Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,880 – Dante

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on December 29th, 2011

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Puzzle/Dec 19

This was a Dante crossword full of cryptic and double definitions.

As ever I did like it (being a real fan of Mr Squires), however I put some question marks to one or two clues. Surely, someone will stand [up] and deliver [an answer].  If indeed so, please remember that I will not be able to respond to any comment before the end of year.



1 BEAUTY Buy tea loose, it delights the senses
    (BUY TEA)*
4 TRAPPIST One ordered to be silent
    Cryptic definition
9 LOOTER He takes things the wrong way
    Cryptic definition
10    I DARE SAY I’m not afraid to speak – probably!
    Double definition
12 DIAMONDS Quarter-deck cutters
    Two definitions, the first one slightly cryptic (referring to a deck of cards)
13 DETEST Loathe endless study before exam
    DE[n] (study, minus the last letter) + TEST (exam)
15 GAIT Pedestrian walkway?
    Cryptic definition
16    VEGETARIAN    Five are eating fresh vegetables and fruit
    V (five) + (ARE EATING)*
    Great anagram fodder, great anagram indicator. But what a pity that VEGETARIAN is so similar to ‘vegetables’.  Probably, Dante wanted this to work as an &Lit, but neither VEGETARIAN as a singular noun or an adjective does that trick for me.
19 JUNGLE BOOK     Kipling’s game forest and reserve?
    JUNGLE (game forest) + BOOK (reserve)
    I was not very taken by ‘game’ in this clue, although some might define a jungle, figuratively, as a place where one’s never safe (and therefore will be hunted).
20 SPUR Incentive to provide a branch road
    Double definition
23 DIEPPE Port required to finish university course
    DIE (to finish) + PPE (university course –  Philosophy, Politics and Economics (esp at Oxford))
25 OUTSTRIP Run faster in striking football kit
    OUT (striking, ie on strike) + STRIP (football kit)
27 INTENDED Set upon one’s fiancée
    Double definition
28    BOLEYN Be only involved as a second wife to Henry
    (BE ONLY)*
29 MANITOBA    Aim to ban corruption in the province
    (AIM TO BAN)*
30 PELTED Ran fast when bombarded
    Double definition
1 BULLDOG Sort of clip found at the end of a lead
    Two definitions – one normal, one cryptic
2 ADORATION Commercial address indicates high esteem
    AD (commercial) + ORATION (address)
3 TREMOR Quake in the centre, more or less
    Hidden solution: [cen]TRE MOR[e or less]
5 RUDE Healthy dislike may make one so
    Double definition
6 PARMESAN    Grating that goes on top, of course
    Cryptic definition, in which the comma after ‘top’ should be ignored
7 ISSUE Lives with a woman and one’s offspring
    IS (lives) + SUE ( a woman)
8 TRY IT ON See how far one may go to test a new suit
    Double definition
11    ADVERBS They tell us how to write endless bad verse, perhaps
    (BAD VERS[e])*
    Just like 16ac, this looks like another attempt to write an &Lit, but I am (again) not convinced. Moreover, to make ‘endless’ work, one has to see ‘bad verse’ as one. Not sure whether that’s fair or right.
14 DECORUM Edward lifts firm with spirit and dignity
    DE (reversal of ED (Edward)) + CO (firm) + RUM (spirit)
17 IMPERFECT    Tense – and that’s not good
    Double definition
18    SLIP-KNOT Undergarment has difficulty for Granny, say
    SLIP (undergarment) + KNOT (difficulty) – a ‘granny’ being an example of a knot
19    JUDAISM    Bone-idle excluded from organised diamond jubilees of monotheistic faith
    Anagram of (DIAMOND JUBILEES) minus (BONE IDLE)
21 REPINED    Regretted planting tree in the shade
    PINE (tree) inside RED ((the) shade)
22 ASHORE Wood and metal container on the beach
    ASH (wood) + ORE (metal container, ie a mineral containing metal)
24 EATEN We hear public school is absorbed in the system
    Homophone of ETON (public school)
26 WEBB Flycatcher first became an English Channel swimmer
    WEB (flycatcher) + B[ecame]
    Some might criticise ‘first became’ leading to B. The WEBB here is Matthew Webb (1848-1883), who was the first person to swim the English Channel without the use of artificial aids [whatever that means].


5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,880 – Dante”

  1. John Newman says:

    Thanks Sil.

    Grateful if you could explain STRIP being a football kit. And I thought the word CONTAINER was superfluous in 22D – added to the difficulty.

    Like you I always enjoy DANTE but question a couple of things. Is red really a shade or just a colour?

    Happy New Year

  2. Bamberger says:

    John @1 -are Newcastle playing in their black and white stripes or have they got their away strip on?
    You boy, get that strip on and stop messing about -you’re kicking off in 5 minutes.

  3. John Newman says:

    Thanks Bamberger. Something new to me. I am sure my son would be ashamed of me. Gee Dad!?

  4. Keeper says:

    I realize I’m posting rather late here, so I’ll be surprised if anyone reads this. Nevertheless, I have a minor quibble with 18d. From what I recall from my Boy Scout days, a granny knot is not a slip-knot. I believe it is, rather, a binding knot (albeit an inferior one).

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Well, Keeper, I am still there.
    I have no opinions on knots whatsoever, and therefore I will not argue with you about this topic.
    However, Chambers tells us that a granny knot is “a knot like a reef knot, but unsymmetrical, apt to slip or jam”.
    So, perhaps, Dante has a point?

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