Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,546 / Hamilton

Posted by smiffy on November 18th, 2010

smiffy.

I think this could well be Hamilton’s first foray into the “supersized-anagram-plus-friends” type of theme.  Fortunately the down clues are quite generous, and provided plenty of early checking letters for the main thematic answer.  There may be more thematic content than I’ve given credit for, as I have no idea whether 19/26′s exploits landed him in either 6 or 14.

Across
1/10/25/15 AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS – (Way-out Rhode Island red “thingy”)*.
4 WRYNECKS - Y{eme}n in wreck + s{weep}.  My last in, by quite some stretch.  Not helped by (i) my unfamiliarity with the species, (ii) a particularly clunky and inelegant wordplay structure.  Probably best not to dwell on the surface reading either.
9 ROTATE - (Et{hiopian} + a tor)<.  The reversal indicator ‘climb’ seems better suited to a down clue.
12 ATLANTIC - (Italian act)* – A1.
13/20 REFORM CLUB - reform + club.  On first glance at the enumeration, my gut instincts screamed “Albert Hall”, and I found it tricky to get away from that obsession thereafter.  I only just noticed the thematic relevance, as I typed this up.
16 SPLASHDOWN – splash + Down (county in NI).
19 PADDED CELL – (added + cel) in P{orthcaw}l.
23 IN VAIN – in + VA + in.
27 EARTH HOG - I actually deferred from entering this one at the first time of asking, as I was suspicious of the “too obvious to be true” answer.
28 PRIMER – double def’n.
29 STEERAGE - (Easter + e.g.).   The equivalent of cattle-class in the Titanic era.  Again, I was too enamoured by the niceties of te wordplay here.
30 ODENSE – 0 (=zero) dense.

Down
1 AIRWARD - (RWA + r) in aid.  The clue is reasonable enough but the word itself is new to me,  and downright ugly too.  Sounds like the ill-conceived and good-for-nothing offspring of skyward and airborne..
2 OUTPLAYED – Double def’n(?).  The Gabba is the venue for Brisbane Tests, and I’m guessing that there’s an allusion to outdoor theatre performances too.
3 NATANT - hidden.
5 RUHR – alternate letters in ‘rough ore’.
6 NEW DELHI - homophone of “nude Ellie”.  I’ll leave it to our Indian-domiciled correspondents to muse on the veracity of this rumour…
7 CARGO - (Touring car)* – Turin.
8 SIDEMAN – maidens*.  A general term for a musical hired-hand; wasn’t aware that it was specific to or particularly associated with the Bayou.
11 SIX-PACK - (cap + XI)< in SK.
14 TALLINN – tall inn.  I’d struggle to name another Estonian city, so this was something of a “no need to look beyond the definition” clue.
17 OKLAHOMAN - Oklahoma + n.
18 DECIPHER – D{amascus} + (price he)*.
19/26 PHILEAS FOGG – Phi + (fog + gales)*.  The thematic circumnavigator.
21 BAY TREE - (bare, yet)*.
22 NIMROD – nim + rod.  Mt Nimrod is a peak in Antarctica
24 VERNE – (never)*. I wonder why, in keeping with 19/26, this wasn’t defined as ‘our author’.

6 Responses to “Financial Times 13,546 / Hamilton”

  1. Rishi says:

    6d is hilarious (I would still dispense with the exclamation amrk) but the wordplay doesn’t quite work for me.
    The clue reads: Indian city where it’s said Elaine
    revealed all! (3,5)
    “Elaine revealed all”, grammatically can’t give ‘nude Ellie’; it can give only ‘Ellie bared’ or ‘Ellie stripped’ – which won’t work, though.
    For ‘nude Ellie’ (adj + noun), it must be ‘Elaine who bared it all’ or something like that.
    What do others think?

  2. shuchi says:

    With Rishi on this. The homophone is a great idea but “Elaine revealed all” isn’t grammatically equivalent to “nude Ellie” as far as I can see.

  3. bamberger says:

    Failed miserably-though it might have been a different story if I’d got 1a because that would have been four words and numerous checking letters.
    9a Agree totally – I thought climb could only be in a down clue.
    13a I was looking for something park assuming that the team played there-Rosslyn park, Deer Park etc
    3d If you don’t know what the Gabba is ..
    8d Agreed- I thought it must be something to do with jazz.
    I got very little of last Friday’s out but could admire it. Didn’t think much of this one.

  4. Tony Welsh says:

    I agree about 6d but still think it was a great clue. I have a bit of trouble with “consistently” meaning even letters in 5 down. The first one I got was Verne but it still took me a while to realise that other clues were related. Never heard of sideman, the Gabba, airward, or cel. Or natant for that matter, though it was obvious. But I finished it with a little help from an online dictionary!

  5. Richard says:

    This was a fun one but I agree that it might have been more fun if all the related clues had been tied in. That may have made it too easy since I got 1ac et al quite quickly, there being only so many adventures that fit the 6,3,5,2,6,4 format.

    Having “car” in the clue for 7dn and “fog” in the clue for 19/26dn seemed rather weak and WRYNECKS was a slow solve but all round a nice diverse puzzle.

  6. scarpia says:

    Thanks smiffy.
    Like Richard @5 I got the theme straight away just from the enumeration,so this made the puzzle pretty easy for me.I loved 6 down even if the wordplay was grammatically incorrect.
    Phileas Fogg started his adventure to win a bet taken with fellow members of the Reform Club.
    Contrary to the Hollywood version,a hot air balloon was not used in any part of the journey!

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