A Puzzle by Mary
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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 aboard to Mary with a challenging debut crossword in the Rookie Corner. I don’t think I found this as tricky as some of the commentators, though progress through the grid was slow and steady. The crossword was one where all the basics were there and there were a lot of good clues. However, there were a quite number of rough edges that need honing. Whilst most of these were minor ones, cumulatively, they add up.
The commentometer reads as 6.5/32 or 20.3%.
1a It’s given to those with no filter? (8)
DIALYSIS: Cryptic definition of the treatment required by patients whose kidneys have failed.
5a No longer broadcasting once love is a concern (6)
AFFAIR: A phrase (3,3) meaning no longer broadcasting with the initial O (love) being replaced by an A (once love is a).
10a Saying hi to fruit in oratory? (9)
ELOQUENCE: A homophone (saying) of ‘ello (hi) quince (fruit). I am not sure that the homophone works as in the fruit the sound is q-win but in the solution the sound is q-when.
11a Get angry, being attacked (5)
GORED: Split 2,3, the solution would be a phrase meaning get angry by reference to the colour your face goes when irate.
12a One hundred pence clutched by dead butcher (9)
LIQUIDATE: The letter representing one and another word for a pound (hundred pence) inside a four-letter word meaning dead.
14a Land not supposed to move a bit (5)
REALM: A four-letter word meaning concrete or actual (not supposed) followed by the first letter (a bit) of move. In the cryptic reading of the clue, I am not convinced that “move a bit” indicates that you take the first letter, it would need to be a bit of…
15a Zillions of decapitated dogs (6)
OODLES: Remove the first letter (decapitated) from a seven letter word for a breed of dogs.
16a During Depression, sat around miles away (7)
DISTANT: Inside (during) a four-letter word for a depression include an anagram (around) of SAT.
19a There’s a mother with good intentions (7)
THERESA: The answer is the first seven letters of the clue. There is no real wordplay in this clue and the solution is incorrect as the name of the nun referred to does not have the H in her name.
21a Follow-up letters for Suffolk team (6)
SUFFIX: The four-letter abbreviation for Suffolk (given in Collins but not Chambers) followed by the number of players in a baseball team in Roman numerals. In terms of the clue structure, definition for wordplay is not permitted. You can have wordplay for definition but not the other way around.
23a Bottled spirits and brilliant people (5)
GENII: Double definition. The double definition does not work as the plural form differs, with the solution being limited to spirits, not brilliant people.
25a Swear by lamb and sheep stew (9)
BLASPHEME: An anagram (stew) of LAMB SHEEP.
26a King is mad when order is lost (5)
MIDAS: An anagram (when order is lost) of IS MAD.
27a National theatre evacuated – band is full of gas (9)
NATTERING: The three-letter abbreviation for national followed by the outer letters (evacuated) of theatre and a four-letter word for a band.
29a One day swimming to watery death (6)
NOYADE: An anagram (swimming) of ONE DAY. Where an archaic or historical word is used, setters should indicate this. Perhaps “to watery death in ancient France.”
30a Changes form, as sphere going pear-shaped (8)
RESHAPES: An anagram (going pear-shaped) of AS SPHERE.
1d Dead writer lives (6)
DWELLS: The abbreviation for dead followed by the name of a science-fiction author.
2d Backstabber primarily lacking back (3)
AGO: The name of the villain in Othello without the first letter (primarily lacking).
3d What the fond kettle reportedly told the evaporating water? (3,4,2,6)
YOU WILL BE MISSED: A homophone (reportedly) of “you will be mist” with the whole clue being a whimsical allusion to a fond farewell. I rather liked the whimsical nature of this clue.
4d Greeks charge Scotsmen (7)
IONIANS: A three-letter word for a charged particle followed by the plural of a name associated with Scotsmen.
6d Won and ate? (7,2,6)
FIGURES OF SPEECH: A reverse homophone clue where homophones of one and eight give the words in the clue.
7d A litigation, endless courts (5)
ATRIA: The A from the clue followed by a five-letter word for litigation without the final letter (endless).
8d Scarlet’s hush-hush around university – she forges! (8)
REDSMITH: A three-letter colour (scarlet) followed by a two-letter word meaning be quiet (hush-hush) around the three-letter abbreviation for an American University in Cambridge. The solution is not given in the main dictionaries. Setters should only use words (other than proper nouns) that are in one of the standard dictionaries used by newspapers (Chambers, Collins or Oxford).
9d Command and kill (6)
BEHEAD: Split 2,4, the solution might imply that someone is in command.
13d Hotel endlessly putting up Queen, it is said (5)
QUOTE: The inner letters (endlessly) of Hotel with the abbreviation for Queen above them. Try to avoid repeating wordplay indicators – endless was also used in 7d.
17d In Japan I’m entertained by this (5)
ANIME: The answer is hidden in the second to fourth words of the clue.
18d Pornographic title about theatrical assistant (8)
STAGEMAN: A four-letter word meaning pornographic (as in a ???? Show) followed by a reversal (about) of a four-letter word for a title. Another solution that is not given in the main dictionaries.
20d One far beyond the pale (6)
ALBINO: Cryptic definition of a person or animal without skin pigmentation.
21d Star turtle crushed, causing alarm (7)
STARTLE: Remove the central letters (crushed) from the first two words of the clue. I don’t think that crushed works as a removal indicator to delete the central letters.
22d Stoops to postmodernist design (6)
DEIGNS: An anagram (postmodernist) of design. I am not keen on post-modernist as an anagram indicator as it does not immediately imply an re-arrangement of the letters. In terms of the cryptic grammar of the clue you have definition to wordplay, which is the wrong way around. You can have wordplay to definition, but not the other way around.
24d Simpleton with rum in US city (5)
NODDY: A three-letter word meaning rum or strange inside the abbreviation for New York (US City).
28d One is impious, lacking promise and ultimately mischevious (3)
IMP: Remove a four-letter word for a promise and the last letter (ultimately) of mischievous from the third word of the clue.