Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 13,723 by Cinephile

Posted by Pete Maclean on June 30th, 2011

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of June 18
I found this puzzle to be tough. In particular, 4A, 14D and 18D all stumped me for a while. I still do not completely understand 14D (ILLUSTRATOR) but trust I have the right answer. The only clue I greatly like is 19D (HYSTERIA) while I have doubts about 2D and 18D.

Across
1. DISOWN – SOW (row changing its leader) in DIN (row)
4. REDSTART – if green means stop then red [means] start
10. BELLINI – BELL (phone call) + IN (in) + I (first)
11. CHANCEL – CHANCEL[lor] ([George] Osborne falls short of master). So “lor” is an approved abbreviation for lord (master)?
13. SECOND WIND – SECOND [little time] + WIND (go round)
16. NEARLY – N (pole) + EARLY (before time)
17. SCUTTLE – double definition
20. IN VOGUE – IN (trendy) + V (five) + [min]OGUE (Kylie’s topped)
21. FLASHY – ASH (wood) in FLY (carriage)
24. HEREABOUTS – anagram of BEAU OTHERS
27. REFUTER – REF (whistle-blower) + anagram of TRUE. I would deem this a brilliant clue if I were happy about “hardly” as an anagram indicator — which I am not. I suppose it barely works in the sense of “with difficulty”.
29. COAL TAR – CO (company) + ALTAR (shrine)
30. TOXICITY – TO (to) + XI (team) + CITY (town)
31. SMYRNA – MY (my) + RN (ships [Royal Navy] both in SA (South Africa)

Down
1. DABBLING – DAB (expert) + BLING (jewels)
2. SILAS MARNER – anagram of MISER ALS[o] RAN. Is this an attempt at an &lit? I am unsure. I have not read “Silas Marner” but from what I can gather on Wikipedia, he was a bit of a miser. But “when love came to him” does not seem to have the necessary effect in the wordplay — that of telling us to remove the O — rather the opposite.
3, 12. WHIPLASH – HIP (joint) + L (left) both in WASH (laundry)
5. ENCROACH – [t]ENC[h] (tench’s heart) + ROACH (another fish)
6. STANDSTILL – ST (good guy) + AND (with) + ST (another one) + ILL (sick)
7, 9. ARCHIVES – A (a) + RC (catholic) + HIVES (rash)
8. TOLEDO – ODE (poem) + LOT (fate) all backwards
14. ILLUSTRATOR – ??? I do not understand the wordplay here. (See comment 1 below.)
15. PLEONASTIC – EON (period) in PLASTIC (synthetic material)
18. AUTOCRAT – AUTO (car abbreviated) + anagram of CAR (car crashed) + T (model). I did not parse the wordplay like this originally but a commenter clued me in (see below) and I think this must be right.
19. HYSTERIA – anagram of THEIR SAY
22. THIRST – [artis]T + HURST (contemporary one — Damien Hirst)
23, 26. STOCK FARM – anagram of COST + K (1,000 pounds) + FAR (distant) + M (a mile)
28, 25. FOXTROT – FOX (deceive) + TROT (left-winger). A “Trot” is a Trotskyite or an extreme left-winger.

18 Responses to “Financial Times 13,723 by Cinephile”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Hi Pete, I will probably come back to this puzzle (since there was a lot going on), but 14d (ILLUSTRATOR) is an anagram of ARTIST, U(upper class) and ROLL.
    But I don’t blame you!
    Agree with you about 18d (AUTOCRAT) – I think there’s something not right here.

    Ah well, let’s see what others have to say about it.

  2. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    When you use the word ‘lord’ as an interjection, you might say ‘lor’.

  3. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    ‘abbreviated crashed’ gives CRA.

    Question:

    Can indications such as ‘short’, ‘shortened’, ‘abbreviated’ be used for removal of more than one letter from the tail of the following word? What is the general convention?

  4. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    ‘Silas Marner’ was a prescribed text for me in college. While I bought my own copy, after some years while rummaging I discovered a lovely copy of this book in our home; it had been read by my elder brother who, alas, was killed in a train accident when I was a young boy.

    I think Silas, unable to bear some accusations against him, leaves his village. Later he finds an abandoned child, takes her home and showers love upon her. His life is transformed, the possessiveness for material wealth having disappeared.

    Thus the words ‘ran’ and ‘love’ in the clue do have a significance.

