Crossword 757 answers and explanations

by David Tossman / 25 February, 2012
After the problem with revere in crossword 755, a  similar little blunder turned up in this puzzle. Fortunately this one was caught in time by an attentive subeditor. I had fettucine in the clue for 5 down, an anagram of CUT IT FINE. I will forever now remember now that it has two Cs.

Seeking a little mitigation, I submit  that fettucine and fettucini are both given as alternatives by Chambers and that fettucine is the more frequent spelling on Google. I found a similar thing a few weeks ago with revere  being far more common than rever on Google. I wonder how many other words there are for which the wrong spelling is the more common.

Eventually, of course, if it persists the lexicographers will yield and the wrong spelling will become correct, as it has with so many other words. In the meantime though there sure is plenty of company in wrongville.

The fettuccine mistake necessitated a rapid rewriting of the clue. I came up with several alternatives but had no time to ponder them so left the final choice to the subeditors. They chose the ever-so-slightly naughty, ever-so-slightly apologetic, somewhat film-related version.

Crossword 757 solution
Crossword 757 solution

Earlier on, 15 down occupied me for an excessive amount of time because there were so many ways to indicate ICE OVER, from cake decorating to antarctic sea conditions.

All the time too I had a marvellous little quote from PG Wodehouse niggling at the back of my mind: “Ice formed on the butler's upper slopes." (P.G. Wodehouse, The Color of the Woosters, 1938).

Across Answers and CluesExplanations
A single portion of food in the army (7)Double definition
Shed tears about English record being unpleasant (6)Shed tears = CRY, English = E, record = EP
A different option appears with a magical beverage (6)Anagram of OPTION
It has no writing to begin with. Neither is it an electronic publication (8)Charade, NOT E-BOOK
Philistine makes a farmyard sound on the crest of the hill (3-4)farmyard sound = LOW, the crest of the hill = BROW
We lost tattered wipes (6)Anagram of WE LOST
A small fragment of strange chants (6)Anagram of CHANTS
They stole the day before into this (7)the day before = EVE, inside THIS
Tough character had turn running wild (4,3)Anagram of HAD TURN
Imagine irrationally when I disappear a puzzle remains (6)Anagram of IMAGINE minus I
A curious type of behaviour, not even "with it" at day's end (6)not even = ODD "with it" = IT, day's end = Y
Oriental engineer behind the ship (7)engineer = E, behind the ship = ASTERN
Can Maori somehow make pasta? Yes (8)Anagram of CAN MAORI
Lay waste to a grave. Wrong! (6)Anagram of A GRAVE
Simply a club held by a heartless lady (6)club = MERE, heartless lady = LY
Wanted: a signed legal document including a title of knighthood (7)a signed legal document = DEED, title of knighthood = SIR.
Down Answers and CluesExplanations
Sell now. In trouble. Inflation has taken place (7)Anagram of SELL NOW. In trouble = anagram indicator
Waiter ran out for the freshest beverage (4-5)Anagram of WAITER RAN
The meal doesn't begin nearer the middle (5)meal doesn't begin = d/INNER
A romantic epic could be written tonight when I wed (4,4,3,4)Anagram of TONIGHT WHEN I WED
Allow no margin for error with close-up on breast (crudely) of superior quality (3,2,4)close-up = CU (in film scripts), breast = TIT, of superior quality = FINE
The joint below is rough (5)Anagram of BELOW
Dogs go quiet on plenty of stuff (7)quiet = P, plenty of stuff = OODLES
A well-built and sexually attractive rowing boat is just fine (5-4)A well-built and sexually attractive = HUNKY, rowing boat = DORY
"Five love. Frostiness is apparent." The words of an unseen commentator (5-4)Five = V, love = O, Frostiness = ICE OVER
Dreadfully dry heat: provide water (7)Anagram of DRY HEAT
What the boss did: he got older (7)Charade, he got older = MAN AGED
Foolish, mad, lacking the first bit of sense (5)Deletion clue, mad = INSANE, the first bit of sense = S
Swear off writing odd letters only to the Society for People in Bondage (5)odd number letters = SwEaRoF, society = S.
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