Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13743 Redshank

Posted by scchua on July 12th, 2011

scchua.

This was no pushover.  Enjoyable mental workout with quite a few of the clues.  Some nice surfaces.  There’s a minor reference to an annual event, but can’t find anything else significant.  Small quibble with part of 1A/1D.  Thanks Redshank, have enjoyed all your puzzles so far.  (Definitions are underlined in clues.)

Across

1 It’s put on a plate in holiday home around France and Germany (6)

GIFTED :  GITE(a furnished holiday home in France available for rental) around F(IVR code for France) +(and) D(IVR code for Germany,Deutschland).

Defn:  When something’s being given freely to you, at no cost to or effort by you, it’s said to be put,handed to you on a plate.  I got 1D first, and was initially reluctant to enter the same 4 letters across.

4 Frequently ring us and another paper (8)

OFTTIMES :  O(ring, shape of the letter O) FT(us, the Financial Times who’s giving you, the solvers, this crossword) +(and) TIMES(another paper, THE Times, part of the Murdoch empire.  It’s the original paper that made “Times” synonymous with “newspaper”, with numerous such Times around the world.

10 Playing a gig unfit could be this (9)

FATIGUING :  Anagram(playing) of A GIG UNFIT.

Defn:  Excellent surface with wordplay and definition intertwined – try playing a gig,giving a performance when unfit.

11 A pudding’s sent back cold (5)

ALOOF A + reversal(sent back) of FOOL(a dessert,pudding made from pureed fruit and cream or custard).

     

Defn:  Cold and distant.

12 Not many recalled Tory leader’s yarn (4)

WEFT :  Reversal(recalled) of FEW(not many) T(initial letter,leader of Tory).

Defn:  In a fabric, the yarn that is woven across the width, through the lengthwise warp yarn.

13 Eat pudding, swapping parts for styptic lotion (10)

AFTERSHAVE :  Exchanging word-place(swapping parts) of HAVE AFTERS(have dessert,afters,eat pudding).

Defn:  Lotion that will stop the nicks you might have after shaving from bleeding.

15 A devoted fan takes laptop everywhere (3,4)

ALL OVER A LOVER(devoted fan,enthusiast) around(takes) L(initial letter,top of the word lap, use of the split-word device).

16 Filter out more than half of 13, for example (6)

TRIFLE :  Anagram(out) of FILTER.

Defn:  Slightly cryptic:  Example of “afters”(more than half of the answer for 13,dessert,what you have in the “after” part of the meal).

19 Island power overrun by Persian emperor (6)

CYPRUS :  CYRUS(Persian emperor ca 540 BC) around(overrun) P(power, especially in physics)

Defn:  Island in the east Mediterranean.

   

21 Women left riots during the endless day of parades (7)

TWELFTH :  {W(women) + anagram(riots) of LEFT} in(during) TH(word “the” without its last letter,endless).

Defn:  Almost certainly The Twelfth or Orangemen’s Day, celebrated in North Ireland on 12 July (today!) with parades.  The definition is also intertwined with the wordplay, since, in the past, there have been resulting riots.  Presumably things are calmer these days.  Also strangely coincidental, is this clue comes after 19A Cyprus, which also has had a history of communal violence.

23 When pub’s closed a female trips over her mobile (5,5)

AFTER HOURS A F(female) + TOURS(trips, as in holiday tours) round(over) anagram(mobile) of HER.

25 The Chieftains tour only four countries now (4)

EFTA :  Hidden(tour) in chiEFTAins.

Defn:  The European Free Trade Association founded in 1960 by the Outer Seven countries, which did not want to or could not join the European Economic Community (ancestor of the EU).  Since then membership has dwindled, hence only four countries now – Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

27 He’ll get time if he’s busted (5)

THIEF :  T(time) + anagram(busted) of IF HE.  Another excellent wordplay intertwined with definition.

28 Hand over proceeds of theft in final match (5,4)

FIFTH TEST :  FIST(closed hand, as if to punch) around(over) anagram(proceeds) of THEFT.

Defn:  In international cricket, a Test series, at least for the Ashes between England and Australia, consists of 5 matches.  Wikipedia, though, does say a series may consist of 1 to 6 matches – I leave it to the aficionados.

29 Computer files stayed instead, 15 (4,4)

DATA SETS :  Reversal(15,all over) of {SAT(stayed in one place) in STEAD(splitting “instead”)}.

30 He may be accused of lacking fire protection (6)

FENDER :  FENDER(“offender”(one who commits an offence and who may be accused) minus(lacking) the letters OF).

Defn:  A low metal guard in front of an open fireplace to protect your room from being set on fire from burning coals.

  

A different type of Fender.

Down

1 Parcel and divide fruit up, impressing wife (8)

GIFTWRAP :  Reversal(up, in a down clue) of {PART(divide, split) FIG(fruit)} around(impressing) W(wife).

Defn:  In the verbal sense, to make a parcel,giftwrap.

2 Completely ties up loose 25 with decisive results (9)

FATEFULLY :  FULLY(completely) around(ties up) anagram(loose) of EFTA(solution of 25A).

3 So removing limits on consumer goods (4)

ERGO :  Hidden(removing limits on) in consumER GOods.

Defn:  Hence,therefore,so.

5 Invention suitable for entertaining US agents (7)

FIGMENT :  FIT(suitable,apt) around(entertaining) G-MEN(US FBI agents, G standing for Government).

Defn:  Product,fabrication,invention of your imagination.

6 Gobsmacked when fiddling friend’s tax (10)

TRANSFIXED :  Anagram(fiddling) of FRIEND’S TAX.

