Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

FINANCIAL TIMES 12,887 by GOZO

Posted by Gaufrid on October 1st, 2008

Gaufrid.

It wasn’t too difficult to spot this week’s theme! (as if we haven’t seen enough water this summer :-) A couple of the rivers are a little obscure but easy enough to determine from the wordplay. The clues today are fairy straightforward so there is no need for many comments from me.
.

Across

1 JORDAN 

4 DELAWARE  DE LA MARE with M changed to W

10 MOSELLE  ELL in *(SOME)

11 POTOMAC  *(TOO) in CAMP reversed

12 AVON  A VON

13 ST LAWRENCE  R in *(NEWCASTLE)

16 THAMES  HAM in SET reversed

17 WELLAND  WELL AND – a river in East Anglia

20 VISTULA  IS in *(VAULT)

21 ROTHER  R OTHER – there are several rivers with this name in the UK

24 SHENANDOAH  SHE NAN DO A H

25 ELBE  hidden in ‘kiEL BErlin’

27 ORINOCO – easy after a recent Womble themed Indy

29 GARONNE  N in *(ORANGE)

30 DNIESTER  *(RESIDENT) – a river in the Ukraine

31 SEVERN  EVER in S N

Down

1 JAM TARTS  TART in JAM[e]S

2 RESTORATIVE  REST O[pe]RATIVE

3 ABLE  [t]ABLE

5 EXPIATES  EXP[atr]IATES

6 AFTER BLOOD  dd

7 ARM  A RM (Royal Marine)

8 EXCEED  EX CEED – homophone of ‘seed’ (favourite)

9 LENTO  LENT O

14 NONCHALANCE  NO N A L in CHANCE

15 MEAT WAGONS  dd

18 GLADSOME  *(LAME DOGS) – from the hymn ‘Let us with gladsome mind’ (John Milton)

19 TREE FERN  REEF in TERN

22 ESMOND  *(DEMONS) – ‘attacking’ is not the most obvious anagram indicator, ‘upsetting’ might have been better

23 CARGO  CAR GO

26 ERNE  hidden in ‘wintER NEst’

28 ICI  dd – unfortunately one of the definitions is incorrect as ICI is no longer a British company. It has been taken over by AkzNobel, a multinational organisation with headquarters in the Netherlands.

10 Responses to “FINANCIAL TIMES 12,887 by GOZO”

  1. Octofem says:

    Gaufrid, I didn’t get ‘After blood’ so am grateful for your help.
    ‘Welland’ was new to me too. I thought you might not get the ‘gladsome mind’, not being much into religion!

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Who needs religion when there’s Google! Having determined the anagram, a quick search using “gladsome mind” soon provided confirmation.

  3. smiffy says:

    “Who needs religion when there’s Google”…..Howzabout Matthew 7:7 – “Seek and ye shall find”?
    (And yes, Gaufrid, I did use Google to look up the chapter and verse reference!!)

    A casual question on themed FT puzzles in general, and their stylistic consistency.

    Sometimes we simply see the thematic definition used repeatedly throughout (e.g. today). On other occasions we encounter the “allusive rubric” approach (e.g. Araucaria’s recent Hamlet-themed puzzle, or “Every down answer is colourfully related”).

    It’s obviously down to individual setters’ preferences, rather that editorial policy. On balance, I think the rubric approach tends to be more elegant. Although, to be fair, Gozo did a decent job of not making the surface readings in today’s acrosses sound too far-fetched.

    Am painfully aware that none of this really matters, but just wondered if I’m in the minority view on this?

  4. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Smiffy

    A similar thought occurred to me this morning when I read ‘river’ for the umpteenth time. My preference would be for a simple preamble approach wherever possible.

    Last Wednesday’s Cinephile (we’re in an FT blog not a Guardian one :-) had both the preamble and ‘part’ in each clue which I think was necessary, whereas his offering a few weeks back (#12863) had a preamble and then merely used a ‘*’ to identify thematic clues.

    Ideally there would be no direct indication of which clues are thematic and which are normal but then we are into Listener/EV territory which is probably not appropriate for a typical FT crossword.

  5. smiffy says:

    I agree that the FT should not harbour any ambitions towards the world of advanced cryptics. I just wondered whether the xwd editor couldn’t try to (gently) impose some kind of stylistic consistency for the two or three (gentle) thematics that do crop up every month.

    PS: Apologies for transposing the variants of Chile Pine!

  6. agentzero says:

    Can anyone enlighten me on the wordplay for 27a (Orinoco)?

  7. Gaufrid says:

    The Orinoco is a river in Venezuela and also the name of one of the Wombles (characters) who lived on Wimbledon Common in Elizabeth Beresford’s books and the subsequent TV series, see:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wombles

  8. Tom Johnson says:

    As the compiler of the Rivers cryptic in the FT on October 1st, I am interested in the comments of solvers about the approach to cluing in a thematic puzzle. I enjoy compiling such puzzles and my approach to cluing all the Across thematics by their overall definition is a personal approach which I would be unhappy to change. It’s my style and I like it!

  9. Tom Johnson says:

    May I also point out that the reviewer of my Rivers cryptic has suggested that the solution to 15Down is MEAT WAGGON. A careful scrutiny of his completed solution would have revealed MEAT WAGONS.

  10. Gaufrid says:

    Tom

    First of all, thanks for an enjoyable puzzle. Thanks also for the correction to 15d. You are right, my completed copy does have ‘meat wagons’. No matter how many times I proof read a blog something seems to slip through and the spelling check facility in Word presumably has both variant spellings of wagon otherwise it would have highlighted the error.

    So far as your ‘thematic style’ is concerned, please don’t think there is a need to change it. After all, you know what they say about variety ….. Had I just been completing the crossword, I don’t think the repetitive ‘river’ would have troubled me too much but when blogging I end up reading each clue at least three times and this probably accentuated my view regarding ‘umpteenth time’.

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