Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 13,492 – Sleuth

Posted by smiffy on September 16th, 2010

smiffy.

Something of a comme ci, comme ca puzzle.  Some plaudit-worthy surfaces and definitions, but also some pretty low-hanging fruit.

Across
1 QUICKFIRE - this clue put me in mind of the motor-mouthed sergeant (“ReadyAimFire!!”) in charge of the firing squad in Blackadder Goes Forth.
6 CHESS – Che (Guevara) + S.S.
9 ITALY – I[ndia] + tal{l}y.
10 SCREWBALL – Screw (slang for prison (=’cooler’) guard) + ball.  ‘Touched person’ is the nifty definition.
11 FAIR ENOUGH – homophone of “fare” + enough.
12 ETON – {fi}E{ld} + ton{e}.  Referring to the Eton Crop hairstyle; a valiant attempt at novel clueing for this old grid-friendly stalwart.
14 GLIMPSE – G[overnment] + (MP lies)*.
15 DELIGHT – Deli + H(otel) in (g + {resor}T).
17 ULYSSES - cryptic definition.  I’m no card-carrying Joycean, but I believe the story revolves around plenty of on-the-hoof urban activity.
19 ACRYLIC - A, C + (Cyril)*.   The arbitrary name in the clue is a big giveaway that it’s anagram fodder.
20 LEAN – double def’n, re: David Lean.
22 DOOMSAYERS – (morose days)*.
25 IBUPROFEN – (b + U + Prof.) in (i.e. + n).
26 INERT – insert – s{parkle}.
27 GREEN – double def’n.
28 RACONTEUR – (near court)*.

Down
1 QUIFF – {s}quiff{y}.  Just like Billy Whizz’s hairstyle…
2 INABILITY – i{nnings) + (by tail in)*.
3 KHYBER PASS – (park He’s by)* + {ruffian}s.  Having been stumped by ‘defile’ as an answer in the past, I was able to reverse-engineer that learning experience to good use here.
4 IN STORE – double def’n.
5 ENRAGED – ({infuriation}n + agreed)*.
6 COWL - c + owl (=’solemn chap’ was new to me, but the imagery works).
7 EXACT - Ex + Act.
8 SPLENETIC - (teen)* in splic{e}.
13 FLIRTATION – Ir for O in flotation.  My one major gripe of the day, as flotation is not ‘starting a business’.  It’s taking an existing business public, by way of a stock exchange listing.
14 GRUELLING – G[overnment] again(!), + E,L in ruling.
16 GOLDEN-EYE – I’m struggling to get comfortable with ‘happy’ as a synonym for golden.
18 SCOFFER – Sc + offer.
19 ALMANAC – cryptic def’n (I presume).
21 AZURE – A-(to)-Z + Ure.

23 SATYR - reversed hidden.
24 IRON – double def’n (de-crease).

3 Responses to “Financial Times 13,492 – Sleuth”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Not too difficult a puzzle tho was slowed by first putting in ANGERED for 5 dn. Esp liked SCOFFER, KHYBER PASS, INABILITY, DOOMSAYERS. In 17 ac, the wandering refers, I guess, to Ulysses (Odysseus) from mythology.

  2. DavidA says:

    On 16D, perhaps golden=happy in the sense of prosperous, like the Dutch golden age?

  3. smiffy says:

    Thanks for the input Gents.

    nmsindy’s suggestion on Ulysses as more of a double def’n sounds more plausible than my musings. It seems that the two elements form a nexus of double-ignorance on my part.

    DavidA, I tend to consider a ‘golden’ era as denoting either heightened activity and/or prosperity, which seem to ve indirect paths to happiness. But maybe that’s just ne.

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