Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,896 – Dante

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on January 19th, 2012

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword /Jan 9

It’s been a while since I’ve last blogged a crossword, but I’m back in town. Many thanks to Duncan [easily the most detailed blog around] and scchua [who was very delighted to take the honours] who both helpfully stepped in when the FT decided to have some Tuesday Prize Crosswords.  Anyway, a fresh restart for me with an overall gentle Dante .


1 CLOUTS Patches cuffs
    Double definition
4 ESTRANGE Alienate sergeant in mess
10 SOTTO VOCE It lowers the tone, so to speak
    Not so very cryptic definition
11 SATYR Spirit often drunk in ancient times
    Cryptic definition, punning on two meanings of ‘spirit’: within the surface an alcoholic drink, in the answer one of the lustful and wine loving companions of Pan (that might be called ‘spirits’)
12 ORFE Forecast for fish
    One of these clues in which you need a pair of scissors to separate the fodder (‘fore’) from the indicator (‘cast’).
13     UNDERSCORE        Stress that it’s less than twenty
    UNDER (less than) SCORE (twenty)
15 ELOPERS They dash off to an away match
    Cryptic definition
16 SHANTY Sea air
    Cryptic definition, in which ‘air’ should be seen as ‘melody’ or ‘tune’
19 IMPELS Urges some simple modification
    It looks to me that the word ‘some’ is superfluous.
21 JACKPOT Kitty puts flag on vessel
    JACK (flag) + POT (vessel)
23 CHARTREUSE Green plan to recycle
    CHART (plan) + REUSE (to recycle)
    Beautiful surface in a clue for which the solution sounds like an expensive French wine. In fact, it is a pale green or yellow liqueur named after La Grande Chartreuse.  Written without cap as ‘chartreuse’ it can also mean the greenish-yellow colour that Dante had in mind.
25 PLAN Blueprint of factory nearing completion
    PLANT (factory) minus (nearing completion) the T at its end
27 DHOTI Loin cloth can make a number very warm I conclude
    D (a number) + HOT (very warm) + I
28 PREJUDGES Shows bias before court officials
    PRE (before) + JUDGES (court officials)
29 CULINARY Clay urn, one used for cooking
    (CLAY URN + I (one))*
30    KEPT IN Restrained and punished a schoolchild
    Double definition
1 CUSTOMER Maybe more cuts will attract one
    (MORE CUTS)*
    Will more cuts attract customers? Bit of a funny surface to me.
2    OUT OF FORM    In poor shape and not playing well
    Double definition
3 TOOT Blow up and down
    The answer (definition: ‘blow’ (eg a horn)) is a palindrome (up and down)
5 SKEWERS They get stuck into pieces of meat
    Cryptic definition, but when you take the clue very literally, it is not so cryptic anymore
6 RESISTANCE Insects are developing immunity
7 NOT SO Two Poles about to set up job centre? Untrue
    N,S (two poles, North and South) around OT (reversal of ‘to’) + [j]O[b]
    One of the few clues based on more advanced construction and for me (perhaps, therefore) the COD. On top of that a splendid surface, a real bonus!
8 EARNER Novice loses head as a breadwinner
9 POUNDS Cash reserves
    Double definition
    This was my last entry. Although I knew that it had to be POUNDS, I did not make the link to a ‘pound’ meaning a ‘compound’ or ‘enclosure’. I kept on thinking of money reserves (in combination with ‘cash’). So, actually, a fine (misdirecting) double definition.
14    PEDESTRIAN    Uninspired footman
    Double definition
17 TOP-FLIGHT Highest stairway leading to penthouse flat?
    TOP (highest) + FLIGHT (stairway)
18 STANDS IN Substitutes a man that’s good with bad
    ST (a man that’s good, a ‘saint’) + AND (with) + SIN (bad)
    Just recently, Tees had exactly the same idea in his excellent Independent crossword (7864). But then, Great Minds think alike.
20 SLEEPER Earring found on the railway
    Double definition
    That a SLEEPER can be found on the railway, comes as no surprise, however the ‘earring’ connection was new to me [Chambers: “a small gold hoop worn in a pierced ear to prevent the hole from closing up”].
21 JASPER A man of stone
    Double definition
    For those who do not know what JASPER looks like:  get it here .
22 ACIDIC Sharp detectives in rising US intelligence organisation
    CID (detectives) inside the reversal of CIA (US intelligence organisation)
24 ATOLL As you can see, it forms a ring
    A + TOLL (ring) – when you look at an ATOLL from above, this coral island will reveal its circular shape [&Lit?]
26 DUPE Fool wanting to be paid to admit parking
    DUE (wanting to be paid) around P (parking)

2 Responses to “Financial Times 13,896 – Dante”

  1. scchua says:

    Hi Sil, glad you’re back – with a blog well-done. Thanks too to Dante with his trademark cluing.

    Attempting to answer your question about 1D CUSTOMER – you might have had it in mind, but if not – price cuts would generally attract customers. Many shoppers buy because, the more they buy, the more “savings” they get from discounts – so much for the “rational consumer”!

  2. John Newman says:

    Another delightful Dante, I thought. I really don’t know how he keeps doing it. I thought that 15A ELOPERS and 24D ATOLL were paricularly fine clues.

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>

− five = 3