  5. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Pete, Cinephile & C. G. Rishikesh

    I had no problems finishing this which I enjoyed.

    I’ve never read SILAS MARNER either but, surely, taking a young girl home and ‘showering love on her’ would be frowned upon today?

  6. canalonly says:

    i think it is auto – then car crashed – i.e. cra so two cars

  7. canalonly says:

    having said that it was a week ago and i have slept since then…

  8. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    Bryan

    Love can be of different kinds – altruistic, paternal, filial, sororial, conjugal and so on.

    As for 18d:

    The clue was “Cars – abbreviated crashed model – for despot (8)”

    It is quite possible that the first word is a misprint for ‘car’.

    I think so because the words within the em dashes seem to say what sort of a car is the one mentioned at first.

    Off topic: the word ‘auto’ is widely used in India to denote a public transport vehicle which is a three wheeler. It has a top but no doors or windows. It takes three persons besides the driver. (The word is an abbreviation of ‘autorickshaw’. (Pic here:
    http://dailydozen.blogspot.com/2011/06/auto.html )

    I am sorry to say its drivers in cities such as Chennai, where I live, are notoriously unhelpful and some travel books published abroad do warn intending visitors of this tribe.

    Some foreign tourists taken in by this vehicle do export one and have it for personal use in the UK.

  9. Pete Maclean says:

    Sil, Thanks for explaining ILLUSTRATOR.

    Rishi, I recall now that Billy Bunter was renowned for exclaiming, “Oh lor’!”.

    >> Can indications such as ‘short’, ‘shortened’, ‘abbreviated’
    >> be used for removal of more than one letter from the tail
    >> of the following word? What is the general convention?

    There are some conventions about wordplay that are generally held to pertain to the removal of a single letter. I cannot say authoritatively but I feel strongly that this should not be one of them.

  10. nmsindy says:

    The clue for SILAS MARNER was “Converted miser also ran when love came to him”. I think this anagram is OK because I think it is saying you add O (love) to ‘him’ (SILAS MARNER) to get ‘miser also ran’. Re Bryan’s comment at #5, I note he has not read the book, I think he might have not have made that comment if he had and I can only recommend that he reads it, it is quite a short book by the standards of George Eliot. Her other works are very good too of course, Middlemarch my own favourite but they are all worth reading.

  11. fearsome says:

    my understanding for 18d is
    Cars – abbreviated (AUTO) crashed (CRA) model (T) – for despot
    = autocrat

  12. Pete Maclean says:

    Hi fearsome, Thank you for commenting. Are you suggesting that “abbreviated” applies to both “cars” and “crashed”? That would make the wordplay work but it does not seem clean to me at all.

  13. fearsome says:

    Pete, I’ll try to be clearer.
    I think that Cars = 2 Cars;
    1 abbreviated car = AUTO, 1 crashed car = CRA then model (possible 3rd Car??) = T
    to give Autocrat

  14. Pete Maclean says:

    Thanks fearsome, I have amended the blog in light of your explanation.

  15. Wil Ransome says:

    Perhaps I shouldn’t be too scathing about this crossword, for Cinephile was a totally delightful guest on his recent Desert Island Discs appearance (Pete this is a long-running radio programme that may or may not be available from the BBC website: if it is I heartily recommend it to you).

    But really one can’t have ‘hardly’ as an anagram indicator; nor ‘maybe having’ (as in 19dn). And the clue for AUTOCRAT is highly dodgy in my opinion: there might be some justification for it if the surface was good, but it isn’t (Cars — abbreviated crashed model — for despot) and hardly makes sense. And if “Artist — with upper class roll, possibly” is as Sil says (which I’m sure it is), then it’s an &lit. of sorts, for otherwise where is the definition? A pretty hopeless &lit., it seems to me (what on earth is it all about? Upper-class roll indeed).

    Yet I’m sure the Araucaria/Cinephile-worshippers will all say (at least by now have all said) what a wonderful crossword.

  16. Pete Maclean says:

    Well I am inured to dealing with marginal anagram indicators and the like from Cinephile but, even though my assessment of the clue has been boosted somewhat by the commenters here, I do agree with you that the AUTOCRAT clue is a mess.

  17. Susanna says:

    22 THIRST – it’s Damien HIRST not Hurst. Just a typo?

  18. Pete Maclean says:

    Susanna, D’oh! Of course. Not sure if that was a typo, a brain fart or what but I do know how to spell thirst. Thanks for the tip.

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