2399: Lines of work

16 March 2019

9:00 AM

16 March 2019

9:00 AM

Eight unclued entries (two of two words, one hyphened) form a folk rhyme used as the basis for the first lines of a work whose title is the other unclued entry (hyphened). Its author (5 cells) must be highlighted. Elsewhere, ignore two or three apostrophes and an accent.


1    Needing complex course, my job’s on the line  (12, hyphened)
10    Seaman jailed by extremely benign officer (4)
12    Suspect fresh angle will show solar phenomenon (10, two words)
14    Quadruped found in centre of cowboy’s rope (3)
15    More than one ancient stole prayer books (8)
17    Is consecrating old priest leaving marks? (5)
19    Pirate chief in poem’s left alone almost (6)
24    Judge ignored by cheerful relative (5)
26    We’ll pardon four amongst criminals (9)
29    Take away meal for Ian, on a regular basis (5)
31    Auction item includes fine old watch (6, two words)
38    Drab leading lady covered in egg flips (5)
39    One in charge of regions abroad (8)
40    Wee bit of His Majesty (3)
41    They have nine stamens, and nine are damaged! (10)
42    Cunning chief (4)
43    Camp moved next to loch (12)


2    It could be converted into ‘namely’ (10)
3    New cutting is not likely to get established (7)
4    What did ’untsman do to eat? (5)
5    Area of skin over-embarrassed my mother? (9)
6    Raid on ground? (6)
7    Messy duel behind back of fire escape (5)
8    Being stressed to some extent (4)
11    Beach that is good round town (8, two words)
13    Bushy growths unwanted by lovers (12)
16    £1/1000, that might arise? (3)
19    Social worker supports boy making noise (6)
21    Planning going up to learn in academic faculties? (10)
23    State capital not guarded by stronghold (9)
25    Crew messed with endless snakes — boas, etc (8)
30    Name for female princesses (6)
32    Cool demonstrated by policeman (3)
35    Bird’s content to turn up in central spot for nest (5)
37    Sexual activity involves partners holding hands, and doesn’t take place! (4)
A first prize of £30 for the first correct solution opened on 1 April. There are two runners-up prizes of £20. (UK solvers can choose to receive the latest edition of the Chambers dictionary instead of cash — ring the word ‘dictionary’.) Entries to: Crossword 2399, The Spectator, 22 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9HP. Please allow six weeks for prize delivery.

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