Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 12,782 by Cincinnus

Posted by Pete Maclean on June 12th, 2008

Pete Maclean.

I found this Cincinnus distinctly more difficult than I am used to. Did others feel the same? It carries on his elegant quality with great clues such as 13A, 19A, 5D and 24D. Some clues that stumped me for a while were 13A, 14D and 20D.

Across
1. HAM AND EGGS – H (husband) + AMAND[a] (girl almost) + EGGS (encourages)
7. GOLD – G (grand) + OLD (getting on with it)
9. OPUS – hidden, reversed word
10. PROFITLESS – FIT (suitable) in PROLES (poor people) + S (shilling)
11. NORMAL – NORMA (girl) + L (left)
12. EMPHASIS -AS (while) in [m]EMPHIS (US city with leader absent)
13. MERCATOR – [fil]M + anagram of CRATE OR
15. ETNA – ANTE (before) reversed (going west)
17. FLAK – F[alse] + LAK[e] (mostly mere)
19. ISOTHERM – IS (is) + OTHER (not the same) + M (Monday)
22. POOH POOH – HOOP HOOP (rings) reversed (round)
23. MUTINY – MU (Greek character) + TINY (small)
25. WELL SPOKEN – WELLS (writer, i.e. H.G.) + POKE (sack) + N[ovember]
26. TROY – T[ransfer] + ROY. The Roy here is as in “Roy of the Rovers”, a very long-running comic strip that I don’t recall ever coming across before this clue came along.
27. AYES – A (one) + YES (vote in favour)
28. EASTENDERS – EA (each) + S (leisure centre) + TENDERS (offers)

Down
2. APPROVE – PA (governor) reversed (about) + PROVE (turn out)
3. ASSAM – AS (when) + S[erved] + AM (in the morning)
4. DEPILATE – DE[lilah] + PILATE (Biblical character)
5. GLOBE ARTICHOKES – anagram of BOOK TEACHES GIRL
6. SKIMPY – KIM (Philby) in SPY (agent). Cute given that Kim Philby was a spy.
7. GILGAMESH – L[illian] + GAME (play) in GISH (Lillian). After a brief diversion thinking about Lillian Hellman and Lillian Beckwith, I quickly guessed this answer but took a while to reconcile it with the wordplay.
8. LESBIAN – B (born) in anagram AN ISLE
14. CAKEHOLES – anagram of CHELSEA OK. How wonderfully English!
16. COMMENCE – COMMERCE (traffic) with R (right) changed to N (pole)
18. LOOSELY – LOOS (conveniences) + ELY (cathedral). And my favourite cathedral to boot!
20. RANCOUR – homophone (“ranker”). I did not get this wordplay originally — see notes below.
21. TOPPLE – TOP (spinner) + ‘ELP (Cockney’s assistance) backwards (to rise)
24. TOTED – TOT (little one) + E[xhauste]D

3 Responses to “Financial Times 12,782 by Cincinnus”

  1. C G Rishikesh says:

    20d: After some mental jousting I got it! This after I decided to drop the NCO tack. Then I saw it immediately. It is homophone of ranker (soldier), ‘in conversation’ being the homophone indicator.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Bravo, Rishi! I considered that NCO might be wrong but still could not put my finger on it. Thanks, again.

  3. Wil Ransome says:

    Funny how you found this a harder Cincinnus than usual, Pete: apart from GILGAMESH, which completely defeated me and is a word I’d never heard, the rest of it struck me as easier than he usually is.

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