Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,728 by Cinephile — What the Dickens?

Posted by Pete Maclean on April 10th, 2008

Pete Maclean.

Cinephile frequently does themed puzzles and works his themes in many different ways. Here we have the gentlest of themes: three clues that refer to the Dickens novel “The Old Curiosity Shop”.

Across
1. HEREWITH – HEREW[ard] (the Wake) + anagram of HIT
5. HEIFER – HE (His Excellency) + IF (if) + ER (queen)
9. TOTALLED – double definition
10, 12, 14. THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP – anagram of HERODS POLICY YOUTH
13. MOSES – double/cryptic definition
16. GERMANE – MAN (man) in [Richard] GERE
19. EARMARK – E (oriental) + ARM (weapon) + ARK (old ship)
24, 27. GRANDFATHER – RAND (100 cents) + F (franc) in GATHER (collect). A little difficult because 100 cents could convert to so many things! The Rand is of course the currency unit of South Africa.
25. SET SQUARE – double definition
29, 21. LITTLE NELL – LITT (letters) + LEN (little boy) + ELL (length). Little Nell (Nelly) Trent is a character in The Old Curiosity Shop.
30. SLAPDASH – SLAP (hit) + DASH (instrument panel)

Down
1. HI TECH – E (energy) in HITCH (snag)
2. RETORT – double definition
3, 4. WILL O THE WISP – T (model) + HE (male) in WILLOW (tree) + IS (is) + P (quiet)
6. EPHEMERAL – HEM (border) in anagram of REPEAL
7. FOOLSCAP – anagram of COALS in FOP (dandy)
8. RADISHES – RA (painter) + DISHES (containers)
11. BYNG – homophone referencing Bing Crosby. There are a few famous Byngs. I assume one of them is known for the quote given but I did not bother to verify this.
15. HEARD TELL – HEARD (listened to) + [William] TELL
17. VENGEFUL – V (very) + anagram of EF[f]ULGEN[t]
18. GREAT TIT – G (good) + RE (in connection with) + ATTIT[udes]
20. KISS – hidden word
21. NETBALL – double definition. Not being a football fan, it took me a while to realize what striker refers to here.
22. MANTRA – MANTRA[p]
23. DEARTH – R (right) in DEATH (the end)
26. QUILP – L (student) in QUIP (joke). Daniel Quilp is a character in The Old Curiosity Shop.

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