Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,614 / Sleuth

Posted by smiffy on February 10th, 2011

smiffy.

Plenty to get our laughing gear around today, particularly with several clues depending on a veritable diaspora of famous surnames from various realms.  I’ve simply name-checked them all, rather than provide an abundance of Wikipedic links, as it’s usually the case that one solver’s obscurity is another’s household name.  Overall, this seems be at the more head-scratching end of Sleuth’s gamut.

Across
1 FOSTER – (E.M.) Forster – [flai]r.
4 UNABATED - Una + homophone of “baited”.
9 AMASS – hidden.
10 CYBERCAFE - cryptic def’n.  I’ve seen better, Java-based puns on this before.
11 BUMP OFF- Po in (bum + FF).  Unusually here, ‘pole’ is the unit of length (16’6″, since you ask) rather than the compass point.  Additional bamboozlement courtesy of ‘fellows’ = 2 x F.
12 LIMOGES - (Go miles)*.
13 RIDE – alternate letters in ‘reindeer’.
14 DETAINEE – (Eta + in) in dee (=D, phonetically).
17 CASHMERE - [yea]r in (A scheme)*.
19 STIR – stair (‘section in flight’) – a[irline].  Presumably one does porridge in a stir, and bird in a cooler?
22 OPEN-AIR – Open (sporting ‘competition’) + homophone of “heir”.
25 CUT IT FINE - figurative/whimsical double def’n.
26 AROMA - r[oyal] o[ffspring] in (a MA).
27 ROAD RAGE – (E + Garda + OR)<.
28 CLIENT - lien in Ct.

Down
1 FLAUBERT - a fiendish multi-lingual homophone.  “Flow bear”.  Gustave F. and Mme Bovary provided the more student-friendly element of my enforced dalliances with French literature.  Then again, compared to Camus’ La Peste (the other set text), that no great accolade.
2 SPASMODIC – s[un] in (spa + mo + CID<).
3 EUSTON - t[ime] in EU son (‘Product of Brussels, maybe’!).
5 NOBEL LAUREATE - (Bell + (U in area) in note; Alexander Graham of that ilk…
6 BERGMAN – (Alban Berg) + (Thomas) Man{n} = (Ingmar) Bergman.
7 TWANG – w[ife] in Tang.
8 DRESSY – Dr. + ess{a}y.
10 COFFEE MORNING - Co. + f[ollowing] + fee + mo + (n[ew] in ring).  Phew!
15 ENTRECOTE – (C + OT) in entree.
16 ARTEFACT – E in art fact (‘what gallery guide might reveal’!).
18 SHATTER – (a t{o}t) in (Sir Antony) Sher.
20 CONCUR – con (=’one inside’… think 19A) + RUC<.
21 ASSAIL – ass + ail.
23 EXTRA – double def’n.

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,614 / Sleuth”

  1. Nestorius says:

    Not fiendishly difficult but plenty to chew over. Not a quickie.

    It did help once I spotted the setter’s predilection for cultural references.

    I particularly liked 20 down with the fine misdirection of “one inside”, 23d with nice smooth surface.

    Thanks to Sleuth & smiffy for the fun.

  2. bamberger says:

    Thanks Smiffy.
    Had a two hour train journey to try to unpick this and got about half way through.

    Would never have got Flaubert.

    Not happy about 18d -never heard of Sher but even if I had, actor hardly gives much of a hint.

    10a I toyed with boardwalk until 10d scuppered that. Then thought about coastline until 7d scotched that.

  3. Tony Welsh says:

    Finished it all bar one, STIR. Should have got this. Didn’t understand 11a wordplay and still don’t. I guess BUM is POOR, but is PO an accepted abbreviation of POLE?

    Got stuck on 6d thinking the composer had to be BACH, until I got CYPERCAFEand all was clear. Got 18d without understanding why. Never heard of Anthony Sher I am afraid.

  4. Tony Welsh says:

    Re. FLAUBERT, I think that was my favorite clue! Though I did not get it until I had most of the cross letters. Interestingly, the one I did not have was FOSTER. Sleuth could have perhaps made it a bit easier by saying “French writer” in 1d in the same way as he said “English writer” in 1a. Since one’s natural assumption would be English it seems odd to mention the nationality when it is the “default” but not when it isn’t!

  5. Scarpia says:

    Thanks smiffy.
    A very good but difficult puzzle.As you say a lot of famous names featured,so a bit of general knowledge was required.Maybe some of the clues were a bit vague – actor,composer,novelist,writer – but I think the definitions were clear enough to compensate.
    Struggled with 11 across by trying to fit S or N in there,don’t think I’ve come across the po abbreviation before,made a nice change.
    FLAUBERT was brilliant.

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