Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,587 / Dante

Posted by Agentzero on January 20th, 2011


My first prize puzzle blog — I hope someone reads it!

Dante is a regular in this space, and he provides his usual collection of dd’s and cd’s.  There were two excellent examples of the latter, I thought: 6 and 24 down.  Apart from that, my favourite clue was 4 across, with its nifty surface and seamless blending of the definition with the rest of the clue (“hot/work…”).

4 TROPICAL OP (work)  and C[entury]  in TRIAL (test). 
11 OUIJA OUI (agreement in French) JA (agreement in German).  Since this is actually the derivation of the word OUIJA, this doesn’t really feel “cryptic” to me.
12 ROOK somewhere between a cd and a dd.  A rook is a bird and is used in a game (chess).
13 CONSTABLES STABLE (firm) in CONS (swindles)
16 PLAY ON cd
19 HOOKED d&cd
21 IN DEPTH IN (trendy) DEPTH (profundity)
23 PHILOSOPHY O (love) between PHIL (a boy) and SOPHY (a girl)
25 GRID dd, but in actual usage an American football field is always “the gridiron,” never just a “grid”
27 RIGHT dd
28 MANNEQUIN MAN (male) NE (born) QUIN (one of five)
29 ESTIMATE I’M in ESTATE (property)
30 MOLEST M.O. (doctor) LEST (in case)
3 OGRE GO reversed + RE (about)
5 ROLLS UP ROLLS (posh car) UP (riding)
7 CHILL C[entral] H[eating] ILL (off)
8 LIAISE *(I SAIL) + E[ast]
9 SIMONY SIMON (simple soul) + Y[ear]
14 ROCK BOTTOM ROCK (totter) BOTTOM (bed)
17 OPPORTUNE OP (work) P (quiet) OR TUNE (music)
18 WHODUNIT dd, although arguably just a straight definition
21 IN HAND dd
24 INGOT cd

6 Responses to “Financial Times 13,587 / Dante”

  1. Uncle Yap says:

    Welcome AgentZero to the Lonely Planet. The trouble with prize puzzle is that most solvers would have forgotten ten days later. However, there are some learner-lurkers here who use this relatively simple puzzle as a weekly lesson. Do not be discouraged … your effort is being appreciated, albeit silently

  2. Jan says:

    Thank you, Agentzero. I always read the FT and Guardian blogs but am usually too late to add a comment. I rarely do the puzzles on the days they appear so I’m only ever ready for the prize blogs.

    I struggled to finish this puzzle – I’m not a fan of double definitions and a couple of cryptic definitions left me cold.

  3. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Like just like Jan, I had slightly more trouble with this Dante than usually.
    I knew 16ac had to be PLAY ON, but I didn’t fully get it.
    Oh, those cd’s [or is 16ac a dd?].
    Another one that I found relatively late was SEWER RAT (1d): I know “it’s a pest”, but “in the main”?
    I think the girl’s name in 23ac (philo)SOPHY is very unusual. There will surely be SOPHYs in the world, but a lot more SOPHIEs.

    All this may be a matter of taste, but I put a real question mark to the use of “doctor” as an anagrind when it is positioned behind the fodder. I remember a similar discussion a while ago in which Dr Gaufrid raised his eyebrows, just like I did here.

    Many thanks, Agentzero, for the blog which tells me that you particularly liked 4ac (TROPICAL). I do, too, but I am not quite sure whether the construction is 100% right or not.
    It says: OP getting C during TRIAL.
    What does “getting” mean here? It looks like a container indicator: TRIAL (with C in it) coming around OP.
    I can’t remember having seen “getting” being used this way.
    Normally it would tell me: OP + (C in TRIAL), which is not the case here.
    But, maybe it’s just me who doesn’t feel comfortable with it.

    Finally, there are two consecutive clues in which “on” appears in a similar way (3d and 5d). The use of that little word in OGRE is fine (the reversal of GO “on” (on top of) RE), but in the next one (ROLLS UP) it is the other way around – for some people that’s fine, others [like me] prefer to have AB for “A on B” in a down clue.

    Apart from these things, a gentle start of the week (as Uncle Yap would call it).

  4. dram says:

    Many thanks Agentzero for the blog which helped this learner-lurker understand the gaps, especially TROPICAL. Thanks too to Dante for the entertainment!

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    One more remark about TROPICAL, catalysed by dram’s post.
    Agentzero’s explanation is, I think, “OP and C in TRIAL” meaning “TRIAL comes around OP and C”.
    If so, the word “getting” is not really alright, as OP is not getting C (it’s not OPC).
    OP and C are, of course, both in TRIAL, but the word “getting” doesn’t justify that – IMO.

  6. Agentzero says:

    Thanks to everyone for the comments!

    Sil, your posts are always so thoughtful and detailed. I had a similar reaction to 4 across. I ultimately decided I didn’t mind it because you can think of OP “getting” C to join it in entering TRIAL (not necessarily consecutively). I was doubtless influenced by how much I liked the surface.

    Regarding 1 down, Collins gives as a definition of “main” “a principal pipe, conduit, duct, or line in a system used to distribute water, electricity, etc.” One could argue, though, that a main (which delivers water) is distinct from a sewer (which takes it away), and that one would hope to find a rat only in the latter, and not the former.

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