Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,280 – Dante

Posted by Uncle Yap on January 21st, 2010

Uncle Yap.

Monday Prize Crossword on 11 January 2010 Back to Dante for another not-so-taxing week-opener with some delightful cryptic definitions and double definitions. However, I suspect Dante may have got his mythologies mixed up between the Greeks and the Romans.

1 AFLOAT Ins of O (love) in A Flat (a home)
9 IGNORE I G (one note) No Re (not another) OR I G + (Nor E)
10 WARDROOM *(drawing room minus gin)
12 HASPERUS H (first letter of Hercule) + *(Perseus) The Wreck of the Hesperus is a poem by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
13 CRISIS CR (credit) ISIS (is twice)
15 SCAN SC (science) AN (article)
19 SWEETBREAD Dear (sweet as in term of endearment) Bread (money)
20 SPUD S (first letter of served) PUD (short for pudding, sweet)
23 GARAGE Cha of G (good) A + RAGE *(gear)
25 PENTACLE cd allusion to the shape of a five-pointed star in a circle; aka pentagram
27 AMBROSIA cd Food for the Gods in Greek mythology. I venture that Dante may have made a slight slip here as Jupiter and Mars are both Roman gods … Zeus and Ares would have been more appropriate
28 CORTES This is supposed to be a dd but perchance Dante has made another slight slip. The allusion to a “stout” person points to CORTEZ; do a google search on stout cortes and stout cortez and you will see what I mean.
29 SENTENCE What a fantastic dd !
30 METHOD Allusion to Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t. (Hamlet Act 2, scene 2) The expression, “There’s a method in the madness,” derives from this comical scene

1 ALIGHTS *(a slight)
2 LANDSCAPE Another delightful cd
3 AGREED Cha of A GREED (sin of gluttony)
5 HOAR cd for a word new to me, as it were, living 3 degrees north of the Equator; white coating on things exposed to cold wintry conditions
6 MODERATE Cha of MODE (way) RATE (rebuke)
7 IRONS dd
8 NEMESIS *(sin seem)
11 NUNNERY Another cd
17 HOPSCOTCH Cha of HOP (bound) SCOTCH (put an end to or checkmate)
18 STAGE ONE *(Stone Age)
19 SIGNALS Cha of SIGNAL (meaningful) S (south, point on the compass) Thanks to Mike04 for the input.
21 DRESSED cd accentuating the diametrically opposite meanings of stripped and dressed
22 AT HOME Very clever dd and the whole clue could mean kill
24 ROBIN Ins of OBI (sash) in RN (Royal Navy)
26 DISC dd disc as opposed to crescent of the moon

Key to abbreviations
dd = double definition
tichy = tongue-in-cheek type
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,280 – Dante”

  1. Mike04 says:

    Many thanks for your blog, Uncle Yap

    A most enjoyable start to last week with lots of delightful clues.
    Here in the UK we’ve had plenty of 5dn in the last month!

    27ac AMBROSIA
    This word was used by the Romans as well. Their gods could tuck in too!
    19dn SIGNALS
    I read this as a charade: meaningful + point = SIGNAL + S

  2. Uncle Yap says:

    Before I wrote my blog, I consulted Chambers (ambrosia noun the food (later, the drink) of the Greek gods, which conferred everlasting youth and beauty) and Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable and Wikipedia and all gave Greek origin to the etymology and/or reference to Greek mythology.

    Your parsing of 19Down is right.

  3. Eileen says:

    Mike04 is quite right. ‘Greek mythology’ is often used as shorthand for ‘Greek and Roman’ or ‘Classical’ mythology. Indeed, Collins has: ‘ambrosia: classical myth, the food of the gods’.

    As for ‘stout Cortes’, I don’t understand your reference to Google, Uncle Yap. In many instances, the conquistador is spelt ‘Cortes’. Spanish is not one of my languages but I always assumed that the two spellings were both correct. Certainly, in his lovely sonnet, from which the quotation comes, Keats had ‘Cortez’, so, strictly speaking, that is the ‘correct’ spelling here but he could only use one of them. I thought this was a great clue, with its possible nod in ‘stout chap’ to the title of the sonnet, ‘On first looking into Chapman’s Homer’. :-)

  4. Uncle Yap says:

    When I googled “stout cortes” I got 85,100 hits with a question “Did you mean: stout cortez?” and the first three hits showed the spelling as Cortez.

    When I googled “stout cortez”, I got 162,000 hits.

    Whereas Cortes and Cortez may well be interchangeable elsewhere, but when used in the context of “Stout somebody” I contend it should be Cortez.

    As for Ambrosia, wouldn’t it have made for greater accuracy if the gods cited were from Greek mythology?

    I know I am splitting hair but after so much silence here, isn’t it fun to have a debate going on once in a while. Then I won’t feel so lonely :-)

  5. Mike04 says:

    Hello again, Uncle Yap

    Thank you for your prompt reply. I know of a man who really would have enjoyed our debate. He’s quoted in Cassell’s Latin-English Dictionary under ‘ambrosia, the food of the gods’

    orator ambrosia alendus (of a distinguished orator)

  6. Eileen says:


    And Cicero was a Roman writer! :-)

  7. Rufus says:

    Hi Uncle Yap! Thank you for your blog which came out last Thursday just as I went under the knife, after 4 postponements, having my pacemaker fitted.
    I must admit I took Ambrosia from Collins where it just gives the definition of “food of the gods”. I dithered between “fare for the Olympics” which would have been more accurate, but finally opted for Jupiter and Mars who, though Roman, were still gods and I hoped would, in a cryptic clue, be acceptable. I shall know better in the future thanks to you!
    Cortes has two entries in Collins, first as the Spanish Parliament and the next “Cortés or Cortez” (Thanks to Eileen in the past I could put in the acute accent!) for the “stout” man.

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