Crossword 807 answers and explanations

by David Tossman / 09 February, 2013
Psychic solvers wanted?
Crossword 807 solution

I composed this puzzle the week a friend died. He was a keen fisherman and most generous with the kai moana he harvested, so there's a bit of a theme here.

Perhaps it is this puzzle that prompted an email, forwarded to me, from a disgruntled reader cancelling his Listener subscription partly because of a degeneration in these puzzles. He writer says that lately I have been “putting some clues which are not solveable from the clue, unless you are psychic.”

This is the first such complaint in writing that I know of in 15 years. (I have been composing these puzzles for almost 16 years and there were some letters of complaint sent directly to me in the first year as I simply could not replicate the style of my predecessor – nor did I want to.)

Maintaining a consistent level of difficulty is a constant concern so I will be following up this complaint to see where, if and how I have appeared to go so wrong.

 Across Answers and CluesExplanations
A rugby rep with no illusions? Some, on reflection (4)Hidden word backwards in NO IL lusons
A lofty old London newspaper going 24/7 (2,3,5)A lofty = A TALL, old London newspaper = TIMES
Gamblers could be handy chopping carrots (6)Double definition
Given the right to let it end badly (8)Anagram of LET IT END
The tapu had included a vegetable for the hangi (4)Hidden word, ta PUHA d included
Insensitivity and rudeness yields seafood in the off season (10)seafood = FISH in anagram (off) of SEASON
A little metal thinly spread to baffle (4)Double definition
Remote a mug sent back (5)A + mug = FOOL backwards
Mate prepared stuff for the barbie (4)Anagram of MATE
Scared eccentric touched spy (7,3)Anagram of TOUCHED SPY
A swotty type takes part in the dinner-dance (4)Hidden word, din NERD ance
Fay's rich stew ingredient? (8)Anagram of FAYS RICH
Father eats cooked hake and missionary? (6)Father = PA, eats = containment indicator, cooked = anagram indicator = anagram of HAKE
Hold all the males, say, in the Top of the South (4,6)all the males is roughly half the population. The city or region of Nelson is known as known as the Top of the South
A bit of a grin disguises a thick skin (4)Hidden word, g RIND isguises.
 Down Answers and CluesExplanations
Is our lucid composition silly? Indeed (10)Anagram of IS OUR LUCID
Dine out on rump with every last bit examined (2,6)Anagram of DINE + rump = TAIL
Asian poets could be lusty (10)Anagram of ASIAN POETS
Stupefy and bewilder for at least 48 hours, I hear (4)Homophone, at least 48 hours = DAYS
A surfeit of lager initially in the intestine (4)lager initially = L, intestine = GUT
Nibbled a small part on profit going up (6)a small part = BIT, profit = NET, going up = reversal indicator
A brief look taken when listening as a small dog appears briefly (4)Homophone, a brief look = PEEK
A famous Mr Baggins makes a new Ford old (5)Anagram of FORD + old = O
Could these pieces of bent wire be useful? Yes, if pants disintegrated (6,4)Anagram of YES IF PANTS
Chains sure entangled kina (3,7)Anagram of CHAINS SURE
Miners OK strange nicknames (8)Anagram of MINERS OK
Cop out with a wail of "rancid!" (3,3)wail = CRY, rancid = OFF
Back parent (4)Double definition
Diamonds, diamonds, sugar-coated (4)Diamonds = ICE (in old crime novels), diamonds = D (in bridge notation)
Henry leads with evidence of smoking a hallucinogen (4)Henry = H, evidence of smoking = ASH.
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