Crossword 799 answers and explanations

by David Tossman / 15 December, 2012
Was "Literal achievement." Now literal failure
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 CluesExplanations
Big cats, jaguars say, skirt rough centre (7)jaguars say = CARS, rough centre = OUG
History has strange shape in terrestrial time (3,4)Anagram of SHAPE in terrestrial time = TT
Dieter cut out uprightness and decency (9)Anagram of DIETER CUT
Climbed aboard and made progress (3,2)Double definition
Parts of Europe rarely seen stage productions (5)Hidden word, Eur OPE RA rely
Compensate despite being away from home (4,3)despite being = EVEN, away from home = OUT
A-class nut: a peculiar present-day legend (5,5)Anagram of A CLASS NUT A
Fully stretched, having given lessons in English pronunciation (4)Homophone, given lessons = taught
A beverage used in Lautoka, Vanuatu and Tonga (4)Hidden word, Lauto KA VA nuatu
A sad spirit disturbed a green presence in the room (10)Anagram of A SAD SPIRIT
Get back into the central part of the procession (7)Get back = TEG, the central part = CORE
Knight at present normal is apprehended (5)Knight = K, at present = NOW, normal = N
Sheepish one goes about six (5)six = VI inside ONE
Key choice goes wrong as people with sticks slide in to attack (3,6)Anagram of KEY CHOICE
A craze, eastern transgression, gradually appears (5,2)A craze = FAD, eastern = E, transgression = SIN
Went too fast eating part of the cereal, suffered pointed attack (7)Went too fast SPED, part of the cereal = EAR.
 Down Answers and CluesExplanations
Strange dogs eat a promissary note (7)dogs = CURS, promissary note = IOU
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
"Open sesame," he said: an incomplete defence in court to a graduate (3,4)incomplete defence in court = ALIB/i, graduate = BA
Sober up when disheartened with some sustenance (4)subtraction, SO / ber / UP
A signature tune for the small rodents which, having eaten large birds, are docked (5,5)small rodents = MIC/e (docked), large birds = EMUS
A bird with each short leg twisted (5)each short = EA + anagram of LEG
Someone who could become a NASA tutor (9)Anagram of NASA TUTOR
Toy remade in a subtle shade for a small child (4,3)Anagram of TOY in subtle shade = TINT
Scot is sawing a leg off (10)Anagram of SAWING A LEG
It doesn't matter that Kelly carries pestilential creatures (5,4)Kelly = NED, pestilential creatures = VERMIN
It's a thrill not working: start playing (4,3)thrill = KICK, not working = OFF
One reformed smoker becomes tedious (7)One = I + anagram of SMOKER
Hacked off one day when disturbed about the beginning of November (7)Anagram of ONE DAY containing beginning of November = N
Pitchers that appeared in quite a few erstwhile crosswords (5)Hidden word, f EW ERS twhile
Spaniel of some sort is decapitated for your basic Australian (5)Spaniel of some sort = COCKER
Coquette announced places where balls are to be struck with the utmost vigour (4)Homophone, coquette = tease.
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