A Puzzle by Troellog
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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:
Welcome back to Troellog. After the first crossword, I was hoping for a marked improvement in the clueing removing a number of rough edges. As the commentometer reads as 4.5/32 or 14.1%, this has happened (with repetitions of wordplay largely removed and padding words omitted). There were also a lot of good clues. The main points to watch are the use of abbreviations and having similar words in the final grid.
1 Contracts secured dubiously (7)
REDUCES – An anagram (dubiously) of SECURED.
5 Tell soldier to abandon the hindmost (7)
COMMAND – An eight-letter word for a soldier without the final letter (to abandon the hindmost).
9 Public figure to dominate (9)
OUTNUMBER – A three-letter word meaning public followed by a six-letter word for a figure or amount.
10 Start bawling as I re-use nappies – wee child (5)
BAIRN – The initial letters of the second to sixth words of the clue. Start on its own does not work to indicate the initial letter of a single word, let alone the initial letters of two or more words. A little reworking to “Wee child starts to bawl as I re-use nappies” would have solved this.
11 Storm wildly to and fro, without fail (7)
TORNADO – An anagram (wildly) of TO AND FRO without the initial letter of fail. For this to work, F would have to be a valid abbreviation for fail. However, this is not give in the main dictionaries. Perhaps “Storm wildly to and fro but not loudly” would have been better.
12 Best to choose one then keep quiet (7)
OPTIMUM – A three-letter word meaning choose, the letter representing one and a three-letter word meaning keep quiet. The last three letter mean silent or silently, not keep quiet. Perhaps, “Best to choose one parent” would be better.
13 Fill up net in panic? There’s more than enough (9)
PLENTIFUL – An anagram (in panic) of FILL UP NET.
15 Priest in catholic church may be bit of a saint? (5)
RELIC – A three-letter name of an Old Testament priest in the abbreviation for Roman Catholic.
17 Take lid off paints and stir thoroughly to get this finish (5)
SATIN – Remove the first letter (take lid off) from PAINTS and make an anagram (stir thoroughly).
19 Her allies, drunk, cause a ruckus (5,4)
RAISE HELL – An anagram (drunk) of HER ALLIES.
22 Fog enveloping motorway from Birmingham (7)
BRUMMIE – A five-letter literary word for a fog or heavy mist around the abbreviation for a motorway.
25 Stupid Omicron variant (7)
MORONIC – An anagram (variant) of OMICRON.
26 Driver in part of Hamburg erratic (5)
URGER – The answer it hidden in (part) of the final two words of the clue.
27 Dodgy internet a treat (9)
ENTERTAIN – An anagram (dodgy) of INTERNET A.
28 Expose detective’s act (7)
DISPLAY – A three-letter possessive form of detective’s followed by a four-letter word for an act.
29 Frenetic French frolic (7)
FRANTIC – The abbreviation for French followed by a five-letter word for a frolic.
1 Thatcher’s workplace slated perhaps? (7)
ROOFTOP – Cryptic definition.
2 Cleaner declares arrears critical (9)
DETERGENT – A homophone (declares) of DEBT (arrears) URGENT (critical).
3 Company with uranium and radium on books. Arms running? (7)
COURANT – The abbreviation for company followed by the chemical symbols for uranium, radium and New Testament (books).
4 Speaker may be underdog (9)
SUBWOOFER – A three-letter prefix meaning under and a six-letter word describing a dog by the noise it makes. Not all editors will accept an unindicated requirement to split underdog into under dog.
5 Use Cointreau, shaken, not neat, for trifle (5)
CURIO – An anagram (shaken) of COINTREAU after removing the letters in neat. Where the letters to be removed are not in the order given in the clue, a secondary anagram indicator in a subtractive anagram – this was done correctly in 7d but not here .
6 Hoodlum attacks half-sister (7)
MOBSTER – A four-letter word meaning attacks followed by the final half of the word sister. There is perhaps too much of an overlap between the first part of the wordplay and the solution.
7 Unusually, cent cut from income tax. Confused? It’s a given (5)
AXIOM – Remove the jumbled letters (unusually) of CENT from the words INCOME TAX and make an anagram (confused) of the letters that remain.
8 Unknown in genes, leading to 1001 clones to start. Exciting! (7)
DYNAMIC – One of the letters used in algebra in a three-letter abbreviation for genes followed by the roman numerals for 1001 and the first letter (to start) of clones.
14 Let one in before test, as long as phrase is repeated (9)
LEITMOTIF – The let from the clue with the letter representing one in it followed by a three-letter word for a car test and a two-letter word meaning as long as. Try to avoid reusing wordplay indicators – one to indicate the letter was used in 12a. The use of “is” in the definition implies a verbal form of solution.
16 Ambush uncovered alien in broadcasting authority (3,2,4)
LIE IN WAIT – The inner letters (uncovered) of alien followed by the IN from the clue and a homophone (broadcasting) of weight (authority).
17 Sober replacement expected, finally appointed (7)
SUBDUED – A three-letter word meaning a replacement followed by a three-letter word for expected and the final letter of appointed.
18 Supporting miners, long time Labour figure (7)
NUMERAL – The abbreviation for the miners union followed by a three-letter word for a long time and a single letter abbreviation for Labour. As with 11a, the clue requires L to be a recognised abbreviation for labour, but this is not included in the main dictionaries.
20 I rue art lost in ancient Italy (7)
ETRURIA – An anagram (lost) of I RUE ART. A pet peeve of mine (though you see it in national papers is cluing a place, town or region as “in X” where X is the country where the place town or region.
21 Short, lacy or nice bottoms off? (7)
LACONIC – Remove the final letters (bottoms off) from the second to fourth words of the clue.
23 Recommends 26 does this (5)
URGES– What a person who is 26 across may do. Having an across and down clue with the same root that differ by one letter is not good. The grid should have been redesigned to avoid this.
24 Opposition to spy endlessly over retreating soldiers (5)
ENEMY – A three-letter word meaning to spy or look without the final letter (endlessly) around (over) a reversal for a three-letter word for soldiers. In a down clue, A over B indicates A on top of B not around B.