Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 13,302 / Adamant

Posted by shuchi on February 5th, 2010

shuchi.

Plenty of anagrams made this an easy ride.

I have questions at one or two places, indicated along with the answers to clues.

Across

1 SPHERICAL (CAR IS HELP)*
6 OASIS O (ring) A SIS (sibling)
9 ORBIT OR BIT (part of one)
10 LEASEHOLD (ALL HE DOES)*, with ‘is to negotiate’ as the anagram indicator.
11 PARAPHRASE PARA (soldier) PHRASE (few words). Strictly, ‘phrase’ should be ‘a few words’.
12 GLIB hidden in ‘lookinG LIBerals’
14 ANALYST (ANY SALT)*, with ‘in the mixture’ as the anagram indicator.
15 NEITHER (IN THERE)*
17 SIERRAS I ERR (make a mistake) in SAS (soldiers i.e. Special Air Service?).
19 ANGELUS (ANGLE)* US (you and me). I learn from Wikipedia that Angelus is a Christian devotion accompanied by the ringing of the Angelus bell. The toll is a “triple stroke repeated three times, with a pause between each set of three (a total of nine strokes), sometimes followed by a longer peal as at curfew”.
20 ITCH IT (computer technology) CH (child). A pertinent surface for present times, when 3-year olds spend hours glued to the computer. What is the world coming to? *rolls eyes*
22 BIRTHRIGHT a straight-ish cryptic definition.
25 ARBORETUM A R BORE TUM (corporation i.e. belly, a well-used device in crosswords)
26 ALARM A ARM (member) around L (left)
27 TALLY ALLY (friend) after T (short ‘time’)
28 CATALYSTS sounds like ‘cat on lists’ (animals on the tables). I hope this is right, it’s usually a challenge for me to figure out the homophone clues, given my different accent. // Update: See comment#8 (Agentzero) for another interpretation.

Down

1 SCOOP S (small) COOP (henhouse)
2 HIBERNATE (IN THE BRAE)*. A pretty obvious anagram.
3 RATEPAYERS Change the ‘hand’ from L to R in LATE PAYERS.
4 CULPRIT PR (priest) I (one), in CULT (sect)
5 LIAISON AIL (trouble) reversed, I SON (family member). Nice smooth surface.
6 OBEY OBE (decoration) Y[our]. Some might object to ‘<word> head’ (as opposed to <word>’s head) to indicate the first letter of the word.
7 SPOIL SOIL (earth) aound P (phosphorus)
8 SIDEBURNS SIDE (give support to) BURNS (poet). Made me smile.
13 FINGERNAIL cd
14 ASSAILANT AS (when) SAIL (to leave port) ANT (worker)
16 HOLOGRAMS (GROOM SHALL – L)*
18 SCIATIC (I CAST)* IC (ninety nine), with ‘off’ as anagram indicator. I’m doubtful about the definition. ‘twitches of the nerve’ = sciatica, ‘of twitches of the nerve’/’of the nerve’ could be sciatic. Or am I misreading the clue?
19 ATTEMPT AT (in the face of) TEMPT. ‘great temptation’ => a large part of the word ‘temptation’, I think. Not very elegant, if so.
21 CABAL cd. // Update: CABAL is also an acronym of Clifford, Arlington, Bukingham, Ashley and Lauderdale, which gives ‘initially’ a double-meaning. Thanks, Richard.
23 TOMBS T[rek] O (no) MBs (doctors)
24 ARMY AMY (little woman) with R (runs) inside

10 Responses to “Financial Times 13,302 / Adamant”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Shuchi
    Regarding 28ac, LYSTS is obviously a homophone of ‘lists’ (tables) but I fail to see how CATA is obtained from ‘animals’ plural, homophone or otherwise.

    I share your quibble about the definition in 18dn and would add that, as discussed on this site previously, IC is not a valid representation of 99 in Roman mumerals which would be XCIX.

  2. Eileen says:

    Hi Shuchi and Gaufrid

    I share your quibbles and would add another: PARAPHRASE means to put in other, not fewer words.

    In 19dn, I took ATTEMPT as a hidden answer – but wasn’t happy with that, either, as ‘the face of’ is redundant.

    I’m probably telling you something you know already but, in 24dn, Amy is one of the ‘Little Women’ in Louisa May Alcott’s book of that name.

  3. Mike04 says:

    Thanks for the blog, shuchi

    Yes, an easy ride, as you said.

    As well as the quibbles mentioned above, I was wondering about the definition in 1ac.
    I took this to be the word ‘around’ (from the on-line version of the crossword anyway).
    Should this not be ’round’, or am I missing something?

  4. Eileen says:

    Hi Mike04

    You mean as in 1dn in today’s Indy puzzle: ‘car is help when moving round [9]‘? Amazing!

  5. walruss says:

    A day for poor puzzles perhaps.

  6. Mike04 says:

    Thanks Eileen. That is amazing!

  7. Richard says:

    Shuchi,
    Nice blog on an easy but not entirely satisfying puzzle.

    Were you assuming on 21dn that everyone knows about Clifford, Arlington, Bukingham, Ashley and Lauderdale? Or that, like me, the uninformed would check google? This gives “Initially” a double meaning.

  8. Agentzero says:

    Hi Schuchi and Gaufrid,

    I believe 28ac is meant to be a homophone of CATTLE (animals) on LISTS (tables). I guess you have to say them quickly in order to elide the double “L” sound.

    I had all of the same questions noted above regarding this puzzle. Two additional comparatively minor things:

    “Forward looking” should have been hyphenated in 12ac. Not only is this correct, it would have saved the setter from the accusation that the clue contained an extra word not part of the fodder for the hidden answer.

    The surface reading of 24dn is nonsensical, but could have been cured with a little punctuation: “Soldiers? Little woman runs inside.”

  9. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Agentzero
    In 28ac you may well be right with your “meant to be …..”. I did briefly consider ‘cattle’ but just couldn’t make it work, at least not with the way I pronounce ‘catalist’.

  10. shuchi says:

    Thanks for your comments.

    @Agentzero: ‘cattle lists’ does fit better (if not perfectly). Agree with your other comments as well.

    @Richard: I was not aware of the acronym myself – thank you for pointing it out!

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