Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,796 – Dante

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on September 22nd, 2011

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Sep 12

Are there any other average solvers out there who thought this Dante crossword was somewhat harder than usual?

If not, then it is obviously my problem. I could only get a few answers during my first session, most of them in the South. It took me another two sessions to finish the job. In hindsight, there is nothing too difficult. It looks like a normal Dante, so I am not sure why it took me so long. But at last we had a Prize Crossword here that really made me work!  :-)

1 SWITCH It may be thrown for a change
    Double definition
4 FRAMED Falsely accused of having sheep pastured outside
    RAM (sheep) with FED (pastured) on the outside
8 CONVERT Make believe
    Let’s call this a Cryptic definition
9 CASTILE I entered dream-home – in Spain appropriately
    I inside CASTLE (dream-home)
    I was wondering about the word “appropriately” in the clue, but this Wiki article on CASTILE  tells us that its name is thought to mean “Land of Castles”.
11   CROSSWORDS      Angry expressions which call for solutions
    CROSS (angry) + WORDS (expressions)
12 LAID Placed a number on benefit
    L (a number) + AID (benefit)
13 AISLE Such a passage is a tissue of lies
    A + (LIES)*
    I know “a tissue of lies” is an expression, but is “tissue” good enough as an anagram indicator?
14 EXACTING Demanding much in either effort or money
    More or less a double definition
16 FALL FLAT Happen to be on the level but produce no response
    FALL (happen to be) + FLAT (on the level)
18 OF AGE In the majority
    Cryptic definition
20 MESS Canteen stew?
    Double definition
    It will come as no surprise when I say that this was my first entry …. How chestnutty can it get.
21 CULTIVATED Farmed in a civilised way
    Double definition
23 GIRONDE Ignored trouble in the French department
    After having a part of Spain in an earlier clue, here is some tourist information on the part of France that is called GIRONDE.
24   PICADOR Sanctimonious bounder or ringfighter?
    PI (sanctimonious) + CAD (bounder) + OR
    Nice clue, I thought. Despite the fact that I do not like bullfighting at all.
25 SATIRE Burlesque star that is ill-disposed
    (STAR + IE (that is))*
26 CENTRE Recent change of heart
1 SPOOR Point to inferior scent
    S (point (South)) + POOR (inferior)
2 INVESTS Puts one’s money in underwear
    IN VESTS (in underwear)
3 CARTWHEEL     Revolutionary move to go on the wagon
    Double definition, formulated in a cryptic way
5 REARS Raises bucks
    Double definition
6 MATELOT Sailor gives a great deal to wife
    MATE (wife) + LOT (a great deal)
7 DALLIANCE A number lead the union in time-wasting action
    D (a number) + ALLIANCE (union)
    Not sure whether the other meaning of DALLIANCE is a time-wasting action ….. :-)
10   FREE STYLE There’s no set way to win this race
    FREE STYLE (no set / way)
    Freestyle (usually written as one word) doesn’t necessarily have to indicate a form of racing, but it is often linked with racing (motor racing, swimming) and I am fine with it.
13 ACADEMIES I made case out for specialised schools
    (I MADE CASE)*
15 ABORIGINE Early Australian with derivation in Lincoln?
    ORIGIN (derivation) inside ABE (Abraham Lincoln)
17 LASH OUT Give generously when there’s a whip-round?
    Straightforward definition with a cryptic extension
19 ADAMANT The first male worker in firm
    ADAM (the first male) + ANT (worker)
    The other Adam Ant is currently almost as popular as he was in the early 80s, which btw has nothing to do with this clue.
21 CEDAR It has branches in Lebanon
    Cryptic definition for a tree (it has branches) that has a Lebanon variety
22 ELOPE Dash off to fulfil a secret engagement
    Not so very cryptic definition

2 Responses to “Financial Times 13,796 – Dante”

  1. Rishi says:


    Re your question at 7dn.

    It depends on whether it’s the primrose path or a path full of nettles.

  2. Bamberger says:

    Yes I found this much tougher and could only get 2d in the NW.Embarrassed not to get 11a!

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