Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,497 / Hamilton

Posted by Gaufrid on September 22nd, 2010

Gaufrid.

I’m not sure what to say about this one.  I have been unable to justify 7dn and have a few minor quibbles elsewhere. On balance, I don’t think I enjoyed this puzzle as much as previous offerings from this setter.

There were some unfamiliar anagram indicators, school (11ac), rehearse (22ac), critically (2dn) and made (21dn), which I found difficult to justify but this didn’t cause any particular problems. At first I thought that a non-word appeared at 18dn but it seems that I have not kept up with the times since COED indicates that ‘times’ as a verb came into being in the late 20th century.

Across
1 DIANA DORS  DIANA (goddess) DO[o]RS (American rock group has no love)
6 STROP  dd
9 INPUT  PUTIN (Russian leader) with ‘in’ moved to the front – is ‘input’ synonymous with ‘store’? You feed (data, etc) into eg a computer but you don’t necessarily save it.
10 EPICENTRE  a (barely) cryptic definition?
11 NEAPOLITAN  *(OPEN A LATIN)
12 SHOO  S[c]HOO[l] (150 taken out of Eton perhaps)
14 RESTIVE  ITS reversed in EVER (permanently) reversed
15 ADVERSE  AD (modern) VERSE (poetry) – can something 2000+ years old be described as modern?
17 MIDWEST  WE in MIDST (heart)
19 CANDIDA  CAN (receptacle) DID (made) A
20 SASH  S[tockings] A[nd] S[uspenders] H[eld] – definitely not an &lit.
22 IMPRESARIO  *(SEMI-PRO AIR)
25 INTERESTS  dd
26 EXACT  EX (old girlfriend) ACT (performance)
27 NODDY  dd – ‘a coot’ as in a fool.
28 DEMITASSE  *(TIMESED AS)

Down
1 DEIGN  rEIGN (rule) with initial letter changed
2 APPRAISED  *(PAPER SAID)
3 AUTHORISES  AUTHO[r] (writer losing right) RISES (promotions)
4 OBELISE  LI (51) in OBESE (fat)
5 SPIRAEA  *(ASPIRE) A
6 SKEW  S (South) KEW (Londen gardens)
7 RETCH  hidden in ‘secRET CHamber’ – I have found it impossible to equate ‘reach’ and ‘retch’ using any of the usual references but COED does state that the origin of ‘retch’ was “mid 19th century: variant of dialect reach, from a Germanic base meaning ‘spittle’”.
8 PHENOMENA  PHENOMENA[l] (almost mind-blowing)
13 EVANESCENT  E (Euro) in EVANS (Dame Edith) CENT (money)
14 REMISSION  RE (soldiers) MISSION (embassy)
16 RAILROADS  d&cd
18 TIMESED  TIMES ED (newspaper boss) – Chambers and Collins both give ‘times’ as in ‘multiplied by’ only as a noun and therefore unable to have a past participle but COED lists it both as a noun and as a verb with timeses, timesing and timesed.
19 CHRISOM  CHRIS (young lad) OM (order)
21 SATED  *(TEAS) D[arjeeling)
23 OUTRE  [acc]OUTRE[d] – is 5 out of 9 letters ‘mostly’?
24 ARTY  [he]ARTY (robust he isn’t)

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,497 / Hamilton”

  1. octofem says:

    Hi Gaufrid. When I was growing up on Tyneside, the word ‘reach’ was always used for strained vomiting. A poisoned cat, for instance , would be said to be ‘reaching’ on the front lawn. Probably just a mispronunciation originally.

  2. octofem says:

    PS. That was not quite in the 19th century I assure you!

  3. Eileen says:

    Here in Leicestershire, too, octofem – or at least so I thought as a child. Later on, when I saw ‘retch’ written down, I just thought I’d been imagining it spelt wrongly.

    Gaufrid [thanks for the blog] Chambers has ‘reach² obsolete or dialect form of retch’, which makes it a poor clue, I think.

  4. Gaufrid says:

    Hi octofem
    It’s good to hear from you again. Thanks for the info on ‘reach’

    Hi Eileen
    Thanks for the Chambers reference. In the electronic version of the 11th Ed. there is no second entry for ‘reach’ which is why I was unable to find it. There is also no second entry for ‘retch’, as there is in the hardback version, so in future I will have to check the book itself if I cannot find a connection between the definition and answer.

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