Crossword 803 answers and explanations

By David Tossman In Cryptic Crosswords

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12th January, 2013 4 comments

Crossword 803 solution

In hindsight, I suspect that this puzzle was a little harder than usual. I aim to produce a puzzle that does not require the solver to have recourse to the dictionary. That takes some guesswork on my part about the extent of my supposed typical solver’s vocabulary. Sometimes, of course, I might guess wrong, particularly if the grid is proving difficult to fill. With that I might become a little optimistic about that mythical average solver’s vocabulary.

It seems I fell thus to temptation a little here, particularly with 30 across and 3 down, and perhaps with 21 down.

The clue for 30 across is a bit of a stinker, while PLEONASM (3 down) might fairly be regarded as a hard word, better suited to my friend Kropotkin’s puzzle in the NZ Herald.

Drift for TENOR (21 down) , as in “the tenor of the conversation,” is hardly likely to come immediately to mind either. What’s more, I used the legitimate but rare (in my puzzles) ambiguous apostrophe device. It appears to be a possessive in the surface reading while “really” being an omission marker. In other words the “proper” reading would be “Pavarotti is”.

I do sometimes envy the setters of harder puzzles who can freely use the farther reaches of the dictionary and more complex clue devices. They seem to have it easier on the grid building front for a start. Hard puzzles, I reckon, make easy setting, hence my temptation.

 Across  Answers and Clues Explanations
8 UNSELFISH
He’s sinful, drunk and public-spirited (9) Anagram of HE SINFUL
9 ACCRA
Auckland City Council (regional authority) leaders form another city (5) Auckland City Council = ACC + regional authority = RA
11 A PRIORI
It is decided from first principles that the head of a religious order goes in first class (1,6) the head of a religious order = PRIOR inside first class = AI
13 ROSTRUM
A funny sort, quite peculiar, makes the pulpit (7) Anagram of SORT + quite peculiar = RUM
14 TONGARIRO
A volcano given to roaring disconcertingly (9) Anagram of TO ROARING
15 ROBIN
Hood used for the most part in robing (5) reference to Robin Hood, most of ROBINg
16 CERAMIC
Can opener, age 1099, made of clay (7) Can opener = C, age = ERA, 1099 = MIC (Roman numerals)
19 KIBBUTZ
Knocked it back initially, however Zionist leader forms a collective farm (7) Knocked it back initially (acrostic indicator) = KIB, however = BUT + Zionist leader = Z
22 MULCH
Put a protective covering on the bed, a lot around student (5) a lot = MUCH, student = L (learner)
24 VIEWPOINT
The attitude of half a dozen top wine characters (9) half a dozen = VI + anagram of TOP WINE
26 BATTLER
Yorkshire pudding mixture left inside for a poor paid worker (7) Yorkshire pudding mixture = BATTER including left = L
27 CUSTARD
Copper with heavenly body developed first sweet sauce (7) Copper = CU, heavenly body = STAR, developed first = D
30 LODGE
Stick or club (5) Double definition
31 POSTERIOR.
A large printed picture with Spanish river in it at the bottom (9) large printed picture = POSTER including Spanish river = RIO.
 Down  Answers and Clues Explanations
1 AURA
Mystical radiance found in a restaurant (4) Hidden word rest AURA nt
2 USER
An opportunist who consumes narcotics (4) Double definition
3 PLEONASM
One psalm composed using more words than necessary (8) Anagram of ONE PSALM
4 BIKINI
Riding a cycle mostly, one shows a revealing little outfit (6) Riding a cycle = BIKIN/g + one = I, 5/23 Anagram of MORE SHOCKS HELL
5 23 SHERLOCK HOLMES
/23 More shocks? Hell, that’s a mess for the old investigator (8,6)
6 CAESAR
Nasty scare about a bygone ruler Anagram of SCARE including A
7 BATMAN
Install cash machine in bar to be a superhero (6) cash machine = ATM inside bar = BAN
10 CARIBOU
Vehicle � one � half the bounty for a reindeer in the US (7) Vehicle = CAR, one = I, half the bounty = BOU
12 PROBE
Party leader put on ceremonial garment to conduct an investigation (5) Party leader = P, ceremonial garment = ROBE
17 RELATED
Gave an account of kin (7) Double definition
18 COVER-UPS
Walls of silence find backing in some less-pure vocabularies (5-3) Hidden word backwards, les SPUREVOC abularies
20 BYPASSES
How you advance following examinations for coronary operations (8) Double definition
21 TENOR
Pavarotti’s “The Drift” (5) Double definition
22 MOBILE
The telephone could make me boil (6) Anagram of ME BOIL
23
See 5
25 EXCISE
Cut out indirect tax (6) Double definition
28 ASIA
A large area of land but just a small part of it as far as I am concerned (4) Hidden word, as far AS I A m concerned
29 DARN.
Bother to fix a hole in one’s hose (4) Double definition.
12th January, 2013 4 comments

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4 Responses to “Crossword 803 answers and explanations”

  1. jjtrader Jan 23 2013, 9:48am

    David, your weekly effort is the only reason I buy the Listener - I hope that your contract with them recognises that. Have been buying it since the old RWH days, but enjoy yours just as much, and am now encouraging one of my daughters to stimulate her brain cells with your excellent crosswords. I seldom have to look up your explanations, usually find that when I put the "hard" ones aside, when I pick them up again I can't believe that I didn't get it the first time.
    Keep up the good work.
    John Jennings, Christchurch
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    • david.tossman Jan 23 2013, 8:43pm

      Thank you Kerin.

      You will find explanations for the Guardian puzzles at
      http://www.fifteensquared.net/category/guardian/
      While you're on it, I suggest also taking a look at
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/crosswords/crossword-blog
      for some more wide-ranging discussion of clue structures and so on. Good fun.
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    • david.tossman Jan 23 2013, 8:50pm

      Thank you John. Most encouraging.

      Don't worry. I am not complaining at present about the deal I get from the Listener (not that this would be a suitable place to do so if I were).

      I am particularly encouraged by your efforts to introduce your daughter to these puzzles. I suspect a large percentage of solvers are inducted into the mysteries by their parents, as I was. A corny observation here but it is truly one of those gifts that keeps on giving.
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  2. Kerin Jan 18 2013, 10:32am

    As someone, with an IQ of 135, who used to be stumped by crytic crosswords, I am very grateful to have explanations provided. My wife has been helping me to change my thinking mode and I have now solved 10 of the clues, in 804, without her help. She does the Guardian Weekly cryptic crosswords and is often stumped even with the answers provided because there are no explanations given. Thanks again, I will keep learning with your help.
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