Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,491 / Cinephile

Posted by Gaufrid on September 15th, 2010

Gaufrid.

It’s Wednesday and we are overdue a themed puzzle from the good Rev.

An enjoyable themed puzzle today which would probably have been easier for those who watched ‘The Blue Planet’ series or similar natural history programmes. I thought some of the clues were rather easy (by Cinephile standards) but others will have caused problems for some solvers. I had not come across the heron in 16ac before but I’m sure that squacco will stick in my mind should I ever need it again.

The beasts’ common element is that they are all marine mammals, with the possible exception of the beast in 21ac/27dn which is not necessarily a mammal. All definitions come from Chambers.

Across
1 DUGONG  GO (leave) in DUNG (waste) – “a herbivorous marine mammal of the order Sirenia, up to 3m long, with flipper-like forelimbs (the supposed original of the mermaid)”.
4 ISOMORPH  *(MOOR SHIP)
9 WALRUS  WAL[l] (most of barrier) RUS[sia] (half a country) – “an aquatic, webfooted, carnivorous animal, related to the seals, having the upper canine teeth developed into enormous tusks (also called morse or, formerly, seahorse)”.
10 SAWBONES  SAW (maxim) BONES (dice)
12 CACHALOT  CA[t]CH A LOT (almost a successful predator) – “the sperm whale”.
13 ADVICE  AD (these days) VICE (something gripping)
15 SOUL  SOU (five centimes) L (pound)
16 SQUACCO  homophone of ‘quack’ (vocal message from duck) in SO (thus) – “a small crested European heron, Ardeola ralloides”.
20 MANATEE  MAN (chap) A TEE (starter) – “a large aquatic herbivorous mammal (Manatus or Trichechus) of the warm parts of the Atlantic and the rivers of Brazil”.
21 LEVI  LEVI[athan] (first part of beast) – “a biblical sea-monster, described in the Bible (Job 41), apparently a crocodile; a huge sea-monster”.
25 RESIGN  RE-SIGN (agree to contract again)
26 GRAMPIAN  GRAMP[us] IAN – grampus: “technically, Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus); a popular name for many whales, esp the killer”.
28 HEADACHE  HEAD (top) AC (billing) HE (man)
29 JUJUBE  JU-JU BE (to have a charmed life) – “a chewy, fruit-flavoured lozenge or sweet made with sugar and gum or gelatine (also shortened to jube (Aust))”.
30 DOLPHINS  *(OLD) homophone of ‘fins’ (steering gear) – “any of a group of small toothed whales belonging to the family Delphinidae, about 2.5–3m (8–10ft) long, with a beak-like snout”.
31 WHALES  homophone of ‘Wales’ (land of dragons) – “any of an order of cetaceous mammals, including the toothed whales, such as the sperm whales and the dolphins, and the whalebone whales, such as the right whales and the rorquals, in which the teeth are only rudimentary”.

Down
1 DOWNCAST  DOWN (county) CAST (attempt to catch fish)
2 GOLF CLUB  FLOG (beat) reversed CLUB (group)
3 NOUGAT  *(TO A GUN)
5 SEAL  dd – “a member of the Pinnipedia, carnivorous marine mammals, incl the eared seals of the family Otaridae (sea lions and fur seals), and the true or earless seals of the family Phocidae (eg the grey seal, common seal, monk seal and elephant seal)”.
6 MOBY-DICK  MO (little while) BY DICK[ens] – the eponymous whale in Herman Melville’s novel.
7 RANCID  RAN CID (had senior police job)
8 HASTEN  HAS TEN (number)
11 RORQUAL  hidden in ‘honouR OR QUALity’ – “any whale of the genus Balaenoptera (finback)”.
14 MADEIRA  MADE (produced) *(AIR)
17 BAR GRAPH  GRAB (seize) reversed RAP (knock) H (hard)
18 RESIDUAL  LAUD (praise) IS ER (hesitantly) reversed
19 LINNAEUS  NAE (no Scot) in LINUS (early pope) - Carl Linnaeus, Swedish botanist.
22 ORCHID  ORC (beast) HID (concealed) – orc: “a killer whale or orca”.
23 ASSAIL  ASS (animal) AIL (suffer)
24 AMBUSH  BUS (transport) in AM (early) H (hour)
27 THAN  [levia]THAN (last part of beast) – see 21ac.

2 Responses to “Financial Times 13,491 / Cinephile”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Gaufrid.

    A rather unusual theme and not one I’m particularly familiar with, not having heard of DUGONG or CACHALOT, but the whimsical cluing of the latter helped a lot!

    The really tricky unknowns, since they crossd with each other and both contained four unchecked letters out of seven, were SQUACCO and RORQUAL. Perhaps I should have known RORQUAL, which would have given the Q: instead the highly unlikely-sounding SQUACCO was an inspired guess and then I saw that RORQUAL was hidden.

    So, overall, a bit of a slog – but I smiled at 21/27, 29ac and 6dn, all typically Cinephile!

  2. Tony says:

    I thought Linnaeus was a little too obscure. I might have seen “nae” but both proper names were unknown to me.

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