A Puzzle by Hopping Rhino
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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 to Hopping Rhino with his debut crossword in the Rookie Corner. There was a lot to enjoy but also a lot of rough edges in some of the clue. It is a promising start but there are a number of areas to concentrate on. In particular, use of abbreviations where some of them were not supported by the main dictionaries and anagram indicators. The brevity of the clues was impressive and this should be maintained where possible.
The grid was not solver friendly. You will find double unches in crosswords. Unusually, the Daily Telegraph allows these at the start of a word where other papers will not. However, to have 1/3 of the clues having double unches is excessive, even where the rule that each word has at least 50% the letter cross-checked is maintained.
The commentometer reads as 6.5 / 36 or 18.1%
1 Drink carrier (6)
PORTER – Double definition of a type of beer and a railway / hospital / hotel employee.
4 Dislike aspic with pepper (8)
CAPSICUM – An anagram (dislike) of ASPIC followed by a three-letter word in Latin meaning with. Anagram indicators should indicate a sense of movement or rearrangement of the letters. I don’t think that dislike works in this sense.
8 Offering broken boot nail (8)
OBLATION – An anagram (broken) of BOOT NAIL.
9 Glowing waste dumped at the club (6)
SWEATY – An anagram (dumped) of WASTE followed by a Y. Again, the anagram indicator is not the best. Whilst Chambers gives Y as the North American usage for YMCA, I think it is too much of a stretch for the solver to get from club to YMCA and know that it is the North American abbreviation that is required.
10 Eye unset sorbet (3)
ORB – Remove (un-set) the letters in set from the last word of the clue.
12 Postponement and delay after god elected (4,5)
RAIN CHECK – A five-letter word meaning delay after a two-letter name of an Egyptian god and a two-letter word meaning elected.
15 Miserable state (3)
ILL – Double definition of a word meaning miserable and the three-letter abbreviation for the state of Illinois.
16 A longer rodent flourishes in an urban area (7,6)
GREATER LONDON – An anagram (flourishes) of A LONGER RODENT.
20 Flock of sheep? (4,9)
WOOL GATHERING – Cryptic definition. I don’t think that this works. The solution means daydreaming and there is no verb meaning to flock that would imply collecting the fleece from sheep.
22 Got title from Reagan (3)
AGA – The answer is hidden (from) in the last word of the clue. I would omit the “got” from the clue as it implies the solution is a verb.
23 Idle insect grasping tail of dachshund (9)
REDUNDANT – A phrase 3,3 for an insect around (grasping) the last three letters (tail) of dachshund. Where you are using an indicator such a tail, it means the final letter of the word, not an indeterminate number of final letters.
27 Limit fabric without sister about (3)
RIM – A five-letter word for a type of material without the initial two letters being the abbreviations for sister and about. The abbreviation S for Sister is not given in the main dictionaries. Son would work here in place of sister.
28 Source and stock (6)
ORIGIN – Double definition. I think the second is used in the sense of the original progenitor. The two definitions are too closely related. Where you are using a double definition, there should be a degree of separation between the two definition.
30 Hotspot folds to mob now (8)
BOOMTOWN – An anagram (folds) of TO MOB NOW. The cryptic reading of the clue would required the imperative fold or folding. Folds would work after the letters to be rearranged.
32 Farm worker mixes sedge and hops without direction (5,3)
SHEEP DOG – An anagram (mixes) of SEDGE HOPS. Like the previous clue, mixing would work better as the anagram indicator here. As there are two directions, perhaps without initial direction would resolve the clue better.
33 Forces simple redesign (6)
IMPELS – An anagram (redesign) of SIMPLE. As a general rule, you should try to vary clue types in successive clues. Three anagrams in a row is not ideal.
1 Extend with pine (7)
PROLONG – A three-letter word meaning with and a four-letter word meaning pine or yearn.
2 Rosy gives Lawrence vitamin (3)
TEA – The initial of the writer Lawrence and a letter for a type of vitamin. The wordplay can give the definition, the definition comes from the wordplay or is given by it.
3 Artist, Italian one, makes side dish (5)
RAITA – The two letter abbreviation for an artist, the two-letter abbreviation for Italian and a letter representing one.
4 Rule college shortly (5)
CANON – The abbreviation for collage followed by a four-letter word meaning shortly.
5 Assistant’s steps (3)
PAS – The two-letter abbreviation for an assistant with the ’s included in the answer.
6 Some bile acidifies gut (5)
ILEAC – The answer is hidden (some) in the second and third words of the clue. Gut in the clue suggests a noun but the answer is a medical term meaning relating to the gut. Whilst gut can be used in an adjectival form as in a gut reaction, this is not the same as the medical term. Just because A = B and B = C, this does not always mean that A = C when it comes to synonyms.
7 Party could hear cry (3,4)
MAY BALL – A three-letter word meaning could and a homophone (hear) of BAWL (cry).
11 Old Etonian and Republican wife in bar fight (4,3)
BOER WAR – The abbreviations for Old Etonian, Republican and wife inside the bar from the clue. I cannot find OE as the abbreviation for Old Etonian in the main dictionaries.
12 Husband curtailed correspondence (5)
RATIO – A six-letter word meaning to husband without the final letter (curtailed).
13 Nail target (5)
CLOUT – Double definition of a carpenter’s nail and an archery target.
14 Monarch darker, more bizarre (7)
KINKIER – The single letter abbreviation for king (monarch) followed by a six-letter word meaning darker.
17 Anger barbaric king’s daughter (5)
REGAN – An anagram (barbaric) of ANGER.
18 Abode that is missing from German paper (5)
DWELT – Remove (is missing) the abbreviation for that is from the name 3,4 of a German newsletter.
19 Degree benefits brutes (7)
BABOONS – The abbreviation for Bachelor of Arts (degree) followed by a five-letter word meaning benefits.
21 Thin girls seaming slips (7)
GAMINES – An anagram (slips) of SEAMING.
24 Standard and sub-par (5)
EAGLE – Double definition of a military standard and a golfing score that is two under par.
25 Strip female lawyer (5)
DEBAG – A three-letter abbreviation for debutante (girl) and the abbreviation for attorney general (lawyer)
26 I sigh over girl (5)
NAOMI – The I from the clue and a four-letter word meaning sigh all reversed (over).
29 Credit approval (3)
NOD – Cryptic definition.
31 Tilt piano after note (3)
TIP – A two-letter word for a musical note and the abbreviation for piano.