Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,762 by Monk

Posted by PeeDee on August 3rd, 2011

PeeDee.

A difficult, but very good crossword from Monk with many good clues to choose from. There are so many misleading surfaces and red-herrings that for a while I was staring at a blank grid not even knowing how to start.  Then gradually the pfennigs started to drop…

For special mentions I pick out 21 across (for being two clues in one), 6 down and 14 down (for their cleverness) and 11 across and 12 down (for the nice surfaces).

Thanks to Gaufrd for pointing out LISTEN WITH MOTHER is spelled out in the first, middle and last columns in the grid.    Apart from the Dolly Suite (5dn, theme music) I can’t see any obvious connection beween the former UK childrens radio programme and today’s date, or with the puzzle itself, does anyone have any ideas?

Hold mouse over clue number to read the clue.

Across
1 LAP JOINT JOINT (seedy bar) following LAP (drink)
6 REFORM anagram of Francs Rupees and MORE (anagram=loose) – definition is ‘change’
9 MOMENTOUSNESS Old MEN (folk) with (gaining) TON (weight) including (across) US (America) all inside MESS (confusion)
10 INDABA BAD (offensive) inside (invading) AN Island all reversed (repelled) – a South African tribal meeting
11 KANGAROO OK reversed containing (is a wrapping for) ANGORA* (anagram=knitted) – a kangaroo jumps
13 SARDINE TIN DINE (eat) inside TRAINS*
15 COLT Left in a COT – babies sleep in cots
16 TAXI fIXATion – taxis queue in taxi ranks
18 CLOVE HITCH LOVE (like very much) inside CHIT-CHat (gossip without ‘at’) – defintion is ‘link’
21 EXCHANGE ex change = no longer small coins (now replaced by Euros and Cents) – definition is ‘swap’. There is also a bonus &Lit here in the sense of ‘foreign exchange’.
22 STERNE STERN (hard) English – Lawrence Sterne
23 EXCOMMUNICATE EX (former) CO (company) and MUNICh (endless European capital) inside MATE (china=slang for wife) – definition ‘outlaw’
25 NYLONS ONLY* and North South
26 EXPLORER Double definition – Microsoft Internet Explorer and the early US Satellites
Down
2 AMMONIA AMMO (found in pieces=guns) with (IN A)* – definition is ‘compound’
3 JAM SANDWICH JAM (hold-up) SWItCH (divert without T=time) going around (touring) PolAND (half of) – ‘force vehicle’ = ‘police car’, police cars in the UK used to be white with an orange stripe around the middle, hence the ‘jam sandwich’ slang
4 IONIA AI (A1,the best) NO I (number one, the best) reversed (‘from the south’=’viewed from the bottom’)
5 TOOLKIT Line inside (wearing) TOOK IT (stole) – a dolly is an anvil or riviting tool
6 ROSINANTE Horse belonging to Don Quixote, which is said like “donkey oaty”
7 FEE oF thE battlE (final letter of) – definition is ‘charge’
8 ROSE OIL ROSE (grew) ILL (almost sick) about O (love=zero, tennis score) – oil that can be pressed from roses
12 ARCHIPELAGO (GAELIC HARP)* (anagram=played) on Old
14 NICKNAMES Cryptic definition – names for the devil, ‘Old Nick’
17 ANXIETY XI (eleven, football team) with Extra Time inside (to break into) ANY (some)
19 OVERUSE SURE (inevitable) reversed inside OVEr (deliveries in cricket, without last letter)
20 CONVENE CONVENt (religious commumity, almost) on top of (suppressing) English, definition is ‘to rally’
22 SKIMP SKIM (read quickly) and Page
24 COO CrOw (odd letters only) on (over) Old – ‘bill and coo’ is to talk fondly, like doves calling, not in emergency. A bit strained, unless I am missing something.  Mike04 points out that that a ‘coo’ is the sound from a dove’s bill, so ‘bill and coo’ is not required.

*anagram

12 Responses to “Financial Times 13,762 by Monk”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks PeeDee
    I think perhaps we ought to mention the Nina. The first column, middle row and last column reads LISTEN WITH MOTHER.

  2. crypticsue says:

    Definitely the hardest cryptic today but definitely very enjoyable. And I actually spotted the NINA which is a very rare day for me. Thanks to Monk and PeeDee.

  3. mike04 says:

    Thanks PeeDee.
    Another great crossword from Monk.

    6dn had to be ROSINANTE but I needed your explanation.
    I don’t think I’d have seen it, as the Spanish ‘jota sound’ is missing in “donkey oaty”.

    In 24dn, I think “bill” (rather than “bill and coo”) is required for the definition.
    COO is the non-emergency call from the bill of one dove!

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    This was hard, but I more or less finished it (albeit with a dictionary at hand).
    More or less, because I couldn’t find 20d (which should have been CONVENE) due to the fact that I had the wrong answer at 22ac.
    I was convinced it was STEELE, Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729) [mentioned in the ODE] being the writer and ‘steel’ meaning hard [according to Chambers it cán mean ‘like steel’].

    Funny to see, PeeDee, that the picks of the day you mention, were some of the easiest and relatively straightforward for me.
    I particularly liked 13ac (SARDINE TIN) and 5d (TOOLKIT), but there was so much more to admire.
    So much misdirection – very, very clever.

    I have done now the last 4 Monks. The first one remained Greek to me and therefore I just ‘read’ the blog. The next one let Monk storm into my Top 10. The previous one, however, wasn’t my cup of tea at all (despite the clever Nina). But in this alternating system of mine, this one had to be on my wavelength again.
    And it was – top-notch!

  5. walruss says:

    Yes, it is hard to see why the Nina is there. I really don’t know, but this was a good puzzle, very hard, but quality in the writing I thought. Thanks to the compiler and PD.

  6. Wanderer says:

    Thanks PeeDee and Monk, very enjoyable but ultimately too tough for me. I went for GIN JOINT at 1, thinking of Bogart speaking of Bergman:
    “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” Now that I see the correct answer, I’m afraid I still don’t understand it — I can see the seedy bar and the drink, but not the connection. Any help welcomed!

  7. mike04 says:

    Hi Wanderer

    This is from Chambers Dictionary:
    lap joint n a joint formed by overlapping edges.
    Mike

  8. Wanderer says:

    Thanks for clearing that up, Mike.

  9. Rene says:

    I was surprised to see Munich referred to as a capital.

  10. PeeDee says:

    Rene @9 – good point, I didn’t spot that. I suppose Munich is the capital of Bavaria, so Monk gets away with it, but I wonder if that is what he intended.

  11. Monk says:

    Rene @9 and PeeDee@10 (to whom thanks for meticulous blog): I must confess to taking Wikipedia’s opening few words “München is the capital city of Bavaria … ” without adequate post-checking and/or brain engagement. My apologies for what will legitimately be viewed by many as an error.

    Walruss @5: thank you for your comments, and just to inform that the Nina was simply a result of using a (6,4,6) “seeding” phrase invited by the grid structure.

  12. PeeDee says:

    Monk, thank you very much for visiting the blog and enlightening us.

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