A Puzzle by Coot
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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.
Coot continues to provide top-quality crosswords. There are only a couple of comments where things did not quite work so the commentometer reads as 1/28 or 3.6%. After the sterling performance in the last couple of crosswords, I think that it is time for Coot to move to the hallowed halls of the NTSPP.
1a A bit of maths? Pretend it could send you to sleep! (9,6)
IMAGINARY NUMBER: A nine-letter word meaning pretend followed by six-letter word for something that could send you to sleep.
9a It’s no good concealing act of intimacy (4)
SNOG: The answer is hidden (concealing) in the first three words of the clue.
10a Organised drawer right away reveals owner of bill (5)
WADER: An anagram (orgnaised) of DRAWER without one of the letters R (right away).
11a Is thread regularly cast off? (4)
SHED: The even letters (regularly) in the first two words of the clue.
12a Somewhat whimsical lecturer’s boring (6)
FAIRLY: A five-letter word meaning whimsical includes (boring) the abbreviation for lecturer.
13a Vigorous hundred added by the tail wagging (8)
ATHLETIC: The Roman numeral for 100 after (added by) an anagram (wagging) of THE TAIL.
14a Exhausted from Kindle all in French! (5-3)
BURNT-OUT: A four-letter word meaning kindle or light and a four-letter French word meaning all.
15a Musical genre‘s rubbish, lacking bass (6)
GARAGE: A seven-letter word meaning rubbish without (lacking) the abbreviation for bass.
16a Spot politician ejected for very loud claptrap (6)
PIFFLE: A six-letter word for a spot on the skin with the abbreviation for a politician replaced (ejected for) by the abbreviation for very loud.
18a Approximate location of base in Boston? (8)
BALLPARK: Where you might find a base in a baseball arena in America.
20a Block South American boy’s first opportunity to try coleslaw? (5,3)
SALAD BAR: The abbreviations for South and American followed by a three-letter word for a boy before (first) a three-letter word for a block or barrier. I don’t think that the definition here hits the mark.
22a Parents clutching caps from ‘Naughty Adult Headgear‘ (6)
PANAMA: Two two-letters for father and mother (parents) include (clutching) the initial letters (caps from) of naught adult.
23a Modern home for content Kiwi after relocation (4)
WIKI: An anagram (after relocation) of KIWI. Notwithstanding some of the comments, I think that this definition works.
24a Sequence of adverts to market opening (5)
STOMA: The answer is hidden (sequence of) in the third to fifth words of the clue.
25a Star’s making comeback. You can see it in Stratford (4)
AVON: A reversal (making comeback) of a four-letter word for an exploded star.
26a Ropey external conditions behind sponsor cutting off source of finance (5,3,7)
UNDER THE WEATHER: A phrase (3,7) for external climatic conditions after (behind) a six-letter word for a financial sponsor without the initial letter (source) of finance.
2d Turning tiny sin into trauma involving 11 twists (15)
MINIATURISATION: An anagram (twists) of SIN INTO TRUMA II.
3d Censor fearless naked astronaut (7)
GAGARIN: A three-letter word meaning censor followed by a seven-letter word meaning daring without the outer letters (naked).
4d Enjoy wrestling with a sow? Absolutely not! (2,3,4)
NO WAY JOSE: An anagram (wrestling) of ENJOY A SOW.
5d Make alterations to colourful collection (7)
REDRAFT: A three-letter word for a colour followed by a four-letter word for a large collection.
6d Player that could create value trading knight with opponent (5)
NORTH: A five letter word for value with the abbreviation for knight replaced by an opposing player to the solution in a game of bridge.
7d Fail to gather Coot’s lying about barber (7)
MISHEAR: A reversal (lying about) of a two-letter word meaning the setter is (Coot’s) followed by a five-letter word meaning to barber. I don’t have a problem with lying (compared with laying) as its use is supported by Chambers as indicating relative position. As about means reversed/turned in this context, I don’t see a particular need to confine it to across clues.
8d Surprisingly, in government stuffy woman’s one that can blossom (7,8)
EVENING PRIMROSE: A four-letter word meaning surprisingly followed by the IN from the clue, the abbreviation for government, a four-letter word meaning stuffy and a four-letter woman’s name. A comment on the use of G for government, as government is not a American term, I don’t see that using it to clue G is a problem without indicating it is an Americanism.
15d Put on coat or leap around to maintain temperature (4-5)
GOLD-PLATE: The colour represented in heraldry by Or followed by an anagram (around) of LEAP including (to maintain) the abbreviation for temperature.
17d Shaky Queen covers silver in lodge (7)
FRAGILE: A single-letter abbreviation for queen above (covers) the chemical symbol for silver all inside a four-letter word meaning to lodge.
18d Deliver verse loudly in recital, depicting lines with hidden meaning? (3,4)
BAR CODE: A homophone (in recital) of BARK ODE (deliver verse loudly). All the dictionaries I have consulted give the solution as (7) not (3,4).
19d One valuing precision nabs artisan’s ultimate ornament (7)
PENDANT: A six-letter word for someone who values precision includes (nabs) the final letter (ultimate) of artisan.
21d Periodically obsess over case for extremist attack (5)
BESET: The even letters (periodically) of obsess over the outer letters (case for) of extremist.