Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 12952 / Satori

Posted by C G Rishikesh on December 16th, 2008

C G Rishikesh.

I was away in Bangalore for a couple of days but luckily returned home this morning in time for my scheduled blog. 
A puzzle that doesn’t come under the ‘easy’ category.

Across

1 SWANSONG – solved from def. (‘last appearance’) – wordplay to be worked out.
5 FLOWER – “flour” (‘ingredient for baking’), ‘stated’ being homophone ind.
10 EXTRA – hidden in ‘sEX TRAde’, ‘involves’ being the hid. ind.
11 WOOZINESS – ‘zines (‘specialist publications’) in woos (‘courts’. v.)   
12 CELLULOID – anag. of ‘I’ll do clue’, ‘for animation’ being anagrind.
13 EIDER – every other letter in ‘pErIoD gEaR’. I think ‘bird’ in the surface reading means “person” or “girl”
14 BETOOK – bet, O, O.K.
15 NUTCASE – anag. of ‘cantuse’ after removing ‘he’ from ‘chanteuse’; ‘fudge’ is anagrind and ‘fruitcake’ is the def. (a slightly mad person)
18 IDYLLIC – solved from the def. ‘charming’ – wordplay to be worked out.
20 BERATE – ‘rat’ (desert) in ‘bee’ (‘competition’ as in ‘spelling bee’); to have a go at a person is to pick on a person
22 DEMOB – read ‘demo B’ meaning ‘secondary or b-grade demonstration’
24 ANTIQUITY – ti (rev. of ‘it’), ‘quit’ in any (‘some’)
25 ALTERNATE – ‘every second’ is the def, “letter an ‘a’” is the anag. fodder and ‘bananas’ is the anagrind (not an illustation) in this not-too-obvious anagram clue. Pleasing.
26 AUDIT – (-S)audi, T (‘time’)
27 MARTYR - rev. of ry (‘track’), tram (‘vehicle’); ‘suffering one’ is the def.
28 BY GEORGE – def. is ‘crumbs!’ – Though I can make some guesses about wordplay, I would like it to be explained by someone who is more attuned.

Down

1 STENCH – s (‘sea’), tench; the def. is ‘pong’ (a bad smell)
2 ARTILLERY – ill (‘bad’) in artery (‘main channel’), ‘content’ being the c/c ind.
3 STATUE OF LIBERTY – One views this at close range by riding the ferries from Battery Park at the downtown tip of Manhattan. This is from a Google search. I have visited the USA five times but have not been to this side of the coast. -  20 in the clue is actually 20dn which is BATTERY. 4 is NEW YORK. Rather a straightforward clue written in a devious manner.
4 NEW YORK – I take ‘city’ as the def. – I haven’t worked out the wordplay – Y(‘year’) in work (‘operate’) seems to be part of the charade, but how does NE come?
6 LEICESTER SQUARE – I didn’t have difficulty in seeing the answer once I got most of the crossings and drew a thick line on the grid to mark the word division but I am rather tired to work out the wordplay. Any help from someone who got it readily will be appreciated.
7 WIELD – E (for Ecstasy, drug) in wild (‘uncultivated’), ‘without’ being the c/c ind.
8 RESERVED – serve (‘to be a soldier’) in red (revolutionary)
9 LONDON – hidden in ‘protocoL on DONations’; ‘limits’ is the hid. ind.; ‘capital’ is the def.
16 ATTAINDER – anag. of ‘tried at an’ – ‘an unconventional assembly’ is the anagrind; ‘loss of civil rights’ is the def. – Nice surface reading. The word was new for me but easily obtainable from wordplay.
17 WIND FARM -  indf (anag. of ‘find’, ‘out’ being the anagrind) in warm (‘heat’) ‘provides environment’ is the c/c ind.
19 CRAVAT – cra (rev. of ‘arc’), vat
20 BATTERY – ‘supplier of current’ is def.; where 2 (ARTILLERY) is located
21 MYRTLE - anag. of ‘termly’ – The President didn’t do any review, he was only ducking missiles at a press conference.
23 MOTOR – T (‘Toyota’s head’) in moor (‘to make fast’ or fasten)

7 Responses to “Financial Times 12952 / Satori”

  1. Eileen says:

    13ac: an eider is a duck, whose feathers are used to make eiderdowns [or were!]

    B[o]y George is a pop singer.

    4dn: tricky for a non UK resident: Tyneside is a region in the North East of England, often used in crosswords for NE.

    6dn: ICE [diamonds] in LEST [in order to avoid] ER [queen] SQUARE [capital: square capitals were a Roman form of writing used in inscriptions]

  2. Geoff Moss says:

    Eileen’s saved me some typing by only leaving 18a to be explained.

    18a [t]IDY CILL reversed

  3. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Thanks, Eileen and Geoff.

    Geoff, I had “sill” in mind, of course. But I did not know the variant spelling ‘cill’, which I have never come across in all my reading. It is only in crosswords that we sometimes encounter these strange forms.

  4. Eileen says:

    I omitted 1ac, too. Gloria Swanson is the old [film] star and would appear in a telephone directory as SWANSON,G.

    I remember we had a builder’s quote once, which included ‘cills’. I thought it was a spelling mistake but I see Chambers says it’s ‘sometimes used in the trade’.

  5. Geoff Moss says:

    I had completely missed the query regarding 1a :-(

    It just goes to show how different backgrounds can affect perception. I have always used ‘cill’ and find ‘sill’ to be the strange form. There again, 25 years of being involved with building works has no doubt conditioned my thinking.

  6. Jake says:

    Hi guys, I did find this rather taxing but also extremely enjoyable once I figured out some of the cluing. I didn’t manage to complete it, about 1/2 done!

    I printed it off at just after 12.30 am, and worked through the night. some clues I completed I didn’t really understand (how I arrived at the answer – and guess work helped me also. I think there was a mini theme here.

    Thanks for the blog C.G. Rishikesh, its put my mind at rest seeing how you figured it out. Nice one.

  7. Albie (Satori) says:

    Thanks for the feedback, it’s very helpful.

    Just to clear up a few points that seem to have slipped by:

    3 down isn’t so straightforward. It’s written in a devious manner as it’s an anagram (+ a bit of lit): “20 (BATTERY) files out” is the fodder; “trips” the indicator.

    I liked Eileen’s idea on the reason for “square” in 6 down. However, the answer is more prosaic: the numbers 4 and 9 are both “squares”. (It took me a while to find an FT grid where NEW YORK and LONDON would fill those two slots.)Maybe it was too misleading.

    Thanks again for the inforative comments, and a Merry Christmas to you all.

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