A Puzzle by Avtaar
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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.
Welcome to Avtaar with a challenging but (save in a few minor cases) technically sound crossword. Where a crossword is tougher, the precision of the clues needs to be spot on to give the solver a fair chance. The precision was there but as an observation, looking at the number of comments where solvers erroneously thought there was an error suggests that the was perhaps too much complexity. If solvers think that a valid clue contains a mistake, it may a sign that the clue needs to be rewritten to avoid this.
In terms of the balance of clues, 12 anagrams in a crossword of 28 clues is far too many and alternative means of cluing some of the anagram clues should be found.
The commentometer reads as 3/28 or 10.7%
1 Climax portions from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” mesmerised this kingdom (6)
SWEDEN – Take the end (climax) letters (portions) from the words in quotes and make an anagram of them (mesmerised). I am not sure that mesmerised indicated the movement of letters. The word suggests being fixed on something, not being moved around.
4 Entrance of showroom reconstructed on 1 acre plot (8)
SCENARIO – The first letter (entrance) of showroom followed by an anagram (reconstructed) of ON I ACRE.
9 Tap upper part of throat moving end forward (6)
FAUCET – A six-letter word for the upper part of the throat with the final S advanced by one letter in the alphabet (moving end forward). Aside from the use of an American term for a tap, to chose an obscure word for the upper part of the throat and require the solver to move the final letter on one place whilst not technically incorrect, it stacked against the solver.
10 Moulding around pillar permitted on sides of bridge (8)
BANDLET – A three-letter word meaning permitted after the first and last letters of bridge as you would say them with a conjunction between them.
11 GE chooses a venture that is unprofitable (4,5,5)
WILD GOOSE CHASE – A reverse anagram where the first word of the solution is an anagram indicator and the remaining letters, when rearranged, give GE CHOOSES A. As a reverse anagram, the clue needs to indicate that this is the wordplay required.
13 Well-known logistics company introduces flyer profiled by professional writer (1,1,8)
D H LAWRENCE – The three-letter name of a logistics company before (introduces) a four-letter name of a small bird (flyer) inside (profiled by) a three-letter word word for an expert / professional.
14 Protest leaders in Damascus evade military offensive (4)
DEMO – The initial letters (leaders in) the final four words of the clue.
16 Very British type of market (4)
SOUK – A two-letter word meaning very followed by the abbreviation for United Kingdom (British). Some editors will not accept wordplay of definition as the structure of a clue.
18 Free deals cut by one hoarding sauce (5,5)
SALSA VERDE – An anagram (free) of DEALS includes (cut by) a five-letter word for a hoarder.
21 Sorry, ladies, I can’t – ‘cos I need to keep this (6,8)
SOCIAL DISTANCE – An anagram (sorry) of LADIES I CANT COS.
23 Sex through mobile – perhaps, not right for commemorations? (8)
EPITAPHS – A two-letter word for sex inside (through) an anagram (mobile) of PERHAPS after removing the R (not right).
24 Mum keeps cool for a short time (6)
MINUTE – A four-letter word meaning silent or mum includes (keeps) a two-letter word meaning fashion or cool.
25 Government engages a national institute to supply sterilising equipment (8)
SANITATE – A five-letter word for government includes the A from the clue and the abbreviations for national and institute.
26 Married – short time after one divorced (6)
UNITED – A six-letter word meaning divorced with the T (short time) moved to appear after the I (one). I think, grammatically, the word order here needs to be changed otherwise it does not indicate that the letter transposition is required in the word for divorced.
1 Ottoman hosted by Francis of Assisi (4)
SOFA – The answer is hidden (hosted by) the last three words of the clue.
2 Uranium found in old bottle of fossil remains (7)
EXUVIAL – The chemical symbol for Uranium inside a two-letter prefix meaning old and a four-letter word for a small glass bottle.
3 Honest short-seller breaks new ground (4-4)
EVEN DOWN – A six-letter word for a seller with the final letter removed (short) inside an anagram (ground) of new. As an archaic / dialect definition, this should be indicated in the clue.
5 Touring bicyclists dropped by, closing in behind supporters of traditional art (11)
CLASSICISTS – An anagram (touring) of BICYCLISTS after removing the BY around (closing in) a three-letter word for a behind.
6 Post-retirement party in French city? Not a chance (2,4)
NO DICE – A reversal (post-retirement) of a two-letter word for a party inside a four-letter name of a French city on the Riviera.
7 Deliver on potential, finally, with calm (7)
RELEASE – a two-letter word meaning on followed by the final letter of potential and four-letter word meaning calm.
8 Charmed those people, giving out to tips to whoever is travelling (2,3,4)
ON THE MOVE – A phase (3, 4, 4) meaning charmed those people without the first and last letters (giving out tips to)of whoever.
12 Easily solved difficult puns on the afternoon daily’s header (4-3-4)
OPEN AND SHUT – An anagram (difficult) of PUNS ON THE A (afternoon) D (first letter – header – of daily)
13 They cause absolute distress, tragically (9)
DISASTERS – An anagram (tragically) of A (absolute) DISTRESS.
15 A doctor in Toronto cleared out, taking through flight (8)
AVIATION – The A from the clue followed by an anagram (doctor) of IN TO (outer letters – cleared out – of Toronto) that includes a three-letter word meaning through.
17 Bond wanting leader’s blessing (7)
UNCTION – A seven-letter word for a bond without the first letter (wanting leader). Try to avoid repeating wordplay indicators such as leader to indicate the first letter.
19 Rookie in property trust assumes credit with undersecretary’s initial (7)
RECRUIT – A four-letter acronym for a type of property trust includes (assumes) the abbreviation for credit and the first letter (initial) of undersecretary.
20 Book by soldier covering introduction to artistic swimming (6)
NATANT – The abbreviation for New Testament and a three-letter word for a soldier insect around (covering) the first letter (introduction) of artistic. I much prefer books as the indicator for NT.
22 Democratic member brought up old tax (4)
GELD – The abbreviation for democratic and a three-letter word for a limb (member) all reversed (brought up).