Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

FT 12491 by Falcon

Posted by smiffy on June 22nd, 2007

smiffy.

An enjoyable puzzle and just about the right degree of difficulty for a Friday, I felt.   A pretty eclectic spectrum of clues,
including everything from a couple of pre-historic chestnuts (e.g. the ETON/NOTE reversal) to a handful of relatively (for the FT, at least) arcane answers.  Of the latter, I happened to know one (21d) and managed to deduce another (15d), but the third (8d) was unknown to me and I resorted to looking it up.

Across
1 MADE SURE (measured)* – I don’t recall having encountered this “setter-friendly” anagram before.
9 BLUE FUNK (flue)* in bunk – I wonder whether Falcon considered using the same wordplay elements in a Spoonerism?
10 OFF,SET
14 D,URBAN(e)
20 DRY,DEN – A “Deja vu all over again” moment, following hard on the heels of Neo’s (more imaginative) offering that I blogged on  Tuesday.
22 ULAN BATOR la in (ban tour)* – Capital of Mongolia.
23 ULTRA – (hidden) “Drowned” being the indicator.
26 EARTH,(gull)Y

Down
1 MOBILE (double def)
2 DOUBTFUL STARTER (cryptic def) – This one amused me.
6 IN FULL CRY c in (filly run)* – My second favourite hunting phrase (after Tally Ho!, of course).
7 LOS ANGELES TIMES – Subtle use of “by”, in the sense of multiplication tables, to indicate Times.
8 DOTTEREL do + (letter)* – A “migratory bird”, but unknown to me. With hindsight, I was probably a little premature in throwing the towel in on this one as the wordplay is not that fierce.
15 BARA BRITH bar,a,brit(is)h – Apparently the Welsh name for “speckled bread“. I tentatively entered the answer only once I had fully-checked acrosses.
21 S(mall),A,TRAP – I’d seen Satrap before, but am pretty certain it was in a more rarefied Listener-type environment.  Generous checking mitigates the vocab test, though.
23 ULCER – “Sore about unfinished clue being shown up”. Has the editor (or Fifteensquared?) been giving our setter an unduly hard time of late?

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