Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,819 by Cincinnus

Posted by Pete Maclean on October 20th, 2011

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of October 8

Here we have another splendid Cincinnus job. For me it was a remarkably easy one — I dashed it off in about 20 minutes. Perhaps I was lucky because the two answers that I guess are most obscure, HARMATTAN and PIKES PEAK, are very well known to me. For me the value of a puzzle is almost all in the quality of the clues, not in the toughness of them and here I especially applaud 29A (DISEMBARKATION), a typically brilliant Cincinnus anagram, plus 3D (OFTEN), 6D (ROISTERED) and 21D (DANISH).

Across
1. HYPOCHONDRIACS – anagram of CORNISH CHOP DAY
10. EXACT – double definition
11. RAW SIENNA – ANNE IS WAR (girl’s fighting) backwards. I originally thought that ‘girl’ clued SIENNA (thinking of Sienna Miller) and wondered why the wordplay was not impeccable. And I was corrected — see the comments below.
12. POLENTA – anagram of ON PLATE
13. SETTLED – SETTLE (bench) + D[irt]
14. TONGA – hidden word
16. TOP DRAWER – POT (one prize) + REWARD (a second prize) all backwards
19. PASTERNAK – PAST (former) + R (right) in [Citizen] KANE backwards
20. DATED – DATE (fruit) + D (would shortly)
22. RODRIGO – ROD (baton) + RIG (equipment) + O (nothing)
25. STEARIN – anagram of INERT [g]AS
27. SYNDICATE – anagram of DECAY ISNT
28. ICONS – I[mpress] + CONS (those inside)
29. DISEMBARKATION – anagram of DRAKES AMBITION. A gem!

Down
2. YEARLINGS – anagram of RELAY SIGN
3. OFTEN – [s]OFTEN (moderate leader dismissed)
4. HARMATTAN – ARM (weapon) in [man]HATTAN (NY area when man’s gone). The Harmattan is a hot wind that blows from the Sahara Desert.
5. NEWTS – T (time) in N+E+W+S (every way)
6. ROISTERED – ROI (French king) + R (resistance) in STEED (horse)
7. ANNUL – ANNU[a]L (regular publication if article is omitted)
8. SLANDER – [i]SLANDER (Sicilian for example scratching head)
9. DESPOT – S[urprises] in DEPOT (store)
15. AMERICIUM – A (a) + ERIC (boy) + I (one) both in MUM (silent)
17. PIKES PEAK – P (power) + IKE (old president) + SPEAK (say). Pikes Peak is a mountain that stands behind Colorado Springs in Colorado. I have worked in this city.
18. WATER POLO – P[lay] O[ff] in WATERLO[O] (battle not finishing). Well there are actually two beginnings.
19. PERUSED – PERU (republic) + S[pecify] E[ach] D[ocument]
21. DANISH – IN (in) backwards in DASH (-)
23. DUNES – DUN[c]ES (poor scholars caught out)
24. OBAMA – O (old) + BA (graduate) + MA (graduate)
26. EVICT – hidden word

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,819 by Cincinnus”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks Pete. I think you should read “Girl’s fighting” as “Girl is fighting”, and hence “Girl’s fighting back” as the reversal of “ANNE IS WAR”.
    But I must also say that I considered another option, namely that Cincinnus was some kind of wordblind and accidentally swapped the I and the E in “ANNIE’S WAR”. Well, who knows – not me.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Ah, I was so focused on Sienna Miller that I failed to see “Anne is”. Shoulda known that Cincinnus would be unlikely to mess up like that. Thanks, Sil! I will correct the explanation.

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Pete.

    I totally agree with you about the quality of this puzzle and I have the same ticks as you – a double one for 29ac, which I thought was stunning.

    I also had a double tick for one across, for its brilliant reference in ‘day they invented sham pain’ to the song from ‘Gigi’ [you're too young, Pete! ;-) ], ‘The night they invented champagne’.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMiCGOZVkgQ

    Many thanks to Cincinnus for the sparkle!

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    Me too young! Well, maybe. I have never seen ‘Gigi’ and ‘the night they invented champagne’ means nothing to me.

  5. Bamberger says:

    This was my worst attempt at a Cincinnus for a long time.
    I’m no good on music or literature and didn’t have enough crossing letters to guess Paternak or Rodrigo.
    Despite being pretty good on science , I hadn’t come across Americium.
    Head hung in shame for not spotting Tonga.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


× eight = 32