Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,072 by Cincinnus

Posted by Pete Maclean on May 21st, 2009

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of May 9
Is Cincinnus making his puzzles more difficult (ESPARTO, CALLUNA, EARNEST meaning pledge)? Or is it just a one-time thing? Or just me? Anyway, more difficult or not it was as enjoyable as ever and very solvable although there must be something I do not understand in 24A.

Across
1. COMBINATIONS – double definition
8. MATISSE – anagram of SEA MIST
9. GUESSED – homophone (“guest”)
11. ZERMATT – ZER[o] + MATT[hew]
12. READIES – IT (that is) in READS (studies)
13. NERVE – hidden word
14. CO-STARRED – STARR (drummer) in COED (female student). I was surprised to see “coed” used in this sense in a British puzzle. I always thought of it as a peculiarly American term — and one I found very ugly.
16. GLEEFULLY – FEEL (consider) backwards in GULLY (channel)
19. CLARA – initial letters. Schumann’s wife was named Clara.
21. ASPIRIN – ASPIRIN[g]
23. HOLD OUT – double definition
24. EARNEST – ???. An obscure meaning of “earnest” is a monetary pledge. So this seems to mean that “pledge” is the definition but I do not understand how the rest of the clue works. (See comments below.)
25. AMUSING – A (a) + MUSING (meditation)
26. FOURTH ESTATE – anagram of FOR THE STATUE

Down
1. CATERER – CAT (Tom) + ERE (before) + R (Rex)
2. MISTAKE – [ter]M + I (I) + STAKE (wager)
3. IDENTICAL – anagram of AID CLIENT
4. AUGUR – A (a) + U (universal) + RUG (cover) backwards
5. IKEBANA – BAN (outlaw) in IKEA (furniture store)
6. NASTIER – anagram of TARES IN
7. AMAZING GRACE – anagram of CAR MAGAZINE with G (good) inserted. Amazing!
10. DISADVANTAGE – SAD (miserable) inserted into anagram of GIVEN DATA
15. SCYTHIANS – SCYTH[e] (tool lacking finish) + anagram of IS AN
17. ESPARTO – [snak]E + PART (some) in SO (like this)
18. FORBEAR – FOR (because of) + BEAR (Teddy?)
19. CALLUNA – CALL (name) + UNA (girl)
20. ACONITE – anagram of NOTICE A
22. NOTCH – [top]NOTCH. Great clue — I sent it to my friend Nick.

3 Responses to “Financial Times 13,072 by Cincinnus”

  1. Cincinnus says:

    Thank you, Pete, for another good blog.

    Re 24A: Art deserving pledge? (7)

    To understand the wordplay you have to think archaic – ‘art deserving’ = ‘earnest’ as in “Thou art deserving thy reward” / “Thou earnest thy reward”.

    Re 7D: Noted words of praise for car magazine: “Terribly good content” (7,5)

    It’s actually an anagram of CAR MAGAZINE with G inserted (as indicated by ‘good content’).

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Cincinnus, thank you for commenting and explaining 24A.

    I realized the significance of “Terribly good content” when I solved 7D but then forgot when I wrote the blog!

  3. NathanJ says:

    Hi Pete

    I agree with you about Cincinnus puzzles becoming more difficult. I have been solving his puzzles for a while and I notice this puzzle and the previous one took me a lot longer to complete than his puzzles from the more distant past.

    I still enjoy solving Cincinnus though – he is always fair and his clues are beautifully crafted.

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