A Puzzle by Jeemz
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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.
Jeemz has made good progress since his first crossword. The points raised here are minor ones, but they are points that take a good crossword and make it an excellent one. Getting that final polish is often the hardest stage. More generally, getting the balance of clue types right is important and four homophone clues is, I agree, too many. To create a crossword with the nine different pronunciations of -ough and not have any obscure words is a great achievement.
The commentometer reads as 3/32 (9.4%).
1 Crude sketches of hooligans (6)
ROUGHS – Double definition.
4 Towns in America detected where groundhogs hibernate (8)
BOROUGHS – A homophone of burrows (where groundhogs hibernate). I think that detected works as a homophone indicator. However, putting the homophone indicators in the middle of the definition and wordplay is not ideal.
10 Forces through last of barriers following star group (7)
PLOUGH – The final latter (last) of barriers after (following) a colloquial name for the constellation Ursa Major (star group).
11 Staggering range of French missile (7)
GRENADE – An anagram (staggering) followed by the French for “of”.
12 Butcher’s vehicle’s returning – hurry up! (4,5)
LOOKS – A four-letter word from the Cockney rhyming slang for butcher’s followed by followed by a reversal (returning) of a public transport vehicle with the S added from the vehicle’s in the clue.
13 Maybe bitcoins note was discussed (5)
DOUGH – A homophone (was discussed) of DOH (a musical note). Maybe bitcoin note would be better to avoid issues ln relation to the need for an apostrophe.
14 Fashion label (5)
STYLE – Double definition.
16 Like wet paint on bottom – disaster! (6,3)
STICKY END – A six-letter word describing the state of wet paint followed by a three-letter word meaning bottom.
18 Effects when musical film family performs topless (9)
TRAPPINGS – The name of the family in the Sound of Music followed by a five-letter word meaning performs with the first letter removed (topless). As the family name inn the film s preceded by Von, this clue does not work, even if they later performed in real life as the …. Family.
20 Fungus the old like with toast crust (5)
YEAST – The two-letter old English form of “the” followed by a two-letter word meaning like and the first letter (crust) of toast. Whilst I think that crust can indicate the first or top letter (think of the earth’s crust as the surface of the earth), I think it needs “crust of toast” of “toast’s crust” to indicate the first letter. I don’t think that the coincidence that the final three letters of toast appear in the solution is an issue here as those letters are not used in the wordplay.
23 Increasingly endangered deer are regularly nurtured (5)
RARER – An anagram (nurtured) of ER (the even letters – regularly – in deer) ARE.
24 Roman is an itinerant somewhere within Italy (3,6)
SAN MARINO – An anagram (itinerant) of ROMAN IS AN.
26 More civilized than a villager? (7)
URBANER – Elliptical cryptic definition.
27 Taking shelter with large stray dog, discovered dingo (7)
LODGING – The abbreviation for large followed by an anagram (stray) of DOG and the inner letters (discovered) of dingo.
28 Hear of rustic prize giving setback (8)
HICCOUGH – A homophone (hear) of HICK (rustic) CUP (prize). I think that some indication that the last syllable of hick and the first of cup are elided in the solution. Hear slur of rustic prize would have overcome the point.
29 Cry of horror captured by the Spanish lakes (6)
LOUGHS – A three-letter word meaning a cry of horror in (captured by) the Spanish plural for “the”.
1 Anger about double-parking cars eventually produces repercussions (7)
RIPPLES – A four-letter word meaning to anger around PP (double parking) followed by the final letter (eventually) of cars.
2 Study of saucers? (7)
UFOLOGY – Cryptic definition of someone who studied unidentified flying objects.
3 Smelly socks beginning to achieve peak levels (5)
HIGHS – A four-letter word meaning smelly followed by the first letter (beginning) of socks. For the cryptic grammar to indicate the first letter it should be sock’s beginning.
5 Is obliged by Diddly-Squat being non-starter (5)
OUGHT – A six-letter word meaning nothing or diddly squat without the first letter (being non-starter).
6 Certainly no clue, riding on nameless ass (4-5)
OKEY-DOKEY – A single letter meaning no or zero followed by a three-letter word for a clue and a six-letter word for a donkey without the letter N (nameless).
7 Greek character enthralled by unusually large particle (7)
GRANULE – The Green letter NU inside (enthralled by) an anagram (unusually) of large.
8 Was incensed once Slough secured rising support (7)
SEETHED – A four-letter word meaning to slough or discard includes a reversal (rising) of a three-letter word for a support used in golf. Try to keep wordplay indicators in the present tense where possible. The first part of the wordplay continues to include the second. “Was incensed when Slough secures rising support” would work better.
9 Causer of fatalities, four double bends AA in for re-configuring (8)
ASSASSIN – An anagram (for re-configuring) of SSSS (four double-bends) AA IN.
15 One who hopes for speech being understood internationally (9)
ESPERANTO – The aspirational international language whose name literally means “one who hopes”.
17 Being hospitalized see how crazy people behave (8)
INSANELY – A phrase 2, 3 meaning being hospitalised followed by a diocese (see) in the East of England.
18 The shortened part of golf course to get past (7)
THROUGH – The first two letters (shortened) of the the from the clue followed by a five-letter word for part of a golf course.
19 Type of workout song, sung by disrobed Robin and Charlie (7)
AEROBIC – A homophone (sung) of AIR (song) followed by the inner letters (disrobed) of Robing and the letter represented by Charlie in the Nato phonetic alphabet.
21 Tolerating a thumping noise within… (7)
ABIDING – The A from the clue followed by a three-letter word meaning thumping or enormous with a three-letter word meaning noise.
22 …to shrug off depressions (7)
TROUGHS – An anagram (off) of TO SHRUG.
24 Psychoanalyzing or psychotherapy protects backward child (5)
SPROG – The answer is hidden and reversed (protects backward) in the first three words of the clue.
25 Speaker’s delivery to the French god in Rome (5)
AUDIO – A two-letter word in French meaning “to the” followed by a three-letter Italian (in Rome) word for God.