A Puzzle by Hopping Rhino
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
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 back to the Hopping Rhino. This was a much better crossword than the first Rookie offering. The commentometer reads as 4.5 / 28 or 16.1%
7a Great house with square bay (5)
BIGHT: A three-letter word meaning great followed by a single letter abbreviation for house and a single letter for a type of square. The single letter abbreviation for house is not recognized by the main dictionaries. Perhaps type of square bay would be better to indicate that it is a type of square that is required.
8a Music played around mutinous boat for minute (9)
SUBATOMIC: An anagram (played) of MUSIC around and anagram (mutinous) of BOAT.
10a Primitive bound by chains in temple (6)
CHURCH: A two-letter prefix meaning primitive with the abbreviation for chain before and after it (bound by chains).
11a A dancer and I jump for joy (8)
RADIANCE: An anagram (jump) of A DANCER I. I think that the cryptic grammar is maintained with the singular jump but it is better to avoid ambiguity.
12a Islands where men welcome divorce (8)
MALDIVES: A five-letter word for men includes (welcome) a three-letter abbreviation for divorce. Here the cryptic grammar does not work as the clue resolves A welcome B. Welcoming would overcome this problem.
13a Float and spin (4)
RIDE: Double definition, the second being a spin in a car. I think that the first definition is a little tenuous other than a milk float being a vehicle in which you could take the solution.
15a Holy bishop lacking education (7)
BLESSED: The abbreviation for bishop followed by a four-letter word meaning lacked and a two-letter abbreviation for education.
17a Shortly after a new day, more of the same (3,2,2)
AND SO ON: A four-letter word meaning shortly after the A from the clue and the abbreviations for new and day.
20a A bit of backbone in Mahdi’s character (4)
DISC: The answer is hidden in the last two words of the clue.
22a Dig in between French nationalist and companion (8)
ENTRENCH: A five-letter word being the French for between followed by the abbreviations for nationalist and companion.
25a Release publisher imprisoned by relative (8)
UNCOUPLE: The abbreviation for Oxford University Press (publisher) inside (imprisoned by) a five-letter word for a male relative.
26a Instructors rebuke men with spades (6)
TUTORS: A three-letter word of rebuke followed by the abbreviation for Other Ranks (men) and the abbreviation for spades.
27a Passing English pub with space and time left (9)
EPHEMERAL: The abbreviations for English and Public House (pub) followed by a two-letter word for a printer’s space, a three-letter word for a period of time and the abbreviation for left.
28a Hear pitch regarding feet (5)
PEDAL: A homophone of peddle (pitch or sell). I don’t think that the homophone works as the dictionaries give the E sound in the solution as a long E as in “see” but in the homophone it is a short E.
1d Flying put forward to get preferred seating (4,5)
HIGH TABLE: A four-letter word meaning flying or up in the air followed by a five-letter word meaning put forward a proposal.
2d Switzerland and Spain hold an endless parade, and one of the French joins after tea? (8)
CHARADES: First we have the IVR code for Switzerland and Internet Domain Code for Spain that include the inner letters (endless) of parade. Secondly, we have a three-letter word in French meaning ‘one of the’ after a four-letter word for tea. A couple of points here. First, internet domain names should be indicated as they are not included in the main dictionaries, unlike IVR codes. The IVR code for Spain is E. Secondly, if the clue is a definition by example, is does not work as the first part of the clue involves an insertion as well as the solution. I agree that A and B holding C works better in the cryptic grammar.
3d Croesus arranged sweetener (7)
SUCROSE: An anagram (arranged) of CROESUS.
4d Orange leader (8)
MANDARIN: Double definition of a type of orange and another name for a Chinese leader.
5d Company care for chicken (6)
COWARD: The abbreviation for company followed by a four-letter word meaning care for. As a verb meaning to care for, the dictionary gives the word required in the solution as archaic, so this should indicated.
6d Knotty problem? (5)
HITCH: Double definition of a type of knot and a problem. I don’t think that using knotty to define a type of knot.
9d God without a knife (4)
SHIV: Remove the A from a the name of a Hindu deity.
14d Doc and cantor working out agreement (9)
CONCORDAT: An anagram (working out) of DOC CANTOR.
16d Runaways head in four directions (8)
ESCAPEES: A four-letter word for a head of land in four compass directions (some repeated).
18d Surrounded the duke under nut tree (8)
SHEATHED: The “the” from the clue and the abbreviation for duke underneath a four-letter name of an African nut tree.
19d Enlarge revamped rough (7)
GENERAL: An anagram (revamped) of ENLARGE.
21d Pressed? Ride on recklessly (6)
IRONED: An anagram (recklessly) of RIDE ON.
23d Carry child east (4)
TOTE: A three-letter word for a child followed by the abbreviation for east.
24d At home, naughty pet is clumsy (5)
INEPT: A two-letter word meaning at home followed by an anagram (is clumsy) of PET.