Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,136/Flimsy

Posted by smiffy on July 23rd, 2009

smiffy.

Nothing pant-wettingly exciting here, but a nice vein of humour running through some of the clues, which raised a few smiles.  Please excuse the slightly late blog (again).  While the FT have certainly improved the legibility of their online puzzles recently, the pages themselves no longer seem to be posted earlier enough for a pre-bedtime solve by those of us in the western colonies.

Across
1 HANDCUFF – punning def’n
5 IAMBIC – Ain I’m + Bic (biro)
10 ACCUSER – c(ocaine) in a+c+user
11 HESSIAN – (she is)* + an. A “mercenary” (from Hesse in Germany) that fought alongside the British in these aforementioned western colonies.
12 TITHE – hidden
13 INTUMESCE – in tum + c in (see)*.  A silky smooth surface.
14 BLANK CHEQUES – blank cheque + s. A somewhat curious wordplay division, given that it’s about as close as one can get to a double def’n without actually doing so.
18 TENANT FARMER – punning def’n
21 UNDERPASS – yet more punnery.
23 PROSE – homophone of “pros”.
24 PITHIER – thi[rty] in (ripe)*
25 MEASURE – me (i.e. Flimsy) + a sure
26 TIDIES (diets + WI)* – w
27 ASSYRIAN – (say ars[e] + in)*. The answer immediately put me in mind of The Destruction of Sennacherib, and the clue itself of this Fast Show clip. So I may have just diagnosed myself as culturally schizophrenic.

Down
1 HEARTY – H + (try a e)*
2 NICETY – nice try -r
3 CASTELLAN – (clean + latest)* – (e + t)
4 FOREIGN AFFAIRS – a play on what Private Eye calls Ugandan Discussions.
6 ASSAM – Ass. + a.m.
7 BLISSFUL – (fuss + bill)*
8 CONDENSE  – Con + dense
9 WHITE CHRISTMAS – (which mister +t)*
15 EXEMPLARY – double def’n
16 STRUMPET – s + (tum +pert)*. Amusing, in a very schoolboy humouresque way.
17 UNEDITED – (nude)* + I +Ted
19 MODULI – (oil + mud)*
20 HEREIN – he + rein
22 RAISE – is in rae. I assume that “rae” is a piscatorial variant of ray. (Wrong – as pointed out below it’s a homophone of “rays“).

6 Responses to “Financial Times 13,136/Flimsy”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Smiffy
    22d I don’t think there is a fish by the name of ‘rae’. I parsed this as a homophone of ‘rays’ with the indicator being ‘to be caught’.

  2. Andrew says:

    Hi Smiffy

    Continuing my explorations of the FT: more difficult than some I’ve tried, and some nice moments, but spoiled for me by 14ac. Is Flimsy a regular setter?

    I think you mean FOREIGN AFFAIRS at 4dn – rather a vague clue, I thought

    14ac seems disgracefully bad to me – BLANK CHEQUE in the sense of “complete freedom” may be metaphorical, but it comes directly from the literal meaning, which is also used for the main definition.

    I agree with Gaufrid’s reading of 22dn

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Andrew
    “Is Flimsy a regular setter?”

    This was Flimsy’s eighth appearance during the last twelve months.

  4. Andrew says:

    Thanks Gaufrid – I realise I could have checked that myself…

  5. smiffy says:

    Hi Gents. Thanks for the observations; duly amended.

    I was trying not to be too uncharitable in my diagnosis of 14A, but I’m glad I’m not alone in finding it unpalatable. Especially as there are more pithy alternatives available.

  6. ACP says:

    The best of the puzzle was learning that other puzzles may be ‘pant-wettingly exciting’ !
    I hadn’t actually considered that before.

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