Rookie Corner 484 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Rookie Corner 484

A Puzzle by Dharma

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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:

A very good crossword from Dharma.  Apart from a couple of loose definitions, the comments are minor ones.  The commentometer reads as 2/26 or 7.7%


6a  Pass by university (6)
PERMIT: A three-letter word meaning by followed by the abbreviated name of a prestigious American university.

7a  Stop corporation axing parking on street (7)
STAUNCH: A six-letter word for a stomach or corporation without the initial P (axing parking) after (on) the abbreviation for street.

10a  One has faith supporting international worker (10)
PROTESTANT: A three-letter word meaning supporting or in favour of followed by a four-letter word for an international match and a three-letter word for a worker insect.

11a  Pull back, arresting large oversupply (4)
GLUT: A reversal (back) of a three-letter word meaning pull includes (arresting) the abbreviation for large.

12a  Encountered a naked hooker carrying first of payments … It’s not what it seems! (8)
METAPHOR: A three-letter word meaning encountered followed by the A from the clue and a five-letter word for a hooker or prostitute without the first and last letters (naked) that includes (carrying) the first letter of payments

14a  Expressed contempt as husband failed to hit target metres away (6)
HISSED: The abbreviation for husband followed by a six-letter word meaning failed to hit target without (away) the abbreviation for meters.

15a  Right to prevent Olive perhaps becoming public nuisance (4,4,3)
JUST STOP OIL: A four-letter word meaning right followed by a four-letter word meaning to prevent and a three-letter word for a liquid of which olive is an example (perhaps).  I think that the definition here is both too vague and too pejorative.

19a  Striker’s gift? (6)
SITTER: Cryptic definition of an easy shot for a footballer.

20a  Substantial character reported charity (8)
LARGESSE: A homophone (reported) of LARGE S (substantial character).

22a  Oddball missing ‘Party gate‘ (4)
WEIR: A six-letter word for an oddball without (missing) the final two letters that mean a party.  I don’t think that the definition is exact.  Whilst a gate may be part of the solution to let water through, this does not describe the whole.

23a  Position say of VAR … essentially between goal lines (10)
MISSIONARY: The middle letter (essentially) of VAR between a seven-letter word for a goal or purpose and the abbreviation for railway (lines).

25a  Discovered lump on back… it’s bone (7)
STERNUM: The inner letters (discovered) of lump after (on) a five-letter word for the back.  A minor repetition of A on B to mean B followed by A and a third instance of … to act as the link between the definition and the solution, which will occur a further two times in the down clues.

26a  Legal document you’ll read out for convention (6)
RITUAL: A homophone (read out) of WRIT (legal document) YOU’LL.


1d  Turned down pot in hurry, wanting ecstasy (7)
SPURNED: A three-letter word for a funereal pot inside a five-letter word for hurry without (wanting) one of the letters E (ecstacy).

2d  Run dry, gathering nothing after end of September (4)
TROT: The abbreviation for teetotal (dry) includes (gathering) the letter representing nothing after the final letter (end) of September.

3d  School uniform, top to bottom showing lack of taste (6)
KITSCH: The abbreviation for School and a three-letter word for uniform have their positions reversed (top to bottom).

4d  Cheat dwarf when consumed by drink (6,2)
STITCH UP: A five-letter word meaning a dwarf inside a three-letter word meaning to drink.

5d  Risqué show Dharma’s supporting (10)
SUGGESTIVE: A seven-letter word meaning to show before the possessive form of Dharma’s.

8d  Produced final part of record by Genesis (6)
CAUSED: The last letter (final part) of record after (by) a five-letter word meaning the genesis or reason for something.  In a down clue, A by B does not really work as A is not alongside B but underneath it.

9d  One well-practised in clip art? (11)
HAIRSTYLIST: Cryptic definition of a salon worker.

13d  At heart sex rats lured out … by these? (10)
ADULTERERS: An anagram (out) of E (the middle letter – at heart – of sex) RATS LURED.

16d  Doubting man casually engaging Hard Right on public transport … clot! (8)
THROMBUS: The diminutive form (casually) of Thomas (doubting man) includes (engaging) the abbreviations for hard and right and is followed by a three-letter word for a form of public transport.

17d  Macron’s ending is best (6)
FINEST: The French words for ending and is.

18d  Usually when beer drinking, regret finishing early (2,1,4)
AS A RULE: A two-letter word meaning when followed by a three-letter word for beer that includes (drinking) a three-letter word meaning regret without the final letter (finishing early).

21d  Check contents of theatre in Inverness (4,2)
REIN IN: The answer is hidden (contents of) the final three words of the clue.

24d  Sister taking over hospital for instance? (4)
NOUN: A three-letter word for a religious sister includes (taking) the abbreviation for over.

