Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,807 by Cinephile

Posted by Pete Maclean on October 6th, 2011

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of September 24

I enjoyed this puzzle which has a few okay clues and a couple of challenges. One challenge for me was 18D (CHARTIST) — for several reasons. At the start I was deceived into looking for the name of a person rather than a class of reformer. Then I was only barely familiar with the term chartist. And finally the wordplay seems faulty. Probably my top clues are 14D (STREWTH) and 2D (HARPER LEE) which has a great surface (but, sure, a rather obvious construction). I hold reservations about 25A (STAR TREK) and 29A (LATITUDE).

Across
1. COHERE – HE (man) in CORE (centre)
4. COLUMBUS – COLUM[n] (piece of paper mainly) + BUS (people carrier)
9. SCRIBE – SC[ience] + RIBE[s] (pruned currant). How do you think Ribena got its name?!
10. PRISTINA – PRISTINE (as good as new) with final E changed to A (with new conclusion)
12. CREDITOR – CR (councillor) + EDITOR (journalist)
13. CUCKOO – double definition
15. WALL – W (with) + ALL (everybody)
16. SKETCHBOOK – S (second) + KETCH (boat) + BOOK (reserve)
19. OPEN-HANDED – PEN HAND (the one I write with) in OED (dictionary)
20. EDIT – TIDE backwards
23. DEMURE – EMU (big bird) in DRE[am]
25. STAR TREK – homophone (“start wreck”). So “Enterprise” defines Star Trek? Well it’s an immediate connection one is likely to make but not quite a definition.
27. NEURITIS – homophone (“new rite is”)
28. AT WILL – A (a) + TWILL (style of fabric)
29. LATITUDE – double definition. Now I am being very picky here but latitude is not “non-existent at the Equator”. Latitude means angular distance from the Equator which means that, at the Equator, latitude is zero. But this is not quite the same as being non-existent.
30. NAUSEA – hidden word

Down
1. CASH COW – C (number) + ASH (tree) + COW (frighten)
2. HARPER LEE – HARPER (string player) + LEE (general)
3. RABBIT – BAR (lawyers) backwards + BIT (a little)
5. OURS – double definition. “Ours” is the French word for bear.
6. UNSOUGHT – U (turn) + anagram of SHOTGUN
7. BRICK – double/cryptic definition
8. SEA COOK – anagram of CAKES OO (rounds)
14. STREWTH – WT (some weight) in HERTS (county) backwards
17. ORDERLIES – ORDER (ask) + LIES (romances)
18. CHARTIST – anagram of STIR in CHAT (conversation). But, but, but there is no anagram indicator. Hm, is “stir” supposed to be both fodder and indicator? Or am I missing something?
19. ORDINAL – DIN (row) in ORAL (said)
21, 11, 26. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD – anagram of I GOT COLD MILK IN BARK. Seems like a typical Cinephile anagram for a long answer where he finds a string of words that sound grammatical but make no sense.
22. GRETNA – GR (King George) + ETNA (volcano)
24. MOULT – MO (time) + ULT (recent weeks). Ult (short for ultimo) means in the month preceding the current one — not precisely the same as “in recent weeks” but I think it is close enough.

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13,807 by Cinephile”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Pete & Cinephile

    ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ is a well known book by Harper Lee. It is also a movie.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Ah, I missed that connection. Thanks, Bryan.

  3. Rishi says:

    Pete

    Re 18d Victorian reformer making a stir in conversation (8)

    “[M]aking” might be taken as an anagrind, if a weak one.

    However, I don’t know what to do with ‘a’. For, CHARTIST, it would be anagram of STIR in CHAT, not an anagram of A STIR in CHAT.

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    Hi Rishi, I considered this too but decided it could hardly work because of that ‘a’.

  5. Eileen says:

    Hi Pete and thanks for the blog.

    In 9ac, the clue has ‘pruned currant’: its name is actually ‘ribes’. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribes

  6. Pete Maclean says:

    Ah, I missed that. I had thought that “pruned” applied to “science” — although I realize that a pruning indicator is unnecessary there. Thanks, Eileen. (I have updated the entry.)

  7. Wil Ransome says:

    Not so many gripes as usual, but I agree with you Pete about CHARTIST — no good at all. And I was less than happy with 23ac where ‘Part of dream’ indicates the first three letters. Should be more precise I think, for there are many parts of the word if you allow this sort of thing.

  8. Pete Maclean says:

    I am not thrilled by ‘Part of dream’ but I accept it. If part of dream came to be used for, say, ‘re’ or ‘ea’ that would be horrible.

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