Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,217 – Crux

Posted by Uncle Yap on November 5th, 2009

Uncle Yap.

Monday Prize Crossword on 26 October 2009
dd = double definition
dud = duplicate definition
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

Another pleasant and not all that dfifficult start to the new FT week.

Today, I wish to draw attention to what I call a gradual deviation from the proper construction of the double definition clue … for which Don Manley gave four examples in his authoritative book, Chambers Crossword Guide.
Broken part of body (4)
Take notice of gospel writer (4)
Oil film (6)
Tumblers producing spectacles (7)

What we are seeing nowadays posing as dd’s are no less cryptic devices but not really the dd as defined by Don’s examples. I wish to call these by another name (please see my comments after the main body of this blog)

1 ABSINTHE ha I often wonder what drink this is? Pernod is golden clear but becomes milky with the addition of water. Can someone tell me some brandnames of this drink?
5 KINDLE Cha of KIND (sort) LE (French definite article)
9 HEAD GIRL This cd got me foxed for a while. Most schools choose their head boy/girl from the most senior class/form.
10 AGE OLD *(a lodge)
12 MY HAT MY (first letters of motor yacht) HAT (Panama) I wonder whether it is kosher to represent m & y as motor yacht … my Holy Bible aka Chambers does not support this
13 LACTATION Ins of ACT AT (work at) in LION (mammal) This clue is quite scientifically correct as mammals are defined as animals that suckle their young
14 STRAND dd
16 MUNDANE Cha of M (male) UN (one in French or foreign one) DANE (Hamlet, prince of Denmark)
19 UNIFORM supposed to be a dd but isn’t this water from the same well?
21 ENDEAR Cha of EN (east & north, points on the compass) DEAR (expensive)
25 CASTE sounds like CAST (actors)
26 OIL RIG Rev of GIRL IO (child ten)
27 REDBRICK RED (Socialist) Brick (a good sort) I have been told that the universities in the UK can be classified as Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge) Redbrick (all the otherold universities before 1960?) and Glass Houses (all the Colleges of Advanced Technologies aka CAT’s, Polytechnics that became universities after the 60’s) on account of the amount of glasses used in the buildings
28 FETISH Cha of FE (ferrous or iron) *(this) I was quite surprised that Chambers first defines fetish as an object believed to procure for its owner the services of a spirit lodged within it; otherwise known as a charm
29 SEARCHER SE (extreme letters of SimplE) Archer (Sagittarius, sign of the Zodiac)

1 AT-HOME A *(mother minus r) a reception held in a person’s own house.
2 SPAGHETTI *(past eight)
3 NIGHT Knight (horseman) minus K. Quite an untimely clue when you are turning the clock back to GMT and when the nights are getting shorter. Maybe, this clue is meant for the solvers in the Southern hemisphere.
4 HURTLED Cha of HURT (injured) + LED (came first)
INGRAINED *(gin) RAINED (poured) I wonder what is the function of the indefinite article before GIN
7 DHOTI Ins of HOT (stifling) in DI (middle letters of inDIes)
8 ENDANGER Cha of END (death) ANGER (needle or make someone angry)
11 SCAM Rev of Mac’s (Scot’s)
15 ACOUSTICS *(cactus is o)
17 ADAM SMITH Adam’s (first man’s) + MITH (sounds like myth, story)
18 BULLY OFF Tichy way to say hector (bully) is not around. Hockey term
20 MEAN Near average (4) Why is near = mean?
21 EXTREME dud In another thread, I allude to the concept that the double definition clue, as we understand it, must be two very different words with totally different meaning. Today, the dd seems to have evolved into another genre where related words can be represented as different parts of speech and then posed as a dd. (My comments after the main body of this blog)
22 BEAKER White horse not right for the Cup (6)
24 OWLET The Owl and the Pussycat is a famous nonsense poem by Edward Lear , first published in 1871. I learned this as a primary schoolboy. How is it that I can remember such trivia and forget where I parked the car in the huge shopping complex?
25 CABER rha

Guardian 24,840 – Rufus
# 27  Uncle Yap says:
October 27th, 2009 at 12:51 am

Before this puzzle becomes cold, may I draw attention to 19A Sends away for books (6) which has been intended and interpreted as a double definition clue.

Recently, I alluded to the concept of a duplicate definition when both definitions are “water from the same well” and I used an example to illustrate this. Season well (6) is a valid dd for SPRING but Bound to jump (6) is merely duplicating the definition for spring.

Due to expected demand, he sent away for/booked the new Harry Potter novel well before the publication date. You can see that “send away for” and “book” are interchangeable and identical in meaning; so surely this is NOT a double definition as we know it; but a duplicate definition clue.

Perhaps, someone erudite like Don Manley who codifies the modern rules for cryptic crosswords can formalise a new device and call it duplicated definition (or “dud” to distinguish this from the normal dd).

A dud can be just as cryptic and sometimes, the surface can be very appealing, especially when they are used like different parts of speech (verb and noun in the above Rufus example).

Then, instead of calling the clue a flawed dd, let’s call it a legitimate dud.

3 Responses to “Financial Times 13,217 – Crux”

  1. Oldham says:

    Re 20d near is an archaic word for stingy ie mean.

  2. anax says:

    Hi Uncle Yap

    “Flawed DD”. To be honest, I’d see it that way – a DD based on equal synonyms isn’t much of a clue IMO, but that’s an entirely personal standpoint. According to the rules of clue-writing it isn’t an unacceptable device; the clue “Air show (5)” for FRONT is weak because the two defs have the same meaning but, strung together, they provide a misleading clue, which is what a cryptic is supposed to be.

  3. Paul B says:

    How about ‘single definition clue using two words where one would have sufficed’?

    I should also like to say that while Don is valued indeed for his contributions to the crosswording literature, perhaps even the man himself would fall slightly shy of any claim to be The Codifier Royal. Well, maybe. Hopefully there is as yet, in despite of so many opinions, no one way to do things: otherwise we might just as well pack up and take the rest of our lives off. I don’t like Ximenean puzzles all that much anyway. By no means all, but quite a lot of them seem to me to be boring and patronising.

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