Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,885 – Dante

Posted by Uncle Yap on October 9th, 2008

Uncle Yap.

From Monday Prize Crossword on 29th September 2008
dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

Another set of excellent clues from the smoothest compiler in the United Kingdom. I marvel at Dante’s ability to make all of his clues read so smoothly.

Across
1 MERCHANT Cha of Merc (Mercedes ,inus the last half) + *(than)
5 CLOSER Removal of IT from CLOISTER. This is one of those rare clues where the definition is not at the beginning or the end but smack right in the centre.
9 EXPLAINS Ins of PLAIN (frank) in *(sex)
10 AMORAL
12 EVENT E (key) VENT (hole)
13 TRIBUTARY Lovely cd designed to make you hungry, thinking of the starter or the dessert
14 BEEF UP Cha of beef (complaint) UP (raised)
16 HAIRPIN A beautiful &lit dd … how else would you call this?
19 NATURAL dd
21 KEEP ON Ins of PO (rev OPus, work) in Keen (eager)
23 TARANTULA TA (thanks) *(natural) You have to give it to Mr Squires that he is probably THE setter who can consistently produce the best surface reading and yet stay strictly Ximenean, short, simple and sweey
25 CHEER Cha of CH (church) E’ER (always)

26 BRIDGE Another lovely dd

27 DETAILED Alluding to that nursery rhyme which I can recite 50+ years later.

Three blind mice, three blind mice
See how they run, see how they run
They all ran after the farmer’s wife
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife

28 EIGHTS Wonder how you would label this clue, dd?
29 EYESORES Cha of EYE (inspect) *(roses)

Down
1 MEEKER Allusion to Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”
2 REPRESENT Cha of RE (about) present (now)
3 HEART Ins of R (right) in HEAT (warmth)
4 NONSTOP Cha of non (French negative) ST (street or way) OP (opus, work)
6 LIMOUSINE *(minus oil E)
7 SYRIA *(Ayr is)
8 RALLYING Ins of ALLY (friend) in RING (encircled)
11 HIGH dd
15 FORTNIGHT Ins of ORTN *(to RN) in FIGHT (battle)
17 PROPELLER Ins of ELL (45 inches) in PROPER (fit)
18 UNSTABLE UNS *(sun) TABLE (board)
20 LAUD sounds like LORD (one in the upper house)
21 KNAVERY Knave (Jack) RY (lines) Another example of Dante’s sheer genius in his surface construction … each clue makes perfect reading sense
22 BRIDES What a lovely clue. By using a cd, he has turned what would be a mundane anagram clue into a memorable clue. The banns of marriage, commonly known simply as “the banns”, (from an Old English word meaning “to summon”) are the public announcement in a parish church that a marriage is going to take place between two specified persons
24 RUING Ins of U (turn) in RING (circus)
25 CLASS cd or is this a dd?

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