Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 13,518 by Cincinnus

Posted by Pete Maclean on October 28th, 2010

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of October 16

A slightly more difficult than usual puzzle from Cincinnus with a typical offering of fine clues. My choice ones this time are 23A (AEROSMITH), 26A (ALLIUM), 28A (LOCUST), 29A (AS IT WERE) and 1D (JUDDER).

Across
1. JACOBEAN – COB (loaf) in JEAN (Frenchman)
5. EMOTED – TOME (book) backwards + E[dwin] D[rood]
9. DWELLING – D (duke) + WELLING[ton] (a famous one losing weight)
10. ANIMUS – NIM (game) in AUS (Oz)
12. ENEMY – ME (Cincinnus) reversed in E (Eastern) NY (state)
13. SANTANDER – AN (article) in STANDER (upright type)
14. HARDLY – L (line) in HARDY (English poet). Oh dear! I come from Hardy country but, while I know him very well as a novelist, I had forgotten that Hardy was also a poet.
16. PEASANT – P[l]EASANT (delightful second shed)
19. ORDINAL – DIN (25 across — noise) in ORAL (exam)
21. SHERPA – anagram of PHRASE
23. AEROSMITH – A (a) + EROS (Greek god) + MIT (with German) + H (hard)
25. NOISE – hidden word (piaNO IS Excruciating)
26. ALLIUM – ALL (wholly) + I (imaginary root) + UM (let me see)
27. BRAND NEW – BRAND (mark) + [k]NEW (scratching head was acquainted with)
28. LOCUST – OC (officer) in LUST (desire) wi
29. AS IT WERE – anagram of SWEATER I

Down
1. JUDDER – J (jack) + UDDER (container of milk)
2. CLEVELAND – CLEVE[r] (endless bright) + LAND (light)
3. BULLY – double definition
4. AMNESTY – NEST (cosy) in AMY (little woman). The “little woman” reference is to Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” one of whom was named Amy.
6. MENTAL AGE – anagram of AGENT LAME
7. TIMID -TIM (chap) + [a]ID (rejecting first aid)
8. DISCRETE – D (500) + IS (islands) + CRETE (island)
11. SNAP – double definition. Unexpected in the sense of a snap quiz.
15. DINOSAURS – anagram of ROADS IN US
17. APPLIANCE – I[rish] + [b]AN[k] + C[oins] in APPLE (fruit)
18. NOT AT ALL – Tom Thumb was NOT A TALL man. I have come across people who think that fill-in-the-blank type clues are somehow improper. I think they are absolutely fine and am happy to see Cincinnus using one.
20. LAID – DIAL (face) reversed
21. SPHERES – anagram of HESPERS
22. PEEWEE – EWE (sheep) in PEE[r] (lord almost)
24. RELIC – hidden word (sighseeR ELICited)
25. NONET – TEN (ten) + ON[e] (one short) backwards

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,518 by Cincinnus”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, Pete, once more for an immaculate blog.

    I agree with you that this crossword was one that could be rated as “hard(er)” on the Cincinnus Scale.

    We/I thought he was on form in this puzzle.

    One of Mr Curl’s trademarks is using combinations of words that naturally belong together, but which should be unlinked – something he shares with eg Boatman and Alberich. In this crossword there were quite a few.
    “17th century/Frenchman” (1ac), “German/hard/rock band” (23ac), “milk/shake” (1d) and “fruit/machine” (17d).
    All of them leading to clues that could be Our Clue of the Day.

    I am not sure, though, that “English poet” for HARDY is fair.
    And in 25ac (PIANO): shouldn’t there be a kind of hidden answer indicator? Or is “of” enough?
    And I didn’t like the order of things in 27ac – I would have preferred to see “scratching head” áfter “was acquainted with”.

    On the other hand, I particulrly liked NONET (25d) – not the worst way to clue this word [which is an understatement].

    I thought 9ac, D+WELLING[ton], was a clue-on-the-edge: because Ellington (without the W) was also a Duke.

    Like so often in crosswords that we solve, the NW was the most troublesome.
    But we’ll managed.
    A rewarding puzzle.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Hi Sil,

    I especially liked “milk shake”.

    Regarding “of” as a hidden-word indicator: I do not much like it but I have seen it used before so guess we have to accept it. And I agree with you re “scratching head”. And re 9ac, I forgot about Ellington!

    Thanks as ever for your perceptive comments.

  3. Wil Ransome says:

    Perhaps you’re right about ‘of’ as an anagram indicator, Pete. I agree with you. Don’t much like it. It isn’t enough in my opinion and I’d never have thought that the excellent Cincinnus would use this.

    In 9ac I don’t think Ellington is relevant. It just so happens that his name misleads here.

    As usual from Cincinnus, very good, but there were one or two rather weak clues I thought. 21dn seems very feeble and I didn’t think much of ‘central bank’ for {b}an{k} in 17dn. Central bank isn’t the same as the centre of bank or bank centrally. It’s as bad as those people referred to and criticised in Don Manley’s Crossword Companion who say ‘first rate’ for r.

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    I must disagree with you slightly on your last point. I think devices such as cluing ‘R’ with “first rate” should be stamped out as insupportable. But I am of two minds about of cluing ‘AN’ with “central bank” — at least I do not see it as equally bad.

    I would make the argument that “first rate” does not work because the meaning is completely different from “first of rate” or “first in rate” which would work. But if one reads “central bank” as “central B-A-N-K” then it seems somewhat justifiable.

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