A Puzzle by JayKay
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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.
Welcome to JayKay with, I think, the first Rookie crossword composed by a duo. At one point, I wondered if the couple had split the clues between them with one doing the across clues and one doing the down clues as there are far more comments on the down clues than the across.
The grid was not one that would be seen in national papers with four solution containing three unchecked cells in a row. Also, the convention about not using full-stops at the end of a clue has already been noted.
The commentometer reads as 5/36 or 13.9%.
A gentle reminder to bloggers who comment on the puzzles, providing a detailed clue-by-clue analysis of the crossword is tempting to do, but makes my role (a) more difficult as I end up reviewing the reviews more than the crossword and (b) at worst, makes is a thankless task as everything has been covered.
1a Uncouth to guzzle when time is lacking. (5)
ROUGH: A six letter verb meaning to guzzle (given in Collins but not in Chambers) without the initial T (time is lacking).
4a Evil moneymaker is working the game. (9)
BADMINTON: A three-letter word meaning evil followed by an institution responsible for making money and a two-letter word meaning is working. The “is” is redundant in the clue and could have been omitted or been replaced by “moneymaker’s” to disguise the “has” as a conjunction indicator.
8a Eviscerations? Try the opposite this time! (3)
ERA: This is rather clever! If evisceration means to tear the guts out, the opposite would be tear the outer letters out. Doing so, gives the solution.
9a Scavenger identified by any he mutilated? (5)
HYENA: An anagram (mutilated) of ANY HE.
10a Collar of backward fellow’s coat. (4)
RUFF: A reversal (backward) of the abbreviation for fellow and a three-letter word for a coat.
11a Covert rail disaster. (4)
LAIR: An anagram (disaster) of RAIL.
13a Stop declaring grief! (4)
WHOA: A homophone (declaring) of woe (grief).
14a See cat hair. (7)
EYELASH: A three-letter word meaning see followed by a four-letter word for a cat or whip.
17a Ace impresses about 10 chiefs. (15)
SUPERINTENDENTS: A five-letter word meaning ace and a seven-letter meaning impresses around the number 10 in words.
20a No-one comes after erect shoemaker. (4,3,8)
LAST MAN STANDING: Cryptic definition by reference to something that a cobbler may be using.
24a Global ciphers decoded. (7)
SPHERIC: An anagram (decoded) of CIPHERS.
26a Singer back from Scotland. (4)
ALTO: The answer is hidden and reversed (back from) the last word of the clue.
28a Poet‘s overdose: take 6! (4)
OVID: The abbreviation for overdose includes (take) the Roman numerals for six. Perhaps taking would be better to indicate that an insertion is required.
29a Short note made even shorter. (4)
MINI: A musical note with its final letter removed (made even shorter).
30a So long used to make thread in gold. (5)
ADIEU: A three-letter word for something used to make a thread by extrusion inside the chemical symbol for gold.
31a Even locusts are gone. (3)
OUT: The even letters of the second word of the clue. For the cryptic grammar to work, you need evenly, not even. The construction wordplay are definition does now work grammatically.
32a Working girl steps out with an illegal drug within. (9)
COURTESAN: A five-letter word means steps out or woos and the AN from the clue around the abbreviation for ecstasy (illegal drug within).
33a Bring to mind first lady accepting all good. (5)
EVOKE: The name of the first lady in the book of Genesis includes (accepting) a two-letter word meaning all good.
1d Allows Alasdair briefly to restate his case to practice. (9)
REHEARSAL: Split (7,2) with the final part being the abbreviated form of Alasdair, this might mean that he is allowed to restate his case.
2d Took advantage of the old. (4)
USED: Double definition. The “the” this clue should have been omitted as it changes the sense in old is being used.
3d Warm girl? (7)
HEATHER: Spit (4,3) the answer might be warm and the pronoun for a girl.
4d Counter getting counters used to counter dispute. (10,5)
BARGAINING CHIPS: A three-letter word for a counter or stand followed by a seven-letter word meaning getting and a five-letter word for gaming counters.
5d Unknown number rejected by strange country, I was accepted instead: such distinction! (15)
DIFFERENTIATION: A nine-letter word meaning strange a six-letter word for a country has the letter representing an unknown number removed (rejected) and replaced by the I from the clue.
6d Aerialists regularly upside down for the Crown. (5)
TIARA: The odd. Letters (regularly) in the first word of the clue are reversed (upside down).
7d Pole loses a point in getting thrown out. (5)
NORTH: An anagram (out) of THROWN after removing the A (loses a point). As a set of cryptic instructions, the grammar here does not quite work as an instruction to remove a letter from thrown. Perhaps “Thrown out after wife departs for Pole.
12d Show the way for bullet. (4)
LEAD: Double definition. I think that the solution is a mass noun when used to indicate bullets, not a single bullet.
15d Soak pustule as pus starts to come out. (3)
SOT: A four-letter word for a pustule without (to come out) the initial letters (starts) of pus. X starts does not cryptically indicate the first letter of X. Perhaps “Soak pustule as a bit of pus comes out”
16d Work making soup. (4)
OPUS: A anagram (making) of SOUP.
18d Ruffian ending up innocent. (4)
NAIF: Reverse (up) the final four letters (ending) of the first word of the clue. As a rule, ending should be used only to indicate the final letter of a word, not an indeterminate number of words.
19d Mark to indicate quality needs no name. (9)
SIGNATURE: A four-letter word meaning to indicate followed by a six-letter word meaning quality without the initial N (needs no name).
21d At the outset, all media programmes are current. (3)
AMP: The initial letters (at the outset) of the fourth to sixth words of the clue. Amp in the singular is not synonymous with current. You cannot use wordplay are definition as a structure for your clue.
22d Score. (4)
MARK: A straightforward quick crossword clue. Something more is needed to make this a cryptic clue.
23d Can reverse to assess fertiliser. (7)
NITRATE: A reversal of a three-letter word for a can followed by a four-letter word meaning to assess. For the cryptic grammar to work, the indicator needs to be reverses, though this would break the surface reading.
24d Impervious to wild coitus without starting to undress. (5)
STOIC: A anagram (wild) of COITUS without the initial letter (starting to) of undress. Again, the cryptic instruction starting to does not mean the first letter. Perhaps “Impervious to wild coitus without undressing at first”.
25d Seen on the paper, a note from the compiler: the writing takes form. (5)
HAIKU: There may be more to this but if written on paper in poetic form, the clue would be an example of this verse form.
27d Top circle for outdoor bathing. (4)
LIDO: A three-letter word for a top or cover followed by the letter that is circular in appearance.