Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,420 – Alberich

Posted by smiffy on June 24th, 2010

smiffy.

The usual quotient of merry mischief, to keep us on our toes.  Plenty of contenders for ‘clue of the day’ status.  I have 15A and 27A still playing out an unresolved Isner vs Mahut-style duel for that honour.  Others, no doubt, will have their own faves.

Across
1 ROUBLE – {t}rouble.
4 DISPOSAL – (shiploads)* – h[eroin].
10 DEHYDRATE - (dry)* in (heated)*.  A very nifty, if not wholly original, concept.
11 DEGAS – punningly, (to) de-gas(ify).  I did wonder whether the surface is intended to allude to the Pop art movement, but that would have required capitalization.  And while I’m busy with idle musings; how is it one can liquefy or putrefy, but not gasefy?   After all, the related adjective is…gaseous.
12 CELL – cell{0}.  The brethren here being monastic.  Another innocuously natural surface reading.
13 CHEAPSKATE – heap in (c + skate).
15 LITURGY – lit + ({j}UR{y} in G{entr}Y).  I loved this clue, with it’s symmetrical “lift and separate” bookends (landed/gentry, and jury/service).  And an amusingly plausible totality, for good measure.
16 DURESS – “you” in dress.
19 DREAMS – D + reams.
21 SWAGGER – G in (s + wager).
23  WELL-SPOKEN - [HG] Wells + Ok in pen.  We had the self-same answer and strucutre (albeit with variant components)  last Thursday too!
25 STUN – stun{t}.  As all good students of Cinephile should know instinctively, ‘detailed’ is nearly always a truncation indicator.
27 PLATO – P{hilosophers} + (a lot). A literary &lit!
28 NEGLIGENT - (Elgin)* + gent.  ‘Elgin losing marbles’ is a quintessential Alberich soundbite.
29 STANDARD – double def’n.  Not sure if  ‘Ordinary Level’ is merely an indicator of ‘being at par’, or a reference to the Standard Grade (the modern equivalent of the O-Level in Scotland).
30 PLEDGE - PL + edge.

Down
1 RIDICULE – (I + dic{k}) in rule.
2 UPHOLSTER - up (…before the bench) + holster.
3 LEDA – d in lea.  Some mythology, to help wash down the philosophy at 27A and the sculptures at 28A.  Fortunately, not all Greek to me…
5 IRELAND – r for c in Iceland.
6 PEDESTRIAN - {Johnni}E in (padre isn’t)*.
7 SIGMA – s{t}igma.
8 LISTER – {b}lister. Re: pioneering Victorian-era scalpel-jockey, Joseph Lister.
9 SASHAY – ash in say.
14 BROADSWORD – broad’s word.
17 SIGHT READ - homophone of “cite Reade” (Charles, of that ilk).
18 BRUNETTE - net in brute.
20 SPOONER – a laugh-out-loud, self-referential indicator (i.e. ‘one dishes out food’).
21 SLEIGH - S + Leigh.
22 SWIPES – double def’n.
24 LIANA – (a nail)<.
26 BILL – hidden reversal.

7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,420 – Alberich”

  1. anax says:

    Marvellous! A pretty tough solve so it’s likely to be my only one today, but spotting the name Alberich in the title of smiffy’s blog was enough to make me stop work for half an hour and have a bash.

    Top clueing as always – I did have 15a/27a ticked as “like it” clues but 16a, 28a and 20d felt even better for me.

    Thanks for a great blog smiffy, and to Alberich for a belting puzzle.

  2. Uncle Yap says:

    anax, I agree … one of the best puzzles in the FT. Today the Shepherd was entertaining, tantalising and so slick with his surfaces. DEHYDRATE was great. SPOONER tickled me and that Johnnie Walkie was not at all PEDESTRIAN and I will drink to that.

  3. Uncle Yap says:

    Ooops, Johnnie Walker (hic)

  4. walruss says:

    Had time to do this one as well this a.m., and quite a good puzzle it is. Competing with Araucaria a tough order though, and I found this a little tame in comparison. I shall try to do teh Indy over lunch.

  5. JamesM says:

    Having completed a cracking Times puzzle today, this was almost as cracking! Uncle Yap may agree!

    The SPOONERism has to be the COD: good for a laugh any day!

  6. Eileen says:

    I did this between points during the resumption of the tennis epic and found them equally enthralling. [Like anax, having seen Alberich's name, I had to give it a go - and was amply rewarded.]

    Some super surfaces – favourites: 15, 27 and 28ac and 5, 6 and 20dn.

    Many thanks, Alberich – and smiffy for the blog.

  7. Scarpia says:

    Thanks smiffy.
    Another very good puzzle from Alberich.Favourite clues were 11 across,14 and 17 down.
    3 cracking puzzles in one day and only 15 minutes to wait before tomorrow’s Indie is up online!

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