Defn:  Adjective describing someone so astonished he/she’s rooted to the spot,motionless, perhaps after he/she has clapped,smacked his/her hand over his/her mouth,gob in surprise.

7 A weaver raised dough (5)

MOOLA :  Reversal(raised) of {A LOOM(a machine that weaves,a weaver)}.

Defn:  Slang, like dough, for money.

  

8 Make more plastic in small modern 4 (6)

SOFTEN :  S(small) OFTEN(modern,contemporary equivalent of answer to 4A “ofttimes”).

9 It’s worn by fitter after going out (6)

TITFER :  Anagram(after going out) of FITTER.

Defn:  Cockney rhyming slang for “hat”, “tit for tat” shortened to “titfer”.  Another excellent wordplay intertwined with definition, though I thought that “after” is superfluous, and its deletion would have made for an even more excellent clue.

  

14 Groom drove celebrity up to collect female – they attract interest (10)

OVERDRAFTS :  Anagram(groom) of DROVE + reversal(up, in a down clue) of STAR(celebrity) around(to collect) F(female).

Defn:  Slightly cryptic.  What you have with the bank, and on which outstanding amount you pay moola as interest.

17 Life felt strange and ultimately unconventional (4-5)

LEFT-FIELD :  Anagram(strange) of LIFE FELT + D(last letter,ultimately of and).

Defn:  Outside the mainstream,unconventional.  An Americanism, from baseball where the left side of the field (or the back side of the batter when in batting position), sees very little action.  Of course, this is only true of right-handed batters.

18 Right half player lost a litre of blood antigen (2,6)

RH FACTOR :  R(right) + HF(“half” minus “a l”(a litre)) + ACTOR(player on stage).

Defn:  The critical antigen in blood which one either has or doesn’t have.  Recorded in one’s blood group as Rhesus positive or negative.

20 Mock self-contained man with dyke, thin on top (5,2)

SCOFF AT :  SC(self-contained, as used in SCUBA,sc underwater breathing apparatus, or in accommodation advertisements to indicate that an apartment has got full facilities within) + OFFA(8C Anglo-Saxon king who built a dyke between his kingdom and what is now Wales) + T(first letter,top of thin, I think).

Offa's Dyke on Spring Hill, Shropshire

21 Maritime growth economy (6)

THRIFT :  Double defn:  1st:  A genus of plants, many of which are found on coastlines, especially Armeria maritima; 2nd:  Care taken to minimise spending or usage, as in an economy of words.

 

22 Quietly moved backwards in midweek (6)

WAFTED :  AFT(backwards,towards the rear) in WED(abbreviation for Wednesday, middle of week).

Defn:  Smoothly and lightly, therefore quietly, travelling, usually through air, as in “music wafted into the room”

24 This water is so turbulent at first – call in pontoon (5)

TWIST :  First letters(at first) of This Water Is So Turbulent.

Defn:  A call in the card game of pontoon, similar to blackjack, where a player tells the dealer to “twist (me one)”, ie. to deal another card, face up, to the player.  The twisting action comes from taking the top card from the deck and flipping it face up.

26 3 disheartened you once (4)

THEE :  THEE(3,three disheartened,without its middle letter).

Defn:  The word for you, long ago,once.

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13743 Redshank”

  1. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Redshank for an enjoyable puzzle and scchua for the detailed blog.

    I agree that 9dn would be better without “after”. In my view, and fitting with your comments, 28ac needs a question mark on the end.

    One typo in 16ac: this is an anagram of FILTER (of course, there is anagram of FITTER at 9dn.

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks Pelham Barton, typo corrected.

  3. Bracoman says:

    Thanks for the clear blog. I,too,enjoyed this puzzle.

    In this FT crossword there are lots of occurrences of consecutive letters “FT”.

  4. Bracoman says:

    Thanks for the clear blog. I,too,enjoyed this puzzle.

    In this FT crossword there are lots of occurrences of consecutive letters “FT”.

  5. Bracoman says:

    Sorry for the duplicaion!

  6. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the incredibly detailed blog, scchua. I too found this a fairly tough puzzle and saw the FT element only very near the end, triggered I think by the rather unusual, tho totally fair, use of the abbrev EFTA. Seeing that helped me finish the puzzle, which I originally thought might have been themed for the day, the Twelfth of July, with TWELFTH being the first clue I solved and which of course also has a FT. I’d give latitude to FIFTH TEST, I’ve not researched it but I think test series got a little longer as the game developed and settled down at a certain point where five was the usual number, tho this may have changed a little in more recent times. My favourite clue was THIEF, also esp liked SCOFF AT (v good surface).

  7. Sil van den Hoek says:

    We haven’t done today’s Guardian yet, but Brummie must come up with an incredibly good puzzle to beat Redshank.

    Very inventive cluing along the way.
    Hard to single out the clues we liked most, but eg 12ac (WEFT) [our first entry], 23ac (AFTER HOURS), 28ac (FIFTH TEST) and 20d (SCOFF AT) are exemplary for this puzzle.

    Probably just like others we saw the FT thing only just before we finished the crossword. It helped us immediately to find the last two: FENDER (30ac) and 22d (WAFTED).

    Yes, what a lot of F’s and T’s.
    In fact, every single row and every single column (the ones with words, so the odd ones) have F & T in it, sometimes even more than once. And in total there are 14 FT (as a whole).

    Much more important though: the excellent cluing, sometimes nicely interwoven.
    Lovely puzzle!

  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Oh, and scchua, many many thanks for as nmsindy says your “incredibly detailed blog”.

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