Rookie Corner 474 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Rookie Corner 474

A Puzzle by Jeemz

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

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An enjoyable outing from Jeemz with a good mix of clues, well judged difficulty level.  The commentometer reads as 2/30 or 6.67%


1a  Baker did this when short of bread reportedly (7,3,5)
KNEADED THE DOUGH: A homophone of needed and a slang term of money (bread) with the definite article.

9a  Coming back over the hill, follows signal for airways? (9)
PIPELINES: A reversal (coming back) of a six-letter word meaning old or over the hill after (follows) a three-letter word for a signal such as one that is used to indicate the time.

10a  Hospital psychiatrist’s concealing recurring example of noise mimicry – literally! (5)
SPLAT: The answer is hidden (concealing) and reversed (recurring) in the first two words of the clue.  I am not sure that recurring means reversing.  Recurring can mean occurring again or calling to mind or remembering but not reversing.

11a  Primarily playing risky AIM market – could be young stockholder? (4) (4)
PRAM: The initial letters (primarily) of the second to fifth words of the clue.

12a  Get mixed up with nuclear family member (5-5)
GREAT-UNCLE: An anagram (mixed up) of GET NUCLEAR.

14a  Report covering new reality of survival food’s quality? (4-4)
LONG-LIFE: A three-letter word for a report around (covering) the abbreviation for new followed by a four-letter word for reality.  Some editors will not allow wordplay of definition.

15a  Retro Britpop band defends a youngster’s left wing protest (4,2)
PLAY UP: A reversal (retro) of a four-letter name of a Britpop band around (defends) the A from the clue and the leftmost letter (left wing) of youngster.

17a  Capital city blown up – America’s Washington? (6)
OTTAWA: The abbreviation for over the top (blown up) followed by the abbreviation for America and the state code for Washington.

19a  Rating typically given by viewer about a farm miles away (8)
SEAFARER: A four-letter word for a viewer around the A FARM from the clue without the M (miles away).

22a  Too young to be old, too old to be young. A toss-up! (5-5)
FIFTY-FIFTY: Cryptic definition and definition.

23a  Possibly permitted game time in detention (4)
BIRD: Double definition.

25a  Examine source of Gulf Stream (5)
GRILL: The initial letter (source) of gulf followed by a four-letter word for a stream.

26a  Eccentric alias scribe relinquishes as it’s cranky (9)
IRASCIBLE: An anagram (eccentric) of ALIAS SCRIBE after removing (relinquishes) the As from the clue.

28a  Donate article – article that gets wetter as it dries.  Give up? (5,2,3,5)
THROW IN THE TOWEL: A phrase (5,2) meaning donate followed by the definite article and an item in the bathroom used to dry yourself.


1d  Where Liverpool fan’s seen picking up parking fine (3)
KOP: A reversal (picking up) of the abbreviation for parking and a two-letter word meaning fine or acceptable.

2d  Account for clergyman having old for tea (7)
EXPLAIN: An eight-letter word for a clergyman (or woman!) with a two-letter prefix meaning old instead of the initial three-letter word for tea.  Where possible, try to use non-gender-based descriptions such a cleric instead of clergyman.

3d  Properly drunk at the outset and unruly – not half! (4)
DULY: The initial letters (at the outset) of drunk followed by the final half of the word unruly.

4d  Democrat with Trump effecting flaky fallout (8)
DANDRUFF: The abbreviation for democrat followed by a three-letter word meaning with and a four-letter word for a card game also known as trump.

5d  Set up tests to support house plants (6)
HOSTAS: A reversal (set up) a four-letter word for school attainment tests underneath (supports) the abbreviation for house.

6d  Chuck out spoken record Charlie’s fully content to part with (10)
DISQUALIFY: Homophones (spoken) of disc (record) and Wally (Charlie) followed by the outer letters (content to part with) of fully.  I think that the “content to part with” reads rather awkwardly as a deletion indicator.

7d  Inauspicious Brave quietly going after Ute and Navajo leaders (7) (7)
UNLUCKY: A six-letter word meaning brave without the initial P (quietly going) after the initial letters (leaders) of Ute and Navajo.

8d  Method Peter adapted being 26 (3,8)
HOT TEMPERED: An anagram (adapted) of METHOD PETER.

11d  Bedroom scene where the feathers might fly? (6-5)
PILLOW-FIGHT: Cryptic definition.

