Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,641 / Crux

Posted by Agentzero on March 24th, 2011

Agentzero.

Prize Puzzle from the Monday March 14 FT

This was a treat.  If you missed this last week, go back and give it a go (without peeking below, of course).  There’s plenty of ingenuity on display here.  Standout clues for me were 1 across, 29 across and 4 down.

Across
1 PATE DE FOIE GRAS *(A PART OF GEESE I’D) Clue of the Day, right from the start.  A wonderful anagram and &lit clue.
10 APHID hidden in epitAPH I Devised
11 EAST ENDER *(SEA) + TENDER (green)
12 BULLDOG dd
13 SET FREE SET (birds) FREE (on the house)
14 DONUT DO + N.U.T. (teachers [union])
16 EUCHARIST EU (27 countries) CHAR (fish) IST (first)
19 OBEISANCE *(I CAN BE SO) + E[nglish]
22, 20 TWELFTH NIGHT cd
25 EMBASSY S.S. (ship) in *(MAY BE) I enjoy clues in which what appear to be meaningless connector words in fact are, or are part of, the anagram fodder
27 ENTERTAIN dd
28 BAIRN *(BRAIN)
29 LEAVE WELL ALONE d&cd Another very pleasing clue.
 
Down
2 ASH-BLONDE *(BALD NO SHE)
3 ENDED TENDED (looked after) minus T[ime]
4 EVERGREEN dd  Another gem!
5 OASIS dd
6 EYESTRAIN EYES (they inspect) TRAIN (school)
7 RIDER dd
8 SERPENT [re]SER[ve] (“central reserve”) + PENT (shut up)
9 BARBED B[ishop] in BARED (revealed)
15 TASK FORCE ASK FOR (request) in *(ETC)
17 COETERNAL E[astern] TERN (bird) in COAL (fire-maker)
18 INGESTION *(ISN’T GONE I)
19 OUTSELL cd
21 TRYING dd
23 EXTRA dd
24 HEAVE HEAVE[n] (“ecstasy,” almost)
26 BABEL BE (live) in LAB[our] reversed

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,641 / Crux”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thank you Agentzero,
    as you said, a really good crossword, worth a Gold Medal for the truly stunning 1ac alone.

    Another great anagram in 19ac (OBEISANCE), a cheeky device in BRIAN (28ac) and nice wordplay in LEAVE WELL ALONE (29ac).

    I liked Crux describing FREE (as part of 13ac) by ‘on the house’, very appropriate within the surface.
    2d (ASH-BLONDE) and 18d (INGESTION) were two more favourites.

    The only clue I had some trouble with was 19d (OUTSELL).
    Thought that it had to be a cd, eventually. But I still don’t fully get it (the second part of the clue, or is there a connection with 18d?). Cd’s are just not always on my radar.

    Apart from that, sheer quality.
    From a setter who is steadily heading for the Top Ten of (my) favourite setters.
    I’d wish more solvers would discover Crux.

  2. Rufus says:

    I came across the “pate de fois gras” anagram in an old book of apposite anagrams and used it first in the 1980s for a syndicated puzzle. I used it last in 2004 in the Guardian.

  3. Sil van den Hoek says:

    See, dear Rufus, I’m not long enough around to know all this.
    It puts 1ac in a different light.
    Could be, of course, that Crux ‘discovered’ it independently.
    Does it affect my admiration for this crossword?
    Well, a little bit.
    [but don't feel guilty about that :)]

  4. bamberger says:

    I just couldn’t get 1a which meant I didn’t have the first letters for 3d,4d,7d&8d which I also couldn’t get.
    Agree that 4d is very good as is 12a whcih I also couldn’t get.

    Thanks for the blog

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