Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,040 / Orense

Posted by Gaufrid on April 1st, 2009

Gaufrid.

A mix of easy and slightly less easy clues today with some good surfaces. I rather liked 25a which can be a dd or a cd depending on whether one separates the ‘light’ from ‘infantry’. 18a would have pleased me if I hadn’t seen a very similar clue previously and 2d is also worthy of a mention.

The unches on the top row and the start of the bottom row spell out ‘bête noire’ so I spent a little while looking for a Nina but couldn’t find anything further so this is either a coincidence or an attempt at an All Fools’ day prank designed to waste solvers’ time.

Across
9 IMPROMPTU  IM PROMPT (ready) U (university)
10 PASSE  PASS (amorous advance) [sw]E[et] (sweetheart)
11 COTERIE  *(EROTIC) [pressur]E
12 CALIBRE  dd
13 TIP  dd
14 ANIMADVERTS  *(MAIDSERVANT)
17 SUSHI  S (south) US (American) HI (greeting)
18 ILK  [m]ILK
19 LAIRD  I (island) in LARD (fat)
21 ILL-TEMPERED  ILL (bad) TEMPER (season) ED (editor)
23 PIE  [soa]P I[nsid]E
25 BAYONET  dd or cd
27 PATRONS  PAT RON (two boys) S (sun)
28 NEARS  N (unquantified number) EARS (listeners)
29 IN CONCERT  [w]IN[e] CONCERT (musical performance)

Down
1 BIG CAT  G (German) C (conservative) in *(BAIT)
2 EPITAPHS  cd
3 TOURMALINE  TOUR (trip) MA (graduate) *(NILE)
4 EPEE  PE (exercises in E[laborat]E
5 NUTCRACKER  cd
6 OPAL  OP (work) A [leve]L
7 ISOBAR  SO (like this) in I BAR (one pub)
8 REVERSED  VERSE (output of poet) in RED (debt)
15 IDIOPATHIC  IDIO[t] (fool almost) PATH (way) IC (ruling, in charge)
16 VALIDATING  *(DATA LIVING)
17 SHINBONE  B[r]O[w]N in SHINE (beam)
20 IMPROVED  I M (one thousand) PROVED (tested)
22 LAYMAN  LAY (put down) MAN (crew)
24 ERSATZ  hidden in ‘playERS AT Zurich’
26 NOSH  SON (boy) reversed H (hospital)
27 PACE  P (pressure) ACE (expert)

3 Responses to “Financial Times 13,040 / Orense”

  1. agentzero says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid. I was unaware of the second meaning of “bayonet,” which makes the clue clever indeed.

    Not sure about red=debt in 8dn. All I can find in Chambers is “in THE red” = “in debt.”

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Agentzero
    I raised an eyebrow over debt=red as well. There was a discussion here some months ago about this very topic but I cannot remember in which post or what the final outcome was. In the end, this time I just treated it as a bit of setter’s licence.

    I had a bit more of a quibble with the use of ‘display’ as an anagram indicator in 11a.

  3. Paul B says:

    It was to do with how compilers had been writing their clues for the likes of RE(VERSE)D so as to utilise the ‘debt’ gag.

    At the time I mumbled something about there being no need actually to say ‘in the red’ or ‘in debt’ (which causes the problem observed by our blogger today) where a phrase like ‘experiencing financial difficulty?’ would probably do the trick.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


4 − = two