Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14004 Dante

Posted by scchua on May 15th, 2012


This is the third time that I’ve blogged Rufus on Monday and his alter ego on Tuesday.  So it appears that Rufus is becoming quite a regular starter for the FT week.  Following on yesterday, another enjoyable lot of mostly dds, cds, and anagrams, a couple of which were cleverly concealed.  Thanks Dante/Rufus.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  [[Each picture at the bottom has an unidentified link to the crossword – there are 2 pairs and 2 singles in the pics.]]


1 Tax cut (6)

EXCISE :  Double defn.

4 A standard love affair for a courtesan (8)

PARAMOUR :  PAR(a standard,a usual, average, or normal amount/degree/quality, eg.”Par for solving a Dante crossword is 5 minutes” – nah! Only kidding!) + AMOUR(love affair)

9 Could be mad with rage – or love (6)

ADMIREAnagram of(could be) MAD plus(with) IRE(rage,anger).

Defn: As a verb.

10 Force to put one form of transport before another (8)

RAILROAD :  RAIL(one form,type of transport) placed before(before) ROAD(another form of transport)..

12 Document to be filled in by don or graduate (3,5)

PRO FORMA :  PROF(short for “professor”,don at a learning institution) + OR + MA(abbrev. for Master of Arts,a graduate).

Answer: From the Latin, meaning “for the sake of form” or “as a matter of form”.  Therefore strictly an adjective (or adverb) in eg. a pro-forma invoice, which is an advance document, not the actual invoice.  However, it appears that in the UK, the word has evolved into a noun, meaning a document to be completed,filled in; a meaning given in OED, but not in American dictionaries – I know, it’s a crossword in an English newspaper.  :-)

13 It involves two banks in a row (6)

BIREME :  Cryptic defn:  “It” refers to an ancient galley with two banks,tiers of rowers; from the Latin bis (twice) + remus (oar).

15 Still on level terms (4)

EVEN :  Double defn: 1st: Still,yet, used to emphasise a comparative, eg. still/even more complaints; and 2nd: Of equal or balanced score, quality, quantity, condition, etc. between/amongst two or more parties.

16 Rousing songs (4,6)

DAWN CHORUS :  Cryptic defn: The sound of bird songs at dawn, to rouse you.

19 Disengagement of military unit (10)

DETACHMENT :  Double defn: 1st: Separation from; and 2nd: A body of troops or ships,military unit that have been sent out to be stationed away from the main force or fleet.

20 Drink when in adversity (4)

DOWN :  Double defn: 1st: Drink quickly or in one gulp; and 2nd: Descriptive of one experiencing adverse conditions, eg. being down in a match, or down on the ground, or being down in the dumps.

23 Litter container (6)

PIGSTY :  Cryptic defn: An enclosure,container for a litter of pigs.  Cryptic to the extent that the more usual meaning is of a wastebin or suchlike.

25 Monopolised the market, but put in a difficult position (8)

CORNERED :  Double defn: 1st: For a seller, gained practically 100% of the market share, so that one is able monopolise it; and 2nd: At the same time, put all the other sellers in a corner,a difficult position to get out of from – from the literal sense of being in a corner, worse than having your back to the wall.  

27 It’s OK if one wants an abbreviation (8)

OKLAHOMA :  Cryptic defn:  Refers to the US state of Oklahoma, whose abbreviation, if one wants it, isOK”.

28 Attacks a pop group (6)

STONES :  Double defn: 2nd: The Rolling, those septuagenarian rockers.

29 Sticking together, he said no changes are needed (8)

ADHESIONAnagram of(changes are needed) HE SAID NO

Defn: As a noun.

30 Dreads writhing snakes (6)

ADDERSAnagram of(writhing) DREADS.


1 An illustration no longer big enough (7)

EXAMPLE :  EX-(prefix signifying no longer, as with “ex-wife”) + AMPLE(big,large enough).

2 Constituent is firm member and one not without heart (9)

COMPONENT :  CO(abbrev. for “company”,firm) + MP(Member of Parliament) plus(and) ONE + NT{“notminus(without) “o”, its middle letter,heart}.

3 Service lecture (6)

SERMON :  Cryptic defn: A lecture one listens to during a church service.

5 It could contain jam, but is certainly not jammed (4)

AJAR :  A JAR could contain jam

Answer: If a door is ajar, then it is not jammed shut (how about jammed open?  That sometimes happens when the floor is not even, and the door has slightly shifted.)

