Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,920 – Dante

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on February 16th, 2012

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Feb 6

In my previous blog (on Mudd’s Prize Crossword) I gave my opinion on the use of ‘double definitions’ (not my favourite device, indeed) and see, here is Dante  to do me a favour with a real overdose (8+) of that device ….. :) . And only one cryptic definition!

All in all, though, an entertaining puzzle full of the usual smooth surfaces. Particular highlights for me: 19ac (yes, a double definition ….), 29ac (great natural surface) and the clever one at the end (26d, PIER). It is probably not intentional [although, who knows] but the first column showed us the ‘rhyming’  ENDURES-INSURES, while the third column gave us two dances (HOPSCOTCH-RUMBA) and the 13th row: ROMANTIC AFFAIR ….. :)

Just like an increasing number of other bloggers, I decided to underline the definition(s) where possible/applicable/relevant.


1 EXHALE Expire, though previously fit as a fiddle
    EX (previously) HALE (fit as a fiddle)
4 STUDIOUS Academic has rooms outside the university
    STUDIOS (rooms) around U ((the) university)
9 DEPUTY Substitute a mine safety official
    Double definition
10 ROSSETTI The poet Dante?
    Dante punning on his own pseudonym: Dante Gabriel ROSSETTI (the poet, and painter – also a desperate 27ac)
12     RECEIVER Criminal who runs a bankrupt business
    Double definition
13 WRAP UP Be quiet and finish
    Double definition
15 SETH Son of Adam said to sound archaic
    Homophone of SAID, archaic use? – I am not a native speaker, therefore I surrender
16 JERRY-BUILT     Unstable German joined the Italian in bar
    JERRY (German, esp. a soldier, or the Germans as a collective noun) + {IL (the, in Italian) inside BUT (bar)}
19 IN HOT WATER     Where eggs may be cooked for it
    Double definition
20 ETNA Bet backing a mount hotly tipped when it runs
    Reversal of ANTE (bet) – a very wordy (and amusing) definition ; just yesterday (Wed 15 Feb) we had Cinephile with an original definition for ETNA too, but then Great Minds think alike
23 SCRAPE Jam – thinly applied?
    Almost, but not really a double definition, as ‘thinly applied?’ is not a noun, but I see what Dante means
25 REVERSAL Crossword addicts should be used to such a setback
    Let’s call this another double definition, but I underlined only the second one
27 ROMANTIC Sentimental jerk in the Eternal City?
    A ‘tic’ (jerk) in Rome (the Eternal City) might be called a ROMAN TIC
28 AFFAIR A very strong atmosphere of romance
    A + FF (very strong) + AIR (atmosphere)
29     SEASHORE     Beach shoes are adjusted for it
    (SHOES ARE)*
30 CRAYON Little girl pinching little boy’s pencil
    CON (little girl, Conny) around RAY (little boy)
1 ENDURES Suffers, made to conclude sure change is needed
    END (to conclude) + (SURE)*
2     HOPSCOTCH     Game for a drink after hard work
    H (hard) OP (work) + SCOTCH (drink)
3 LET RIP Behave uninhibitedly on the French tour
    LE (the, in French) + TRIP (tour)
5 TOOK Captured and shot
    Double definition – ‘shot’ in the sense of ‘made a photograph’
6 DESCRIBE Bed in new seed and provide an account
    CRIB (bed) inside (SEED)*
7 ON TAP Where to find a washer always available
    Double definition
8 SNIPPET Tacks up a favourite piece from the paper
    SNIP (reversal of PINS (tacks)) + PET (a favourite)
11 FEDERAL Fear led to new form of government
    (FEAR LED)*
14 ORDERED Called for as arranged
    Double definition
17 INTESTACY     In which one lacks the will to benefit others
    Cryptic definition
18     AT A PINCH     In emergency, get a bugging device and move slowly
    A + TAP (bugging device, with bugging meaning: listening secretly to other people’s conversations) + INCH (move slowly)
19 INSURES Provides cover when the nurse is busy
    (NURSE IS)*
21     AILERON     A new role in flight control
    A + (ROLE IN)*
22 HEIFER If here, has to be moved a little lower
    (IF HERE)* – a ‘heifer’ is a young cow (‘lower’)
24 RUMBA After a drink sailor gets up for a dance
    RUM (a drink) + BA (reversal of AB (sailor))
26 PIER Support one throughout
    I (one) with PER (through) on the outside, so ‘through/out’ has to be split

7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,920 – Dante”

  1. Rishi says:

    Re your query at 15a: ‘Seth’ is homophone of “saith”, an archaic form for “says”.

  2. Rishi says:


    “Saith” is 3rd person singular present indicative and so I think it will give only ‘says’ not ‘said’.

    Perhaps there is a better explanation for 15a, which has “said to sound archaic” (emphasis added).

  3. John Newman says:

    Thanks Sil. I couldn’t get ETNA but can see now how clever it is. I also couldn’t work out the cryptic side of ROMANTIC and didn’t know how IL worked for Italian. So thanks for those explanations.

    I can’t see the cryptic nature of 10A, I am afraid. And I don’t understand the “for it” in 19A.

    Dante is a bit saucy at times isn’t he? 30A is even more so than his “two girls on one kneee”.

  4. Pelham Barton says:

    John @3 re 19ac: “for it” in the sense of “in trouble”. Chambers 2008 gives this implicitly with be for it (inf) to have something unpleasant about to happen, esp a scolding.

  5. Bamberger says:

    Couldn’t get 10a -I mean come on Dante Gabriel ROSSETTI who on earth has heard of him? Otherwise didn’t need a solver

  6. eimi says:

    Lots of people have heard of Dante Gabriel Rossetti – if you’re ever in Oxford check out his paintings of Jane Morris in the Ashmolean – she’s a real stunner. His sister was quite famous too. Have you ever heard In the Bleak Midwinter? Keep solving and keep learning.

  7. Sil van den Hoek says:

    And, Bamberger, those who like period dramas on TV will know him too.
    That’s why I said that he was a ‘desperate 27ac’.

    “Desperate Romantics” – BBC, 2009:

    “BBC finally invested in broadcast of ten top drama series – here’s one (9,9)”
    Or alternatively: “Rossetti raped me – can possibly be seen on tv (9,9)”
    OK, one more then: “Silly me, pedestrian actors on tv (9,9)”.

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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

7 + = eight