Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,656 / Redshank

Posted by smiffy on March 31st, 2011

smiffy.

The pipeline of puzzles for the FT must be operating on a relatively short lead-time at present, as Redshank segues several topical clue surfaces on us today (e.g. 11A, 2D, 4D). Enough nifty wordplay here to sustain me, although I felt that – on occasion – that good work was at risk of being undermined by several dead-giveaway definitions.

Across
1 MOTHER SUPERIOR - M{ichigan} + other + [Lake] Superior.
10 LIE-IN - I in lien.
11 CRIPPLING - Cr[edit] + P[ortugal] in piling*.
12 SUBZERO - (zebus + RO)*.  Contrary to my preamble, the definition here is piquant and well disguised.
13 ERRATUM - Rare* + tum (=’corporation’, physically).
14 DRAIN – a in (Dr + in).
16 SEMICOLON – (monocle is)*.  At least we didn’t have this one defined literally (by way of the punctuation mark itself).  I’ve been bamboozled by that trap several times before with clues for the likes of comma and hyphen.
19 RED-HEADED - (He dreaded)*.  It took me a while, post-solve, to fully appreciate the definition here; initially thinking it was the nebulous ‘like this’, rather than ‘matches like this’.
20 LOCAL - alcohol* – Ho[use].  &lit…albeit by example.
22 SEASIDE – se{t}-aside.  Set-aside being the scheme whereby the EU pays farmers for keeping arable land fallow.
25 LEAKAGE – lake* + age.
27 BUTTERFAT - butt (of a joke) + after*.
28 RAISE – homophone of “rays”.
29 DUCKS AND DRAKES - duck + (D in sandrakes) – the latter as used in golf ‘bunkers’).

Down
2 OVERBOARD - over + Broad*.  Re: the bowler who recently came a World Cup cropper.
3 HENCE - hen + CE.
4 RECROSSED - scores* in red (Liverpool’s home strip).
5 UNITE - hidden reversal in {r}etinu{e}.
6 EMPIRICAL - pi in miracle*.
7 IDIOT - I (the ‘writer’, self-referentially) + (I in Dot).
8 REGIMEN - regimen{t}.
9 CLOSED - lose in CD.
15 NEEDINESS - dines in seen<.  Concise and precise work.
17 MODULATED - Mo[nth] + adult* + Ed.  An adjective that invariably makes me recall (with horror) the Cher song Believe.
18 LUCRATIVE - victualler* – L.
19 ROSEBUD – subed{it}or*.  RE: Citizen Kane’s ending.  A nice touch to work in a newspaper angle to the clue.
21 LIEDER - homophone of “leader” (of the orchestra).
23 AZTEC - a + C{or}tez*.  Great clue, not a word that you’d expect to surrender itself readily to the &lit treatment.
24 ELFIN – hidden.
26 AORTA - atria*, with 0 for I.  I’m no anatomist, but I think this is bordering on &lit territory too.

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13,656 / Redshank”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Smiffy

    This was very enjoyable with SUBZERO my favourite.

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks smiffy – and Redshank, of course.

    Andrew had alerted me to a coincidence here on my blog of today’s Gordius, where I’d almost written a similar comment to yours on 16ac, the coincidence being that the solution, COLON, wasn’t clued by a colon.

    An enjoyable puzzle and, as you say, remarkably topical.

    I particularly admired AZTEC and SEASIDE [where you have a wee typo].

  3. Wendy says:

    Very enjoyable but perhaps a few too many anagrams.

    Thanks Redshank. Are we allowed to know who you are please?

  4. Andrew says:

    Wendy: Redshank is aka Crucible (Guardian) and Radian (Independent) – see http://www.bestforpuzzles.com/people/a.html#Duggie-Anderson

  5. bamberger says:

    I raced through about 3/4 of this but then came to a grinding halt
    Failed to spot the hidden word at 24d
    Couldn’t get the anagram at 18d despite having all bar the first checking letters. Ok could have used a solver but wanted to to finish it unaided.
    Ditto the anagram at 16a . Some days they drop and some they don’t.
    12a Shouldn’t it be sub-zero?
    Didn’t understand 19a -have now googled it -Wikipedia may consider it famous -not with me it isn’t.

    Thanks for the blog

  6. bamberger says:

    19d not 19a

  7. Wendy says:

    Thanks Andrew.

  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks smiffy, another lightweight (but very well written) puzzle by Redshank.
    When I can solve a crossword without any kind of aides in, say, half an hour (like this one), then either that puzzle must be not very hard or it must be that I was on the same wavelength as the setter.
    In Redshank’s case, probably both.

    Not it that it makes any difference, but for me 5d wasn’t a reverse hidden [although it is on the face of it]. It saw it as the reverse (‘heading North’) of ‘retinue’ without the first and the last letter (‘endless’).

    Thank smiffy (and Redshank, of course).

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