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