17 comments on “Rookie Corner 484
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  1. Hello again, Dharma. Your Rookie Corner puzzles are coming thick and fast, which is definitely not a bad thing as they are all very enjoyable and, in my opinion, getting better each time.

    I found this one nicely challenging and good fun to solve. My only major concern relates to your overuse of ellipses. Several of these appear as a break between wordplay and definition, where I think it would be better to consider a slight change to produce a single smooth clue, e.g.: for 12a, “Encountered a naked hooker carrying first of payments is not what it seems”.

    I’m also not entirely convinced by 13d, but that aside I had a lot of ticks with 10a, 15a, 9d & 24d making up my podium selection.

    Well done and many thanks, Stephen. Thanks too in advance to Prolixic.

  2. Welcome back Dharma

    This was quite tricky in places, especially the SW corner where here and in other places some of the definitions aren’t the most obvious or aren’t quite right. I’ll be interested to see what Prolixic has to say in due course. There’s some good stuff in there too so I look forward to solving your next crossword

    Thanks to Dharma and, in advance, to Prolixic

  3. Quite tricky and very enjoyable – many thanks to Dharma. I agree with RD that this is your best puzzle yet.
    I thought it would be wiser to have a more neutral definition for 15a, e.g. environmental protest.
    In 22a (my last answer) I’m not at all sure that the definition works and, in any case, Partygate needs to be a single word.
    I had many ticks including 7a, 10a, 14a, 9d and 17d.

  4. Hallo again, Dharma/Stephen. I hope you are feeling better.

    I fully concur with RD and Gazza, your best puzzle to date and also, probably, your trickiest, but I hope that you won’t see that as a sign to always make them quite so challenging! It was crafted extremely well, my only (slight) quibble concerned the accuracy of a couple of the definitions.

    I have a plethora of ticks on my printed page which makes it almost impossible to select podium choices, let alone a favourite.

    Many congratulations, Dharma, and I hope that you’ll be back commenting and blogging again very soon.

    1. Hi Dharma
      I certainly found this very tricky (no surprise there, although my solving IS getting better!). I thought there were some really great and elegantly crafted clues here 6, 10, 11, 14 across and 21 & 24 down being my favourites, but there are still a couple I will need to wait for Prolixic to help parse. In 15a I would personally prefer to see “environmental champion” as the definition, illustrating Gazza’s point that a neutral definition would have been a far better option.

  5. Many thanks to everyone who has commented thus far, pleased that you enjoyed the puzzle, though I didn’t realise I’d made it so tricky!
    As Silvanus has alluded to (many thanks for the good wishes by the way) I’m having a few problems with my health at the moment but missing blogging a lot and hope to be back very soon. Thanks to Gazza & CS for covering for me in the meantime, much appreciated.

  6. Going against the flow here but have to say that there have been other puzzles from this setter that I’ve enjoyed rather more than this one. Of the clues I enjoyed, I’d put 7&10a plus 9&24d at the top of the pile.

    Sorry, Dharma, this just missed the spot in several places for me. I’ll be very interested to read the review from Prolixic.

  7. Great puzzle, Dharma; thoroughly enjoyed it! Several “podium” clues…thought 5D was very good but my favourite had to be 15A. Thanks for that; look forward to the next one.

  8. We struggled to get on Dharma’s wavelength and had to reveal several starting letters to complete the puzzle. We look forward to Prolixic’s review tomorrow to clarify some answers – but thank you for the crossword, Dharma, and hope you are better soon.

  9. I thought this a very accomplished and nicely balanced puzzle, a very satisfactory solve with enough to challenge the “LGCs”.

    Yes, the use of ellipses was a little repetitive, not entirely certain 12a would be permitted (the term is now regarded as pejorative, I think) and one or two definitions were a little left field, but these are small quibbles indeed. Very good surface reads, and you evidently put a lot of work into this.

    Thank you Stephen – I hope you recover swiftly – and also in advance to Prolixic.

  10. Thanks Dharma. A very late solve for me and a bit of a struggle in the bottom half, but I’d like to join the list of those commending it. I thought there were several excellent clues, of which the stand out was the topical 15a. Very well done. Hope you get better soon.

  11. Many thanks to all those who took the time to do the puzzle and comment and to those who sent their good wishes, all much appreciated. A big thanks too to Prolixic for his review, I think that’s my lowest (best) score yet so I’m happy, particularly as the comments were, as he said, minor ones.

  12. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic. Good score on the door for Dharma which will doubtless cheer him as he battles the lurgy.

  13. Many Thanks Dharma for your latest and very good puzzle. I too hope very much you will feel better soon.
    I enjoyed this puzzle but found it somewhat tricky in places. Nevertheless, I was able follow the wordplay and reach the right conclusions in all but two clues — 15a (where I managed the latter two thirds) and 19a, this being new to me. Oh dear! I am indeed very grateful to Prolixic for his enlightment and an excellent review.

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