Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times by Gozo 13,975

Posted by PeeDee on April 11th, 2012

PeeDee.

Another lucky week for me.  I get to blog the Guardian Easter Special at the weekend and now this really super themed puzzle from Gozo today.  I recomend having a go at this one, the puzzle can be downloaded here.

The theme is of couse birds. I had heard nearly all of them (except solan), but even so finding the solutions was still not easy.  I made life harder for myself by incorrectly writing LINNET as the answer to 31 ac, which then had repercussions across the rest of the puzzle.   Thank you Gozo for a very enjoyable morning.

Hold the mouse pointer over any clue number to read the clue.

Across
1 PUFFIN PUFF (biscuit) IN (is popular) – I think the ‘s following biscuit might be a misprint
4 PARAKEET RAKE (tool) in TAPE*
9 AVOCET CE (Church of England) in AV (Authorised Version, bible) OT (books of the bible)
10 NIGHTJAR JAR (a pint of beer) following NIGHT (the dark)
12 TERN winTER Nest – I’m not sure where ‘first’ fits in here ERNE is also a hidden bird here, so TERN is the first of two.  Thanks to pandean.
13 SOLAN ALSO* and Name
14 KITE KIT (young ferret) Eating (start of)
17 MANDARIN DUCK AND (as well as) A (one) RIND (outside) in MUCK (manure)
20 CAPERCAILLIE CAPER (frolic) and CAILLIE sounds like “ceilidh”, a Gaelic evening of music and dance
23 HAWK Henry A WK (week)
24 CAPON CAP ON – wearing a cap
25 SMEE SiMpErEd – oddly=every other letter
28 DOTTEREL OTTER (a carnivore) in LED (was first) reversed
29 LINNET TEN-NIL (crushing defeat at football) reversed (setback)
30 WHEATEAR English in WHAT (which) EAR (listener)
31 ORIOLE IO (ten) and L (fifty, Roman numerals) in ORE(aggregate).I originally wrote in LINNET here, which is an anagram (aggregate) of TEN L (fifty) IN. This seemed a pretty solid answer to me, which then messed up various other parts of the crossword, especially 29ac and 5dn.
Down
1 PLAY TIME double definition
2 FLOORING sounds like “flawing”, making defective
3 IVES LIVES (is) without L=left – Charles Ives (1874–1954), American composer
5 ANIMAL DOCTOR I’m not sure on this one. I think by giving an extra E (a touch of expertise) to ANIMAL DOCTOR you get an anagram of TEND MACAw and ORIOLe (macaw and oriole being tailless) – the definition is &lit
6 ACHE AC (account, bill) HE
7 ENJOIN JOE NINety* (90 missing half) – definition is ‘impose on’
8 TERCEL LECTERn* (cut short) – a male hawk
11 MOBILE CAMERA MOBILE (state capital of Alabama) CAME (arrived) before RA (artist) - updated: the capital of Alabama is actually Montgomery, not Mobile.  Any ideas for an explanation anyone?
15 MACAW AM (in the morning) reversed and CAW (squawk) – a sort of parrot
16 ACRID ACRID or ACID – with or without R=right, both mean bitter
18 FLAMINGO FLAMING (gaudy) O (circle) – wading bird
19 NEPENTHE NE (direction) PEN (to write) THE (article) – fabled drug that banished sorrow
21 SHADOW AD (advertisement, notice) in WHOS* – a member of the Shadows, Hank Marvin for example
22 SWATHE SWAT (hit mercilessly) and HE (high explosive)
26 FEET some of cofFEE Table
27 PIER PIoneER (pathfinder) missing ONE

*anagram

14 Responses to “Financial Times by Gozo 13,975”

  1. Pelham Barton says:

    Hi PeeDee. It is a non-working day for me today, so I had time to do both FT and Indy. This is not the type of puzzle I normally like, but it is good of its type, so thanks Gozo for the puzzle and PeeDee for the blog.

    1ac: I am inclined to agree that the first “‘s” is a misprint, but the wordplay at least does work if you take “‘s” = “has”.

    12ac: I could not account for “First” either.

    13ac: Maybe I am showing my ignorance of the theme, but I class this as an obscure answer. The anagram does not really help, as LOSAN would also fit, although SOLAN seemed more likely, so that was my guess.

    23ac: I wonder if Gozo forgot about the theme when cluing this one, as he has given us a non-thematic definition to go with the fairly straightforward wordplay. Nothing wrong with it whether it was deliberate or not.

    31ac: Interesting that LINNET does fit here. I had already got NEPENTHE in place before I got to this clue, so was not misled.

    5dn: I think your explanation must be correct.

    27dn: This is the one where I had a wrong early guess. With ORIOLE in place, I guessed STAR (which I persuaded myself could be defined as pathfinder) with wordplay STAIR (landing-stage) missing I. When I got LINNET (in the right place), it became clear that PIER had to be right, but thanks for the parsing.

  2. rulei says:

    11a. Montgomery is the capital of Alabama, not Mobile. Do we think Gozo made a mistake or is there something clever we’re missing?

  3. PeeDee says:

    rulei @2 So it is! I thought the capital must be Mobile, but didn’t bother to check.

    I spent a while trying to make POLICE CAMERA fit, but that seemed unlikely.

  4. Thomas99 says:

    Thanks for the nice full blog (clues & all) of a difficult, satisfying puzzle.

    I see Mobile (11a) used to be the capital…

    I wondered if some of 5d got lost somewhere:
    “With a touch of expertise he may be ordered to tend…” (for example) would make it a comp. anag. but as it stands I can’t really see an indicator, or find a proper cryptic reading. Such a pity as it’s nearly brilliant!

  5. PeeDee says:

    I don’t think Mobile has ever been the captal of Alabama. Montgomery has been the capital since 1846 and before that it was Tuscaloosa.

  6. Robi says:

    I am in awe at the ability of the setter to put so many birds in one grid. Excellent work!

    I think the TERN in 12 might relate to: ‘a prize for drawing three winning numbers.’ [Chambers]

    Not sure I understand Pelham Barton’s remark about 23; surely HAWK is thematic?…… or have I missed the point.

  7. Robi says:

    …….. sorry, meant to thank PeeDee for the blog.

  8. PeeDee says:

    HAWK, SMEE (and possibly TERN) get a definition, whereas the other across clues are undefined. I wondered why HAWK got the extra definition too. Smee was a pirate in Peter Pan.

  9. Pandean says:

    Thanks for the blog PeeDee.

    I thought Gozo may have included the word ‘first’ in the clue for 12ac because there are two birds hidden in ‘winter nest': TERN and ERNE (the sea-eagle). TERN is the first one of the two.

  10. Robi says:

    Pandean @9; that sounds like the correct parsing.

  11. Robi says:

    According to Wiki: ‘Mobile, then known as Fort Louis de la Louisiane, started in 1702, at Twenty-seven Mile Bluff on the Mobile River, as the first capital of the French colony of Louisiana.’

  12. PeeDee says:

    Alabama didn’t come into existence as a state until 1819, so it couldn’t have a state capital before then?

  13. Robi says:

    I meant Louisiana state capital

  14. Keeper says:

    The Mobile/Montgomery error is pretty egregious, in my view. The editor shares culpability with Gozo.

    Robi @13: Mobile was never the captial of the State of Louisiana.

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