Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,630 / Neo

Posted by Agentzero on March 1st, 2011

Agentzero.

A delight from Neo.  What impressed me today was how Neo managed to devise such misleading wordplay and fit it so neatly into the surface reading of the clue.

Across
1 ALHAMBRA H[earts] in A LAMB (an innocent) RA (artist)
6 SLIGHT dd
9 SEPTET *(ST PETE[r])
10 AMICABLE AM (before noon) I CABLE (wired message).  At first I thought it should be CABLED but “wired message” here is a noun
11 SHOE O (ring) in SHE (woman)
12 HAND-ME-DOWN HAND ME (give Neo) DOWN (blue)
14 DEMOCRAT *(MET + DRACO)
16 YETI YET (at this time) I (one)
18 WOMB WOMBAT (marsupial) minus AT (dropping “by”)
19 HATCHERY *(THEARCHY): reference is to WOMB from 18 across
21 COPENHAGEN OPEN (free) H[otel] in CAGE (secure enclosure) N (close to “Asian”)
22 OOPS O (zero) OPS = “no surgical procedures”
24 VICTORIA TOR (hill) in VI (six) CIA (agents)
26 RETARD TAR (sailor) in RED (Ginger)
27 DEBATE BE reversed in DATE (time)
28 NOWADAYS D.A. (lawyer) in NO WAY (impossible) + S[hilling] (old Bob)
 
Down
2 LEECH LEE (sheltered side) CH[urch]
3 AT THE DOUBLE *([rac]E HATED U BOLT)
4 BUTCHERS *(SCHUBERT) A nice anagram discovery
5 AGAINST THE GRAIN cd (“deal” being a kind of wood)
6 STIGMA T (Turkish leader) in SIGMA (letter from Greeks)
7 IDA IDEA (thought) minus E (Spain)
8 HOLY WATER *(FOR WEALTHY minus F[ellow])
13 DRY-THROATED *(HYDRATED OR [no]T)
15 ECONOMISE CON[servative] (Tory) O.M. (order) IS in E, E (Europeans)
17 ST ANDREW STAND (position) RE (on) W[omen]
20 THORPE OR (golden) P[enny] in THE; the clever definition “Aussie Pools winner” refers to Ian Thorpe, who has just announced he will return as an Olympic swimmer for Australia
25, 23 TEA PARTY cd

7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,630 / Neo”

  1. walruss says:

    This was my first of the day, and a great start. As you say some deklightful clues with some lovely misdirection, a very accomplished presentation. Several caught the eye with ‘thus saw deal’ partucularly evil. As for OOPS, that was a LOL moment, and the Thorpe ref excellent. Top stuff.

  2. jmac says:

    These Neo puzzles are always a delight – not particularly difficult but with a wider range of clue types than I usually see at this this end of the spectrum and some brillaint surfaces.

  3. bamberger says:

    Failed only on 18a -assumed it was something like walla by and 15d. Got 8d wrong -had hell rather than holy -slight difference.

    Thanks Neo -not sure if I’ve done one of your before.

    Isn’t it about time we had a (preferably non themed) Loroso (Anax)?

  4. flashling says:

    @Bamberger #3 http://anaxcrosswords.wordpress.com/2011/02/27/cryptic-crossword-005/ there’s one coming… though as for no theme, don’t bet on it.

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Another great Neo crossword.
    His puzzles are so constistent(ly good) – a joy to solve.

    I almost went wrong in the West.
    For a while I had ‘epitomise’ for 15d, though I couldn’t explain the ‘pit’ part of it as being Tory. But another kind of cutting (more in line with Tories) eventually led to ECONOMISE.
    18ac was the last to get in, and although I like the “dropping by” effect, I wasn’t 100% keen on having to convert ‘by’ first into ‘at’. It is alright, of course, but still.

    A Super Trilogy in the Downs: 7, 8 and 13.
    So well constructed, with DRY-THROATED surely my Clue of the Day.
    What a splendidly written clue with a surface so apt!

    Thanks Neo.
    [and Agentzero, of course!]

  6. Neo says:

    Many thanks to the Agent & 15/2 for the blog, and to all for comments. At 10ac in particular the Agent spots what I did there, so many extra thanks for that!

    Pleasure to be published among m’colleagues Raich and Crucible today: Happy Tuesdays. Apart from Soton goofing up at Walsall …

  7. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Agentzero.
    Another very good puzzle from Neo.What I particularly liked in this one were the witty definitions,especially 20 down.
    Had the same thoughts re 10 across,but it is a perfectly fair clue,just need to think of it in the right way.

    I know of one pianist who butchers Schubert and can plod through Copland and also produces a rather phonic Chopin.There is a tameness to his Massenet and his Gibbons would leave you sobbing.He can,though,play the meanest Smetana!

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