Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,033 / Neo

Posted by Agentzero on March 24th, 2009

Agentzero.

Although these clues were not difficult, a number of them had admirably smooth surfaces.   Dumas and Shakespeare turn up a few different times, but probably not enough to count as a theme.

Across
1, 26, 14 THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK cd In the third part of Dumas’s famous trilogy, the prisoner is the identical twin of Louis XIV
4 ANAGRAMS NAG (woman finding fault) inside ARAM[i]S (a musketeer from the first part of the aforementioned trilogy)
9 INTER dd San Siro is home to both of the rivals AC Milan and Inter
10 ISRAELITE IS + ELITE (most powerful) after RA (god)
11 CABINET CAB (taxi) IN ET (film)
12 HEADING *(E[ast] GANDHI)
13 TRIO T (“ending with Fast”) RIO (City).  I’m not keen on the use of “with” here, but this clue is greatly helped by the fact that Fast City is an actual jazz composition by the fusion band Weather Report
17 HEBRAIST BRA in HEIST
19 ALTO hidden in vocAL TOgether
22 CHAPATI CHAP AT I (1 pm)
24 UNTAMED *(mad tune)
25 WORK BENCH dd, but also a charade in that one of the defs is of the two parts separately
27 SACREDLY SAC RED L[a]Y  Does “bloodstained” mean that SAC LY has RED in it?  Otherwise I’m not quite sure about using “bloodstained bag” to clue SAC RED (as opposed to RED SAC)
28 ALBERT VR’s consort, but I’m not sure why a “link to time” Clarification, thanks to Eileen: it is a punning reference to the watch chain
 
Down
1 TWIN CITY *(WIT[h] IT NYC)
2 ESTABLISH *(the slab is)
3 AIRING A1 (excellent) RING (band)
5 NORTH AND SOUTH dd Most likely the Victorian novel by Elizabeth Gaskell, but it could also be the John Jakes novel of the American Civil War
6 GRENADA ERG (work unit) reversed NADA (nothing)
7 ALIBI ALI (the boxer) BI
8 SLEIGH *(HIS LEG)
10 INTERNATIONAL The INTERNATIONAL[e] is the “left anthem”
15 KILOMETRE *(LIKE T[roy] ROME)
16 COLD FEET OLD (earlier) FEE (account) in CT
18 BRAMBLE B (note) RAMBLE (walk in the country)
20 SCOWLS COW (disagreeable woman) L inside SS (steamship)
21 AT WILL dd  The comment on 25ac applies here as well
23 AURIC RU (sport) in CIA (spooks), reversed.  The forename of the Bond villain.

6 Responses to “Financial Times 13,033 / Neo”

  1. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Agentzero: Thanks for your explanation of 10ac, which I solved but couldn’t work it out.

    I appreciate your comment at 25a (which ploy I didn’t notice) but I, for one, think 21d is only a charade and not a dd.

    I too wondered how ‘bloodstained bag’ could yield SAC RED but you have given a convincing explanation that SAC LY goes around RED (I too was looking at ‘bloodstained’ disjunctively though I didn’t pursue the thought as you did).

    12a: This solution was held up for sometime because, from “changed direction”, I didn’t expect a solution word ending in -ing.

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Agentzero.

    I was puzzled by 28ac, too, thinking the ‘T’ must indicate ‘time’ – then the penny dropped: an albert is a pocket watch chain, named after thhe Prince.

  3. Agentzero says:

    Thanks for the comments, Rishi and Eileen. I have to say though, that even if we have correctly understood Neo’s intention, “bloodstained” = “with RED in it” is not fully convincing to me. Compare, say, Shed’s “on the rocks” = “with ICE in it” from last week.

  4. Neo says:

    Thanks for your blog Agentzero, which I found excellent. You clearly know how clues are put together – an enormous help when blogging at 15/2 (and yes, that was a veiled reference to a recent, ah, unfortunate situation).

    FYI 25ac and 21dn are both (intended as) charades for SI plus definitions. The Shaks. one is looser to allow for the play (so to speak) on As You Like It, but the ‘heavy table’ is a straight Collins def.

    ‘Divinely bloodstained bag lay empty!’ has a q. mark for a reason, which is (as you observe) that we have SAC RED and not vice versa. But that was the intended meaning, rather than a container. I know what you mean with the Shed (a brilliant compiler IMO) example, but I wasn’t after one of those on this occasion.

    Many thanks to all.

  5. Agentzero says:

    Thank you, Neo. I’ve enjoyed your work, and it’s always a pleasure to hear from setters here.

    Regarding “bloodstained,” I suppose one could note that RED, in the sense of bloodstained, is often (at least in literature) used postpositively. That is, a warrior who “advances with his red sword” may simply have a painted weapon; but if he “advances, his sword red” there is a stronger suggestion of blood.

  6. Neo says:

    Yes, well, I’m not advancing as invincibly as I might toward a clueing poetics, but (to Ed Gein?) a ‘sac red’ is possibly almost the same as a ‘red sac’.

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