Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,283 / Orense

Posted by smiffy on January 14th, 2010

smiffy.

Nothing to frighten the horses here, but there are a couple of clues that just seem flawed or – at best – clumsy to me.
I couldn’t help but feel that this was a case of being “better to arrive than to travel”, rather than vice versa.

Across
1 COVER UPS
5 ZODIAC - punning def’n.
10 PELICAN – as in the road crossing. (in place)*
11 ORTOLAN – hidden. A (now forbidden) Gallic delicacy. Reputedly ex-President Mitterand’s death-bed meal (good to see old Francois remain a law-abiding citoyen to the very end).
12 EARTH – E[nergy]+ art + H[eart].  Unlike last week, I managed to parse this word correctly this time…
13 EXTENSION – ex + tension.
14 PRIME NUMBERS - the numbers being arbitrary definitional examples, rather than cross references to other answers.
18 CONSERVATORY- conserve  a Tory.  But, aside from the somewhat apologetic question mark, I don’t get the homophone indicator or how else the second “e” vanishes.
21 LACHRYMAL – (all my char[m])*.  The pick of the bunch, in my book.
23 AMUSE - A[rea] + muse.
24 DICTION - [ad]diction.
25 EVIL EYE – vile in homophone of “eye”.  But surely the sound-alike indicator must be “spoken” rather than “speak”?
26 SKEWER - s + homophone of “queuer”.
27 ASSEMBLE – (labs seem)*

Down
1 COPIER – I in coper. Simple but effective.
2 VELCRO – hidden. I found the concept of a velcro-secured level crossing inexplicably thought-provoking.  Almost entering the realms of Fuzzy Felt there.
3 RACEHORSE - r[uns] + ace + horse (aka heroin).
4 PINCER MOVEMENT – punning def’n.
6 OFTEN - [s]often.
7 ILL TIMED - Again, the presence of a question mark seems to ask us to indulge the somewhat imprecise wordplay.
8 CANONISE – (in no case)*.
9 FORTUNE TELLERS – punning def’n.
15 MARGARINE – in in Margare[t].
16 OCCLUDES - (cures cold)* – r.  A close contender for 17A’s mantle of COTD.
17 UNICYCLE - Uni + cycle.  “Transport” is a pretty generous definition.  Every unicyclist I’ve ever seen seemed to just wobble to-and-fro, with all the long-range mobility of a Dalek.
19 SUPERB – per in sub.
20 SEVERE – sever + E.
22 RAISE – RA + I’s + e[ager].  “Rear gunners” is a deft def’n/wordplay portmanteau phrase.

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