The Goodies (from the 12th of December)

11 down: Sportingly heroic cubist captures modern leader among Europeans (12)

and

24 down: Halting, big lit on queen (10)

The stroke of brilliance, the q that these two clues share, almost resulted in these clues being left unanswered.

I thought the only three possible answers for cubist in 11-down were pablo, picasso or bracque (sic). I dismissed the last possibility because of what I thought was the inopportune q, but it required EC’s voicing the possibility of the answer ending in esque for me to reconsider the lesser-known cubist as an option. And when I did, I squealed like a school girl when I realised that the answer combined a sporting reference with an artistic reference so that cubist = braque (not bracque), modern leader = m and Europeans = Danes, thereby giving cubist captures modern leader among Europeans = bradmanesque = sportingly heroic.

24-down was a cinch with the q in place, although, again, we might never have realised that it was an anagram clue without the letter already there. Here, it’s just bug lit on queen = ineloquent = halting.

7-down: Content of his poetry has merit!

Everyone loves an &lit clue, and this was no exception. Here, content of his poetry = words and merit = worth, giving content of his poetry has merit = wordsworth = content of his poetry has merit.

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