Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,616 by Cinephile

Posted by Pete Maclean on February 24th, 2011

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of February 12
As most of you may know, John Graham (a.k.a. Cinephile) recently had his 90th birthday. I found this puzzle of his fairly tricky. I would not say it has any great clues but I do like 6D (ABUT) and the clever clue couplings in 9-10A and 26-27D. Then there is one, 24D (TREATY), that I do not fully understand.

Across
9. NANNY GOAT – NANNY (nurse) + GO (shot) + AT (at)
10. BILLY – double definition
11. AVIATOR – VIA (through) in ROTA (list of duties) reversed
12. GET RICH – GE[nius] + [os]TRICH (big bird, not very big)
13, 23. TINPOT – TIN (one container) + POT (another container)
14. MOTHER BROWN – double definition. Chesterton’s detective was Father Brown.
17, 18. START OUT – STAR (brilliant) + TOUT (tipster)
19. BLIND – double definition
21. TREACLE WELL – RE (about) + A CLEW (an old clue) both in TELL (inform)
25, 27, 29. NOTHING TO WRITE HOME ABOUT – anagram of BUT I GO INTO THE OTHER WOMAN. Cinephile sometimes writes anagram clues for long expressions like this that could almost be computer-generated; this one is rather good though.
28. SPREE – double definition. The Spree is a river that runs through Berlin — something I had not known until I looked it up for this clue.

Down
1. INFANT – FAN (cooler) in IN (in) + T (time)
2. INSIGNIA – IN (home) + SIGNORA (married woman) with “I” replacing “OR”
3. SYSTEMATIC – anagram of MESSY ACT IT
4. TOUR – double definition
5. STAG BEETLE – BE (live) in STAGE (theatre) + anagram of LET
6. ABUT – A (a) + BUT (qualification)
7. ULTIMO – U (turn) + T (junction) in LIMO (large car)
8. HYPHENED – HEN (bird) in HYPED (over-promoted). I am more used to “hyphenated” but “hyphened” is perfectly good.
15. TWO LENGTHS – double definition
16. BUBBLE WRAP – BU (British Union) + BLEW (exposed) in BRA (supporter) + P (piano)
17. SATANIST – SAT (took pew) + anagram of SAINT
20. IMPRISON – MP (politician) in IRIS (flag) + ON (continuingly). The flag-iris pair is always a good one for solvers to keep in mind.
22. EXTORT – EX (was) TORT (wrong)
24. TREATY – ??? How does “that could be private” work here?
26. ITEM – anagram of TIME (27D)
27. TIME – cryptic definition

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13,616 by Cinephile”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Last week I really let you down by not submitting a post for an exceptionally fine Cincinnus crossword, but then they ALL did. :(

    In this puzzle, 9/10ac ánd 26/27d are examples of what it’s all about when we talk about ellipses. Chapeau, Cinephile!

    I especially liked HYPHENED, because there was indeed a hyphen in the clue, which gave us the definition.

    Other highlights were the great anagram leading to SYSTEMATIC (3d) and the witty 22d (EXTORT).

    I had no question mark in my notes for TREATY, so I must have parsed it last week.
    Yep, I did:
    Oxford tells us: a PRIVATE TREATY is the agreement for the sale of a property at a price negotiated directly between the vendor and purchaser or their agents.

    Good puzzle.
    I didn’t put any minuses in my notes.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    >> Oxford tells us: a PRIVATE TREATY is the agreement for the sale
    >> of a property at a price negotiated directly between the vendor
    >> and purchaser or their agent.

    Thank you for finding that. But surely it means that the clue is hardly cryptic?

  3. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Pete.
    Perhaps not one of the Rev’s very best puzzles but enough good stuff to make it enjoyable.
    As you say ABUT was very good and I also liked BUBBLE WRAP.
    In 1 down I think ‘keep’ is the insertion indicator.
    24 down,I can only assume the reference is to (copied from Free Dictionary) “private treaty – a sale of property at a price agreed on by the seller and buyer without an intervening agency.”
    Can’t say that makes it a great clue but I might be missing something here as well.
    BTW slight typo in 21 across – missing W.

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    Scarpia, Thanks for noticing that typo in 21 across. I have corrected it. And of course you are right about 1 down! I have fixed that as well.

  5. Coffee says:

    Thanks – was left with Spree being the most likely for that one, but I had never heard of the river either. Finally can send it to the recycling bin.

  6. Pete Maclean says:

    Hi Coffee. I Googled “Berlin spree” and there it was!

  7. bamberger says:

    Got about half out but scattered all over the grid.
    10a How did I miss that?
    12a I think that wordplay is hard
    21a Now that is really hard.
    5d Another really hard one

    Thanks Pete -I know this site doesn’t go in for times but I’d be interested as a “one off” as to how long this took you roughly.

  8. Pete Maclean says:

    Hi bamberger. The wordplay of 12a is hard indeed; it was probably the clue that took me the longest.

    I cannot well say how much time this puzzle took me but it was longer than most. As is typical I worked on it periodically over a couple of days. There have been puzzles that I completed in a single 20-minute sitting but those are very exceptional. I am generally not a fast solver and take a relaxed approach picking up the puzzle for a few minutes now and then over the weekend.

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