Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 13,095 / Viking

Posted by shuchi on June 5th, 2009

shuchi.

An entertaining puzzle from Viking.

The theme (six answers form a group relating to a recent bicentenary) eluded me till the end, thanks to Gaufrid for help with this. The bicentenary is the death of Joseph Haydn (31 May 1809). The group of words is SURPRISE, MIRACLE, MILITARY, CLOCK, DRUMROLL and LONDON – these are all titles of works which form part of Haydn’s ‘London’ symphonies.

Across

1 MOBILE MO (short time) BILE (resentment). The ‘cell’ is nicely deceptive.
4 DRUMROLL DROLL (amusing) around RUM(-p)
10 LITHESOME (TILES + HOME)*
11 SPECS cd. I’m reading this as wordplay on specifications (type) and spectacles…or is there another explanation? [See Gaufrid's comment for a simpler parsing.]
12 TIER TI(-g)ER
13 ADMINISTER I MD in RETSINA (wine), all reversed. Very well-constructed.
15 RUN DOWN dd [A neat triple definition, actually. See Viking's comment#4.]
16 GENDER GEN(-t) RED reversed
19 STUDIO STUD (boss) I O
21 MIRACLE MILE (athletic event) around RAC(-e) (short run)
23 RESPECTING (CREEP + ISNT)* G
25 QUAD (-s)QUAD
27 CLOCK CROCK (clapped-out car) -R +L. clock = notice (verb) was a new meaning for me; Chambers lists it as slang.
28 PRAGMATIC P (power) (MAGIC + ART)*
29 SURPRISE PR IS in SURE (certainly).
30 COARSE OARS (rows) in CE (church)

Down

1 MILITARY (IMMORALITY – MO)*
2 BUTTERNUT BUT (save) TERN (bird) UT (old musical note for ‘DO’)
3 LIEU Alternate letters of ‘LoIsEaU’. Quite easy to spot this one.
5 REELING EEL (fish) in RING (loop)
6 MISSIONARY (NO SIR SAY IM)* Brilliant! My favourite clue of the day.
7 OVERT (-c)OVERT
8 LUSTRE LURE (entice) around ST (abbrev. for stone, the unit of mass)
9 LONDON LOON (diving bird) around ND
14 WOODPECKER WOOD (deal = fir or pine wood) PECKER (one kissing)
17 ENCOUNTER EN (opponents in bridge) (TROUNCE)*
18 HEADACHE H(EA(DA)CH)E. I was pleased that ‘he’ did not translate to a random proper name.
20 OCTOPUS OCT (month) OPUS (work). Very amusing!
21 MANIAC MA CAIN (murderous son) reversed
22 BRACES dd
24 SCOUR C (first letter of ‘cleaner’) in SOUR (acidic)
26 AMMO Hidden in cOMMAnd, reversed

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,095 / Viking”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Shuchi
    4a You are short of an R in your parsing. Try RUM[p] in DROLL

    11a I had this as SPEC[ie]S (type that is not used)

  2. shuchi says:

    Hi Gaufrid
    4a: Corrected – thank you! Funny that the synonyms share so many letters in common :)
    11a looks good with your explanation.

  3. nmsindy says:

    This was a very good puzzle, quite hard. When one or two of the symphonies appeared I remembered a recent themed puzzle by Phi in the Inquisitor series in the Indy also using Haydn symphonies though in a very different way. So I knew the theme, but some were quite different to those used here, as I found when checking after. Favourite clues, SPECS, MILITARY, MISSIONARY, HEADACHE.

  4. Viking says:

    Thank you, Shuchi, for the analysis and the kind comments. I have one small correction to make, only because there is an unusual quirk. 15ac is in fact a triple definition, with a different “length” for each: “Pick holes in” is (3,4), “weak” is (3-4) and “summary” is (7); I used the first to be encountered in the clue.

  5. shuchi says:

    Thank you for clarifying 15ac and for the excellent puzzle, Viking. 15ac is impressive when read like that.

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