Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,243 / Cinephile

Posted by Gaufrid on November 25th, 2009

Gaufrid.

A themed puzzle revolving around Washington and Berlin. Tricky in places, partly due to the significant number of cryptic definitions. I am not completely sure that I have interpreted 22d correctly so any alternative suggestions would be welcome.

Once I had finished I realised that I enjoyed this puzzle despite having felt perplexed at times during the solving process. There were a couple of old chestnuts (25a & 27a) but a lot of Cinephile’s typical mischief to make up for them.

Across
1,23 BOOKER PRIZE K (king) ER (queen) *(RIP) in BOOZE (liquor)
4 COLUMBIA COLUM[n] (some writing) BIA[s] (some prejudice) – ‘(a third one)’ refers to the fact that three capitals appear in the grid, despite the number times ‘capital’ is used in a clue, but the other two capitals are used thematically as parts of other clues (eg 16a & 17a).
10 CHELSEA cd – a reference to Bill Clinton’s daughter.
11 EXTINCT C (Conservative) in *(TEXTIN[g])
13 WASHINGTON SHIN (bone) in WAG (comedian) TO N (pole)
16 IRVING cd – a reference to Washington Irving and Irving Berlin.
17 SURNAME SUR[i]NAM (I leave South American country) E (drug) – a cryptic definition ‘either capital can be used as’, ie both Washington and Berlin can be surnames.
20 ILLICIT homophone (?) of ‘ill is it’ (enquiry as to its health)
21 BERLIN RL (both sides) in BE (live) IN (at home)
24 SUPERSTORE UP (in profit) ERST (formerly) in SORE (resentful)
25 IDES ID ES[t] (that is timeless)
27 ISRAELI IS LEAR (king) reversed I (one)
29 ZIONIST Z (last) I (one) *(TO SIN)
30 HITHERTO HIT (strike) *(OTHER)
31 GEORGE E (English) in GORGE (eat a lot) – another cryptic definition ‘name of capital’ referring to Georgetown.

Down
1 BACKSPIN BACK (support) SPIN (doctors’ work)
2 OVERDEVELOP VERDE (cape) VELO[city] (cut speed by half) in OP (work)
3,12 EAST SIDE *(IS TEASED) – a reference to the musical West Side Story
5 OVERHAUL dd
6 UNTENANTED ANTE (before) in UN (a, in French) TEND (nurse)
7 BAN – a reference to Ban Ki-moon, General Secretary of the UN, with ‘faces’ indicating ‘the front parts’.
8 ATTEND dd
9 MADAM MA DAM (mothers)
14 TUMBLE DRIER UMBLED (‘umiliated) in TRIER (one doing his best) – cryptic definition ‘is employed after washing[ton] (most of capital)’.
15 ANTIFREEZE *(FIRENZE TEA)
18 DISTRICT DI (policeman) STRICT (enforcing discipline)
19 ANISETTE AN (article) I (Cinephile) SETTE[r] (himself loses right)
22 ISAIAH – I think the definition is ‘prophet’ (homophone of ‘profit) and the ‘with capital’ leads to Isaiah Berlin (philosopher) and Isaiah Washington (US actor).
28,26 RAT HOLE HOL (break) in RATE (speed)

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,243 / Cinephile”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid.

    This was clever stuff, I thought.

    I had the same explanation as you for 22dn – except that I’m afraid I hadn’t heard of the actor, so just took it that it was a reference to Berlin. [The clue has 'capital' - but, of course, the singular is needed for the surface. I'm sure you're right!]

    [Cinephile / Araucaria does seem fond of his capitals! Not long ago he set puzzles on this theme under each pseudonym and he used the Washinton / Irving / Berlin ['live at home holding hands with Isaiah'] connection in a Guardian alphabetical in May.]

  2. Richard says:

    Gaufrid,
    As usual a frustrating but very satisfying Cinephile puzzle. I thought 31a was just a reference to “George” Washington; there seems to be nothing to link it to Georgetown. 22d works fine for Isaiah Berlin but there is no actor reference.

    In 4a I assumed the “third one” meant the third part of Washington DC (18d being the second part). I did not see a third capital in the puzzle.

  3. Sil van den Hoek says:

    We don’t have the time to do two crosswords a day, and therefore Cinephile had to take a seat in the waiting room.
    But it was worthwhile.
    What a very very clever crossword.
    (even given the fact that The Rev more or less recently produced one or two capital crosswords , as Eileen made clear)

    I must admit that I only came fully aware of the brilliance of this crossword after reading the excellent blog by Gaufrid. (Thx)

    However, I am still left with some unanswered questions.

    I agree with Richard (#2, gee, #2, where are all these Araucarians??) that in 31ac GEORGE refers to Washington (although I thought of Georgetown as well).

    In 1,23 ac: why is the BOOKER PRIZE defined as a ‘capital’ award?
    Finally, I am still a bit puzzled by “(a third one)” in 4ac.
    Perhaps, it is like Richard says: the C of Washington DC, but to be honest, there’s no real reference to 13ac and/or 18d.
    And calling COLUMBIA the “third one” (after Washington and Berlin) is also a bit strange, since COLUMBIA is the first of these capitals to be mentioned (in clue #2).

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Re (my own comment) #3:
    1,23ac refers to BOOKER (T.) WASHINGTON, leader of the African-American community in the USA in the nineteenth century.

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