Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Beelzebub 1,088 (26/12/2010)

Posted by Simon Harris on January 2nd, 2011

Simon Harris.

I believe this to be the one hundredth Beelzebub I have blogged here, and it was something a little different to celebrate the Christmas season.

The preamble told us that:

Solvers can choose the unclued 34 Across according to whether they use the answers given by definition or by wordplay in three Down clues.

I seemed to race through this one, posting my first single-session, unaided finish in some weeks, despite not quite seeing what was going on! I’d noticed CHRI?TMA???? emerging along the bottom row, and writing in INFINITY at 18dn (without spotting the slight discrepancy between my entry and the definition) led to CHRISTMAS DAY for the unclued entry.

On closer inspection though, there are indeed alternate entries for three clues, detailed below, which would allow the solver alternatively to enter CHRISTMAS EVE. All in all, very good fun.

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

Across
1 STEAL THE SHOW – STEALTH + WHOSE*.
11 NEXTN + EXT.
12 EEL-LIKE – KILLE< in (E + E), or perhaps KILL< in (E + E + E).
13 OLDSTERS – [cracke]D in [b]OLSTERS.
15 BY-TIME – I’M in BYTE.
16 BAVARDAGES – (A + V in BARD) + AGES.
19 ISHTAR – IS + H + TAR.
22 GUNN – GUN + [stilto]N. A reference to Ben Gunn from Treasure Island.
23 SAIC – SAI + C.
24 SORT OF – [chocolate]S OR TOF[fees].
25 CHIEF RABBI – CH + I.E. + FRABBI[t].
27 DISOWN – SOW in DIN.
31 MAHI-MAHI – (I + HAM + I + HAM)<.
32 SEA LACE – SEAL + ACE.
33 KNIT – N in KIT.
34 CHRISTMAS EVE or CHRISTMAS DAY – unclued, see preamble.
Down
1 SNOBBISH – (N in SOB) + BISH.
2 TELL – TELL[us].
3 EX DIV – D in VIXE[n]<.
4 LITERATI – L + ITERATI[on].
5 TEEM – MEET<.
6 HERBALS – HER + BA[i]LS.
7 SLATE-GRAY – (S[e]A GREATLY)*.
8 HI-FI – H + (F in II).
9 OKIMONOO + KIMONO.
10 WERE – R in WEE.
14 PATCHOULI – PATCH + OU + L + I.
17 GEORGINA – (0 in GINGER*) + A.
18 INFINITY or INFINITE – INF + I + TINY*.
20 SAKIYEH – (I + Y in SAKE) + H.
21 RE-ENACT – ENA in RECT.
26 BRAND or BRANE – R in BAND.
27 DISC – [war]D IS C[omplex].
28 SCAR – SCAR[e].
29 THEM – THE + M’.
30 SHIA or SHIE – [bu]SH I A[dmit].

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