13d  Go through current account of 11 down? (4-2-4)
BLOW-BY-BLOW: A four-letter word meaning go followed by a two-letter word meaning through and a four-letter word meaning current.  I think that the first synonym is a little stretched.

16d  Authority accommodates a discontented tourist couple once again (8)
REATTACH: A five-letter word meaning authority or scope include (accommodates) the A from the clue and the outer letters (discontented) of tourist.

18d  Having more branches Trade Union’s bolstered by female echelon (7)
TUFTIER: The abbreviation for Trade Union above (bolstered) by the abbreviation for female and a four-letter word for a level or echelon.

20d  Colourful display of flora in bowls (7)
RAINBOW: The answer is hidden (of) in the final three words of the clue.

21d  Favourite dress aboard (6)
MINION: A four-letter word for a type of short dress followed by a two-letter word meaning abroad.

24d  Hind part of copper seen in street (4)
SCUT: The chemical symbol for copper in the abbreviation for street.

27d  One notably slippery slope, but not hard (3)
EEL: A four-letter word meaning to slope or lean without the abbreviation for hard.

30 comments on “Rookie Corner 474

  1. Thanks Jeemz – pleasant entertainment to round out my Sunday evening cruciverbalism.

    I expect that you might get some of the non-football fans complaining about the perceived obscurity in 1d. However, my knowledge of Britpop bands in 15a is zero but the wordplay was fair and confirmed with an e-check.

    Smiles for 1a, 17a, 22a, 5d, 11d, and 16d.

    Thanks again and thanks in advance to Prolixic.

  2. Away from home and late getting on to this. Found this quite challenging but slowly it all came together with plenty of smiles along the way. The ones where we did not know the GK, 1d and 15a we sorted from the wordplay.
    Good puzzle.
    Thanks Jeemz.

  3. This was good fun, Jeemz, and nicely challenging.

    My only real concern was a handful of what were for me slightly dodgy definitions.
    – The answer for 9a. (But perhaps the ? covers this?)
    – I don’t think 15a is a protest.
    – A cop is not synonymous with a (parking) fine for 1d.

    I am also not sure why “literally” is needed 10a.

    However, these are minor points in an accomplished crossword and I had a lot of ticks, notably 1a, 25a, 28a, 6d, 11d & 16d.

    Well done and thank you, Jeemz. Thanks too in advance to Prolixic.

      1. Thanks, Fez. That means 1d is in fact an excellent clue to add to my tick list!

    1. Not sure where cop enters the fray in 1d, RD, there being no homophone. The Kop is famously the stand housing Liverpool fans. Seems a good clue to me.

      1. I wrongly took “picking up” to be a homophone indicator which would require cop to be a parking fine. Fez has pointed out the error of my ways.

    2. Thanks RD. I added literally to make it clear that the mimicry was in writing. “Noise mimicry” on it’s own didn’t quite define onomatopoeia I thought. Chambers has it : “the formation of a word in imitation of the sound of the thing meant”

  4. Well done Jeemz. Some challenging stuff with stretchy definitions, but mostly fairly clued through out. There is nice cuteness on display too, which I enjoyed once I had got my head past some slightly weird surfaces! But overall very satisfying!

  5. An enjoyable puzzle – thanks Jeemz.
    Top clues for me were 9a, 19a, 25a, 1d and 20d.

  6. Hi Jeemz, a fun solve – well done! There’s a *lot* of good clues here. And your surface readings are well honed. Like RD I didn’t understand ‘literally’ (or the ‘!’ ) in 10a. ‘Stockholder’ just about works in 11a. In 13d, I initially couldn’t find the middle word of the answer in the wordplay, then realised what you were doing with ‘Go through’. In 24d I wondered why you hadn’t simply begun the clue ‘Tail copper …’ as I knew you’d have considered it. 6d is perhaps ‘a bit Yoda’* And you might need to be careful with overuse of the word ‘of’ in clues, e.g. as a linkword. My favourite was 12a and its ‘nuclear family’.
    * BTW, did anyone here see Brian Bilston’s recent (May the 4th) poem?

    A Short Poem For Star Wars Day

    Her name was Yoda,
    A showgirl she was.

    1. Encota, you are right of course. I did start off using tail, but as scut is the tail of a deer, hind seemed a more accurate clue.

