Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,395 / Cinephile

Posted by Gaufrid on May 26th, 2010

Gaufrid.

Despite a less than friendly grid that only linked the four corners by one across and one down light, I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle which had some trademark clues.

The answers to the themed, asterisked clues are all colleges at Cambridge University, despite ‘Oxford colleges’ appearing in the grid (11,4).

Across
1 PUBLIC  UP reversed B (second) LIC (licensed) – lic=licensed is not in any of the usual references but lic=licence is supported by at least one on-line American dictionary. However, I cannot see any other explanation for ‘turning up’ and the surface does pleasingly allude to a public school and a public house with the latter requiring a licence.
4 COLLEGES  COL (officer) LEGES (laws, in Latin) – leges is the plural of lex, something I remember more from previous crosswords than Latin lessons at school many years ago.
9 TENACE  TEN ACE (two cards)
10 STEWARDS  ST E[d]WARD’S – defn. ‘racing authority’ and a reference to (king and saint) Edward the Confessor.
11 OXFORD  OX (beast) FORD (car) – strictly speaking, in the vicinity of Oxford the Thames is known as The Isis.
12* PEMBROKE  MEP (Brussels worker) reversed BROKE (without money)
13,25,16,15 HITHER AND YON  *(HAND IN THEORY)
14,8* SIDNEY SUSSEX  YEN (desire) DIS (underworld) reversed SUSS (work out) EX (former partner)
17* DOWNING  DOWNING (bringing to earth) and *(GON[e] WIND)
21 DOMINO  d&cd – as well as the tile with dots used in a game, a domino is a long cloak of black silk with a hood, used at masked balls.
26 ORACULAR  [d]RACULA in OR (gold)
27 ADMIRE  AD (poster) MIRE (mud)
28 PLACEMAN  *(CAME) in PLAN (scheme)
29 FILLET  dd – a fillet is also a band for the hair (’round head’)
30 SET ASIDE  E (drug) in STASI (secret police) DE[er] – defn. ‘fallow’
31* SELWYN  S (society) *(NEWLY)

Down
1 POTHOUSE  THOU (old solver) in POSE (sit)
2 BONA FIDE  ED (journalist) IF (provided) A NOB (an aristocrat) reversed
3 INCURRED  IN (home) CUR (dog) RED (leftwinger)
5 OUTLET  LET OUT (release) with the two halves swapped (inversion)
6 LOW EBB  LO (see) WE (FT) BB (Bed and Breakfast)
7* GIRTON  GIRT (having clothes on) ON
12 PIONEER  ONE in PIER (support)
18 GOLDMINE  G (force) OLD (former) MINE (setter’s) – a minor quibble, ‘g’ is the symbol for the acceleration due to gravity or gravitational constant, not the force (gravity) itself.
19 CIVIL LAW  C1 (first century) VILLA (house) W (with)
20* HOMERTON  HO (house) MERTON (one of the 11 14 {Oxford colleges}) and HOMER (poet) TO N (pole)
22* CORPUS  CORPUS (body) and P[oison] in CORUS (steel producer)
23 SAVANT  VAN (leaders) in SAT (was in chair)
24* QUEENS  dd
25 HAZARD  AZ (extremes) in HARD (not easy)

12 Responses to “Financial Times 13,395 / Cinephile”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid.

    I really enjoyed this, getting the theme from SELWYN, my daughter’s old college, and ruling out John Gummer [although he is an alumnus] and Selwyn Lloyd as being thematic.

    I tried initially to make ALEHOUSE work for 1dn, as I hadn’t heard of TENACE. I expected to find, on looking it up, that it was a double definition ['holding' - connected with 'tenable', etc.] but all my dictionaries suggest that it’s a straight definition, so not a very satisfactory clue.

    I think ’round head’ and ‘on the Thames’ would not go down well as definitions in an Araucaria puzzle, especially with the slight inaccuracy that you mention, but I smiled at the nod to Oxford colleges.

    Some intriguing story-telling surfaces, eg 10 and 30ac and 6dn!

  2. walruss says:

    I’d shied away from this, but ended up solving with a colleague over lunch. Awful grid and entertaining puzzle!

  3. nmsindy says:

    I think as the blog says that TEN ACE is the wordplay part, which just happen to be two cards.

  4. Ferret says:

    Your entry for 25D is missing an R

    I’m not familiar with tenace – however if it merely describes a hand consisiting of a ten and and ace (as in pontoon) then it ia weak clue.

    Also a gripe with Corpus…..never heard it without Christi. You wouldn’t describe St Catherines as St….although possible as Cats, so maybe I’m being picky?

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Ferret, typo corrected.

  6. Eileen says:

    Hi Ferret

    Corpus Christi is widely known as Corpus as on its own website:

    http://www.corpus.cam.ac.uk/about-corpus

    [and University Challenge! :-) ]

  7. Ferret says:

    Thanks Eileen, my uni days were spent a little further west than Oxbridge!

  8. Eileen says:

    Mine too, Ferret – in Bristol! :-)

  9. nmsindy says:

    TENACE, not personally familiar with this at all, but it seems wider than a ten and an ace according to dicts, a combination of cards one above and one below a high card held by the other side so it does seems a conventional two-part cryptic clue.

  10. smiffy says:

    Fun, and solvable without recourse to references (contrary to my initial fears on identifying the theme) – the asterisked clue were pretty generous. Like Eileen, I’m still reeling from the
    literal reading of 30A!

    I think this particular “Balkanized” grid, is one of the last such that remains in regular use. Can’t think of another barred-format where the 3-letter answers feature two consecutive checkers. But kudos to Cinephile for giving those four lights a sense of cohesion today.

  11. Scarpia says:

    Another fun puzzle from Cinephile.As usual a couple of ‘chancy’ clues and a couple of corkers.Particularly liked 26 down.
    As nms says, a tenace in bridge is a holding of two non-cosecutive honours.

  12. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Indeed, a good Cinephile, but as I could finish it without any help from outside [I have my opinions, but I am a 'slow' solver], it must have been rather easy.
    Or was it because of the Cambridge colleges [which are around the corner] that I had no real problem?
    In Guardian terms, I would call this crossword an Araucaria Lite.
    Which doesn’t mean I didn’t like it [see my comment #47, Guardian 25,010], far from that!
    Even if the College theme has been done before [I remember 'OC' for Oxford Colleges, months or one or two years ago].
    Talking about Oxford, I found the Oxford reference in 20d unnecessarily ‘misleading’. In this clue are two separate constructions for the same college (HOMERTON) – so there’s no need for the Oxford link.

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