Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,516 – Hamilton

Posted by smiffy on October 14th, 2010


Hamilton’s puzzles are growing on me; he seems to be developing more of a personality of his own with each and every appearance.  Stylistically there are a few Libertarian peccadillos, but I get the impression of a far from complacent setter who’s ever-diligent when it comes to burnishing the clue surfaces.

1 DILETTANTE - (title)* in Dante.  Probably the “path of least resistance” in terms of wordplay treatment options, but deftly handled nonetheless.
6 GASH - double def’n.  A rather archaic form of ‘ghastly’, it seems to me.  Puts me in mind, for some reason, of something an Evelyn Waugh character would probably say.
9 TANTALISED (N + TA) in (details)*.
10 MARL - mar + l{ayer}.
12 INSPECTORATE - inspect + orate.
15 ESCAPEE - not sure I fully get the pun here.  Is it simply implying, “not a copper, but one who flees from them”?
16 SEDATED - (stone dead)* – no.  Least favourite clue by far.  Don’t care much for ‘amputation’ when the letters referred to seem to be more of a ‘disembowelment’.  Plus where is the reversal indicator?
17 FIESTAS - (SATS + e{xasperate} + if)<. Swiftly followed by my favourite clue of the bunch.
19 ENHANCE - alternate letters in being + {c}hance{s}.  ‘Even being’ may be a little too concise/inaccurate for some tastes, but I think the intentions are clear.
20 CONTEMPTUOUS - Con + tempt + UO [initial letters] + US.
23 ITEM - double def’n.
24 REGARDLESS - regard less.
25 NUTS - initial letters (=’in pole position’).
26 SOLE TRADER - a touch corny, but it raised a smile anyway.

1 DATE - double def’n.
2 LANK - hidden.
3 TRAINSPOTTER - trains + potter.  First time I ever seen this word defined in a non-derogatory way!
4 ARIPPLE - ri{p} in apple.  A strange looking word, that looks like it’d be more at home in an advanced/barred puzzle.  I initially tried to justify ATIPPLE here before hitting on the correct variant.
5 TIERCES - (I in secret)<. I wasn’t helped by the definition here, being under the impression that a tierce is a bet on a horse race, rather than the race itself.
7 ADAMANTINE - (Anna made it)*.
8 HALBERDIER - Hal + be + (rider)*.  An  new word for me, but readily imputed from the (more familiar) weaponry stem.
11 COLD-SHOULDER - should in colder.  Good verb/noun ambiguity via ‘Refuse’.
13 PERFECTION - solved from def’n alone. 
14 SCREEN TEST - double def’n.  I thought the use of ‘fitting’ here to be exquisite; segueing neatly from the first def’n and subtly adding precision to the second.  Almost made this a (very rare) double def’n winner of clue-of-the-day.
18 SUPREMO - (rep)* in Sumo.
19 EMULATE - Emu + late.
21 TEND - ten d (pre-decimal ‘pennies’).
22 USER - ruse, with the r shifted.

3 Responses to “Financial Times 13,516 – Hamilton”

  1. Abby says:


  2. Abby says:

    …which is super lame. I don’t get TEN D or ESCAPEE, and we really had trouble with this one, mostly from definitions more than wordplay.

  3. smiffy says:

    Thanks for the enlightment on 13D Abby. Although, as you say, that particular clue is probably better off leaving a brown paper bag over its head!

    In an effort at reciprocating. TEN D is a reference to monetary pre-decimalisation (1971) when the abbreviation for pence shifted from D to P. ESCAPEE is simply a (pretty verbose) spin on the idea of Bow Street Runners (early cops) causing somebody else to run.

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