Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,198 by Cinephile

Posted by Pete Maclean on October 15th, 2009

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of October 3
I don’t recall any compiler using clues for split-word answers (such as 11 and 9 across) as much as Cinephile. He has 4 in this puzzle!

Across
1. BECOME – double definition
4. EMBALMER – ALM (singular charity) in EMBER (most of SEPTEMBER, NOVEMBER and DECEMBER). Now here are two unusual pieces of word play. I think “most of three months” works well but I am less sure about “singular charity”. Perhaps one is supposed to read “singular” as meaning peculiar rather than non-plural. The point is that, as far as I can determine, there is no word “alm” so some cryptic indication might be appropriate.
10. STATUARY – anagram of AT A RUSTY
11, 9. BUTTERSCOTCH – BUTTER (goat) + SCOTCH (put a stop to). If you have not come across “goat” used to clue “butter” before, this is one to remember!
12. BORN FREE – RN (fleet – “Royal Navy”) in anagram of BEFORE
13, 14. OLD BANGER – double/cryptic definition
17. LANGUOR – O (love) in LANGUR (monkey)
21, 25. MIDDLESEX – double definition (epicene means having an ambiguous sexual identity)
26. PROMOTER – anagram of MORE PORT
27, 29. THREADNEEDLE – THREAD NEEDLE (prepare to sew)
28. HATCHERY – H (hard) + A (one) + anagram of THE CRY
30. TARTRATE – ART (paintings) in TATE (gallery)
31. ISOMER – hidden word

Down
1. BUSHBABY – BUSH (the president) + BABY (very immature)
2. CROUTONS – ROUT (heavy defeat) in CONS (prisoners)
3. MACKEREL – double definition (mackerel describes a certain kind of cloudy sky)
5, 6. METHOD ACTING – anagram of DIN MOG THE CAT
7. MEAGRE – AG (silver) in MERE (not a lot). I have seen this clue or one very like it before.
8. RHYMES – double definition and an &lit.
12. BLOGGER – B (second) + L (left) + anagram of GORGE
15, 16. RANDOM – RAN (extended to) + DOM (monk)
18. RICHNESS – RI[ch] + N (nitrogen) in CHESS (game)
19. ADDENDUM – AD (plug) + DEN (study) + DUM[as]
20. HEADGEAR – AD[a]GE (heartless saying) in HEAR (listen). Can “listen” legitimately clue “hear”? Well, yes, it can. One meaning of “listen” is “hear with intention”.
22. UPSHOT – cryptic definition
23, 24. FOSTER MOTHER – FOS (Foreign Office’s) + TERM (expression) + OTHER (different)
25. SECRET – SE (home counties – South East) + CRET[e] (island, not quite)

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