Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,921 – Dante

Posted by Uncle Yap on November 20th, 2008

Uncle Yap.

From Monday Prize Crossword on 10th November 2008
dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

Dante is noted for the smoothness of the surface reading of his clues.
He must spent a lot of time rephrasing until each clue reads off one
lips so easily. His clues may well be easy but I take delight in
seeing how he crafts his clues. Being strictly Ximenean also mean his
puzzles are very good examples for beginners to cut their teeth on.

1 CONTRACT dd (close / contract the gap)
5 SCORES Very clever dd ; Do you have a score to settle?
9 CRACKS UP Clever play on up and down
10 ALPINI cd for Italian troops for mountain warfare.
12 OATHS *(has to) excellent example of smooth surface
13 SEMIBREVE Cha of SEMI (house) B (key) REVE (rev of ever)
14 PIVOTS Ins of IV (Roman for four) in POTS (vessels)
16 NAIVETE *(native) + E (east, a quarter on the compass)
21 ANYWAY dd
23 FOUNDLIMG Cha of FOUND (discovered) LING (heather) a little child
found deserted.
25 ABOUT dd
26 UNLOAD cd to unload is to discharge
27 ULTIMATE *(multi-tea)
28 DATING cd which evokes of someone pouring a single malt and saying
“Say when” … I will certainly drink to this clue

1 CUCKOO cd I often marvel at Dante’s ability to make up such
outrageous cd’s but these clues are certainly ones that I collect and
pose to a non-cryptic crossword crowd (hopefully to get them
interested in this delightful pastime)
2 NEAR THING *(the gin ran)
3 RAKES dd
4 COURSES *(sources)
6 CELEBRITY Ins of B (Band leader) in CELERITY (hurry)
7 RAISE ha which Cyclops would have been proud of
8 SHIVERED Ins of IVE in SHRED (scrap opf material) Don’t like the
extraneous ME which is obtrusive
11 OMEN Ins of ME (Middle East) in ON
15 OVERDRAWN Cha of Over (too greatly) drawn (tempted)
17 ELABORATE *(are able to) with a misleading definition; elaborate
being the converse or opposite of simple
20 SPIV Rev of VIP’s (top brass)
21 ANGULAR *(ran Gaul)
22 AT REST Ins of R (right) in A Test (an exam)
24 UNLIT Ins of L (left) in UNIT (one)
25 ADIEU Cha of AD (advertisement or announcement) IE (that is) U
(socially acceptable) Note how smooth the surface reading is …
it’s like reading how George W Bush plans to leave the White House.

2 Responses to “Financial Times 12,921 – Dante”

  1. Jake says:

    Uncle Yap, I really agree on the surface reading. I’m still really new to cryptics and could not get a start with this crossword, I’ve had a print of it for about a week and scanned over it now and then, but managed nothing, so I carried on with the daily ones.

    However I printed your blog out and studied how Dante’s wordplay works, so, hopefully next Dante puzzle I will be able to jump in and crack it.

    Thank-you for helping me understand Sir.

  2. Uncle Yap says:

    At last, a response from someone in my target group, the newbies.
    Note that my explanation for each clue is quite detailed, meant precisely for new-comers to this wonderful world of cryptic crosswords. Do keep at it and if you are interested, go back to all the FT Monday puzzles (deliberately kept easy to allow readers a gentle start to the week)and read my blogs.

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