Crossword 762 answers and explanations

by David Tossman / 31 March, 2012
The fiend in need

I suppose I do know what it is about them, but I'd rather not. Ogres, I mean. They keep turning up. Between them, ogre and ogres have appeared in my puzzles ten times in ten years. The fact is that short words that begin and end with vowels are immensely useful grid builders. Some of these words now seem to survive only in crosswords and Scrabble. Eyrie and eerie, Esau, Erse, etui, erne, o'er …. They are, indeed, known as crosswordese.

Crossword 762 solution

Crosswordese is a much more important language for tackling American-style crosswords. These puzzles have hardly any black squares -- all letters in all words are cross-checked. That places a much greater burden on setters there (called, for good reason, constructors) who have to use brand names, initalisms, exclamations and txt as well as the dreaded West African trees to construct their grids.

Crossword enthusiasts in America have to collect these obscurities just as as do Scrabble freaks, and for the same reason. You can't play at a decent level without them.

The British style of grid we use here calls for fewer of these oddities. In theory they can be spurned entirely. The temptation remains, but I don't think I've ever been guilty of using erne, o'er or eyrie in a grid. But Esau, I'm afraid, has put in one or two appearances, and I fall victim to ogres all too often, as I did here in 11 across.

Across Answers and CluesExplanations
Merry old king has embraced theologian in feather bed so they say (6)Merry old king = COLE, embraced = containment indicactor, theologian = DD (Doctor of Divinity)
Left better person to wash-up (gauchely, of course) (8)Anagram of TO WASH UP
A change or alteration in Alaska (9)Anagram of A CHANGE OR
Monstrous threats seen in the return of some lesser gods (5)Reversed hidden word in lesSER GOds
Make a mistake with an empty remittance (7)Anagram of AN EMPTY
Lacking certainty, our nest is repositioned (3,4)Anagram of OUR NEST
Risk investment in business making novel alternative cup (7,7)Anagram of ALTERNATIVE CUP
Meddler is to support misguided advertiser (8,6)support = BACK + anagram (misguided) of ADVERTISER
Ill natured, as yet of no determined quality (7)Anagram (ill) of NATURED
A hard finish for Japan (7)Double definition
Waste time with dead friend (5)dead = D, friend = ALLY
Support garments (just like that) in the form of cabbages and cauliflowers (9)Support garments = BRAS, just like that = SIC, in the form of = AS
Shell out, being rather thick about internet service provider (8)rather thick = DENSE, internet service provider = ISP
Soldiers grab a betrayer for free (6)Soldiers = GIS, grab = containment indicator, betrayer = RAT.
Down Answers and CluesExplanations
Politicians supporting the Collision Repair Association get hampers (6)Politicians = MPS, Collision Repair Associatin = CRA
Short month comes to a sticky end in rot and disintegration (5)Short month = DEC, a = A, sticky end = Y
Toilets the eastern way are the most informal (7)Toilets = LOOS, eastern = E, way = ST
Canoe upset by the Indian, for example (5)Anagram of CANOE
Best-loved pig, twirling initially, turns up in a ballroom dance (3-4)Best-loved = PET, pig = SOW, twirling initially = T, turns up = reversal indicator
I peter out, collapsing from a rapid turnaround on tip toe (9)Anagram of I PETER OUT
You and I and a styler upset in the wind (8)You and I = WE = anagram of STYLER
From rising wind and suchlike, a billion germs (8)rising = reversal indicator, wind = AIR, and suchlike = ETC, a = A, billion = B
How the hunting party rounds up Roman Catholic in eerie silence (9)Roman Catholic = RC inside anagram (eerie) of SILENCE
Get luxury car from bounder (not well) on account (8)bounder = CAD, not well = ILL, account = AC
African leader leapt, had plenty (8)African leader = A, leapt = BOUNDED
A determined sort of person, Caxton had to do it before printing (3,4)determined = SET, sort of person = TYPE
Inland Revenue takes new coins for a chopper, by gum (7)Inland Revenue = IR, takes = containment indicator + anagram (new) of COINS
Many wage increases result in unstable situations (6)Many = C (a hundred) wage increases = RISES
Good man on four-poster, turning over, has incurred obligations (5)Good man = ST, four-poster = BED, turning over = reversal indicator
A French copper on time, ready for the barber (5)A French = UN, copper = CU, time = T.
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