Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,598 by Cincinnus

Posted by Pete Maclean on February 3rd, 2011

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of January 22
Once again Cincinnus comes up with an impressive set of clues.

How juicy is 19A (REDSTART)? How witty 13A (NON-USAGE)! How splendid 8A (CON ARTIST), 1D (DOCUMENTARIES) and 10D (STREET THREATRE)! How nice 23D (PECAN). The bottom-right quadrant took me a while but the whole was most satisfying.

Across
1. DEMOTIC – TOME (book) in CID (police) all backwards
5. ROCOCO – R[oyal] O[pera] + COCO (company replicated)
8. CON ARTIST – anagram of ACTOR ISNT
9. LOADS – double definition. (Not LEADS as I originally posted.)
11. MAINE – MAIN (major) + [leagu]E
12. BAROMETER – O (old) + MET (opera house) together in BARER (more exposed). I take it that the location referred to is the Metropolitan Opera House (“the Met”) in New York — where I have enjoyed opera myself.
13. NON-USAGE – “pundit” with U removed!
15. PIERCE – R (right) in PIECE (composition)
17. ASSENT – homophone (“ascent”)
19. REDSTART – S[eed] in RED TART (cherry pie)
22. ICE HOCKEY – anagram of CHOICE + KEY (essential)
23. PURSE – double definition. The first meaning contract as in “to purse lips”.
24. SATAN – SAT (one day) + AN (an)
25. TRENCHANT – TRENCH (ditch) + ANT (insect)
26. SEARCH – EAR (organ) in SCH (school)
27. LUNETTE – NET (curtain material) in LUTE (instrument)

Down
1. DOCUMENTARIES – anagram of AUDIENCE STORM
2. MENTION – I (upright character) in MENTON (French resort)
3. TERSE – hidden word. I wondered about “part for” as a hidden-word indicator for a minute but decided it works well.
4. CRIBBAGE – CRIB (key) + BAG (appropriate) + E[ngland]. Is “key” a bit of a stretch for cluing CRIB? I guess there is overlap of meaning in the sense of something like a set of answers, e.g. at the back of a book of puzzles, exercises.
5. RETORT – double definition (“sally” in the sense of outburst)
6. CALUMNIES – anagram of MASCULINE
7. CHAPTER – double definition
10. STREET THEATRE – anagram of SETTER THERE AT. And such a fine cryptic definition!
14. SUNDOWNER – anagram of NOW in SUNDER (part). To sunder means to separate or part.
16. VERY WELL – double definition
18. SHEATHE – SHE (the woman) + A + THE (articles)
20. ABREAST – A (a) + R (resistance) in BEAST (brutal person)
21. SKETCH – S (singular) + KETCH (vessel)
23. PECAN – CA (about — abbreviation of CIRCA) in PEN (prison)

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13,598 by Cincinnus”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, another good Cincinnus.
    As if it doesn’t take any effort.
    Last Saturday (in Derby) I had the pleasure to meet Cincinnus, but unfortunately I was not yet in a talkative mood at that time of the day.

    Pete, I’m sure you mean to say that NON-USAGE is ‘pundit’ (SAGE) with the U removed. Well, you say it more or less.
    In 9ac, though, we differ.
    The answer must surely be LOADS (dd).

  2. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Pete.
    Usual good stuff from Cincinnus.13 across – I first thought PNDIT was a misprint,very clever clue!
    I also thought CRIB = KEY was perhaps pushing the boundaries but came across this definition on WordWeb –

    A crib is a section of an encoded or enciphered message that can easily be rendered into plain text, thus providing a tool whereby a skilled cryptanalyst can crack the entire code or message. A famous example of a “crib” from outside the world of espionage is the Rosetta Stone, used to translate Egyptian hieroglyphics.

  3. nmsindy says:

    I think CRIB = KEY refers to a literal translation that was sometimes given to, say, Latin texts when they used to be taught in schools quite a while back.

  4. Cincinnus says:

    Re 4 down: nmsindy has found the key.

    The definition is cribbed from Chambers (11th edition), which has as definition no. 15 of crib: “A key or baldly literal translation, used as an aid by students, etc”.

    Regards to all.

  5. Jan says:

    A lovely puzzle – thanks Pete and Cincinnus.

    Like Sil, I had LOADS for 9a.

  6. Pete Maclean says:

    9A, LOADS of course. What was I thinking? Thanks, folks.

  7. bamberger says:

    Demotic was new to me and never heard of Menton.
    Got about 2/3 out .

    Thanks for the explanations for the ones I couldn’t crack.

  8. Jack Aubrey says:

    Returned from a week in the Alps to find a copy of the Good Word Guide on the doorstep courtesy of the FT. I think it was probably this one where I fell lucky but I may never know!

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