Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,094 / Bradman

Posted by Agentzero on June 4th, 2009

Agentzero.

This was an enjoyable challenge from The Don, with many very nice clues, including more “&lit” clues than I have seen in a while. However, a grid with this many long lights tends to result in too many long anagrams, at least for my taste. Here, there are six of ten letters or more.

Across
1 SEED POTATO *(SAT TOO DEEP)
6 SIAM This is the old name for Thailand, a country to the east, and also MAIS (“but,” for Frenchmen) reversed (running “to the west”).
9 TREASONOUS REASON (grounds) in TO US. 
10 SPIN SPAIN (country) minus A.  “Laundered bit of PR” is a nice definition.
12 HEIR APPARENT I (one) in HE (high explosive) RAP (conversation) + PARENT (father maybe).
15 STREAMLET A ML (a small volume, i.e., millilitre) in STREET (road)  First of the &lit clues
17 TASTE hidden in whaT A STEak
18 INLET IN + [toi]LET (loo half hidden).  An inlet is a “wet arm” of the sea
19 MARGRAVES GRAVE (solemn) in MARS (another world).  A margrave was a marquis in the Holy Roman Empire
20 ACCOUTREMENT *(CONCERT A MUTE)
24 IRON FE (fear, not half) is the chemical symbol for iron
25 ESPADRILLE *(DEALER SLIP[pers])
26 NEEP N (“grown,” finally) + PEE (water) reversed
27 CONSUMMATE CONSUME (swallow) incorporating MAT (something by front door)
 
Down
1 SETH Another &lit: S (son) + ETH (an Old English letter and therefore “a character from way back when”).  Seth was the third son of Adam and Eve
2 EXES hidden in sEX ESsentially
3 PASSE-PARTOUT *(PASTE UP ART SO)
4 TONER cd.  I’m sure we’ve all seen the error message TONER LOW – REPLACE CARTRIDGE.  Usually immediately before we have to distribute 200 copies of a presentation
5 TRUMPETER T (tenor) RUM (odd) PETER (chap)
7 IMPRESSIVE IM (I am) PRESS (referring to 24 across, IRON) IVE (I have)
8 MONOTHEIST  *(TO ME SHINTO) Although I complained above about the long anagrams, this is a great &lit clue.  Shinto is a polytheistic religion, so it would indeed “seem alien” to a monotheist.
11 BATTERING RAM BATTER IN (cricketer at the crease) GRAM (little weight)
13 ASPIRATION To aspirate is to pronounce the letter H, so it is evident when HOPE is spoken
14 FROLICSOME *(FOOL CRIMES)
16 LAMBRUSCO LAMB (the writer) RU (game) SCO[t] (Caledonian with no time).  By including the qualifier “weaker than whisky,” presumably Bradman was trying to anticipate the objection that the word “booze” connotes something stronger than wine.  However, Collins defines “booze” simply as “an alcoholic drink,” so arguably “booze” standing alone would have been acceptable 
21 MEATS M (“mammalian,” primarily) EATS (food).  Another &lit
22 ALMA HALMA (a board game, to my knowledge seen only in crosswords) minus H (ditching Henry).
23 MEDE homophone of MEAD.

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