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Puzzle 1 by Mysti

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This puzzle from Mysti exploits an interesting idea with a thematic element in the Down clues. It is not an easy puzzle as there are several non-standard words in the answers and the word play, and will certainly get those grey cells working. Clues are fresh and innovative and very satisfying to solve. I liked 24 across and 20 down particularly.



1 Plain man returns shortly (5)

4 Small arch includes a space for the first foodstuff (9)

9 Leave woman out of it, not prepared to return hostility (4,3)

10 Politico to strike back before team sport is void (7)

11 On a table (6)

12 Force nothing in container for parachute (8)

14 Rare noisy way to tear about half-pipe (8)

15 Pucker model clothing (5)

17 A hole in a fence for animals? Tot returns by it (5) 

19 Support former foreign police with time check (8)

22 Posh man outside died to give power to disc (8)

24 Throw coins about a risky place to do so? (6)

26 Official upset without love in the East Indies (7)

27 No good gloating about mathematical aid (7)

28 Indian pony first for superficial artist? (9)

29 It flies military man to state on time (5)


1 Excited about male with a 1a (2,4)

2 Boy surfaces at river bend 1a for swimmer (7)

3 Showing absolute lack of taste draw the bottom half first;  (draws without 1a) (9)

4 Run up short? 1a used for delivery? (4)

5 Mister I am vexed, 1a should be seen and not heard (4,6)

6 Woman describes dark areas on the moon (5)

7 Descendants of the animal in time get one (7)

The whole drink fell at the end of day (8)

13 Brave hearted man I will follow when legally it’s not all over yet (6,4)

15 Scornful sister’s beginning to get extremely cold when inside (9)

16 African chief ignored European book 1a that’s urgent (8)

18 Scientific system contains ample 1a to perish (5,2) 

20 Relax before showing hesitation with this? (7)

21 Looked for a drain 1a (6)

23 Dingy on rising? I’m not sure (5)

25 Harass animal to leave 1a animal (4)

Solution to Puzzle 1 by Mysti