Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,419 / Cinephile

Posted by Gaufrid on June 23rd, 2010

Gaufrid.

To be met by one of Cinephile’s long anagrams as the first across clue did not bode well so I started with the downs instead which made life somewhat easier, though the puzzle still turned out to be towards the harder end of the FT spectrum, but no less entertaining because of this.

Unless I have missed something rather obscure (or even blindingly obvious to someone with a different way of thinking) there could be an error in 16ac. Either Cinephile is taking his trademark liberties to the extreme or there is a mistake. If the latter, I am surprised that Cinephile made it and that the crossword editor didn’t pick it up.

Across
1,29 OUT OF THE FRYING-PAN INTO THE FIRE  *(PITY HIGH OFFER TO FORTUNATE NINE)
10 RIFLE  dd
11 MICROWAVE  ROW (dispute) A V[egetarian] in MICE (animals)
12 TRUANCY  U (turn) ANC (South African government) in TRY (attempt)
13 LASH OUT  LA (American city) SHOUT (call) – two definitions, ‘strike’ and ‘spend wildly’
14 MIDST  MIDST[ream] (where not to change horses without paper)
16 CHARACTER  CHAR (cleaning lady) ACT (play) ER – this assumes that ‘player’ is to be split before solving, which is something of a stretch even for Cinephile. The alternative is that the intended parsing was ACTOR (player) but of course this would give ‘charactor’ and there is no such word.
19 RED PRIEST  RE (in case of) P (page) in DRIEST (having least rainfall) – the Four Seasons was composed by Antonio Lucio Vivaldi whose nickname was ‘il Prete Rosso’ or, translated, ‘the Red Priest’
20 NERVE  hidden in ‘manNER VEry’
22 OUTSELL  OUT (striking) SELL (deception)
25 REQUEST  RE (about) QUEST (search)
27 TRATTORIA  TART (pastry) reversed TO RIA[lto] (front of Venetian bridge)
28 ALTAR  [ri]ALT[o] (part of which) A R (right)

Down
2 UNFOUNDED  dd
3 ODEON  ODE (poem) ON (about)
4 TUMMY ACHE  *(MY TEA MUCH)
5 EXCEL  homophone of XL (40)
6 ROOK’S PAWN  ROOK (bird) SPAWN (lay eggs)
7 IMAGO  I’M (setter’s) AGO (past)
8 GREATER  E (point) in GRATER (kitchen gadget)
9 PRO TEM  T (time) in PROEM (introduction)
15 TURKESTAN  *(STAKE) in TURN (entertainment)
17 AFTERMATH  TERM (spell at school) in A FATH[er] (parent unhesitatingly) – ‘unhesitatingly’ needs to be read as ‘without hesitation’
18 TORMENTOR  TO R (right) MENTOR (guru)
19 ROOFTOP  OFT (frequently) in POOR (underprivileged) reversed
21 EXTORT  EX (former) TORT (felony)
23 TWAIN  T[eetotaller] WAIN (wagon)
24 LARGO  L (left) ARGO (old ship)
26 QUAFF  QU (question) AFF[ected]

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13,419 / Cinephile”

  1. Ferret says:

    I found this quite straight forward apart from two things…..

    I couldn’t decipher where MIDST came from until your blog

    Secondly, the Four Seasons man (3,6)…struggling to get Bob Gordio out of my mind!

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid.

    Re 16ac: my reaction was similar to yours. I’ve concluded that the question mark indicates your first interpretation – outrageous as it is! – because the second, assuming a spelling mistake, would mean the clue was a simple charade.

  3. mike04 says:

    Thanks for the blog, Gaufrid.

    Verb inflections, including the agent forms, -ER and -OR, have always caused spelling problems for me.
    I remember once agonising for ages about the agent form of the verb NEGLECT to complete a crossword. My old edition of Collins gives -ER or -OR and, of course, I chose the ‘wrong’ version.
    Why are alternative spellings not always included below the ‘official’ solution of a crossword next day?
    Last week I was rather annoyed when my solution to 1ac in No 13,413 set by SLEUTH never got a mention: JIMCRACK for GIMCRACK.

    My interpretation of 16ac today is very slightly different from yours. I think that Cinephile has simply added the usual agent form ending to the verb ACT, even although the resulting noun is not an accepted dictionary word – with a question mark to excuse the liberty taken.

  4. Andrew says:

    Thanks Gaufrid. I agree with you and Eileen about 16ac – a liberty too far in my opinion.

    And another one – 21dn: a tort is a *civil* wrong (e.g. libel), so surely not a felony (= crime).

    Apart from those this was good fun, though (as is often the case with such clues) I guessed 1/29 from the definition and enumeration and didn’t bother to work out the anagram.

  5. Andrew says:

    Oh, and surely it’s time to give EXCEL = XL = 40 a rest! It’s not even a very accurate homophone.

  6. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Andrew
    My initial reaction to ‘tort’ was the same as yours but part of its definition in COED is “a wrongful act” and with ‘crime’ being defined as “an action or activity considered to be wrong” I decided that felony=tort was close enough not to quibble about it.

  7. Richard says:

    Gaufrid, another good blog and another entertaining puzzle from Cinefile, despite the issues over character and tort.

    This was one of those puzzles where the clues can get in the way. Like you I started with the down clues but then filled in most of the across answers without reference to the clues. Long anagrams are much easier when you start with answer! The O at then end of INTO was the key to 1,29A.

  8. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Gaufrid.
    I enjoyed this,as I always do enjoy “Cinecaria” puzzles,but like others here felt 16 across was a liberty too far.
    Thought 14 across and 19 down were very good and nice to see a mention for the Red Priest – apparently the nickname came from his hair colour.
    Red Priest are also a very good British Baroque ensemble,who’s flamboyant performances are well worth catching.

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