Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 13,284 / Viking

Posted by shuchi on January 15th, 2010

shuchi.

[Now that the crossword has been uploaded on the site, removing the placeholder and filling in the  analysis.]

A fine puzzle from Viking, with intricate wordplay at a few places that needed working out after the answer had come to mind. The left of the grid had me stuck for some time, looking up composite plants. Help is welcome to fill in the gaps in parsing (1A, 5D, 7D).
// Updated with inputs from Rishi and Richard. Thanks.

Favourite clues: 17A, 28A, 21D

Across

1 DESECRATE DENSE (packed) CRATE (case) – N
6 AMPLE [s]AMPLE
9 ODEON [r]OD EON
10 SPEED BUMP SPEED (rate) BUM (useless) [cha]P
11 PATHFINDER PAT (at the right place) HINDER (hamper) around F (force)
12 TEND TEN D. Another little gem of a clue.
14 MANHOLE MALE around N HO
15 MICROBE MC (host) around I, ROBE (dress)
17 AIRLESS [h]AIRLESS. Lovely clue.
19 SNUFF IT dd
20 SING STING (pain) – T (temperature)
22 APPROACHES (SPA)< around PRO ACHE
25 EARTH WIRE (RARE WHITE)*, with an inventive use of ‘lark’ as anagram ind.
26 ENNUI hidden in ‘oftEN NUIsances’
27 TIE-IN IE (that is) in TIN (cash)
28 MONEYLESS (SOLEMN YES)*

Down

1 DROOP DO (perform) OP (work), around R (river)
2 SWEETENER cd
3 CONEFLOWER CO (firm) + FEN (marshland), reversed + LOWER (put down)
4 ABSENCE (CAN SEEN)*
5 EYEBEAM (MAYBEEE)*, which is MAYBE with the final E appearing three times.
6 AUDI AUDI[t]
7 PAUSE PA (aide) USE (regularly take)
8 EXPEDIENT EX (letter ‘x’) DIE (stamp) in PEN (writer) T (time)
13 ACCURATELY AC (account) CURATE (cleric) L[argel]Y
14 MEANS TEST MEANEST (poorest) around ST (good person)
16 OFF-CHANCE cd
18 SOPHISM PHIS (Greek characters) in SOM[e]
19 SURGEON cd
21 NERVE R moved up in NEVER
23 SKINS KIN (relatives) in S S
24 THIN THIN[g]

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13,284 / Viking”

  1. Agentzero says:

    8 down reads “Letter writer acquiring stamp ahead of time is convenient (9).” From crossing letters, it is clear the answer is EXPEDIENT. I can see DIE (stamp) in PEN (letter writer) before T (time). But where does the EX come from? Is it possible the clue should have been “Former letter writer…”?

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Agentzero
    Try EX (letter {x}) DIE (stamp) in PEN (writer) T (time)

  3. Agentzero says:

    Ah, thanks, Gaufrid.

  4. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    Re 7d PAUSE

    Aide – PA (for personal assistant)
    ’s – (connector)
    to regularly take – USE
    a break – def. for word reqd.

  5. shuchi says:

    Thanks Rishi. ‘regularly’ had thrown me off-track, was trying to find a pattern of letters.

  6. Richard says:

    1a reads packed(DENSE)case(CRATE)not new (- N)

    5d was tricky I think it must mean MAYBE with the final E appearing three times i.e. (MAYBEEE)*

  7. shuchi says:

    That must be it, for 5d. Very unusual clue! Thanks Richard.

  8. nmsindy says:

    Excellent puzzle, with some devious trickery to put the solver off the scent and some really smooth surface readings. Liked in particular TEND, SNUFF IT, SOPHISM and SURGEON. BTW, I think there is a wordplay element in both SNUFF IT (funs reversed + FIT) and SURGEON SURGE (well up) ON (in operation). While not 100% sure, think SWEETENER may be a triple definition.

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