Crossword 998 answers and explanations

by David Tossman / 22 October, 2016
Scrambled
Crossword 998 solution

The scrambled egg referred to in 23 across brings to mind what many people claim as their favourite cryptic clue: "GEGS (9,4)". It is certainly a classic, probably dating back to long before the crossword, to the riddles, rebuses, charades and other parlour games popular a hundred and more years ago. Not quite a rebus, GEGS is rather hard to classify, but in any case it wouldn't pass muster with many setters as a legitimate clue today. It lacks the components regarded as necessary for legitimacy: wordplay and definition. I'm in two minds about it.

Likewise illegitimate, the hoary classic perpetrated by RWH, my predecessor in the NZ Listener: "HIJKLMNO (5)". But then many of her clues were of an age long before 1966 when Ximenes (Derek Macnutt) laid out what he regarded as the essentials of a legitimate clue in The Art of the Crossword. Even setters who take Ximenes less than seriously, so-called libertarians, follow the Ximenean precepts most of the time and would probably spurn both GEGS and HIJKLMNO now.
 Across  Answer and Clue Explanation
1 EXPOSE  
  Lay bare former model (6) former = EX, model = POSE
4 MADCAP  
  Harum scarum plan to capture aide-de-camp (6) plan = MAP, aide-de-camp = ADC
8 DETAIL  
  I dealt badly with the nitty gritty (6) dock = DE-TAIL (as with docking a dog)
9 SPLENDID  
  Pay out about fifty on proof of name and age? That is brilliant (8) Pay out = SPEND, fifty = L, proof of name and age = ID
10 THE END OF THE DAY  
  When all is said and done it's sunset (3,3,2,3,3) Double definition
11 SMOKO  
  Break for a cuppa and small facial tattoo (5) small = S, facial tattoo = MOKO
12 KNEE-DEEP  
  Being relatively shallow, continue to contain demand (4-4) continue = KEEP, demand = NEED
14 VICTORIA  
  The Empress from Cairo (ITV production) (8) Anagram of CAIRO ITV
16 TESTY  
  Having exam on the 4th of July makes you peevish (5) exam = TEST, 4th of July = Y
18 DRINK LIKE A FISH  
  Terribly kind, I hire flask and take to the booze (5,4,1,4) Anagram of KIND I HIRE FLASK
21 WAR PAINT  
  Make up with pervert isn't lacking class (3,5) pervert = WARP, isn't lacking class = AINT
22 INFIRM  
  Trendy company is failing (6) Trendy = IN, company = FIRM
23 TAGGER  
  Scrambled egg, art for an illicit decorator (6) Anagram of EGG ART
24 HERESY  
  A terribly unorthodox notion: present silly outliers (6) present = HERE, silly outliers = SY
 Down  Answers and Clues Explanations
1 EVENT  
  An occurrence that's not odd before Tuesday (5) not odd = EVEN, Tuesday = T
2 PLACEBO  
  Put personal stinkiness down to innocuous medication (7) Put = PLACE, personal stinkiness = BO
3 SPLENDOUR  
  Slept around with no thanks, unfortunately, but glory (9) Anagram of SLEPT AROUND minus the letters TA (thanks)
5 ALLOT  
  Assign the entire Old Testament (5) entire = ALL, Old Testament = OT
6 CONTEND  
  Struggle to make an assertion (7) Double definition
7 PHILATELY  
  Help laity to develop a collective interest (9) Anagram of HELP LAITY
9 STOCK MARKET  
  Mock test devised: grab old lifeboat for exchange (5,6) Anagram of MOCK TEST including old lifeboat = ARK
11 SPIT-ROAST  
  Cook on fire starts poi dancing (4-5) Anagram of STARTS POI
13 EXTRA TIME  
  Taximeter fiddled with to give additional play (5,4) Anagram of TAXIMETER
15 TENT-PEG  
  Supporter for one of the guys? (4-3) Cryptic definition
17 SNIFFLE  
  Nasty fines imposed around Florida for hint of cold (7) Anagram of FINES including Florida = FL
19 LOIRE  
  One is in folk tales as a French flower (5) One = I, folk tales = LORE
20 HARDY  
  Strong medical worker turning up with fodder going around (5) medical worker = DR, turning up = reversal indicator, fodder = HAY

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