Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 13.470 by Cinephile

Posted by Pete Maclean on September 2nd, 2010

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of August 21

This is one of those fairly typical Cinephiles where several of the clues, especially those for longer answers, fit a theme and are rather pedestrian, and thus make the whole puzzle fairly easy — at least if one can spot the theme. I knew enough about John Milton to manage well although I had not come across his poem Comus. Including 25A (HAMILTON) was clever but my choice clues this time are 13A (GHOST TOWN) and 22A (DOWN UNDER). I have a reservation about 26A.

Across
1, 11. PARADISE LOST – IS (is) in PARADE (display) + LO (see) + ST (a way)
5. AMUSED – A (one) + MUSED (thought)
9. REGAINED – EG (say) in RAINED (was wet outside), referring of course to Paradise Regained
10. ANIMUS – A (a) + NIM[b]US (rain-cloud eliminating B)
12. COMUS – CO (senior office) + SUM (everything) backwards
13. GHOST TOWN – G (good) + HOST (entertainer) + anagram of WONT
14. INVEST – IN VEST (not wearing shirt)
16. TOO FAST – TOO (as well) + FAST (don’t eat)
18. NE0LITH – anagram of THE LION
20. CUSTOM – CUS (rude word) + TOM (cat)
22. DOWN UNDER – NUN (sister) in anagram of WORDED
23. GUILD – homophone (“gild”)
24. ADMITS – M (a number) in ADITS (mineshafts). An adit is a nearly horizontal passage from the surface into a mine.
25. HAMILTON – HA (expression of satisfaction) + MILTON (our poet)
26. SONNET – SON (issue) + NET (online). Clueing NET with “online” does not seem quite right to me.
27. PREMISES – double definition

Down
1. PIRACY – PI (letter) + RACY (somewhat improper)
3, 17. DRIBS AND DRABS – anagram of BIRDS + AND (with) + anagram of BARDS
4. SLEIGHT – homophone (“slight”)
6, 2. MONSTROUS REGIMENT OF WOMEN – MONS (battle) + TROUS[ers] (some garments) + REGIMENT OF WOMEN (female soldiers). The answer, which I had to look up, refers to a declaration by John Knox. The statement is not about female soldiers but about rule by women.
7. SAMSON AGONISTES – anagram of “IM ON ASS GET ON ASS”
8. DISUNITY – SUN (tabloid) + IT (it) in DIY (one’s own work)
15. ETIQUETTE – anagram of QUITE + [b]ETTE[r]
19. HIDE – double definition
20. CORSAIR – CORS (French horn’s) + AIR (melody)
21. ADONIS – A (an) + DON (academic) + IS (is). Refers to Lord Adonis.
23. GRIMM – homophone (“grim”)

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13.470 by Cinephile”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    I didn’t find this easy at all, but then my knowledge of Milton doesn’t go beyond Paradise Lost.
    So, 12ac (COMUS) and SAMSON AGONISTES took their time to unfold.
    With the latter provided by a cheeky anagram, which I rather liked.

    It doesn’t happen very often in the FT that there’s a theme and certainly not a cultural one.
    A crossword like this would be perfectly all right for the Guardian – in fact, I found this puzzle a typical Araucaria [even a bit more challenging than the real Araucaria published on the same Saturday as this one].

    I agree with you, Pete, that GHOST TOWN (13c) was a highlight with its natural anagrind [which was also a feature of the other one you mentioned - DOWN UNDER].
    And of 15d, too (ETIQUETTE) which is perhaps my Clue of the Day.

    Thanks for your blog, Pete, and – although it doesn’t make any difference – in 20d it should read: COR (French horn) + S + AIR.
    [but the most famous 'cor' is nót French: the 'cor anglais' ... (for example featured in the Largo of Dvorak's New World Symphony)].
    Regarding your quibble in 26ac, I see what you mean (and I thought about that as well). I decided to parse it like this: when you’re online, you’re on the Net – and therefore SON is on NET [although the Times editor would disallow this according to the infamous 'A on B' rules, much discussed on this site in recent months].

    But apart from this, as one may have guessed by now, I found this a very rewarding and satisfying puzzle.
    As I said in the blog of yesterday’s FT crossword, also by Mr Graham: Cinephile seems to be gearing up a bit.
    Others may disagree – but then we’re all different, aren’t we?

  2. Jake says:

    Thanks for blog. Now I know what 6,2 down is. For the life of me I could not figure that clue out and I can now see why. The rest was reasonably easy I found. Not sure what level of difficulty this was, but a mixed bag for sure.

  3. Pete Maclean says:

    Sil, I like your way of putting it and I agree: Mr Graham does indeed seem to be gearing it up a bit. I have fixed the 20D explanation — thanks for that.

    Jake, Regarding 6,2 I figured that “Knox” had to be John Knox, looked up his entry in Wikipedia, searched for something that fitted and quickly found the answer. Then went back and figured out the wordplay. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Jake says:

    Hi Pete,

    Knox, I had fort Knox – as some women are.

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