Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 12,866 by Cinephile

Posted by Pete Maclean on September 18th, 2008

Pete Maclean.

An uninspiring puzzle this week with a couple of fine clues and a few that I find questionable.

Across
1. ROUND TABLE – double definition
6. MINI – [ad]MINI[ster]. I did not originally realize that the word was hidden in the clue rather than the answer. See comments below.
9. MAINSPRING – MAIN (master) + SPRING (early in the year). I first filled in HEADSPRING which fits the wordplay equally well and the definition better — but not the crossing words. Can “mainspring” mean fountainhead? I can find no dictionary to confirm that; its normal meaning is part of a watch.
10. CLAM – reverse hidden word. Okay, to clam up would be not to speak but I wonder if I am missing something here.
12. DRUNK AS A LORD – double definition
15. CATAMOUNT – CAT (whip) + A (a) + MOUNT (horse)
17. TUDOR – anagram of DR (doctor) and OUT
18. LEARN – LEAR (king) + N (name)
19. FORTNIGHT – FORT (castle) + NIGH (near) + [lu]T[on]
20. TIGHT AS AN OWL – double definition. I found this hard as I was unfamiliar with the expression and first figured it must be “drunk as an owl”.
24. RATE – double definition
25. BIRD STRIKE – BIRDS (as in “The Birds”) + TRIKE (three-wheeler). I think this is passable but surely purists must be bothered by the “The” getting lost.
26, 2: SINK UNIT – SIN (wrong) + U (turn) in KNIT (get together)
27. PRAYER BOOK – anagram of A YORKER PO B[owled]. I could do better than this.

Down
1. RAMP – double definition
3. DISCRIMINATE – anagram of C (hundred) + I + ADMINISTER
4. AARON – A (one) + A (a) + RO[d] + N (new)
5. LANCASTER – CAST (thrown) in LANE (road) + R (royal)
7. ISLE OF DOGS – cryptic definition
8. IMMODERATE – IM (Cinephile’s) + ODER (river) in MATE (partner)
11. WASTING WATER – anagram of GIN in WAST WATER (lake). Wast Water is one of the lesser known stretches of water in the English Lake District.
13. SCULPTURES – P (piano) in CULTURE (appreciation) in SS (on board)
14. STRAIGHTEN – anagram of SHATTERING
16. UNFUSSIER – anagram of SURE IS FUN. A rare word but easy to guess and a nice clue for it.
21. NODDY – double definition
22. LINO – L (student) + IN (in) + O (love)
23. BEAK – double definition (“beak” can mean a judge, hence “on the bench”)

6 Responses to “Financial Times 12,866 by Cinephile”

  1. C G Rishikesh says:

    Re 6a: MINI comes prob. from the clue itself rather than its solution: … adMINIster…

    If this is so, I don’t like it very much but then a crossword setter having to write clues for some thirty words in a puzzle may sometimes hit upon strange ideas.

  2. C G Rishikesh says:

    If I may correct a small typo
    26, 2: SINK UNIT – SIN (wrong) + U (turn) in KIT (get together)
    should read
    26, 2: SINK UNIT – SIN (wrong) + U (turn) in KNIT (get together)

  3. Pete Maclean says:

    Rishi, thank you once again. I do not recall seeing a hidden word hidden in another clue before. I find it hard to say that there is anything wrong with this but, like you, I do not much like it. But then again one of the reasons I have been a fan of Cinephile for many years is just because he occasionally does oddball things like this.

  4. Geoff Moss says:

    I was quite happy with 6a. If its answer was hidden in the answer to 3d then the clue would have read ‘small section of 3 down’. The fact that it had ‘below’ added indicated (to me at least) that the source must be in the clue itself (which of course was below 6a) rather than in the answer which was in the grid alongside the clue.

  5. Pete Maclean says:

    Hm, maybe I did not like it because it did not occur to me that ‘below’ meant just that!

  6. Wil Ransome says:

    10ac: is it a reverse hidden word? “‘s” as an inclusion indicator is a bit weak and although it is just about possible I suppose, simply Malc reversed seems rather better.

    As usual, this is so late that everyone will have forgotten about the crossword by now. I only did it this morning.

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