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16th December 2023, 01:13
An obvious and topical theme, in which I take no interest, but which didn’t hold me up (though I had to Google to confirm my hunch re 6d). FOI 1d, LOI 11a. COD probably 7d.
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16th December 2023, 01:21
Morning all, really enjoying this. FOI 9.
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16th December 2023, 02:04
Well, this was one of the strangest solves I've ever encountered in a Guardian Prize.

I started off with the virtual gimme at 9a followed by 1d.

I then spotted the theme and that helped with a few more. then noticed some obvious anagrams and all seemed to be going swimmingly - and then........ but before I list my tale of woes..

If you do get stuck, there is at least one hidden in both the acrosses and downs.

Okay, points of confusion and other oddities:-

3d - In my entire life I have never heard those two words in that order.

4d - is the first letter really an accepted abbreviation for the word given in the clue? I know it can be when part of a medal or gong, but on it's own? Not according to Chambers anyway.

7d - 'displaced fever initially by force' - where's the indication that there's more than one?

22a - 'partial inversion' is too vague or esoteric to my mind especially as 'a' looks more like it's part of the instruction.

22d - if letters 1 and 2 are "Claudia gutted" and "error" is letters 3,4 and 5, then since when has "no" equalled the last letter?

23d - "Argentine" is "of or like "the answer not the answer itself.

24d - According to Chambers and my own experience, the answer is meaningless on its own, it should be ???? D???? for it to mean "steps for dance". - Oh, and this took me longer to solve than the the rest of the crossword combined!

Okay, no doubt someone will come on and explain why I'm wrong in every one of these cases but until then...

Thanks to Boatman for an interesting challenge:-)

COD - SEVEN! (See what I did there 😉)

Did I just wake up on the wrong side of the bed or did you find parts of it as confusing as I did? Leave a comment letting us know how you got on - maybe you found it a stroll in the park and I'm just being an old grouch 😡

Stay safe:-)
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16th December 2023, 02:10
Brendan,I also found this strange and a bit frustrating. Many really easy clues, but several difficult ones and based on GK which is not only somewhat UK-based but interests me not at all.

I remain stuck on 23, which would be LOI. FOI was 1a. Too early to think about COD.

Thanks to Boatman for a cleverly woven theme and some head-scratching clues.
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16th December 2023, 02:14
23d - think of the solution in its adjectival sense.
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16th December 2023, 02:22
Brendan, I agree on 22a. If my highly plausible guess is correct, the clue seems flawed.
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16th December 2023, 03:18
I agree with many of Brendan's comments, but in Boatman's defence, 3d is in Chambers, the first letter of 4d is often used in abbreviations (which Brendan alludes to), and the last letter of 22a is fine if we rephrase the clue as "zero risks."

I thought the surface of 22a a bit odd - it's effectively a hidden with a partial inversion, but without a "hidden" indicator. I think the definition of 24a is the last three words, not just the last one, but then it should be a singular "step", not plural. 23a is, I think, a clever bit of misdirection from the usual use of "tango" in crosswords. It could even be my COD.

Finally, 13a is obvious, but I have no idea how it's parsed.
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16th December 2023, 03:19
Sorry - I meant "zero risks" in 22d.
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16th December 2023, 04:13
Just realized I meant the last three words of 24d, not 24a. I need to get some sleep.
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16th December 2023, 04:35
13a, NATO alphabet.
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