  7. Thanks Jeemz, very enjoyable – took a little while to get on wavelength Favourites include 12a, 22a, 1d, 3d & 20d. A couple of seemingly superfluous words (“literally” in 10a, “typically” in 19a?) and link words wrong way round (10a again, 14a), and grammar seems slightly awry in last bit of 6d … but all minor points in a super puzzle overall, thanks again!

  8. Thanks Fez, glad you enjoyed it. In 19a as “rating” is an example of the solution, so I thought an indicator was needed.

    1. Ah, I guess so, though I’m not sure if it was really necessary in this case, the definition seems strong enough. (And the “of” in 10a of course.part of definition, d’oh – sorry!)

  9. Welcome back, Jeemz.

    I enjoyed the puzzle very much and thought that there was a nice mix of different clue types. One or two surfaces jarred for me, especially 26a, but most were fine. I think using ” former lover/partner” instead of “old” in 2d would have made for a better surface. The wordplay in 1a, 22a and 28a reminded me of riddles!

    My top two clues were 1d and 16d. Encota’s advice about “of” is good advice.

    Many thanks, Jeemz.

    1. Thanks Silvanus. I’d hoped the riddles might add a bit of light entertainment. I agree with you about 2d. I’d originally clued it as bringing old in for tea and then abbreviated it, which I see now has made it a rather awkward surface.
      The word “of” does appear in five clues but only twice as a link word between wordplay and definition – 14a and 24d. Nonetheless, I can see it’s something to watch out for and best to be avoided.

  10. Just when you think setters have exhausted the supply of family members, up comes Jeemz with another one!
    Missed the reversed lurker in 10a until the very end and there were a few synonyms that had me worried but overall this was an enjoyable challenge.
    Ticks here went to 25a, 1,2,3&6d with a smile for the young stockholder.

    Thank you, Jeemz.

    1. Many thanks for you comments Jane. Glad you liked young stockholder. It made me chuckle when it came to mind, so I’m pleased it raised a smile.
      As I am one of those great-uncles, amongst a number of other things, I thought they deserved a mention!

  11. Very enjoyable, thank you Jeemz. We are obviously being brain dead but we can’t parse 2d even though we are sure we have the correct answer. Favourites are 1a, 9a, 19a and 19a. We look forward to your next puzzle.

  12. Thanks Hilton. Glad you enjoyed it.
    Definition: Account for. Word play: clergyman (chaplain), with term for old replacing one for tea.

    1. Aha, thank you Jeemz, now we understand. We forgot chaplain amongst the clergymen. Much appreciated.

  13. Super puzzle Jeemz, thank you. I tuned in to your wavelength fairly swiftly (what that says either about you or me I don’t know …) and found this quite a straightforward solve although I do have a few parsings of which I’m uncertain and will look forward to Prolixic’s review. I thought the surfaces read smoothly, almost without exception, and you showed great originality and not a little wit throughout: a very polished showing in my view. Not sure about the (4)(4) in 11a and the (7)(7) in 7d – typos?

    Top clues for me were 15a, 19a and 4d.

    Many thanks indeed, and in advance also to Prolixic

    1. Many thanks to you Mustafa G, for taking the time to solve and for your positive review. I’m chuffed that well over half the clues got a tick from someone!

  14. Really late to be commenting, Jeemz, but have just finished your puzzle before lights out. All very enjoyable. Some minor quibbles highlighted by others but there was a lot of fun and plenty of the clues in here seemed solid to me. I very much enjoyed your surfaces.

  15. Thanks for the review Prolixic.

    On your comment on the use of ‘recurring’ as a reversal indicator in 10a, I had the same thought but, not that I agree with it, the Chambers Crossword Dictionary does show ‘recurrent’ as a reversal indicator. I suppose that is close enough to recurring for it to be considered in the same way.

    1. The Clue Clinic, a very useful source, also has ‘recurrent’ as a reversal indicator but I believe that word has a specific anatomical meaning ‘Running back in the opposite direction or toward the place of origin (anatomy)’, according to Chambers, which does not apply to other forms of the verb.

    2. I had checked Chambers before using it and thought it would be ok. However, I’ll bow to you experts and expunge it from my list of reversal indicators!

      Just one other point Chambers does have this definition for blow “to depart esp hurriedly” so I”m sure that’s ok!

  16. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic, which reminded me that I hadn’t fully parsed 26a!

  17. Many thanks, Prolixic for you review. Your advice is very helpful as ever. I apologise if I upset anyone with my non-woke use of the term clergyman instead of cleric.

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