Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,986 / Cinephile

Posted by Gaufrid on January 28th, 2009

Gaufrid.

A definite challenge today due to the Oxford College theme and some unfamiliar words. I found it difficult to get into the puzzle until the significance of ‘OC’ emerged and 7a/8d held me up for a while at the end (along with trying to parse 2d). I should have recognised the theme more quickly because there was a similar one some months ago. I have been unable to resolve 2d to my satisfaction (Edit: now sorted, thanks Eileen) and I also wonder about the correct interpretation of 16d.

10a is two clues in one, two definitions (conformity and agreement) and two sets of wordplay.

Across
1 SCHOOLROOM  SCHOOL (fish) MOOR (leave boat) reversed
7,15 BESTOWED  cd
9 ALBI  hidden in ‘cardinAL BIshops’ – the town in France noted for its heresy in the Middle Ages
10a ACCORDANCE  CORD (matter for binding) AN (article) in A C (catholic) CE (church)
10b ACCORDANCE  A CC (cricket club) OR (alternative) DANCE (ball)
11 HELLAS  HELL (underworld) AS (when)
12 ABOVE PAR  cd
13 HERTFORD  HER (female) T FORD (model car)
17 ALSO  A LSO (lot of capital musicians, London Symphony Orchestra)
19 NEAR EAST  AREA (region) in NEST (home)
22 INCHCAPE  IN CH (church) C[hurch] APE (primate) – another name for the infamous Bell Rock
23 DWIGHT  D (democrat) WIGHT (old man, archaic word for person) – reference to Dwight D Eisenhower
25 COCO CHANEL  COCO (nut) CHA[n]NEL (La Manche)
26 DOGE  DOG (animal) E (English)
27 KNEE  K (monarch) NEE[d] (unfulfilled want)
28 MAYONNAISE  MAY (month) NA (sodium) IS in ONE

Down
2 COLLEGE  COL (pass) LEGE[s] (laws without end) – leges is the plural of lex as confirmed in Collins (but not Chambers or COED). Edit: parsing corrected thanks to Eileen’s comment #1.
LEG (laws, abbreviation for legislation) [th]E (end for the) – if this is the parsing (and I don’t think it is) then ‘without’ is superfluous. I can find no way of supporting LEGE[?] which is the way the clue reads.
3 ORIEL  ORIEL (light, a type of window)
4 LEAF SPOT  *(FALSE) POT (container) – ‘result of’ to indicate an anagram?
5 ONCE AND ONCE ONLY  N (pole) in OCEAN (sea) DON (Russian river) *(Ceylon) – ‘product of’ as an anagram indicator?
6 MERTON  R (right) TO in MEN (fellows)
7 BRASENOSE  BRA (supporter) NOS (numbers) in SEE (observe)
8 SACCADE  A CC (small amount) in SADE (Marquis de Sade)
14 TOOTHSOME  TO *(HOT) SOME (a few)
16 MAGDALEN  DALE (valley) in MAGN[a] or MAGN[ificent] (great opening) – ‘magna’ as in Magna Carta and magna cum laude
18 LINCOLN  L (left) IN L (left) in CON (scam)
20 ST HUGHS  THUG (man of violence) in SH (don’t talk) S (society)
21 WADHAM  WAD (bun) HAM (meat)
24 INDIA  hidden in ‘certaIN DIAmeter’

8 Responses to “Financial Times 12,986 / Cinephile”

  1. Eileen says:

    I really enjoyed this one. 7,15 and 8dn [a word of which I had not heard] were the last for me, too. I had to get to 20dn before the theme dawned on me but after that it was reasonably straightforward.

    2dn I took to be COL + LEGE[s] [Latin for laws] but I have been unable to find it in any of my English dictionaries – nor the singular, ‘lex’, which I thought might be there.

    I agree with your parsing of 16dn and I had no problem with ‘product of’ as an an anagram indicator. ‘Result of’ is slightly more suspect!

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Eileen
    In my case 20d was the first thematic to go in but it didn’t mean very much until I added 16d.

    My blog was somewhat delayed due to my attempts to justify LEGE[?] in 2d. Lex is in Chambers (11th Ed.) but no plural is given. However, I have belatedly consulted Collins (on-line) which does give leges as the plural of lex (something I had forgotten in the 45+ years since learning Latin at school) so thanks for steering me in the right direction.

  3. Eileen says:

    Sloppy research on my part: I did look for ‘leges’ in Chambers, Collins and SOED but, when neither of the latter couple came up with ‘lex’ I didn’t go back to Chambers!

    I think objections to this clue [and perhaps 16dn, for very similar reasons] may be justified – but I still enjoyed it!

  4. Ian Stark says:

    Phew! My first attempt at a Cinephile puzzle (although by no means my first with the same setter in another place). Once I had the theme (of which I am utterly ignorant) I managed to run through this reasonably quickly (with help from other sources) but I was stumped by 8d – a new word for me. 19a was great.

  5. Ian Stark says:

    The setter seems to generate a lot more passionate comment in the other place! Does he come here for peace and quiet?! I don’t blame him, if that is so . . . much more civilised.

  6. smutchin says:

    Well, on another day I might have been able to recall the names of a few more Oxford colleges, but didn’t do so well today. Brain slurry, synapses not connecting. I got 18d and 20d from the wordplay, and worked out 2d without fully understanding it, which was enough to reveal the theme. Re 2d – I know the phrase lex talionis from my days as a philosophy student, but didn’t know that leges was the plural of lex.

    I read 17a as the “capital” letters of A Lot + SO for symphony orchestra. I suppose it works either way.

    I got 10a, again without fully understanding it – thanks for the explanation, Gaufrid. I got “A CC or dance”, the rest was just baffling.

    Ian, I think it’s just that there are more Guardian readers round here – and they’re an argumentative bunch (I should know – I am one). Setting crosswords is not a well-paid job, from what I can gather, so several setters pay the rent by contributing to both papers (not to mention Indy/Times/Telegraph/Listener as well), notably Cincinnus/Orlando, Paul/Mudd, Dante/Rufus, Pasquale/Bradman and the brilliant Brendan/Virgilius (click on the setters link at the top of the page for more info). I’ve started doing the FT recently myself because it’s available free online. Independent is also free online but not easily printable.

  7. smutchin says:

    Sorry, Virgilius is Indy of course, not FT. Shame cos I can’t bring myself to buy the Independent.

  8. Ian Stark says:

    I shall explore further, then . . . ta, Smutchin.

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