but plays no part in the wordplay.
27 Improvises when aide occasionally is on the left of party (2-4)
AD-LIBS – The odd letters (occasionally) of aide before (one the left of) the abbreviated name of an old political party.
1 Gamble leads to Remainer offering trivial half-baked promise (7)
BETROTH – A three-letter word meaning to gamble followed by the initial letters of the fourth to seventh words of the clue.
2 Snake not interested in takeaways? (5)
ADDER – Cryptic definition of Britains only venomous snake.
3 Teens on loose out of sight? (3,4)
NOT SEEN – An anagram (loose) of TEENS ON.
5 Old lady drinks gin and gets this! (6)
RUINED – An elliptically cryptic definition based on on a common term for gin. Perhaps slightly too elliptical as you have to mentally switch from the noun in the name to the past tense of the verb.
6 First rule read out (9)
PRINCIPAL – A homophone (read out) of principle (rule).
7 Evening light not working (7)
SUNDOWN – A three-letter word for something that gives us light followed by a four-letter word meaning not working.
8 Toady supports slip fielder grabbing rear of bowler! (13)
BACKSCRATCHER – A five-letter word meaning supports or seconds followed by another term for a slip fielder holding (grabbing) the last letter (rear) of bowler.
14 Playfully macho cat lapping single drink (9)
MACCHIATO – An anagram (playfully) of MACHO CAT includes (lapping) a letter representing single or one. I think single can represent one as in “That’s the one / single reason for…”.
16 Immature anger following exertions around university (7)
PUERILE – A three-letter word meaning anger after (following) a two-letter abbreviation for games or exertions around the abbreviation for university. It’s often at the end of the down clues that the setter’s attention begins to wander. Here we have a repetition of the word following as a positional indicator that was also used in 17a.
18 Wrinkled but lessened after care evens out (7)
CREASED – A five-letter word meaning lessened after the odd letters (evens out) of care. A second repetition, this time using after as a positional indicator that was also used in 1a.
19 Not good for a retailer or certain boats we’re told! (2,5)
NO SALES – A homophone (we’re told) of no sails (certain boats). Possibly one of the weaker clues both in using a phrase not in the dictionary but also the wordplay “certain boats” does not lead to the words from which the homophone is made.
20 Criticises strikes (6)
KNOCKS – Double definition.
23 Boxer with mostly great defence (5)
ALIBI – The name of the usual heavyweight boxer used in crossword clues followed by a three-letter word meaning great with the final letter (mostly).