Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,825 – Dante

Posted by Uncle Yap on July 31st, 2008

Uncle Yap.

From FT Monday Prize Crossword 21st July 2008
dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

I am so glad that Dante has upped the degree of difficulty for his prize puzzles on Mondays here. For the first time in a long long while, I took more than 30 minutes to solve and mentally parse all the clues.

As usual, Dante’s clues have the smoothest of surface readings; an art form that he has perfected.

ACROSS
1 AT HOME Would you call this a dd?
4 PRACTICE Ins of act (work) in price (charge)
9 CANINE Ins of in (at home) in cane (stick)
10 MONA LISA *(a man’s oil)
12 FELICITY *(city life) I wonder whether there is a list of blessings somewhere which includes felicity as one of them?
13 WEIGHT W (west) + EIGHT (figure 8) What a smoothie!
15 ELBE Ins of L (large) in EBE *(bee) The choice of bumble as annie indicator for bee is as good as “oral” being the homophone indicator in “oral sex” for gender/male/female
16 SPIN DOCTOR Simple cha
19 EARTHBOUND I would call this a not-very-cryptic cd
20 TIFF TI (rev it) FF (forte2, very loud)
23 PRAISE “prays”
25 AT THE BAR Whatever you call this, I’ll drink to that
27 OVERCAST Play on cast being to throw or to shy (remember the familiar coconut shy at fairs?)
28 SQUARE dd
29 TODDLERS cd
30 HEADER cd of a diving header which may result in a spectacular goal

DOWN
1 ARCH-FOE Ins of F (female) in *(Horace)
2 HANDLEBAR Cha of handle (manage) bar (pub)
3 MUNICH Ins of I in munch (eat)
5 ROOM Rev of Moor (African like Othello)
6 CHAPERON Clever cd. I remember a daft definition from an old Reader’s Digest – She intercepts the passes. One of the reasons why I have so readily accepted and enjoyed cd must be from this acquired taste for clever daft definitions ala RD since my school days.
7 ICING Mr Squires has this fantastic gift of turning a mundane dd into such a smooth clue
8 EXACTOR Formerly an actor
11 STEPSON steps on
14 INANITY Ins of IT within IN ANY
17 TAILBOARD Cha of TAIL (dog) BOARD (food) I like the misleading definition dropped from the back of a lorry which fooled me for a while to try and find a word with the letter ‘y’ in it
18 PHYSICAL cd
19 EXPLOIT EX (former) *(pilot)
21 FORBEAR Ins of ORB (globe) in FEAR (dread)
22 CHEQUE cd
24 AHEAD How would you categorise this clue?
26 TSAR tsa (rev of A ST, a saint or good man) + R (rex or king)

One Response to “Financial Times 12,825 – Dante”

  1. Geoff Moss says:

    12a “I wonder whether there is a list of blessings somewhere which includes felicity as one of them?”

    There may be but surely this is academic since Chambers gives ‘a blessing’ as one of the definitions for ‘felicity’.

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