Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,575 / Hamilton

Posted by Gaufrid on December 22nd, 2010


A pleasant start to the day and a straightforward solve with only a few relatively obscure words, all of which I had met previously (in other puzzles rather than everyday conversation).

Hamilton has taken a leaf out of Cinephile’s book by using ‘the last’ to give Z in the wordplay for 22dn and 4dn is reminiscent of some of Azed’s clues.

1 IMITATE I (a {one}) IT in MATE (friend)
5 REFRAIN REF (official) RAIN (bad weather)
9 PETER cd – ‘peter out’ = ‘fade away’
10 TRADEMARK TRADE (business) MARK (brand)
11 DARTMOUTH *(HAD TROUT M[ackerel])
12 TREND T[o] R[each] END (conclusion)
13 MOTTE AND BAILEY *(ALIENATED TOM BY) – a type of fortification commonly built by the Normans, with a keep built on a mound surrounded by a walled bailey.
18 CRÈME DE LA CRÈME CRÈME (French desert) *(CLEARED) ME (yours truly)
20 ON CUE dd
22 DONIZETTI *(Z EDITION T) – this composer.
24 TECTONICS TONIC (encouragement) in TECS (private eyes) – I originally wondered whether ‘tonic’ and ‘encouragement’ are strictly synonymous because this does not appear to be the case using the standard dictionary definitions but Chambers Thesaurus links them via the colloquial expression ‘a shot in the arm’.
25 PREEN dd
26 EPERGNE *(PREEN EG) – A branched ornamental centrepiece for a table.
1 IMPEDE hidden in ‘iterIM PEDEstrians’
3 AD REM A[dam} D[idn’t] R[ealise] E[xplain] M[eant]
5 ROACH cOACH (train) with c changed to R – as this is a down entry, wouldn’t the ‘foundation’ be the last letter rather than the first?
6 FREE-TO-AIR FREE (deliver) *(RATIO)
7 AGAPE GAP in A [and] E – ‘where joiner was’ indicates ‘remove and’.
15 DIAGNOSED AGNOS[tic] (unbeliever has lost his affliction) in DIED (gone)
16 LIMITLESS LIMIT (restrict) LES (the French) S (society)
17 ACCOUTRE *(ACTOR CUE) – to dress or equip (esp a warrior).
19 LINNET TEN NIL (10-0) reversed
21 CACHE C (many) ACHE (are suffering)
22 DRIVE dd
23 ZIP UP ZIP (nothing in US) UP (at university)

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13,575 / Hamilton”

  1. bamberger says:

    Gave up with only about half done.
    13a Spotted the anagram but had never heard of the answer.
    22a Didn’t know tenor =t and had never heard of him or her.
    24a By this stage I had given up on an unaided solve and googled “scientific study of buildings” but sadly for me, this word didn’t come up.
    26a My pet dislike is clues like this where you are pretty stuck if you don’t have the answer referred to.
    3d I don’t recall ever seeing this Latin phrase before though I am kicking myself for not getting it from the clue.
    4d I have would never have got this in a month of Sundays but will remember this trick for the future.
    19d Hadn’t heard of this though I probably discarded the answer as I tried combinations of o x net , none.
    23 Didn’t know zip=nil -only time I’ve heard of zip in US terms is in “zip code”.

    So tough for me for the reasons above. Well blogged .

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi bamberger
    “….. and googled “scientific study of buildings” but sadly for me, this word didn’t come up.”

    This is not very surprising. SOED only has ‘tectonics’ in its geology sense and Chambers gives “Building as an art”. One needs to resort to Collins to find “the art and science of construction or building”.

  3. Ramasamy says:

    Hi Gaufrid

    Just as you have mentioned, I aced the puzzle in some twenty minutes. Pretty fast by my standards!

    I just have a very minor quibble. In 12 AC, ‘to reach initial’ gives us TR. Is this fine in general or does it have to do with being non-Ximenean?

  4. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Ramasamy
    It is more common to see ‘initially’ as the indicator for the first letter(s) of word(s) but of course that would not suit the surface in this clue. I have no problems with simply ‘initial’ since this means “of, at, or serving as the beginning (adj)” or “the letter beginning a word (noun)”.

  5. Tony Welsh says:

    Made a bad start by getting creme de la creme and putting it in the wrong place! Never heard of epergne or ad rem. Motte and Bailey a distant memory so did not get it without help. Never heard of that meaning for tectonic either. For a long time I was convinced that 7d was award (“a ward” being part of a hospital) so all in all I found this quite hard.

    Only one quibble: 10a seems like a literal clue to me, and 8d more or less so, which made me doubt for a while that they could be right!

  6. Tony Welsh says:

    Note to Bamberger. You really should have heard of Donizetti, who wrote literally dozens of operas. You are really missing something imho if you have never heard Maria Stuarda for example (about Mary Queen of Scots) though his most famous is probably Lucia di Lammermoor. This was about the third clue I got, though admittedly (since I live in the US) I had the benefit of the Z from zip!

  7. smiffy says:

    Good stuff, as usual from The Bermudan Capitalist. I usually try to better myself by figuring out longer anagrams in my head, but 13A was one of those occasions when I had to resort to the jotter pad.

    Just a couple of niggles for me: 10A ,as mentioned by Tony W, seems meagrely transparent to me (a trademark is a trade mark is a trademark); 20A how might a snooker player be “on” (rather than “with” or “at”) cue? Sounds like it would a painful endeavour.

  8. scarpia says:

    Thanks Gaufrid.
    Like smiffy I enjoyed this puzzle,a nice mix of clue devices and some unusual vocabulary.Wasn’t sure about TECTONICS,but Chambers online does give “the art or science of building and construction.”

    Agree totally with Tony’s comment at 6,Donizetti was one of the greatest composers of bel canto opera,check out the mad scene from Lucia
    and the beautiful tenor aria from L’elisir d’amore

    You don’t get much better than that!

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