Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Beelzebub 999 (12/04/09)

Posted by Simon Harris on April 18th, 2009

Simon Harris.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

This was a very enjoyable puzzle indeed. The bank holiday weekend and an auspicious puzzle number seem to have contributed to something of a change of key for Beelzebub: special instructions, three Ninas and a theme! I haven’t come across any of those features in a Beelzebub since I started blogging them here.

We were told that Cryptic indications in some clues omit reference to parts of answers; the parts in question form 31ac and 17dn. This made for a slowish start, but once the Ninas and theme were spotted, everything fell into place fairly quickly.

This being puzzle number 999, 31ac and 17dn combined to provide EMERGENCY SERVICES. Thus the three Ninas in the across answers were POLICE, AMBULANCE and FIRE. I wonder if the appearance of SOS in the penultimate row is a coincidence?

The parts of the answers corresponding to the missing parts of the wordplay are marked up in BLUE.

Across
2 MAN-MADE – MANE “covering” MAD.
7 BEAD – BE + AD.
10 CAMPO – CA[-l]M.
11 LICENCECE “after” N.
13 REPENTANT – PEN “detained by” NATTER*.
14 SEABOTTLEBO “in” SEATTLE &lit.
15 WEED – WE + ED. “Weed” is an archaic word for “a garment, clothing or outfit”.
18 YNAMBU – NY<. Obsolete spelling of “nigh”
21 LANCET – [-boo]T.
22 PAPUAN – PAP + U[-pset] + AN.
23 ORDERS – [-b]ORDERS.
27 URVAV “entering” URA[-l]. The “crab-eating mongoose of SE Asia”.
29 LUCULLEAN – ((CULL + E) “in” LUA[-u]) + N. Lucullus was a Roman statesman with a fondness for banqueting.
32 PAELLAS – PALLAS “about” E.
33 OSIER – IE “circled by” (OS + R).
34 SURF – [e]S[-q]U[-i]E[-e].
35 IRENICS – SIN< “involving” C.
Down
1 SCREWY – CREW “in” (S + Y).
2 MAECENAS – (MEAN CASE)*.
3 AMPLE – [-s]AMPLE.
4 MONEY BAG – (YEN< “in” MA) + G[-rab]
5 ALTAR – [-d]ATA + R.
6 DIABOLO – DAB + O + O.
7 BETTYTT “in” BY.
8 ACOL – ACOL[-ytes].
9 DEFEAT – DEF + EAT.
12 NOTICE – NO TIE.
16 TARRAGON – RAG “in” TRON.
19 APACHEP + ACHE. This is from the French apache rather than the Native American tribe, or the open-source software foundation.
20 UNCLEARC “in” LANE*.
22 POLYPS – SLOPPY*. Raised a smile.
24 SATYRA – ASTRAY*.
25 GUELF – LEG< “around” U.
26 PERSE – PER + [-bu]S .
28 RUNIC – RUN + IC.
30 UNAU – ‘UN + AU.

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