Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,759 by Cinephile, Dogberry and Io

Posted by Pete Maclean on August 11th, 2011

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of July 30

I offer my congratulations and best wishes to John Halpern, our very own Mudd (a.k.a. Paul, Dada and Punk — see our Setters page), on his marriage to Taline, which event this puzzle celebrates. As explained in a footnote to the crossword, their names are hidden in the rows of the puzzle.

I found the puzzle fairly challenging, partly perhaps from a couple of obscure words being used to serve as carriers of the embedded names and partly perhaps because I am unfamiliar with the cluing styles of Dogberry and Io. I had to resort to pattern lookups and dictionaries for several clues, notably 10A (CHORDATA), 27A (EURYDICE) and 12D (INDIVIDUALS). My favourite clues here are 14A (ADAM) and 27A (EURYDICE).

Across
8. BALLROOM – ALL (general public) in BROOM (cleaner)
9. UDDERS – distorted homophone (“others”)
10. CHORDATA – CH (companion) + OR (alternative) + DATA (information). Chordata is a phylum that comprises true vertebrates and animals having a notochord. Now you want to know what a notochord is, don’t you?
11. LINEAR – A (article) in LINER (ship)
13. SPELLBOUND – SPELL (express letters) + BOUND (sure)
14. ADAM – A (a) + DAM (parent). And a semi-&lit.
17. ABETTAL – A (a) + B (second) + LATTE (coffee) backwards
19. INEXACT – I (one) + AC (account) in NEXT (succeeding)
22. GASP – AS (when) in GP (doctor)
24. UNKINDNESS – anagram of NUN KISSED N. “Newton” here refers to the unit of force, abbreviated as N.
26. STALIN – anagram of ALIST + N (name)
27. EURYDICE – RUE (regret) backwards + [hubb]Y + DICE (great risk). Another semi-&lit.
28. EUROPA – anagram of [s]OU[r] RAPE
29. ULTIMATA – A (a) + T (time) in TAMIL (Sri Lankan) backwards + U (university)

Down
1. ABSCISSA – A (a) + BSC (graduate) + IS (island) + SA (South American)
2. PLIOCENE – anagram of POLICE[m]EN
3. CREDULITY – anagram of RULED in CITY (financiers)
4. CONTROLLING – CONT[i] (I dropped actor Tom) + ROLLING (like a stone)
5. AD-LIB – hidden words
6. LEGEND – double/cryptic definition
7. ASHRAM – ASH (tree) + RAM (collision)
12. INDIVIDUALS – IN (in) + VI (6) + DUAL (of two) both in DIS (hell). Dis is an alternate name for Satan or the god of the Underworld — which is slightly different from hell itself.
15. ARC – A (a) + RC (Pope-supporting, i.e. Roman Catholic)
16. DEADLY SIN – anagram of SADLY + I (one) in DEN (place of iniquity)
18. BRA – BRA[in] (intelligence lacking in)
20. AMERICAN – anagram of CINERAMA. Refers to the movie “American Beauty”.
21. TESSERAE – EAR (auditor) + ES (opponents — as in bridge) + SET (fixed) all backwards
22. GOSPEL – GO (energy) + SPEL[l] (charm left out)
23. STAIRS – [jed]I in STARS (galaxy)
25. HIPPY – double definition

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,759 by Cinephile, Dogberry and Io”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    I hope I am not offending anyone, but I liked this one more than I did the Guardian tribute (which wasn’t bad at all, I hasten to say).

    Even though, the instruction given by the FT did spoil it a bit for me.
    I would have enjoyed to find it out for myself.
    That said, I can imagine that most FT readers/solvers are only familiar with Mudd and not with his alter egos. Unlike me and others at 15^2.

    Very nice that Taline is there almost as many times as John.
    And whoever wrote the clue of 25d, well, er, ….

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Pete but, even with the extra help provided, I found this too tough for me.

    Accordingly, I didn’t keep my notes but, having now seen your superb analysis, I have discovered words I never knew or even wished to know.

  3. Wil Ransome says:

    Only one criticism, which comes perhaps from none of the setters being the right age: a hippy and a beatnik were two very different beings.

    What is the ‘so’ doing in the clue for 16dn? (Lust, perhaps, so sadly admitted by one entering place of iniquity: DEADLY SIN.) Is it there because there is no other anagram indicator for ‘sadly’, ‘perhaps’ being used to stop ‘Lust’ from being a definition by example? If so is it adequate? Or is it just repeating the ‘perhaps’ so that it can be used again?

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    Wil, That’s a good point about the HIPPY clue — one that I think is weak anyway. And an even better one about SO in 16D. I Cannot make any satisfactory guess as to how to interpret it and think I was remiss in not pointing it out.

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