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.
Thanks to Hopping Rhino for the crossword. There was a lot to admire and most of the comments are minor ones. The commentometer reads as 3.5/29 or 12.1%
6a Coast of island’s within flood area (7)
RIVIERA: The abbreviation for island inside (within) a five letter word a flood followed by the abbreviation for area. The construction of definition of wordplay is fine. The cryptic reading might be smoother without the ‘s to island.
7a Writer touched by gift (4,3)
FELT TIP: A four-letter word meaning touched followed by a three letter word for a financial gift or gratuity.
9a Bloke in charge is crazy (5)
MANIC: A three-letter word for a block followed by the abbreviation for in charge.
10a Change direction on time (5,4)
ABOUT TURN: A five-letter word meaning on (or on the subject of) followed by a four-letter word meaning time (as in your time will come to play on the computer).
11a Strange and stupid? (7)
UNCANNY: Split 2-5, this means not wise or, therefore, stupid.
13a Money made from tailless breed (6)
SPECIE: Remove the last letter (tailless) from a seven-letter word for a breed.
15a Empire-building militia prices bombs (13)
IMPERIALISTIC: An anagram (bombs) of MILITIA PRICES.
19a Scales from gecko’s belly and legs (6)
CLIMBS: The middle letter (belly) of gecko followed by a five-letter word describing legs.
20a Punished those responsible for counterfeit Geneva diamonds (7)
AVENGED: An anagram (counterfeit) of GENEVA D (diamonds). Noting the comments on the blog, it might be better to have used a definition that avoided the for.
23a Reports of M&A gripping City retracted (9)
MEMORANDA: The M & A from the clue (with the & spelled out) includes (gripping) a reversal (retracted) of a four-letter city in Italy.
24a Joey Nicks, my cockney lover (5)
ROMEO: A three-letter word for an Australian joey includes (nicks) how a Cockney person may say my (as a possessive pronoun). In response to the comment in the blog, you can falsely capitalize a word such as nicks, but you cannot falsely put a proper noun into lowercase.
26a Last scrap of muslin, a fine fabric (7)
NANKEEN: The final letter (last scrap) of muslin followed by AN (the A from the clue) and a four-letter word meaning fine.
27a Old man buried Gotti’s latest stiff (7)
EXIGENT: A two-letter word meaning old and a four-letter word for a man includes (buried) the final letter (latest) of Gotti. I think buries (in the present tense) is better than buried.
1d Rising star becomes banker (4)
AVON: A reversal (rising) of a type of star.
2d Maybe a conspirator showed a signal (6)
BEACON: The answer is hidden (showed) in the first three words of the clue. Try to avoid the past tense as the word remains hidden. Perhaps showing would be a better word.
3d Very drunk soldier’s emotional, surrendering leader of Rhodes to Troy (9)
PARALYTIC: A four-letter word for a soldier followed by a five-letter word for a type of poetry expressing emotion with the R (leader of Rhodes) replaced by (surrendering…to) the abbreviation for troy.
4d Pap lusty, cavorting Australian (8)
PLATYPUS: An anagram (cavorting) of PAP LUSTY.
5d Stopping cheat taking in a group that’s lost its head (10)
STAUNCHING: A five-letter word meaning to cheat around (taking in) the A from the clue and a five-letter word for a group without its initial letter (that’s lost its head).
6d Raise sheep dog (4,2)
RAMP UP: A three-letter word for a male sheep followed by a three-letter word for a young dog.
7d Infantrymen‘s pay (4)
FOOT: Double definition.
8d Better boatman (6)
PUNTER: Double definition of a gambler and a person who propels a flat bottom boat with a pole.
12d Gossip crushes German with dedication (10)
COMMITMENT: A seven-letter word for gossip around (crushes) a three-letter German word meaning with. I don’t feel that crushes quite works as a containment indicator. Whilst to crush means to squeeze violently and squeeze can mean to embrace, I think this is one of those occasions where if A = B and B = C, this does not mean that A = C. Also, gossip (a lot of chatter) is not really synonymous with the word required in the solution, which is more an individual remark.
14d Parent overwhelmed by change in old school (4,5)
ALMA MATER: A four-letter word for a mother (parent) inside (overwhelmed by) a five-letter word meaning to change or amend.
16d Set off to space base, cloaking ship (8)
EMBARKED: A two-letter word for a printer’s space and a three letter word for a base around (cloaking) a three-letter word for a biblical ship. I don’t think that the construction of definition to wordplay works.
17d Copper has the last word about judgement (6)
ACUMEN: The chemical symbol for copper with a four-letter word used at the end of a prayer around it.
18d Expert at Dior is affected (6)
ADROIT: An anagram (affected) of DIOR IS.
21d Bug bug (6)
EARWIG: Double definition of an insect and a word meaning to eavesdrop.
22d Familiar with home working (2,2)
IN ON: A two-letter word meaning home followed by a two-letter word meaning working.
25d Encounter many equally enthusiastic trainees initially (4)
MEET: The initial letters of the second to fifth words of the clue.