Crossword 799 answers and explanations

By David Tossman In Cryptic Crosswords

Print Share

Wrong! quite wrong. In a previous version of this post, I claimed that “this puzzle features a rare sort of clue, one highly regarded in some cryptic aficianado circles: an &lit clue.”

Crossword 799 solution

“&lit” stands for “and literally so.”

“In this puzzle,” I continued, “the entire clue at 17 across is both a definition and a cryptic clue and is thus an &lit.”

Since then David Stickley, the estimable Australian setter, has corrected me.

He says “… the WHOLE CLUE doesn’t serve independently as the wordplay and also as the definition. Some may call it a semi &lit, where the wordplay helps expand the definition, but this too is questionable as “and Tonga” plays no role in the wordplay.”

Ah well. A dream shattered! I will soldier on nonetheless.

 Across  Answers and Clues Explanations
1 COUGARS
Big cats, jaguars say, skirt rough centre (7) jaguars say = CARS, rough centre = OUG
5 THE PAST
History has strange shape in terrestrial time (3,4) Anagram of SHAPE in terrestrial time = TT
9 RECTITUDE
Dieter cut out uprightness and decency (9) Anagram of DIETER CUT
10 GOT ON
Climbed aboard and made progress (3,2) Double definition
11 OPERA
Parts of Europe rarely seen stage productions (5) Hidden word, Eur OPE RA rely
12 EVEN OUT
Compensate despite being away from home (4,3) despite being = EVEN, away from home = OUT
14 SANTA CLAUS
A-class nut: a peculiar present-day legend (5,5) Anagram of A CLASS NUT A
16 TAUT
Fully stretched, having given lessons in English pronunciation (4) Homophone, given lessons = taught
17 KAVA
A beverage used in Lautoka, Vanuatu and Tonga (4) Hidden word, Lauto KA VA nuatu
18 ASPIDISTRA
A sad spirit disturbed a green presence in the room (10) Anagram of A SAD SPIRIT
21 CORTEGE
Get back into the central part of the procession (7) Get back = TEG, the central part = CORE
23 KNOWN
Knight at present normal is apprehended (5) Knight = K, at present = NOW, normal = N
26 OVINE
Sheepish one goes about six (5) six = VI inside ONE
27 ICE HOCKEY
Key choice goes wrong as people with sticks slide in to attack (3,6) Anagram of KEY CHOICE
28 FADES IN
A craze, eastern transgression, gradually appears (5,2) A craze = FAD, eastern = E, transgression = SIN
29 SPEARED.
Went too fast eating part of the cereal, suffered pointed attack (7) Went too fast SPED, part of the cereal = EAR.
 Down  Answers and Clues Explanations
1 CURIOUS
Strange dogs eat a promissary note (7) dogs = CURS, promissary note = IOU
2 UNCLE
There’s a point in this silly clue: it’s for a relation (5) a point = N (point of the compass) inside anagram of CLUE
3 ALI BABA
“Open sesame,” he said: an incomplete defence in court to a graduate (3,4) incomplete defence in court = ALIB/i, graduate = BA
4 SOUP
Sober up when disheartened with some sustenance (4) subtraction, SO / ber / UP
5 THEME MUSIC
A signature tune for the small rodents which, having eaten large birds, are docked (5,5) small rodents = MIC/e (docked), large birds = EMUS
6 EAGLE
A bird with each short leg twisted (5) each short = EA + anagram of LEG
7 ASTRONAUT
Someone who could become a NASA tutor (9) Anagram of NASA TUTOR
8 TINY TOT
Toy remade in a subtle shade for a small child (4,3) Anagram of TOY in subtle shade = TINT
13 GLASWEGIAN
Scot is sawing a leg off (10) Anagram of SAWING A LEG
15 NEVER MIND
It doesn’t matter that Kelly carries pestilential creatures (5,4) Kelly = NED, pestilential creatures = VERMIN
17 KICK OFF
It’s a thrill not working: start playing (4,3) thrill = KICK, not working = OFF
19 IRKSOME
One reformed smoker becomes tedious (7) One = I + anagram of SMOKER
20 ANNOYED
Hacked off one day when disturbed about the beginning of November (7) Anagram of ONE DAY containing beginning of November = N
22 EWERS
Pitchers that appeared in quite a few erstwhile crosswords (5) Hidden word, f EW ERS twhile
24 OCKER
Spaniel of some sort is decapitated for your basic Australian (5) Spaniel of some sort = COCKER
25 TEES.
Coquette announced places where balls are to be struck with the utmost vigour (4) Homophone, coquette = tease.

Comments Skip to Comment form

One Response to “Crossword 799 answers and explanations”

  1. eric.neal Dec 23 2012, 5:07pm

    Hi David
    You shouldn't be so hard on yourself re 17 across. I thought it was a brilliant clue. The fact that 'and Tonga' was superfluous as far as the cryptic side of the clue was concerned, didn't affect the accuracy of it, was probably the only way you could word it to achieve the objective anyway. And it was very relevant to the non-cryptic aspect of the clue.

    This is my first ever comment, so I'd like to thank you for the enjoyment provided by your crosswords, and now that I have introduced myself to the online explanations, it makes it doubly enjoyable. Most times I complete the crossword, but am sometimes puzzled by a certain aspect of the clue, so your explanations are great. Keep up the good work. Eric Neal
    Report Report

Post a Comment

You must be to post a comment.

Switch to our mobile site