Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 13,919 by Falcon

Posted by Pete Maclean on February 16th, 2012

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of February 4, 2012

I found this puzzle fairly easy and enjoyed several rather good clues. My favourites are 12A (PRISON SHIP), 14A (SONGBOOK), 21A (BEAR WITH ME), 24A (DARTMOOR), 3D (EVENING STAR), 5D (TOM DICK AND HARRY) and 17D (ET CETERA). On the negative side, I have some serious doubt about the definition in 19A (NUTRIENT) and am uncertain about the appropriateness of ‘admirable’ in 7D (DUD). I have little experience with Falcon (Allan Scott) but know that he has a fine and long-standing reputation. If this puzzle is one to go by, he has a great talent for some polished surfaces!

Postscript: I withdraw the doubts I expressed above and apologize for them. Sorry! Without being able to check with Chambers, I should not question such things.

Across
1. ALLEY CAT – CA (about — short for circa) in anagram of LATELY
6. RADISH – RA (artist) + DISH (meal)
9. BODEGA – BOD (person) + EG (for example) + A (a)
10. MOBY DICK – MOBY (gang leader in yarn) + DICK (detective)
11. YETI – YET (still) + I (one)
12. PRISON SHIP – cryptic definition
14. SONGBOOK – cryptic definition
16. TOTE – TOTE[m] (short pole)
18. AT IT – A (a) + TIT (small songbird)
19. NUTRIENT – NUT (head) + I (one) in RENT (opening). While close in meaning, I can find no justification for ‘feeding’ cluing NUTRIENT. And the ‘the’ seems to get in the way unnecessarily (or am I missing something?).
21. BEAR WITH ME – anagram of AT HEBREW IM
22. GALL – G (good) + ALL (everyone)
24. DARTMOOR – DART (weapon) + ROOM (cell) backwards
26. EQUITY – E (point) + QUIT (left) + [jur]Y
27. SLOGAN – SLOG (work hard) + AN (an)
28. YEARLING – [nationa]L in anagram of A GREY IN

Down
2. LOOSE – O (ring) in LOSE (miss)
2. EVENING STAR – anagram of GRAVE TENNIS
4. CHAMPION – H (hospital) in CAMPION (plant)
5. TOM DICK AND HARRY – anagram of THICK RANDY OR MAD
6. ROB ROY – ROB (steal) + O (Oscar) in RY (lines, i.e. railway lines)
7. DUD – DUD[e] (admirable man mostly). Why is a dude admirable? I fancy this is a poor definition.
8. SACRISTAN – anagram of RACISTS + AN (article)
13. SITTING BULL – SITTING (session) + BULL (edict)
15. ON THE BALL – double definition
17. ET CETERA – anagram of CRETE in ETA (letter from Greece)
20. DISOWN – SOW (pig) in DIN (row)
23. LET ON – L (left) + ETON (college)
25. TAG – hidden word

2 Responses to “Financial Times 13,919 by Falcon”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Many thanks, Pete.
    Indeed a typical Falcon, easyish but very smoothly written.
    A puzzle that should appeal to those who like the Guardian’s Everyman [which is no coincidence, of course].

    In 10ac the MOBY part should be seen as MOB (gang) + Y[arn].
    Re 19ac: Chambers gives us “feeding” as the first definition for NUTRIENT (as an adjective).
    And the same dictionary gives us, for 7d, under DUDE as def #4: A stylish or admirable man.
    So, no reason to have any complaints, I think.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Ah, thanks, Sil. I am away from home and do not have Chambers and my other usual dictionaries with me.

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