6 100% agreement, and no mistake! (3,5)

ALL RIGHT :  Double defn: 1st: What you’d say in response to someone when you agree with what he’s said.

7 One ounce at first may be bracing (5)

OZONE :  OZ(abbrev. for ounce weight) placed before(at first) ONE

Answer: The British Victorian folk myth was that the characteristic smell of the sea, carried by the breeze, was “bracing” and that the smell was due to ozone.  Wrong on both counts – the smell is due to dimethyl suphide, a compound formed by phytoplankton, and which is toxic in high concentrations.  As is ozone, nasty stuff but very useful in preventing ultraviolet rays from space from reaching plants and animals.

8 Compensate for being out of line? (7)

REDRESS :  Cryptic defn: To re-dress is to re-straighten a line, say, of soldiers, that has become crooked,out of line.  To redress is to compensate,provide relief for a wrong or injury.

11 Applies preservatives – a typical measure cooking lambs (7)

EMBALMS : EM{a unit of measurement in printing type, originally from the space occupied by the letter “M”, and whimsically described as typical, or “typ(e)-ical”} + anagram of(cooking) LAMBS.  Nice surface, anyone for preserved lamb?

14 Fellow supporting Judah’s son continuously (2,3,2)

ON AND ON :  DON(fellow,master at a learning institution) placed below(supporting, in a down clue) ONAN(the biblical Judah’s second son, famed for having onanism named after him – because he “spilled his seed on the ground”).

17 Ordering a trip to see a border river (3,6)

RIO GRANDEAnagram of(trip) ORDERING A.  Cleverly disguised anagram indicator and fodder.  Answer:  The river that partially flows on the border between USA (Texas) and Mexico.

18 Stops for drinks (8)

SCOTCHES :  Double defn.

19 For certificate see master after swim (7)

DIPLOMA :  [LO(see, as in “lo and behold”) + MA(abbrev. for Master of Arts)] placed below(after, in a down clue) DIP(a swim in the sea).

21 It sounds bad lacking love – but they’re in the pink! (7)

NUDISTSAnagram of(bad) [IT SUNDS]{“it soundsminus(lacking) “o”(looks like zero,nil,love in tennis scores)}. 

Defn. and Answer: Figuratively, “in the pink” means “to be healthy”(cf. in the pink of health), from which one concludes, rightly or wrongly, that being a nudist keeps you healthy, or if you’re unhealthy you can’t be a nudist.  Or it could literally be the colour you become when you go around nude – I know, English newspaper (printed on pink paper too)! :-)

22 University man gets married (6)

UNITED :  UNI(short for university) + TED(a man’s name).

24 Yank going up to church in the valley (5)

GULCHReversal of(going up, in a down clue) LUG(yank,pull) plus(to) CH(abbrev. for church building). 

Answer: American term for a narrow river cut by a fast stream,a sort of valley.  Often mentioned in tales of the Wild Wild West.

26 Short of ammunition (4)

AMMO :  Cryptic defn: Short for ammunition.  Cryptic to the extent that “short of ammunition” usually means you’ve run out of bullets, and suchlike.



 Edit.note: Answer for picture 3 here Other answers in comments below.

7 Responses to “Financial Times 14004 Dante”

  1. Steve says:

    Thanks Dante for an enjoyable puzzle and scchua for the blog and bonus picture challenge. Gordon Macrae and Shirley Jones were both in the Oklahoma! movie while Dean Martin and Angie Dickinson were both in Rio Bravo, which is the Mexican name for the Rio Grande. I’m not sure of the Creedence Clearwater Revival link (unless they covered ‘All Right Now’) and can’t recall the name in the other pic.

  2. scchua says:

    [[Hi Steve, well done, you’re all right so far. Hint: The last two links, incl. that for CCR, are exactly what I called them in my preamble above – singles.]]

  3. Steve says:

    CCR – Graveyard Train?

  4. scchua says:

    [[Sorry, no. A little whimsy might be helpful!]]

  5. Steve says:

    The other pic is Stephen Bishop (I have to confess to cheating with a reverse image search on him!) who had a 1977 hit with ‘On and On’.

  6. Steve says:

    CCR – Dawn Chorus = Rude Awakening No. 2?

  7. scchua says:

    [[Steve@6, Not that either. As I’m retiring for the night, I’m putting up a link below the pictures, so that you can confirm your answer. P.S. So now I’ll have to make the quizes more indirect and harder, now you’ve found an aid :-) ]]

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