Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,766 – Dante

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on August 18th, 2011

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Aug 8

In a day and age that not everyone seems to appreciate Dante, I can only say that I liked this crossword very much.

Despite the fact that Dante copied himself on one or two occasions (which was fair enough in 19d) , there were some really bright clues of which the very easy 20ac (PLEA) and 11d (CONTAIN) are for me perhaps the leaders of the pack. Once more many thanks, Dante!

Please be aware that I will not be able to respond to any comments in the next ten days or so. So, have a lot of fun together without me!


1 AGENDA Woman gathers information for things to be done
    GEN (information) inside ADA (woman)
4 AIRSTRIP Side passage for those taking flight?
    Cryptic definition
    This was my last entry in the NE corner of the puzzle (which gave me some trouble after I entered ‘preside’ at 8d). I am not fully confident about this. Neither about the crypticness of the definition nor about the answer itself. As ‘passage’ could be a definition for ‘trip’ I became even more confused …
9 TITIAN It returned more than once to an old master
    TI (‘it’ returns) + TI (and again!) + AN
10 ANYWHERE New Year when there’s a situation of uncertainty
    (YEAR WHEN)*
12   STALLION Stop one on a horse
    STALL (stop) + I (one) + ON
13 FREEZE Be still shivering
    Double definition
15 SAIL Pole to feel sick on voyage
    S (pole (South)) + AIL (feel sick)
16 STALAGMITE   A prison-camp child growing up
    STALAG (prison-camp) + MITE (child)
    Not sure which dictionary gives ‘prison-camp’ with a hyphen, but a prison camp it was:  STALAG . Though sounding a bit Siberian to me, the word originates from ‘Stamm Lager’ (base camp). And, btw, the definition is something that grows in the upward direction (as we all know, opposite to … indeed!). Maybe this clue needed a question mark?
19 PRECARIOUS Not having a steady position as croupier, perhaps
    I thought this was a very good anagram.
20 PLEA Turn pale – guilty perhaps?
    And this one too. I mean, simple as it is, it is so effective. 
23 TEMPTS Appeals for casual worker, a good man, to return
    TEMP (casual worker) + TS (reversal of ‘St’ (Saint, which is a good man)
25 DECLUTCH How to pedal to coast
    Cryptic definition
27 LIMERICK Rice cooked with milk and port
    (RICE + MILK)*
    I have a feeling I have seen a similar clue recently somewhere else, but nice it was.
28 SALAAM Scholar regrettably rejected an Arab’s greeting
    Reversal of {MA (scholar) ALAS (regrettably)}
29   AUCKLAND Port reached with luck and a fortuitous break
    (LUCK AND A)*
30 FRIEND Supporter of half-day closing
    FRI[day] + END (closing)
1 ARTISTS Dire Straits are recording ones
    Well, not every artist has the opportunity to record, but Dire Straits surely had. I think this a great clue, but probably one that Dante used before in the 80s when Mark Knopfler cs had their Heyday. If not, I apologise.
2 EXTRADITE   Return to the country, the scene of the crime
    Cryptic definition
3 DEARLY At high cost? Extremely
    Double definition
5 IONA Early centre of missionaries
    Hidden solution: [miss] IONA [ries]
    The Scottish isle of IONA is the site of a monastery found by St Columba in 563 AD.  One may call this an &Lit.
6 SEWERAGE Refuse to allow a seamstress time
    SEWER (a seamstress) + AGE (time)
7 REEVE Concerning the first female mate of the ruff
    RE (concerning) + EVE (the first female)
8 PRECEDE Take the lead, but quietly drop back later
    P (quietly) + RECEDE (drop back (later))
    This clue made the NE harder than it should have done as I initially had here ‘preside’. To ‘reside’ is a bit like dropping back and, indeed, later for most of us.
11 CONTAIN Hold on, I can’t move!
    (ON I CAN’T)*
    Yep, this is another easy anagram, obvious too. But, blimey, this is a good clue!!
14   CLOUDED One note noisy and two not clear
    C (note) + LOUD (noisy) + E,D (two (more notes))
17 ILL AT EASE   Delayed entering aisle, distressed, being nervous
    LATE (delayed) inside (AISLE)*
18 PASTORAL Poem completed but not written down
    PAST (completed) + ORAL (not written)
    I do not immediately connect the word PASTORAL with ‘poem’ but it is right according to the dictionaries. It is more Beethoven’s Sixth that springs to mind, or ‘pastoral care’, or ‘rural’ (which is exactly what a poem like this is about).
19 PATELLA Two girls, one on each knee
    PAT and ELLA (two girls)
    This is one of Dante’s favourite clues which he used in the past. And I think, it is a setter’s right to re-use clues that he thinks are fantastic and should be seen by the next generation. And I agree, it is a great clue.
21 ASHAMED Feeling guilty, has made reparations
    (HAS MADE)*
22 ALTAIR A naval officer bearing one star
    A + LT (lieutenant, cán be a naval officer) + AIR (bearing)
24 MIMIC Imitate one in opera hitting a note
    MIMI (one in opera) + C (a note)
    Mimi is one of the main characters in Puccini’s La Bohème . Here is a vintage scene from long long ago: Richard Tucker and Lisa Della Casa . 
26 ICON The first person to study a work of art
    I (the first person, linguistically) + CON (study)
    My first entry (I always start with the short ones) and another clue that Dante used before. Not even that long ago: Rufus had exactly the same clue in the Guardian on July 11, 2011.



3 Responses to “Financial Times 13,766 – Dante”

  1. Bryan says:

    Veel Dank Sil & Many thanks Dante – this was very enjoyable.

    I also made a note to myself that it was ‘harder than usual’.

    Evidently, after giving Sil an easy introductory ride, Dante has now upped his game.

    I also opted for AIRSTRIP @ 4a – but I still don’t fully understand the clue. Very un-Dante-like.

  2. Bryan says:

    AIRSTRIP is, of course

    Side = AIRS + Passage = TRIP


  3. scchua says:

    Thanks Sil (enjoy your respite), and Dante – a very nice one.

    All fairly clued. I have one question (not a quibble, as the dicts bear Dante out). Was it my imagination?…that when I was in school, 50+ years ago, we were taught that “artist” was reserved for the visual arts – painting, graphics (stretching the meaning of art a bit), and “artiste” for the performing arts – trapeze artiste, concert artiste, recording artiste. It now seems that the former includes what the latter means as well, while the latter retains its orignal meaning. Someone kind enough to comment? Thanks.

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