Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,387 – Dante

Posted by Uncle Yap on May 27th, 2010

Uncle Yap.

Monday Prize Crossword on 17 May 2010
Once again, a gentle start to the week with the maestro of the slick and smooth clues. However, I do  have an aversion to repetition of the same device in the same puzzle (see 11 Down)

ACROSS
1 PULLS OFF Pulls off (the opposite of doesn’t push on)
5 BRACES dd and anyone with trousers being held up by braces certainly do not want them dropped
9 REQUITED Ins of QUITE (completely) in RED (in debt or in the red)
10 SPARTA Ins of ART (pictures) in SPA (spring)
12 ALIVE Ins of IV (four o’clock, tea-time) in ALE (drink)
13 DEPRESSED Ins of PRESS (urge) in DEED (action)
14 BADGER dd
16 SLEIGHT Ins of LE (French definite article) in SIGHT (sense)
19 OVERLAP Cha of OVER (too many) LAP (circuit)
21 CUTTER dd
23 BASE METAL *(teams able)
25 BANJO *(job an)
26 FIORDS *(firs do)
27 GARGOYLE cd
28 LITTLE literally, so I will label it a very uncryptic cd
29 DEFENDER dd

DOWN
1 PARIAH PA (dad) RIAH (rev of HAIR, locks)
2 LIQUIDATE Cha of Liquid (something to drink) ATE (had a meal)
3 SPINE cd
4 FIELDER FI (rev of IF) ELDER (tree)
6 REPRESENT RE (Royal Engineer, soldier) PRESENT (salute)
7 CORPS Ins of R (first letter of rogue) in COPS (police)
8 STANDS TO dd plus an allusion to “it stands to reason”
11 SPAS Ins of PA (father) in SS (last two letters of mattress) This clue uses the father=dad=pa device (same as 1 Down) and spa = spring (same as 10 Across) I only wish Dante will do a once-over before submitting his puzzles. Each puzzle should use a device once and once only unless it is part of a  repetitive theme. Repeating a device is not wrong but inelegant.
15 GOLD MEDAL *(model glad)
17 GREEN-EYED The green-eyed monster aka envy that plagued Desdemonia in Shakespeare’s Othello
18 DOUBTFUL Tichy cd
20 PUTT Superb cd
21 COLLAGE cd
22 DOG-EAR Cha of DO (party) GEAR (clothes)
24 SHORT dd
25 BUGLE dd slender elongated bead, usu black, used as a decoration on clothing.

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

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13,387 – Dante”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap, and yes, I agree about SPA & PA (especially as SPA was clued ‘spring’ on both occasions).

    I thought that SPARTA was an ancient city, or maybe a city-state, ‘ancient country’ though might be a bit too much.
    And 17d DESDEMONIA’s must surely be Desdemona, or? Typo?

    Apart from that, I did enjoy the crossword.
    And again – for me – slightly harder than a Monday Rufus [I think because Dante has more constructions and less cd’s].

    Outstanding clues 23 ac (BASE METAL) with its nicely misleading surface and 9ac (REQUITED), another splendid surface.

    Clue of the Day, for me: 28ac (LITTLE).
    One might indeed qualify this as a very uncryptic cd, but I liked the magnificent natural surface of it.

  2. mike04 says:

    Thank you, Uncle Yap.

    I had BRACES as the solution to 5ac as well. I decided later to change it to BRICKS.
    (stretcher/drop a brick). Either way, it’s another poor clue.

  3. walruss says:

    I remember something about Dante’s ‘clue database’ mentioned here a couple of months back. Perhaps that system cannot scan for duplications withing the subsidiary parts of clues?

  4. Uncle Yap says:

    Uncle Yap was actually fortunate enough to be invited to see Mr Roger Squire’s (aka Dante & Rufus) clue database which is like a cardex system where he meticulously records each and every clue that he has used in a puzzle with additional notations such as name of paper/puzzle and date. Without this database, there would be many incidences of duplication or repetition, given that this man is the most prolific compiler of all times. Even then, he has slipped up once in a recent incident when the identical clue appeared within days of each other in two different British publications (red faces all round :-)

    This cardex filing system is housed in a modest garden shed, together with his volumes of dictionaries, reference books and paraphernalia, including newspaper cuttings of his exploits and achievements over the years.

    One day, all these ought to be donated to a Crossword Museum.

  5. Paul B says:

    Oooh, I think that’s a bit harsh, Yap old bean.

  6. Ferret says:

    I agree with Mark here, 5a is certainly BRICKS rather than BRACES. A stretcher is a brick and to drop a brick is something that should’t have been done

  7. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Oops, I forgot to say that I had BRICKS as well.
    So, that makes three of us!

  8. Rufus says:

    Oops! Thank you for taking me to task Uncle Yap. The reason, I like to think, but still not an excuse, was that my wife wanted to visit her brother in N Zealand when she retired. When that happened she had a health problem and when that was overcome, it was my turn. Having had a pacemaker fitted in January we could make plans for almost a month away in April. This meant having to step up my production to cover my ouitlets for an extra month. Managed it, just, but obviously missed this repeat of clueing. Report: Must do better. Thank you Uncle Yap.

    Regarding my files, I have worked for a particular Syndication since 1964, although its name has changed over the years. When I give up setting – shouldn’t be too long as I’m 78 – they will take over my files to continue producing puzzles, and are paying me a retainer each year for so doing.

    Nice to see Paul B using his own pseudonym on the blogs.

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