A Puzzle by Sirdakka
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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 Sirdakka with a very impressive debut Rookie crossword. Other than a couple of minor grammatical points, my only concern was with the form of clue at 10a. The commentometer reads as 2/30 or 6.7%.
1a Five ducks in retreat devoured by female wolf (6)
HOOVER: The Roman numeral for five and two letters O (ducks) reversed (in retreat) inside (devoured by) a three-letter for a female.
5a Board not reviewing school dinners? (8)
PLANKTON: A five-letter word for a wooden board followed by a reversal (reviewing) of the NOT from the clue. For the cryptic grammar of the clue to work, reviewing would need to go before the word to be reversed. Perhaps “Board’s not reviewed school dinners” would be better.
9a Career in brass work (6)
GALLOP: A four-letter word for brass or cheek followed by the abbreviation for work.
10a Recurring angst provides everything you need to become inactive (8)
STAGNANT: The solution can be made up from some of the letters in ANGST ANGST. I do not think that this type of clue is particularly effective. You have to repeat the word, select eight letters from them and make an anagram (unindicated) from them.
11a Embarrassed, blame moist bodily function (10)
METABOLISM: An anagram (embarrassed) of BLAME MOIST.
12a Protest beside modern houses (4)
DEMO: The answer is hidden (houses) in the second and third words of the clue.
13a Unbroken record held by knight (4)
KEPT: An abbreviation for a record inside (held by) a two-letter abbreviation for a knight.
15a Fellow going round in an old car nowadays (4,6)
ANNO DOMINI: A reversal (going round) of a three-letter word for an academic fellow in the AN from the clue and the abbreviation for old all followed by a four-letter make of a small car.
17a Male envoy welcoming leaders of Middle Eastern government (10)
MANAGEMENT: A three-letter word for male and a five-letter word for an envoy include (welcoming) the initial letters (leaders) of Middle Eastern.
20a King remains over-hasty (4)
RASH: The abbreviation for king followed by a thee-letter word for burnt remains.
21a Cut within a day? (4)
MOWN: The abbreviation for with inside (in) the abbreviation for Monday. Some editors will not allow unindicated lift and separate clues of this type. Even with the lift and separate, the clue repeats the word “in” as an insertion indicator. Even with an innocuous word such as “in” try to avoid such repetitions.
22a Expert briefly coins a sequence of words (10)
SPECIALIST: A six-letter word for coins with the final letter removed (briefly) followed by the A from the clue and a four-letter word for a sequence of words.
24a Mother’s second sister collects nothing that’s uncountable (4,4)
MASS NOUN: The contracted form of mother’s and the abbreviation for second and a three-letter word for a religious sister holding (collects) the letter representing nothing.
25a America perhaps putting horse into space? (6)
EPONYM: A four-letter word for a horse inside a two-letter word for a printer’s space.
26a Light source is fine (4,4)
VERY WELL: A four letter word for a type of light followed by a four-letter word for a source of water.
27a Times featuring article on books about old needlework (6)
TATTOO: Two abbreviations for time with the indefinite article within them followed by a reversal (about) of the abbreviation for Old Testament and the abbreviation for old.
2d Egg-shaped pioneer leaving pub (5)
OVATE: An eight-letter word meaning to pioneer without (leaving) a three-letter word for a pub
3d Bold pin-up stopping tank (7)
VALIANT: A four-letter word for a pin reversed (up) inside (stopping) a three-letter word for a tank.
4d Rogue agent worried, cradling rifle (9)
REPROBATE: A three-letter word for an agent and a three-letter word meaning worried include (cradling) a three letter word meaning to rifle.
5d Give in, accept love – it’s love! (7)
PASSION: A four-letter word meaning I don’t know or give in followed by the in from the clue inside which you add the letter representing love or nothing. For the cryptic grammar to work, this would have to be accepting love.
6d Siren‘s call nearly human at heart (5)
ALARM: The central letters (at heart) of the second to fourth words of the clue.
7d Country relations first to give money after party (7)
KINGDOM: A three-letter word for relations followed by the first letter to give and the abbreviation for money after a two-letter word for a party.
8d Serviceman sent bearing gold trinkets? (9)
ORNAMENTS: An anagram (service) of MAN SENT after (bearing) a two-letter word for gold. Another clue where some editors will not allow a lift and separate of this type.
14d Nuts are able to expand? (9)
ELABORATE: An anagram (nuts) of ARE ABLE TO.
16d Eastern border surrounded by crater damage (9)
DETRIMENT: The abbreviation for eastern and a four-letter word for a border inside (surrounded by) a four-letter word for a crater.
18d Pardon bad manners, stay oddly removed (7)
AMNESTY: The even letters (oddly removed) of the second to fourth words of the clue after removing the spaces between them.
19d Outside, wanting kiss that’s never-ending (7)
ETERNAL: An eight-letter word for outside without (wanting) the letter representing a kiss.
20d Reject lure of cryptic crosswords! (4,3)
RULE OUT: How LURE might be clued as an anagram in a cryptic crossword.
22d Field officer inhabiting the Home Counties (5)
SCOPE: A three-letter for a police officer inside (inhabiting) the abbreviation for South-east (Home Counties).
23d Look after pen for short writer? (5)
STYLO: A two-letter word meaning look after a three-letter word for a pig pen.