Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,560 by Cinephile

Posted by Pete Maclean on December 16th, 2010

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of December 4

A decent, slightly challenging puzzle from Cinephile this time. My top clue is 25A (KIBOSH). I also like 7D (DECOR) although its wordplay is imperfect.

1. TRAGIC – T (time) + CIGAR (Havana, say) backwards
5. SHOWDOWN – SHOW (entertainment) + DOWN (county)
9. OF COURSE – C (100) in FOURS (4s) in OE (Old English)
10. FACTOR – ACT (performance) in FOR (for)
11. HELLAS – HE (the guy) + LL (will) + AS (like)
12. TOM BROWN – TOMB (grave) + ROW (quarrel) + N (pole)
14. SELFCATERING – anagram of RECTANGLES IF. I take exception to the enumeration given for this clue. I would have made it (4-8). And, while it is clever to includes both “square” and “rectangles” in the clue, I find the definition weak both in that the answer is a type of holiday not a synonym and because I can see no way that self catering ensures square meals!
18. SHORT STORIES – SHORTS (spirits) + TORIES (Conservatives)
22. PREGNANT – P (little prince) + REGNANT (on the throne)
25. KIBOSH – spoonerism of “by cosh”
26, 29. MILTON KEYNES – TONKEY (Eeyore with new head) in MILNES (author’s). Clever! (Eeyore was, of course, A.A. Milne’s stuffed donkey in “Winnie the Pooh”.)
27. CHAIRMAN – CH (companion) + AIRMAN (flier)
28. EGGSHELL – EGGS (gives spur) + HELL (the underground)

2. REFLEX – REF (judge) + LEX (law)
3. GOOD LOSER – OLD (old) backwards in GOOSE (bird) + R (river)
4. CHRYSALIS – homophone (“Chris Alice”). An imperfect soundalike but, I guess, close enough.
5. SCEPTIC – C (Conservative) in SEPTIC (what’s poisonous)
6. OXFAM – OX (beast) + FAM[e] (notoriety cut short). “By” rather gets in the way.
7. DECOR – DEC[ember] (Christmas coming) + OR (gold). “Christmas coming” is, surely, a wobbly definition for DEC but, overall, I think the clue is rather clever.
8. WOODWIND – WOO (seek to win) + DWIND[led] (somewhat reduced)
13, 19. BEETON – BE (live) + ETON (school)
15. THINK TANK – THIN (inadequate) + TAN (give hiding to) in KK (two kings)
16. RASPBERRY – double definition
17. CHARMING – CHAR (tea) + MING (China)
20. OPTICAL – TIC (twitching) in OPAL (stone)
21. ESCAPE – anagram of PEACES
23. GATES – double definition (referring, presumably, to Bill or Melinda)
24. ANNIE – hidden word

7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,560 by Cinephile”

  1. Jan says:

    Thanks, Pete. I can’t quite believe that I’m here first – I usually tag on at the end when everybody’s gone home.

    I didn’t see dwindled for DWIND in 8 – I thought the D could come from ‘somewhat reDuceD’ with ‘musicians’ providing wind and the definition. It would have been very clumsy and un-Cinephilic, if so.

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Jan, no doubt about 8d, Pete’s parsing is right [as all his parsings were right].
    What I don’t like about it is that a word in the clue (‘win’) is also part of the solution.
    And didn’t like the Spoonerism in 25ac either, btw.

  3. Jan says:

    Gosh, Sil, I must have worded my response badly. I wasn’t doubting Pete, just commenting that I was floundering around trying to parse 8 – I didn’t see dwindling.

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Jan, what about you and I doing some dwindling?
    [sorry, Gaufrid]

    Btw, I have no idea what ‘dwindling’ means.

  5. Pete Maclean says:

    Dwindle, dwindle little star
    How I’d wonder what you are
    In twenty down or one across
    Like a giant albatross

  6. Jan says:

    dwindle, verb (dwindled, dwindling) intrans to shrink in size, number or intensity.
    ETYMOLOGY: Anglo-Saxon dwinan to fade.


    Perhaps not, Sil, I don’t imagine either of us fading – nice one Pete – I’m sure Gaufrid will allow a little frivolity, it’s Crimbo. Talking of which, has anyone else printed Loroso/Anax’s ‘i’ puzzle which he linked to elsewhere?

    I’ve really struggled but can’t parse some of the solutions and still have 3 clues unsolved. I did see his neat twist eventually.

  7. Wil Ransome says:

    Pete you must be becoming rather tired of my constant carping at Cinephile’s crosswords, but it seems to me that there are even more things than usual in this crossword that require comment:
    a) the second ‘to’ in 1ac can only be there for the surface. For how on earth can ‘return to Havana, say’ be an indication to return ‘cigar’?
    b) In 5ac the ‘for’ is again only there for the surface. ‘for’ cannot be a juxtaposition indicator, surely.
    c) What is the anagram indicator in 14ac? ‘desired’? How utterly feeble.
    d) In 4dn we are asked to equate ‘chrysalis’ and ‘dormant’. Perhaps ‘chrysalis’ can be used as an adjective, but if not then surely this is no good.
    e) 17dn needs to be ‘Tea china, attractive?’, which is of course no good. How is ‘Char’ placed before or above ‘ming’?

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