Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times No. 13,733 by SLEUTH

Posted by Ringo on June 30th, 2011

Ringo.

Rattled through this without too much difficulty. Was brought up short once or twice by some pretty baroque clueing, but, on the whole, nothing too 29ac.

ACROSS

1. COWPAT Cryptic definition of the ‘deposit’ left by a cow (or ‘neat’: one of those words that is extinct in the wild and survives only in crosswords)

4. GAZPACHO Gaz(e) [look] + anagram of chap + o(nion) to give the tasty Spanish soup

10. QUALIFIER Qu(een) + Ali [as in Muhammad, the boxer - i.e. 'performer in the ring'] + anagram of fire to give a qualifying round or ‘heat’ in a tournament

11. POISE Is inside Poe [US writer Edgar Allan]

12. URDU Asian language hidden (not very well) inside toUR DUbiously

13. JUMBLE SALE Reverse clue: if you jumble word sale, you might get ales

15. INTENSE Incense [feature of church service] with t(ime) replacing (C)atholic

16. TUMULT Tum [body part, i.e. the stomach] + ult(imo) [last month, in the Latin abbreviation beloved of formal letter-writers (and crossword setters)]

19. VERGER Ver [reversal of 'rev(erend)'] + Ger(man)

21. PANCAKE Pan [strongly criticise] + cake [set or encrust] – completing a nice little trilogy of neat charades

23. EXPATRIATE Expatiate [talk at length] surrounding r(ebellion) – I always enjoy this sort of clue

25. CHIC Chick [young woman] minus (swan)k

27. IDAHO Ida [either of two mountains in Greek myth] + ho(use) to give the US state

28. ON THE HOOF Double definition, on the hoof being a colloquialism for ‘moving’ or ‘on the go’

29. FIENDISH Anagram of f(ellow) hides in

30. ORDEAL OR [soldiers, or Other Ranks] + deal [a section of timber]

DOWN

1. COQ AU VIN Co(mpany) [firm] + anagram of quain(t) including v(enture) to give the French chicken dish

2. WYANDOTTE Anagram of a town yet + d(ead) to give a breed of domestic fowl

3. ARID Aid [help] surrounding r(iver)

5. ACROBAT A Croat [a European] surrounding B(achelor)

6. PEPPERMINT Pep ['go', as in energy or get-up-and-go] + pint [drink] surrounding E(uropean) + rum [spirit] minus u [refined, as in 'U' and 'non-U' in Mitfordian snobbery jargon] – either I’ve parsed this wrong, or it’s almost ludicrously convoluted]

7. CHINA Chin [feature] + a

8. OPENER One [single] + r(uns) surrounding PE [Physical Education, or exercise] to give one who opens the batting in cricket

9. MINUTE Mi [M1, the British London-to-Leeds motorway] + nut [enthusiast] + e(nergy)

14. KNIGHTHOOD Knight [sounds like 'night'] + hood [criminal or hoodlum]

17. LOATHSOME Anagram of a hostel incorporating OM [Order of Merit]

18. MERCIFUL Merc(edes) [posh car] + if [provided] + u(niversity) l(ecturer)

20. RUINOUS RU [rugby union, a game] + in + Ous(e) [one of several UK rivers] – a cleverly misleading charade

21. POTATO Pot [important person - a colloquialism I've not come across before] + o(ld) TA [Territorial Army, the UK's volunteer reserves] ‘raised’ to give a staple food

22. BELIEF Eli [Biblical priest, and possibly the patron saint of crossword setters] within BEF [British Expeditionary Force, the old term for the British army overseas]

24. PEACE Pace [step] incorporating (theatr)e [I can't think of the words 'peace and quiet' without recalling this]

26. PEAR Sounds like ‘pare’

6 Responses to “Financial Times No. 13,733 by SLEUTH”

  1. niloci says:

    Enquiries were made on Tuesday about the identity of the compiler of the tennis-themed crossword. I can reveal that it was set by John Barrett, former Wimbledon and Davis Cup player, TV commentator for the BBC and other networks, author of books on tennis and for many years the FT’s tennis correspondent.

  2. Conrad Cork says:

    Thanks for the blog Ringo.
    Re 6 down. I wouldn’t call it particularly convoluted. In fact, like 10 across, the surface is designed to mislead you by almost hiding the actual definition. Something Sleuth is rather good at.

  3. Ringo says:

    Fair point, Conrad. It is a good clue – but still, it seems like a lot of trouble to go to, if you see what I mean.

  4. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Ringo & Sleuth

    Certainly very little sleuthing was required to crack this puzzle.

    Also thanks to niloci for revealing the identity of Courtier. Regretfully, I find Wimbledon totally boring, having made the mistake of attending on one occasion. Never again!

  5. nmsindy says:

    I found this easy enough and v enjoyable – would see PEPPERMINT as quite a standard clue-type in cryptic puzzles, not that unusual to have a few elements in the cryptic build-up.. My favourite clue was COWPAT. When I was finished, I noticed there was a pangram (every letter of the alphabet appearing in the grid). Thanks, Sleuth and Ringo.

  6. Walduck says:

    I’m still at the stage where I like an easier puzzle, but 10ac threw me, and I had never heard of either of the components of 30ac. Sitting on the subway with no reference materials I hoped that there was a tree called a tuma (for ‘trauma’), but that left me stumped for 18d!

    Thanks everyone

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