Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,476 by Cincinnus

Posted by Pete Maclean on September 9th, 2010

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of August 28

Here’s another delightful and clever puzzle from Cincinnus. We have two very fine hidden-word clues (12A, RHONE and 17D, INAMORATA) but my favourites this time are 16A (OINKING) and 11D (AMMO).

Across
1. RABELAIS – anagram of [v]ARIABLES
5. IBERIS – IBERI[an]S (Southern Europeans rejecting a northern)
9. PASSOVER – double definition
10. OTELLO – TELL (say) in O[val] O[ffice]
12. RHONE – hidden word
13. LIMBERS UP – LIMB (member) + anagram of PURSE
14. BITCHY – B (bishop) + ITCHY (irritable)
16. OINKING – O (love) + INKING (using pen)
19. HANGMAN – [squas]H + AN (an) + GMAN (American agent). Why is an American agent a G-man? I know ‘G’ stands for government and one of my dictionaries defines G-man as “A special law-enforcement agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation”. What I really mean is, why do I know this term only from crossword puzzles? I do not recall ever hearing the term elsewhere despite having lived in America for 40 years.
21. SATRAP – A (a) in STRAP (band)
23. STATUTORY – TUTOR (teacher) in STAY (stop)
25. BOOZE – O (old) + E (English) in BOZ (Dickens). “Boz” was Charles Dickens’ nickname.
26. IMPAIR – I (one) + M (married) + PAIR (couple)
27. TIPSTAFF – TIP (recommendation) + STAFF (employees)
28. EMERGE – E (eastern) + G[eese] in MERE (lake)
29. UNSTEADY – UN (a French) + STEADY (boyfriend)

Down
1. REPORT – RE (about) + PORT (wine)
2. BOSTONIAN – TO (to) in BOSNIAN (European)
3. LOOSE – LOO (john) + S[uav]E
4. IDEALLY – I (I) + E (energy) in DALLY (don’t rush)
6. BUTTERNUT – UTTER (say) in B (British) + NUT (eccentric). This clue took me some time as I was unfamiliar with butternut as a tree. I wondered about the use of “hugged” here as a containment indicator particularly because, in the cryptic reading, the hugging is done by two things. I guess hugging in the sense of squeezing between two things works.
7. RULES – double definition
8. STOPPAGE – S (second) + TOP (best) + PAGE (attendant)
11. AMMO – AM (morning) + MO (doctor)
15. COMPUTING – PUT (place) in COMING (Advent)
17. INAMORATA – reverse hidden word
18. CHASTISE – S[ea]T in CHAISE (carriage)
20. NOOK – NO OK (lack of agreement)
21. STYGIAN – anagram of STAYING
22. BELFRY – cryptic definition. Is this not cryptic enough? Or just too easy?
24. AMPLE – [s]AMPLE (specimen not opened)
25. BESET – [princ]E in BEST (elite)

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