The Stickler Weekly 28 Solution

Last December I had the privilege of showing a prominent UK setter, Don Manley, around Sydney. Don and his wife, Sue, were special guests at the Australian Crossword Club‘s annual get-together at the Harold Park Hotel. Don has written crosswords for all the major UK papers and also does crossword editing for a number of publications including The Church Times. Don encouraged me to submit some puzzles (which include church terms), which I did (my first one is here). However, this was a different experience for me, as my Australian cryptics have never been subjected to scrutiny by a crossword editor, such is the nature of cryptic crosswords in Australia.
Not having a crossword editor definitely makes my job easier. I set the standard, I set the rules, and set the tone. Basically, my clues just have to pass a spellchecker and my work will be published. I could even include something risque in the clues or answers, and no-one would pick it up before publication. I can rely on solvers to keep me honest and I’ve always paid attention to constructive feedback, which tends to keep me in check. There are some negatives in not having a crossword editor, such as basic clueing mistakes that sneak through and puzzle difficulty is hard to judge by yourself.
Having a crossword editor like Don Manley isn’t all roses either. Editors generally don’t negotiate with setters: they change clues rather than ask for rewrites, so the finished work isn’t totally your own. However, a crossword editor provides a safety net that not only protects a setter (to some degree) from any solver backlash but also gives a setter an opportunity to learn and improve and be consistent.

Across Answers and Clues Explanations
1 GLOBE ARTICHOKE
Light beer a cook blended with vegetable (5,9) Anagram of LIGHT BEER A COOK
10 ARMISTICE
Division is bound to kill after end of unkept ceasefire (9) ARM + IS + [ICE after UNKEP(T)]
11 MUSIC
Last part edited out of simulcast messed up orchestral work (5) Anagram of SIMULCAST minus LAST
12 SORROW
A feeling of regret is so right before dispute (6) SO + R + ROW
13 TRAIPSED
Pirates at sea, close to land, plodded on (8) Anagram of PIRATES + LAN(D)
15 REAP
Harvest variety of grapes with no skin? (4) Anagram of GRAPES minus first and last letters
16 ORNAMENTED
A troop’s personnel bitten by wild rodent should be decorated (10) (A + MEN) inside anagram of RODENT
19 ASTERISKED
A horse, jumping across hazard, is marked for special attention (10) (A + STEED) outside RISK
20 OPUS
Quartet in barbershop used a musical composition (4) barbershOP USed
23 ROMANTIC
Loving matron treated one with cold (8) Anagram of MATRON + I + C
25 POINTE
One tip positioned awkwardly? (6) &LIT: anagram of ONE TIP; whole clue also definition
27 VILLA
Country residence is plain without a pavilion at the back (5) VANILLA minus [A + PAVILIO(N)]
28 UNINSURED
Reassigned nurse wearing United Nations identification is not covered (9) Anagram of NURSE inside (UN + ID)
29 LEAVE WELL ALONE
Don’t change spring, a large one, after break (5,4,5) (WELL + A + L + ONE) after LEAVE
 Down  Answers and Clues Explanations
2 LAMB ROAST
Bar almost stuffed up traditional Sunday dinner (4,5) Anagram of BAR ALMOST
3 BISHOP
Man with a position on board downsized big store (6) (BI)G + SHOP
4 AXIS
A cricket team’s league (4) A + XIS
5 TIE-BREAKER
Row about contaminated beaker instigated decisive action (3-7) TIER outside anagram of BEAKER
6 COMPILER
Male, in custody of police, worked on right program (8) (M inside anagram of POLICE) + R
7 OASIS
Love a relative’s flower arranging stuff (5) O + A + SIS
8 ENCODED
Dissolved holding company formed in a difficult-to-understand way (7) ENDED outside CO
9 CAESAR
Marine rolled up in transporter for extraction operation (6) SEA reversed inside CAR
14 CRASSITUDE
Like model involved in gross stupidity (10) (AS + SIT) inside CRUDE
17 TIP-AND-RUN
It’s just not cricket warning a sister about doctor (3-3-3) TIP + [(A + NUN) outside DR]
18 TRUNCATE
Dock handled sailing boat in middle of excitement (8) (RUN + CAT) inside EXCI(TE)MENT
19 ARRIVAL
Challenger, sailing on the lower reaches of a river, is coming (7) RIVAL after (A + R)
21 SPEEDO
Unusual episode boycotted by one costume maker (6) Anagram of EPISODE minus I
22 CONSUL
Ambassador misleads leaders from Uganda and Libya (6) CONS + (U)GANDA + (L)IBYA
24 MALTA
Alcohol made by a republic in the Mediterranean (5) MALT + A
26 DILL
Fool died in poor health (4) D + ILL

 

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