Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 13,729 by Cincinnus

Posted by Pete Maclean on July 7th, 2011

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of June 25

Cincinnus is in good form here with four clues that I especially applaud: 16A (HARANGUE), 21A (HOUSEBOUND), 26 (AGHAST) and 3D (STRIPLING). And maybe 10D (VINGT-ET-UN) as well. The two clues at the top, 1A (SPARSE) and 5A (DACTYL) challenged me for a while.

Across
1. SPARSE – SPARS (boxes) + [stor]E
4. DACTYL – ACT (play) in YD (yard) backwards + L (left)
8. RIVIERA – anagram of I ARRIVE
9. REPAINT – REP (salesman) + AINT (is not)
11. UP TO A POINT – anagram of PUT ON PATIO
12. HOOK – double definition
13. STASI – STASI[s] (almost making arrest)
14. GABONESE – GAB (talk) + ONE (individual) + S[ierra leon]E
16. HARANGUE – anagram of HEAR A GUN
18. DODGE – double/cryptic definition
20. SPUR – SPUR[n] (reject extremely deficient)
21. HOUSEBOUND – anagram of OH NO BUS DUE
23. OPTIONS – OP (work) + anagram of IS NOT
24. HIDALGO – HID (cloaked) + A (a) + L[ocal] G[overnment] O[fficial]
25. LINNET – INN (hostelry) in LET (allowed)
26. AGHAST – hidden word

Down
1. SKIMP – SKIM (superficially read) + P[eriodical]
2. ARIZONA – ZON[e] (region not the last) in ARIA (song)
3. STRIPLING – S (small) TRIPLING (small, small, small)
5. ALERT – ALE (porter) + RT (right)
6. TEACH-IN – A (a) + CHI (Greek character) in TEN (10)
7. LANGOUSTE – anagram of GELAT[i]NOUS
10. VINGT-ET-UN – VINGT (the French score) ET UN ([the French] one more)
13. STAR PUPIL – STAR (astronomical) + PUPIL (eyepiece). “Astronomical” and “star” are certainly close in meaning but can one justifiably clue the other? I cannot find a definition to support this but Cincinnus is usually so precise that I want to give him the benefit of my doubt.
15. BADGERING – BADGE (one item of personal adornment) + RING (another item of personal adornment)
17. ARRAIGN – homophone (“a reign”)
19. DIORAMA – I[r]O[n] in DRAMA (play)
21. HENCE – FENCE (receiver) with F replaced by H (has new top)
22. NIGHT – [k]NIGHT (headless man)

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,729 by Cincinnus”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Pete & Cincinnus

    This was very enjoyable except that 4a DACTYL was too tough for me.

    Or otherwise I would have submitted a Prize entry, assuming that I could have sent it Freepost.

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    As you said, Pete, Cincinnus on good form here.
    And if you (in general, so not just you, Pete :)) liked this one, why not try the easier but brilliantly clued Quiptic (by Orlando) at the Guardian website – only till Sunday on display.

    I had some trouble in the NE where DACTYL and ALERT were the last two in.
    I couldn’t fully see how SPUR (20ac) worked but thanks to your blog I do now – as easy as that.

    For me, HOUSEBOUND (21ac) with its magnificent surface is this week’s winner, but I smiled at the silliness of STRIPLING (3d) and NIGHT (22d) too.

    One remark about 1ac (SPARSE).
    There is something very unusual going on here.
    A definition (‘Meagre’) plus two cryptic constructions.
    The one you gave plus: SPARE (not used) around S (sulphur).

  3. Pete Maclean says:

    Ah, thanks Sil, yes I forgot to include the second wordplay for 1A.

  4. nmsindy says:

    In STAR PUPIL I think both the inclusion of the question mark and looking at “astronomical eyepiece” as a phrase, equivalent (in a playful way) to “star pupil’, make this clue fine, with ‘star’ and ‘astronomical’ not needing to be absolutely exact equivalents.

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