Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,928 by Neo

Posted by Gaufrid on November 18th, 2008

Gaufrid.

Rishi is having problems with his computer and has asked me to cover for him. Rather like Friday’s puzzle, this was a mixed bag of the very easy and the rather more obscure, particularly 26d for which I required Wikipedia to confirm. The clue for 9a appears to be deficient.

Edit: Since preparing this blog I have been informed that the FT crossword editor  Neo has notified Neil of the error in 9a. The clue should have read “Old vampire uninitiated take to be mysterious” (see comment #1 for the reason for the alteration to this Edit).

Across
8 RAPIER  hidden in ‘foR A PIE Ration’ – ‘tuck’ = ‘rapier’ is confirmed in Chambers
9 ORACULAR  O [d]RACULA R – there is nothing in the clue from which to derive the final ‘R’ and it takes two steps (via ‘obscure’) in Chambers to confirm that ‘oracular’ = ‘mysterious’. Edit: see pre-amble and comment #1
10 FEUD  F[r]EUD
11 SIDELIGHTS  S I DELIGHTS – ‘pieces of incidental information that help to clarify or enliven a subject’ (COED)
12 ACER  ACE R[aw]
13 ASPIDISTRA  ID IS in *(SPARTA) – is ‘ungoverned’ as an anagram indicator reasonable? Probably, when it is used in its sense of ‘unruly’ or ‘disorderly’
17, 18, 19 TALL SHIPS RACE  cd
21 CONAN DOYLE  *(ANYONE CO[u]LD)
23 PALE  P ALE
24 WAREHOUSED  *(WE HAD EUROS)
28 HAND  H AND (with)
29 AGRICOLA  GR in AI COLA – Gnaeus Julius Agricola, a Roman general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain
30 NUMBER  [gordo]N UMBER (brown)

Down
1, 22 VALENCIA ORANGE  *(RAVEL ONCE AGAIN)
2 CINDERELLA  cd – it’s coming up to the pantomime season again!
3 TRESPASSED  TRES (very, in French) PASSE (faded, in both French and English) D (duchess)
4, 14, 27 LORD PRIVY SEAL  *(SOLVER RAPIDLY)
5 WALL  dd &lit – most appropriate for the FT!
6 BURG  GRUB reversed
7, 20 MASTER CYLINDER  *(MCINTYRE SADLER) – a familiar term to most engineers and mechanics but perhaps not to FT readers
15 DESCENDANT  cd
16 SCRAPE HOME  *(REACH EPSOM)
25 ENID  hidden in ‘hiddEN IDentity’ – Geraint’s wife in the court of King Arthur
26 OMOO  O MOO – the title of a 1847 book by Herman Melville recounting his experiences in the Polynesian Islands

2 Responses to “Financial Times 12,928 by Neo”

  1. Neo says:

    Thanks Gaufrid, both for your excellent blog and for covering the wonderful Rishi.

    Just to be clear, ’twas I who notified Neil, not the Ed. The clue cited in your intro was the one supplied by me. What happened between then and publication I don’t know very much about – I noticed the error on scanning the clues in the online paper, probably just as you did.

    While I’m here, let me defend ‘mysterious’ as a straight def for ORACULAR in Collins (sense 3).

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Neo, thanks for the correction and clarification, I must have misinterpreted Neil’s email. I will amend the comment accordingly.

    As I only have Chambers and COED in hardcopy I tend to refer to these first when seeking correlation between definitions and answers and only resort to the on-line Collins if I am unable to find a satisfactory explanation.

    The reference to ‘two steps’ was not intended as a criticism, I was merely indicating to those solvers who only use Chambers that there is a link if you look for it.

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