Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,867 by Cincinnus

Posted by Pete Maclean on December 15th, 2011

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of December 3

This proved a tricky puzzle for me and, I suspect, for some others. Two clues stand out and are both absolute gems: 22A (IN TRANSIT) and 10D (TOWER OF LONDON) which is an &lit. 1D (TRAINSPOTTING) and 18D (ASTOUND) are also rather good. I had a bit of trouble with the bottom-right quadrant, especially because I was unfamiliar with the word ‘captious’.

Across
1. TEMPERA – TEMPER (paddy) + A (a). Surely tempera is more a painting material than a painting technique, no?
5. DE SICA – hidden words
8. AD NAUSEUM – anagram of SUE AMANDA
9. AVAST – A (a) + VAST (huge)
11. NATAL – NATAL[ie] (girl that is finally abandoned)
12. SCROLL SAW – SCROLLS (displays more) + AW[ay]. This is a kind of saw I had not known of.
13. POSEIDON – double/cryptic definition (referring to the movie “The Poseidon Adventure”)
15. CORNER – COR[o]NER (public official losing heart)
17. TRAGIC – T (time) + CIGAR (Havana) backwards
19. FALSTAFF – FAL (river) + STAFF (man). I don’t recall ever hearing of the river Fal itself but if there is a Falmouth then there has to be a Fal!
22. IN TRANSIT – anagram of ST TRINIAN
23. MALMO – [s]MAL[l] + MO (second)
24. GAUDI – G (grand) + AUDI (car)
25. AFORESAID – anagram of SAFE RADIO
26. ADONIS – A (a) + DON (teacher) + I[mpress] + S[creen]
27. STEPSON – “steps on” (does not stop walking)

Down
1. TRAINSPOTTING – TRAINS (grooms) + POTTING (at work in shed). ‘Welsh’ here refers, of course, to Irvine Welsh. Who is Scottish.
2. MINUTES – double definition
3. EQUAL – hidden word. Some people are not happy with ‘of’ as a hidden-word indicator.
4. AVERSION – A (one) + VERSION (variant)
5. DEMURE – DEMUR (object) + [lin]E
6. SCALLIONS – ALL (entirely) in SCIONS (young shoots). ‘Scallions’ is the term used in the US for what Brits and Australians call spring onions.
7. CHANSON – HANS (Herr Sachs) in CON (study). Wikipedia tells us that Hans Sachs (1494-1576) was a German meistersinger, poet, playwright and shoemaker.
10. TOWER OF LONDON – anagram of ONE OLD FORT NOW and &lit.
14. IMITATION – [l]IMITATION (weakness losing top)
16. CAPTIOUS – CAPT (officer) + IOUS (promises to pay)
18. ASTOUND – [gla]S[gow] in anagram of OUT AND
20. ALL EARS – A[rtfu]L + LEARS (king’s)
21. ESSAYS – [w]ES[t] (Midwest) + SAYS (states)
23. MY EYE – double definition

2 Responses to “Financial Times 13,867 by Cincinnus”

  1. Bamberger says:

    Failed on 9a and had never heard of it. Quite often the better solvers say “New word to me but very obvious from the wordplay” . Ok so you have a?a?t. Even if you thought of huge =vast, how does that help you because you have then also got to realise that tar here is a sailor and that avast means stop in nautical language.
    Scroll saw also a new one to me.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Ah, well I realize that ‘avast’ is not an everyday word but it does come up a lot in “pirate talk” (along with lots of ahs, landlubbers and hearties). And it is good to consider that, whatever the context, tar might refer to a sailor. I had meant to mention that ‘scroll saw’ is new to me too.

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