Extra Special Fare by The Tall'n

The Tall'n offered us a highly entertaining variation on the dreaded Sudoku this week with an extremely impressive piece of grid construction. Gregson has to confess to a bit of a senior moment though. Even after solving all the clues and wondering why there were so many Ks in the grid, it still took some time to spot that the six unchecked letters spelt SUDOKU and that the central 9x9 square in the grid formed a Sudoku square - d'oh.

Classic Listener fare - which can't be said of the dishes on the menu, though. Gregson will be passing on the ceratodus and, in hindsight, was surprised not to find turkey on the menu.

Bill of Fare between NOWEL (1) and HOGMANAY (22D)


CERATODUS (12) or Smoked MACKEREL (9)

Main Courses
ROAST DUCK (26) or Game CROUSTADE (31) or BANGERS (49) or Indian KORMAS (44A)

TRUCK (21) or DAHL (38) with SAUTE (39) Potatoes

BRIOCHE (46) or SHORTCAKE (43) with CUSTARD (42)


3,6 Risk breaking church / fence in East End about noon (6;7)
KIRSCH (anag of RISK + CH (church))
ENCLOSE (E (East) + CLOSE (end) round N (noon))
11,10 Girl sent flying ace / to drive from shelter Hun rampaging by river (5;7)
NESTA (anag of SENT + A (ace))
UNHOUSE (anag of HUN + OUSE (river))
13,14 Birds one found in foreign courts / hunted fruit fly (7;6)
TURACOS (anag of COURTS round A (one))
HAWKED (HAW (fruit) + KED (fly))
15,18 Recalling gold combined with sharp point / in violin, ex-president's caressed (5;8)
MUCRO (OR (gold) + CUM (combined with) all rev)
STRAIKED (STRAD (violin) round IKE (ex-President, Eisenhower))
21,19 After giving up the French bed, / secures hair-filled cushions (5;8)
TRUCK (TRUCKLE (bed) minus LE (the French))
PADLOCKS (PADS (cushions) round LOCK (hair))
24,22 Instrument for fish / cut hake so adeptly (4;9)
DRUM (double def)
26,29 Fight involves Tod as evil / wrongdoer's caught on the edge (9, two words;4)
ROAST DUCK (RUCK (fight) round anag of TOD AS)
CRIM (C (caught) + RIM (edge))
31,30 A little lad in weaving course / surprisingly asked to abandon Eastern trousers (9;4)
CROUSTADE (anag of COURSE round TAD (a little lad))
DAKS (anag of ASKED minus E (Eastern))
33,35 Losing oddly to Scotland, rowing crew perhaps / fond of tipping judge turns Jock wild (5;8, two words)
OCTAD (even letters of TO SCOTLAND)
STRUCK ON (anag of TURNS JOCK minus J (judge))
39,41 Has a van / cut off cart backing in naval site? (5;8)
SAUTE (S (has) + A + UTE (van))
DOCKYARD (DOCK (cut off) + DRAY (cart) rev)
42,44 Cow's food includes fish / large bird retrieved on French farm (7;6)
CUSTARD (CUD (cow's food) round STAR (fish))
KORMAS (ROK (large bird) rev + MAS (French farm))
45,46 After refusal, man crowns / British king and emperor to sound of contempt from Scots and English (5;7)
NOLES (NO (refusal) + LES (man))
BRIOCHE (B (British) + RI (king and emperor) + OCH (sound of contempt) + E (English))
48,49 Immediately Spenser's decorated saloon, / new barge's prepared (6;7)
BANGERS (anag of N (new) BARGES)

1,22 Present the Spanish / dance without upsetting North American and leave! (5;8)
NOWEL (NOW (present) + EL (the Spanish))
HOGMANAY (HAY (dance) round N (north) + AM (American) + GO (leave) rev)
2,34 "Chew bitter vetch / in late Spring" said GP (8;5)
CHAMPERS (CHAMP (chew) + ERS (bitter vetch))
MEDOC (homophone of May (late Spring) + DOC (GP))
3,20 Up country some French antelope / snort inanely, interrupting snooze for tall, thin Aussie (4;9)
KUDU (UK (country) rev + DU (some French))
CORNSTALK (CALK (snooze) round anag of SNORT)
47,16) Twice Kelvin / hurt Rose accepting money of old teachers (4;9)
BISK (BIS (twice) + K (Kelvin))
EDUCATORS (anag of ROSE round DUCAT (money of old))
4,27 Recreating the past, some are troubled / by deplorable old gown, one not well adjusted (5;7, two words)
RETRO (hidden)
SAD SACK (SAD (deplorable) + SACK (old gown))
17,32 Caustic compound is put down in women's rooms / to corrode section in strategic move (4;9, two words)
ODAS (SODA (caustic compound) rev)
BURNT SACK (BURN (corrode) + TACK (strategic move) round S (section))
5,23,38 Rogues, stealing proof of debt from odd / little dwelling, having admitted nothing in court / - lecturer owned up! (4;3;4)
CURS (CURIOUS (odd) minus IOU (proof of debt))
COT (CT (court) round O (nothing))
DAHL (L (lecturer) + HAD (owned) all rev)
28,43 Old French and English coins picked up in pairs / briefly form into a hard mass (4;9)
DUOS (SOU (old French coin) + D (old English coin) all rev)
SHORTCAKE ((SHORT (briefly) + CAKE (form into a hard mass))
36,6 Girl brings rower back round to communicate with / old launch sunk at sea without the officer in charge (5;7)
RADIO (OAR (rower) rev round DI (girl))
UNSTOCK (anag of SUNK round T (the) + OC (officer in charge))
44,12 West African king dwelling mostly / with Muse in cold Dutch square (4;9)
KROO (K (king) + ROOF (dwelling) minus last letter)
CERATODUS (C (cold) + DU (Dutch) + S (square) round ERATO (Muse))
40,7 For Falkirk, say, caricature / lowers head and ears, having altered haircut (4;9, two words)
TOON (Scottish town)
DUCKS ARSE ((DUCKS (lowers head) + anag of EARS)
8,25 Moral in City - hit drunk / with vintage vermouth from the French bottles (5;8)
ETHIC (EC (City) round anag of HIT)
CRUDITES (CRU (vintage) + DES (from the French) round IT (Vermouth))
37,9 Taking two examples of old ferns from Sydney, anoints / Gaelic son of king, having recalled Scot's lesson (5;8)
NARDS (NARDOOS (Australian ferns) minus OO (two examples of old))
MACKEREL (MAC (Gaelic son of) + K (king) + LERE (Scot's lesson) rev)