My latest crossword has just gone online and can be seen here.
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It’s been pointed out to me (thanks Eileen!) that there’s a problem with 25/13/15 – there’s a spare S. Oops! I’ll put in a new clue for that one as soon as I come up with one.
I also think 20 across is the wrong way round, so that needs a new clue too.
On the plus side, I submitted a few of the clues from this puzzle to Paul’s Cryptica and a couple of them got favourable mentions – 6 down got a “commended” and 9 down got a “bronze” award, with the comment “a cute clue for a simple word”, which is very gratifying.
Yes, congratulations, Dave, on your double accolade today! [I was going to point out that 9dn ought to be 'lying' but I see you amended that for Paul!]
Such a pity about 25/13/15 – it was a great clue.
Now that I’ve found the cheat button and see the answer to 20ac, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. [it's just that I didn't get it!]
Sorry – forgot to add these comments:
I really enjoyed this ingenious puzzle and particularly liked 17ac and 4,5 and 6dn – super surfaces.
26ac: ‘at’ = ‘to’?
11ac: isn’t ‘squaddie’ a bit too closely related to ‘squad’? Similarly, ‘meteoric’ is a very common metaphor: Chambers defines it as ‘transiently flashing, like a meteor’.
However, these are only small niggles. Looking forward to the next one!
Thanks for the comments, Eileen. I’m still not sure about 20a – both the straight definition and the cryptic part could be spelt either way (ie with or without the U) and I’m not sure I’ve got the “correct” spelling in either case.
“at”=”to” is one I struggle to convince myself about, but I did see an explanation recently as to why it’s OK. Shame I can’t remember it.
I had the same reservations as you about 11a and 2d – those and a couple of others were “getting it done” clues, just to get it finished – didn’t want to spend too long scratching my head over one or two last clues. I might come back to them later, though.
By the way, talking of Cryptica, I enjoyed your anagram – “timely warning” is a clever cryptic definition, and the surface is very neat.
Nice puzzle! Shame about the three light answer – I know myself how easy it is to make a mistake in a clue (that’s why the newspapers have crossword editors).
I share Eileen’s reservations about 11ac and 2dn, and I don’t particularly like the at=to relationship – the former is static and the latter implies motion (at=in works better, but it wouldn’t fit the surface as well). But these are minor points – the crossword is full of good clues with good surfaces.
The clues that Paul commended are splendid, but there are several I think are even better: 23dn is perfect, and 1dn is wonderfully misleading – it was the last I got, not realising that it was a heavily disguised double def.
And I have no problem with 20ac: I don’t think it is the wrong way round, as ‘non-U’ is adjectival, and English always puts adjectives before nouns – and ‘Courier’ is a great definition.
Sorry, forgot one other niggle! 24dn has ‘Short musketeer’ for (A)THOS [or (POR)THOS!]. ‘Short’ usually implies that the word doesn’t finish, rather than that it is missing its start, although I acknowledge that using it in your sense has some logic for a ‘down’ clue.
But, more please!
Geoff, thanks for the comments and sorry for not responding sooner. My excuse for using short to indicate a missing first letter in 24d is that I’ve seen pro setters do it! But you’re right – it does seem more natural to interpret it as losing the last letter.
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