Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

FINANCIAL TIMES 12,840 by PHSSTHPOK

Posted by Gaufrid on August 7th, 2008

Gaufrid.

An interesting challenge today with some misleading clues and a few imaginative definitions. Whilst solving I thought that in one or two places the cluing was a little liberal but with hindsight I have no particular reservations.

.

.

Across

1 GRATIS  RAT (traitor) in GIS (soldiers)

4 CRUCIATE  *(RACE I CUT) – there are two cruciate ligaments in the knee

9 UPPITY  UP (to raise) PITY (charity)

10 BOUNTIED  BO (man) UNTIED (set free)

12 BEEFCAKE  BEEF (meat) CAKE (congeal)

13 GENEVA  GEN (information) EVA (girl)

15 EXEC  EX (former) EC(European Community)

16 AFTERSHAVE  AFTERS (pudding) HAVE

19 CODSWALLOP  S (saint) in COD (fish) WALLOP (batter)

20 SONG  dd

23 NICETY  NICE (polite) T Y (two junctions)

25 QUAGMIRE  QUA (in the capacity of) GM (carmaker) I RE (note)

27 ARMCHAIR  A (article) RM (sailors) CHAIR (professor) – it surprised me a little that Chambers actually includes ‘theoretical’ in its list of definitions for ‘armchair’

28 OBOIST  *(BOOT IS)

29 ELAPSING  E (first exam) LAPSING (failing)

30 EXCESS  homophone of X S

Down

1 GRUMBLE  G (gravity) RUMBLE (discover)

2 APPREHEND  dd

3 INTACT  IN (batting) TACT (discretion)

5 ROOK  R (Queen) O O (loves) K (king) – ‘rook’ and ‘castle’ being two names for the same piece in chess

6 CONVERSE  dd

7 ABIDE  ID (instinctive desire) in ABE (President) – Abe Lincoln, an old favourite of setters

8 ENDGAME  – I’m not sure how to describe this one, ‘endgame’ is the final few moves in a game and if someone has won or lost then you have to end the game

11 SKIFFLE  *(LIKES FF) – I would not have described ‘skiffle’ as ‘folk music’ but Chambers does

14 DECORUM  E (drug) CO (company) in DRUM (tattoo)

17 ABORIGINE  *(I GO IN BEAR)

18 SWATCHES  C (hundred) in SWATHES (wraps) – ‘swatches’ are samples of cloth, carpets etc

19 CONCAVE  CON (trick) CA (about) VE (victory) – I’m slightly less than happy with the use of ‘victory’ to provide ‘ve’ but this is probably just nit-picking

21 GHETTOS  *(GHOST T[h]E)

22 EGG BOX  EG (for example) GB (Britain) O X (no vote)

24 COMMA  CO (commanding officer) M (married) M (maiden) A – ‘breather’ is a rather pleasing definition of ‘comma’ 

26 KILN  hidden word reversed in ‘burN LIKe’

4 Responses to “FINANCIAL TIMES 12,840 by PHSSTHPOK”

  1. Agentzero says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid.

    27 (“Theoretical article written on sailors by professor”) was tough for me. I had written in “abstract” (meaning “theoretical” and also “ABs” with “tract” written on) but then couldn’t figure out what to do with “by professor.”

    Not directly relevant to the puzzle, but I’m curious about what the setter’s pseudonym means. Is it an acronym? Perhaps “P.H.S. Sets The Hardest Puzzles OK?”

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Yes, ‘armchair’ wasn’t the first thing that came to my mind either! I initially went through the various possibilities involving ‘abs’, ‘tars’ and ‘salts’ etc., but once the down answers were in there became only one possible solution.

    I can’t help with the derivation of the setter’s pseudonym but your suggestion does seem to be a possibility.

  3. Paul B says:

    Phssthpok was killed by that Jack Brennan.

  4. Gaufrid says:

    I think Paul B is referring to a novel:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protector_(novel)

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


7 + = eight