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.
Welcome back to Hopping Rhino with a challenging Rookie crossword. I am glad I started the process of solving early otherwise the review would have been delayed. With the exception of 21a, most of the comments are on the finer technicalities of the clues. The commentometer reads as 4.5/35 or 12.9%
1a Hungarian disorderly teens expelled from East Germany (6)
MAGYAR: An anagram (disorderly) of EAST GERMANY after removing the letters in TEENS. Where you have subtractive anagrams and the letters to be removed are not in the order in which they appear in the clue a subsidiary anagram indicator should be included. Also in this clue, the anagram indicator appears to apply only to teens in the cryptic reading of the clue. Perhaps adding “in revolution” at the end would maintain the surface reading and provide the subsidiary and main anagram indicators.
4a Murder engineer out of sight (8)
OFFSTAGE: A three-letter word meaning murder followed by a five-letter word meaning engineer. On the subject of American terms, if they are used only in the USA, I would try to indicate this in the clue. I think the three letter word for murder falls within that category as probably does the conman’s assistant in 6d. On the other hand, if they are used commonly in the UK, such as with 3d, I think more latitude is allowed.
9a Guerrilla war expert kept in the picture (5)
AWARE: The answer is hidden (kept) in the first three words of the clue. Try to avoid using the past tense for wordplay such as this. The first three words keep and continue to keep the solution.
10a Cornish banker oddly frail (3)
FAL: The odd letters in the final word of the clue.
11a Hacked off head of brigand rolls away (5)
IRATE: A six-letter word for a brigand with the final letter removed (head of…rolls away).
12a Language penned by Monsieur Dumas (4)
URDU: The answer is hidden in (penned by) the final two words of the clue.
13a Move south-east in Han capital (4)
OSLO: The surname of the Star Wars character Han with the abbreviation for south moved eastwards.
14a God has heard morning prayer (5)
LAUDS: A homophone (hears) of Lord’s (God has). Try to avoid having a homophone indicator splitting the definition and solution as this creates ambiguity as to which word is being used as the homophone material.
16a After ceremony, occasionally revisit scene of disaster (7)
POMPEII: A four-letter word for ceremony followed by the even letters (occasionally) of revisit.
17a Foolish brother not in control (4)
IDLE: Remove the two-letter abbreviation for brother from the front of a six-letter word for a means of controlling a horse.
18a Royal councillor leaves keep (3)
OWN: A five-letter adjective meaning royal without the two-letter abbreviation for councillor.
21a Shrink listened to child in Belfast (4)
WAIN: A homophone (listened to) of wane (shrink). I cannot find a reference in Collins, Chambers or the shorter OED to the solution being used for a child in Northern Ireland. The closest I have come to is “wean” (pronounced “wayne”) for a Scottish word for a child.
22a High flyer is a raging drunk (7)
GAGARIN: An anagram (drunk) of A RAGING. The link word here does not fit in the grammatical reading of the clue as it resolved to definition is wordplay. Perhaps High flyer’s… would be better has the ‘s can resolve to has, leaving the cryptic reading as definition has wordplay.
25a Peasant‘s happy in rolling grassland (5)
YOKEL: A two-letter word meaning happy in a reversal (rolling) a three-letter word for grassland.
26a Goddess protected by Nereid underwater (4)
IDUN: The answer is hidden (protected by) in the final two words of the clue.
27a One objects to insect having its wings removed (4)
ANTI: A six-letter word for an insect with long spiney forelegs with the outer letters (wings) removed.
29a Protection from man who would deploy guillotine heartlessly (5)
HEDGE: The contraction of he would followed by the outer letters (heartlessly) of guillotine. I think that the “deploy” in the clue is out of place.
30a Dram? Teetotaller drinks nothing (3)
TOT: The two-letter abbreviation for teetotaller includes (drinks) the letter representing nothing.
31a Hurt, but eschewing hospital and ready for action (5)
ARMED: A six-letter word meaning hurt without the initial H (eschewing action).
32a Not punctual arriving at 12 (8)
NOONTIME: A two-letter word meaning not followed by a phrase (2,4) meaning punctual.
33a Perhaps falcon savaged parrot (6)
RAPTOR: An anagram (savaged) of PARROT.
1d Heavy weather overwhelms copper and assistant – I’m to blame (3,5)
MEA CULPA: A four-letter word meaning heavy weather (as in to make a ???? / heavy weather of something) includes (overwhelms) the chemical symbol for copper and is followed by the abbreviation for personal assistant.
2d Old Nan and Ma garden haphazardly (8)
GRANDAME: An anagram (haphazardly) of MA GARDEN.
3d Sails through competitions without resistance (4)
ACES: A five-letter word for competitions without the initial R (without resistance).
5d Doing what they do, after action (9,4)
FOLLOWING SUIT: A nine-letter word meaning after followed by a four-letter word for a legal action.
6d Conman’s assistant held up by northerly wind approaching Hospital Club (10)
SHILLELAGH: A five-letter word for a conman’s assistant followed by (held up by) a reversal (northerly) of a four-letter word for wind and the abbreviation for hospital. Try to avoid repeating wordplay indicators. H for hospital has already been used in 31a.
7d Alert after a painting’s lifted (6)
ALARUM: The A from the clue followed by a reversal (lifted) of a five-letter word for a painting on a wall.
8d Steady girlfriend yet? (4,2)
EVEN SO: A four-letter word meaning steady followed by the abbreviation for significant other. Having looked in the dictionaries, I have not been able to find a reference to this abbreviation. The rule is that setters should use only abbreviations listed in the main dictionaries.
10d One, 5 make six, state leaders of Mathematical Institute in reversal (7,6)
FASHION VICTIM: A seven-letter word meaning make followed by the roman numerals for six, the abbreviation for Connecticut (state) and a reversal of the initial letters (leaders) of mathematical institute.
15d Held up by illness, soliders died climbing in training accident (10)
DERAILMENT: The abbreviation for royal engineers (soldiers) and died reversed (climbing) before (held up by) a seven-letter word for illness. I think that the word “training” here is more misleading than cryptically indicating an accident involving a train. Run your clues through a spell checker before submitting.
19d Send Mike in van (8)
TRANSMIT: The letter represented by Mike in the NATO phonetic alphabet in a seven-letter word for a type of van.
20d Nastier relatives are insubordinate (8)
UNKINDER: A three-letter word for relatives inside (in) a five-letter word meaning subordinate. Not all editors will permit this type of lift and separate device.
23d Local invested in hard currency bond in Asia-Pacific (6)
HYPHEN: The abbreviation for public house (local) in the abbreviation for hard and a three-letter name of a currency.
24d Child breaks very old sledge (6)
SKIDOO: A three-letter word for a child inside (breaks) a two-letter word meaning very followed by the abbreviation for old.
28d A lively party turns epic (4)
SAGA: The A from the clue and a three-letter word for a lively party all reversed (turns).