Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,340 – Dante

Posted by Uncle Yap on April 1st, 2010

Uncle Yap.

Monday Prize Crossword on 22 March 2010
Dante is back with another light and easy week-opener. As usual, he impressed with his slick construction and smooth surfaces. I wonder whether 16Across can be called an &lit. However, 24Down is not but can be, hence I am soliciting the creative talents of readers to make it so.

9 CUPBOARD Cha of CUP (trophy) BOARD (table) Tucked away in Chambers under press1 is “a cupboard or shelved closet or recess; a bookcase
10 PODIUM Cha of P (first letter of party) ODIUM (contempt)
12 ENEMY ENE (east, north, east, three points) MY
13 IMPROVISE Ins of IS in IMPROVE (better)
14 SEADOG *(aged so)
16 TRAMCAR TRAM (rev of mart, market) CAR (automobile) Would you call this an &lit ?
21 CAESAR Ins of AES (rev of SEA, waves) in CAR (vehicle)
23 COINCIDED Ins of CID (Criminal Investigation Department, detectives) in Coined (forged)
25 PIECE Sounds like PEACE (harmony)
26 INSTIL *(list in)
27 SCANTIES Cha of SCAN (glance) TIES (neckwear)
28 NOTING No Ting ! (a bell that is dumb will produce no ting sound :-)

2 AT PRESENT *(Pat Ernest)
3 BOOBY dd name for various kinds of gannet.
4 EARNING (Y) earning
7 ALIBI cd
11 SPOT *(post)
17 CEASE FIRE Cha of C (hundred, a number) EASE (facilitate) FIRE (inspire)
18 FRACTION dd allusion to vulgar fraction like 1/2 for half or 0.5
20 SIDE dd slang for arrogance
22 TEASER *(Easter)
24 INSET cd which can very well become an &lit clue, seeing that ET is the name of a well-known and well-loved sci-fi film. Anyone out there willing to give it a go? Perhaps, we can then ask Dante himself to choose the best and maybe reward the writer with one of his many compilations of puzzles.
25 PANIC Ins of ANI (rev of IN A) in PC (police constable)

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

6 Responses to “Financial Times 13,340 – Dante”

  1. Bradman says:

    Sorry to butt in here — but has anyone managed to access my puzzle in the FT online today? I’m blocked out because the server is busy!

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Bradman
    I have had the same problem. I suspect this is an April 1st jape because every other puzzle and FT page is accessible without any delay. Perhaps we will have to wait until noon for it to appear.

  3. Uncle Yap says:

    Same here in Malaysia …the same message
    ” Our server was unable to complete your request due to high volume. Please try again by clicking your browser’s reload button. If you receive this message again, wait a few minutes before attempting to access the page again.
    We apologise for any inconvenience.”
    and it is now later than 2.40pm BST

    Do have a go at the INSET clue ; the original
    It plays a small part in a big picture (5)

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thx, Uncle Yap, once again, for your detailed blog.

    Nice Dante crossword, as ever.
    Sometimes I find it quite unbelievable that a setter who holds the World Record in Number of Clues (also unbelievable), can come up with this quality week after week after week.

    One or two people will be surprised to see that my Clue of the Day is … a cryptic definition.
    I thought 6d (CHOCOLATE) is as simple as it is elegant, and what a beautiful surface.

    Other highlights:
    16ac (TRAM-CAR) [an &Lit? you ask – well, to be honest, sometimes I don’t know what an &Lit exactly is – but this looks like one]
    21ac (CAESAR) [had to think of Berlusconi, before someone threw something at him (maybe Dante did as well and if so: great surface!) – though not sure if the real Caesar should be called ‘dictator’]
    28ac (NOTING) [that’s really a :) clue]
    18d (FRACTION) [splendid dd in, again, a fine surface]

    As to 24d: I thought about INSET, but I can’t see any other thing than ‘a little picture placed in the full picture of a TV screen’ – and therefore for me just a cd (which reads well because of small/big and the fact one can ‘play a part in a picture (= movie)’).

    Many thanks for your explanation that CUPBOARD can mean ‘Press’, which at first eluded me.
    Further investigation made clear that it is apparently a Scottish word for ‘a cupboard’.

  5. Octofem says:

    Just noticed the discussion on ‘press’. I lived in Durham as a child and my grandmother, who came from Cornwall,always called the large cupboard in her living room ‘the press.’ I am sure that ‘linen press’ is also quite common, so not just Scottish as suggested.

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, Octofem.
    Indeed, although Cornwall isn’t really along the Road to Scotland (but Durham is :) – btw, I like Durham, go there quite often), the additional information on ‘press’ was given to me by Chambers Online ( as well as by my hardback version of that dictionary.

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