Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 12,552 by Cinephile

Posted by Pete Maclean on September 13th, 2007

Pete Maclean.

This is one of those characteristic Cinephile puzzles with a theme that carries through the longest entries and into a few of the short ones. Spot the theme quickly as I did and you can make very good headway — indeed I finished this puzzle more quickly than any in recent months. The theme may be more readily divined by oldsters like myself who were around in the days of Bill Haley and the Comets.

Across
1. SKIMMED MILK — cryptic definition. Maybe because I know Cinephile so well I got this right away — or maybe it is just very easy?
7. TOP – double definition
9. ADAPT – AD (commercial) + A (one) + PT (point)
11. INHERENCE – HERE (this area) in INN (pub) + CE (church)
12. LEGIT – double definition
13. UNLUCKY – UN (a French) + K (1,000) in LUCY (girl)
15, 18. SIDELONG – SIDE (homophone of SIGHED) + LONG (yearn)
20. CHEVRON – CHEVRO[let] (American car) + N (pole)
26. GYMNASIUM – anagram of SAMMY IN UG[anda]
27. GRAND – G (good) + RAND (currency — of South Africa)
28. RUN – cryptic double definition
29, 24. SEE YOU LATER ALLIGATOR – anagram of AU REVOIR CU LATE RALLY. How clever to work in “au revoir” like this. When I was a boy I actually used the expression!

Down
1. SCABIOUS – SCAB (blackleg) + IOUS (notes)
2, 10. IN A WHILE CROCODILE – anagram of I ALLOWED CINE CHOIR.
3. MOTOR – MOT (test) + OR. MOT is the “Ministry Of Transport” test for vehicles in the U.K.
4. DECENCY – DEC (month) + ENCY[clopedia] (Britannica)
5. ISOMERS – I (one) + SOMERS[et] (county unfinished)
6. KNOWLEDGE – K (king) + NOW (right away) + L (left) + EDGE (advantage).
7. TWINGE – WIN (success) in anagram of GET
8. PLENTY – P (quiet) + LENT (fast) + Y[ou]
14. CROSSWAYS – CROSS (bad-tempered) + WAYS (habits) — but, please, someone tell me what Carfax refers to here! I have no idea.
16. PROTRACT – PRO (expert) + TRACT (propaganda)
17. INTRUDER – IN + T (during tea, say) + RUDER (with worse manners). Straightforward but this one took me a while.
19. GRANITE – anagram of TEARING. Aberdeen is famous for its granite.
20. COLOMBO – LO (look) in COMBO (jazz group)
21. MUGGER – I am unsure how to categorize this clue but the MUGGER concerned relates to the theme and is a large crocodile (Crocodilus palustris) of southwest Asia. This was the only word I did not know – in the meaning concerned, that is.
22. CAYMAN – like 21, a cayman (or more usually caiman) is another type of croc and the Cayman Islands are largely coral.
25. GOGOL – GOOGOL (a large quantity) with one O (nothing) removed

5 Responses to “Financial Times 12,552 by Cinephile”

  1. Dhananjay says:

    For 14 down, here is what Carfax refers to:

    A noun meaning the place where four roads meet (though usually referring to the main intersection in the middle of a town) derived from the French Quatre face

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Wow, that was quick. Thank you, Dhananjay. But why the capital C?

  3. beermagnet says:

    Carfax: I thought this was a purely Oxford placename.
    In Oxford the crossroads where Cornmarket, High St., St Aldgate’s and Queen Street meet is known as Carfax, and there is Carfax Tower there.
    Most of this is now pedestrianised so is a good spot to arrange to meet up.
    Maybe it’s because I knew this as Carfax before I noticed the old tower I always assumed it refered to the site rather than the tower.
    Interesting that it has the same meaning outside Oxford.

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    Aha! I know that crossroads very well. I just had no idea what it was called, or even that it had a name. In fact, that crossroads happens to have a significance in my crosswording life: I have once won a prize for an FT puzzle. That was back in the days when the prizes were pens, or to be exact pen vouchers. I exchanged my voucher for a fine Pelikan at a pen shop just down High Street from what I now know to be Carfax.

  5. Dhananjay says:

    That’s a great story Pete! I recently won a prize for the FT myself, so it was interesting to read about the olden days :)

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