Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12514/Jason

Posted by neildubya on July 19th, 2007

5 CREW in SS – I hesitated about filling this one in because I couldn’t see how “props” could be a definition for SCREWS. I’ve just looked it up and found there is such a thing as a screw propeller (for which “prop” is a shortened form).
10 RAV(e) in CAT – I don’t know where “jazz fan”= CAT comes from (I can’t find it in Concise OED or Chambers online) but I’ve seen it before and I think it’s now standard crossword-ese.
11 (COSTLIER)* – another one I hesitated over before filling in as I didn’t think “arcade” and CLOISTER could have the same definition; turns out though that they can both be covered walkways.
13 SCHOONER – double definition. I started off looking for A[a word for glass] before I remembered that a SCHOONER is a large beer glass.
19 LANDLADY – this was nicely deceptive, especially “pension rights”.
22 (GENERATE)* – fairly simple &lit. The question mark at the end of the clue is needed because TEENAGERs aren’t necessarily messy but it’s usually a quality we associate with them.
23 IMP,ALE – the capitalization of “Sprite” (to make us think of the soft-drink) is a bit of a liberty but I don’t think it renders the clue unfair.
26 PUT THE CLOCK BACK – I’ve always heard this phrase as “put the clocks back” (plural rather than singular).
1 T(-r)OPICS
2 EXTRA – triple definition (I think).
5 S,MALL PRINT – I wonder if there’s a mistake in this clue because the word SMALL appears in both the clue and the answer (it actually indicates the initial S). That can’t be right, can it?
12 (FUN DECLINE)* – looking at it now, INFLUENCED seems so obvious but it seemed to take ages to get it when I was solving.
14 CARP,ENTER – In the Concise OED and Chambers online, “chippy” (not “chips”) is slang for CARPENTER. Maybe other dictionaries have this definition or it could be that the setter found “fish and chips” too hard to pass over and hoped that solvers would link chips and chippy to arrive at the answer (which is what I did).
20 L,A MB,KIN – lots of crossword-ese in this clue.
21 (c)HECK,LE – Not quite sure what the surface is on about here: “Dismiss the start of the test on the French badger”.

2 Responses to “Financial Times 12514/Jason”

  1. smiffy says:

    At the risk of breaching blog protocol, by not sticking to primarily constructive criticism, I found this about as uninspiring as you could hope to encounter in a daily broadsheet (including the Torygraph).

    In addition to several dead horses being exhumed and flogged one more time (TEENAGER, CARPENTER, ERROR, SCHOONER), we also have – as you highlight – some downright peculiar surfaces and the duplication of SMALL in 5d. In fact, I did start to wonder whether this was actually a computer-generated puzzle! Apologies for the rant; I’ll endeavour to get out of bed on the right side tomorrow.

    Incidentally, I believe that CAT (in jazz terms) is an abbreviation of the original HEP CAT. It’s somewhat dated these days but, for younger viewers, the quintessential hep cat would be Mr “Hello, and welcome to Jazz Club…..Mmmmm Nice” from The Fast Show.

  2. Paul B says:

    It’s given as one word HEPCAT in my spanking new Collins: ‘a person who is hep, especially an player or admirer of jazz and swing in the 40s’. Ambiguous dictionary definition if you ask me, but I’m pedantic.

    SCREW is an all-purpose name for a ship’s propeller AFAIK: as for the CHIPS debate, I’m not too sure. I’ve certainly done this gag using ‘Mr. Chips’ with a loud question-mark to follow (it was something like ‘Fish to join Mr. Chips?’), but you can see how ‘chippy’ might easily get shortened down to ‘chips’ on a building-site.

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