Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 13,972 by Cincinnus

Posted by Pete Maclean on April 19th, 2012

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of April 7, 2012

This puzzle has a few typically impressive Cincinnus clues but also one whose workings elude me. My favourites are 24A (YEMEN), 27A (KINESIS), 1D (GEORGE LAZENBY), 7D (RUSSELL) and, best of all, 23D (ALIEN).

Across
1. GRIDDLE – G (good) + RIDDLE (sieve)
5. ACCORD – A (a) + C[heer] + CORD (means of securing)
8. OTHERWISE – anagram of WHITE ROSE
9. ONSET – ON SET (where action is called for — as on a film set)
11. GAMER – GAM (school, as in a gam of whales) + ER (ruler). Originally I did not understand where ‘gam’ came from but was, as usual, filled in by commenters (see below).
12. SO TO SPEAK – anagram of SOAK POETS
13. LANDMARK – D[ean] M[artin] in LANARK (Scottish town)
15. EVELYN – L[onel]Y in EVEN (flat). Hmm, this must be John Evelyn — not a diarist I knew of.
17. ZERO IN – ZERO (nothing) + IN (favoured)
19. TERRAPIN – P (quiet) in TERRAIN (ground)
22. NIGHTBIRD – NIGH (near) + T-BIRD (Ford)
23. ALLOW – [sw]ALLOW (bird ignoring directions initially)
24. YEMEN – ME (Middle East) in YEN (desire)
25. GLADIATOR – GLAD (happy) + I (current) + ROTA (list) backwards. I know ‘I’ = current from studying electricity (in V = IR, for example) but do not remember seeing it in a crossword before.
26. ON EDGE – hidden words
27. KINESIS – KINE (animals) + SIS (foreign agreements). I like the clever cluing of SIS!

Down
1. GEORGE LAZENBY – anagram of GLOBE ZANE GREY. George Lazenby is an Australian actor who played James Bond in one film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, in 1969. He was generally held to be a rather poor Bond. I thought he was very okay and only looked bad in comparison to Sean Connery — and anyone would look poor in comparison to Sean Connery.
2. INHUMAN – HUM (smell) + A[pparent] both in INN (watering hole). My Chambers tells me that to hum can mean to have a strong, unpleasant smell. I had not known this meaning.
3. DURER – U (University) + RE (about) together in DR (doctor)
4. EMISSARY – EMIS (music company’s) + [undercove]R in SAY (chance to speak)
5. AVERTS – anagram of SERVA[n]T
6. CROSSOVER – CROSS (annoyed) + OVER (about)
7. RUSSELL – double definition (referring to Russell Brand and Bertrand Russell)
10. TAKEN UNAWARES – KEN (man) in TUNA (fish) + WARES (stock)
14. MOISTENED – anagram of I NEED MOST
16. FEEDBACK – FEED (paid) + BACK (second)
18. REGIMEN – REGIMEN[t] (soldiers lacking finish)
20. PILATES – I (one) in PLATES (China)
21. NIGGLE – GG (goods) in NILE (river)
23. ALIEN – ALI (heavyweight who often won) + EN (points)

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13,972 by Cincinnus”

  1. Bob Cumbow says:

    Hi, Pete. The more common term for a “school” of whales is a “pod”; but a second term for the same thing is a “gam.”

    “Hum” was news to me. I second your comment on George Lazenby, and regard OHMSS as one of the very best Bond films.

    bob

  2. Bamberger says:

    I couldn’t get gamer and for 3d had d?r??. As usual this was another person from the artistic word that I’m the only one on the planet never to have heard of.
    The SE also defeated me -couldn’t get 23a.
    Re 27a, knew none of kinesis, kine or sis.I’m afraid I still don’t get sis -the only thing that springs to mind is that the company supplies pictures to bookies.So totally failed on that clue.
    Also couldn’t get 20d or 23d.

  3. Pete Maclean says:

    Bob, Thanks for the schooling (!) on ‘gam’. And I am happy to know you share my sentiments about OHMSS.

    Bamberger, Durer is rather well known especially, I believe, for two pictures: one of a pair of hands in prayer and one of a hare. But a lack of knowledge of people from the artistic and literary worlds often gets me too, as it did with 15A in this puzzle. ‘Si’ is the word for ‘yes’ in Italian and Spanish and, for some usages, French — hence ‘foreign agreements’ are ‘sis’.

  4. Wil Ransome says:

    The usual Cincinnus excellence I thought, but 20dn has plates = China, which seems odd; surely plate = China and plates = Chinas, which obviously couldn’t be used here. What am I missing?

  5. Pete Maclean says:

    Wil, I think that cluing ‘plates’ with ‘China’ is taking a liberty both because ‘China’ has that initial capital and because china typically consists of much more than just plates (i.e. cups, saucers, dishes, etc.). But I do not see that it is odd or really wrong. I would not clue ‘plates’ with ‘Chinas’ even if it fitted the clue.

  6. john newman says:

    Thanks again Pete. Quite a few of these I did not get, so pleased to be put out of my agony.

    Glad to read a a few comments plus your own on OHMSS. In fact I always thought George Lazenby was excellent. He was I understand a car salesman from Queanbeyan, what was then a small NSW town next to Canberra. Not many young people around in those days and we all knew each other but I never met him.

    I read somewhere at the time that Diana Rigg took a disliking to him and deliberately ate garlic before the kissing scenes. She would have had considerably more clout in the movie industry than he and that I guess was the end for poor George.

  7. Pete Maclean says:

    Oh, poor George indeed!

  8. Wil Ransome says:

    Thanks Pete@5. But I think it’s meant to be rhyming slang, in which China plate = mate, and here [Exercises one needed in China?] China = mate = plate. So far as I can see. Perhaps I have it quite wrong and it’s simply china = plates.

    As to the capital letter matter, Azed says that it’s OK to use a capital letter in a clue (as here) when it suits the surface, but not to use a small letter simply to mislead, when a capital letter is grammatically necessary. I think I agree with him, although far be it from me to agree or disagree with the Great Man.

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