Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,035 by Monk

Posted by PeeDee on June 20th, 2012

PeeDee.

I found this difficult.  I got off to a flying start, filling half the grid in no time, but then ground to a complete halt.  After that it was hard going all the way to the end.

Thank you Monk for a challenging and rewarding solve.  If there are any hidden messages in the grid then I’m afraid I am unable to spot them.

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

Across
7 TEACHER if one adds RY (railway, lines) to TEACHER one gets TrEACHERy (betrayal)
8 REFEREE RE (regarding, about) and European inside FREE (release)
10 FLOTILLA LOT (collection) to go inside (to feed) ALL (everyone) and IF (provided) reversed (backing)
11 MONROE Put M ON ROE to get ‘Rome’ – Marylin Monroe, a famously blonde (fair) actress
12 NEPHEW PEN (write) reversed and HEW (cut)
14 MERCEDES CEDE (yield) in MERS the sea in French, pluralised
15 PRELIMINARY anagram (poisoned) of MAIL IN R (last of scholar) in PREY (victim) – definition is ‘exam’
19 SEEMLIER M (mass) LIE (invention) in SEER (visionary)
20 RENDER REiNDeER with IE (that is) removed
22 SCONCE double definition – a fortification and a fine for breaching university rules
23 AIRSTRIP AIR (warm) STRIP (little piece of rag)
25 PETERED PETER and ED (two chaps) with OUT give ‘petered out’, exhausted
26 DEVIZES sounds like devises (imagines) – town in Wiltshire
Down
1 REPLIED P (pressure) in RELIED (banked) – definition is ‘made a comeback’
2 SCOTCH OTC (offocer Training Corps) in SCH (school)
3 KEEL LEEK (vegetable) reversed
4 WEIMARANER ME (the setter) going round ARAN (group of islands in Eire) inside (sheltered by) WEIR (dam) – a breed of dog
5 REINDEER REIN sounds like “rain” and REED (grass) reversed
6 BELOVED LOVE (failure to score at tem=nnis) in BED (sack)
9 WAR MEMORIAL WARM (passionate) and (EMAIL OR)*
13 WELL I NEVER N (name) written inside WELLIE (boot) VERy (extremely) briefly=not full length – definition is ‘my’, an exclamation
16 REMINDER MI (musical note) going in (stopping) RENDER
17 RECCIED sounds like “wreck” damaged ship and “keyed” fully ready – definition is ‘surveyed’
18 REGIMEN RE (Royal Engineers) are TIRED (failing) – definition is ‘failing to finish course’. I’m not convinced about this explanation as ‘failing’ would be doing double duty, part of both the wordplay and the definition. The clue is not really &lit either, since RETIRED (or retires, retirer, retiree?) does not mean ‘soldiers failing to finish course’. Can anyone do better?  REGIMENt (soldiers) failing to finish – definition is ‘course’.   Thanks to Eileen for this.
21 NITWIT uNIT (one) WITh (having) with head and tail letters removed – definition is ‘turkey’
24 REEK hidden in laKE ERie reversed

*anagram

11 Responses to “Financial Times 14,035 by Monk”

  1. crypticsue says:

    Always a comfort to know that others find crosswords difficult. Definitely a mixture of the obvious and the ‘what the heck’ the SW corner being a particular example of that! Thanks to Monk and PeeDee too

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks, PeeDee, especially for 21dn, which I failed to get, and for the parsing of the second part of 17dn – which I don’t much like! – and of 11ac – ditto: for me, the clue leads to MINROE.

    Apart from those niggles, an enjoyably tough puzzle. Thanks, Monk.

    For 18 dn I had REGIMEN[t].

  3. PeeDee says:

    Hi Eileen, I suppose in 11ac Monk does state that the suggested clue for Rome is only ‘fair’, ie not actually very good.

  4. Monk says:

    Ta muchly PeeDee for blog. I feel obliged to answer the comment at #3 to put later bloggers and blog-readers in the picture.

    The “fair” in the clue was indeed meant to be read as “just”, because the clue at 11ac (NB raised for discussion by the crossword editor) admits multiple parsings. One, [ROME = M in ROE], was noted by Eileen #2; the intended one, [ROME = M on RO, E], is IMHO fair (!) because it is an across clue, in which convention has A on B = BA.

    And there is a Nina :)

  5. Eileen says:

    Many thanks for the clarification, Monk. I hadn’t thought of separating the RO and E. Makes perfect sense now – my apologies.

    [I'm afraid I'm hopeless at spotting Ninas, even when told there is one. :-( ]

  6. PeeDee says:

    Thanks Monk. My comment @3 is meant as a tongue in cheek reponse to Eileen, I really do think it is a good clue!

    I too am hopelss with Ninas, I will go and have another try now…

  7. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks PeeDee
    I think Monk’s ‘twist’ today is that the second and penultimate letters in every answer are the same.

  8. Wanderer says:

    Difficult indeed! Held myself up at 23 by entering HEATHROW – I got the idea quite quickly but couldn’t see beyond ‘warm’=HEAT, and of course I couldn’t parse the rest. Luckily the excellent WAR MEMORIAL put me right quite quickly. Thanks for explaining TEACHER, RECCIED and NITWIT, all of which I got (eventually) without fully understanding.

    I’m another for whom M ON ROE doesn’t seem right. For me this leads to either MROE or ROEM, and I agree with Eileen that it seems to be a clue for MINROE.

    Lots to enjoy here, with big ticks for MERCEDES, SEEMLIER and WELL I NEVER. Many thanks to PeeDee and Monk.

  9. Wanderer says:

    My apologies — comments 4 to 7 appeared while I was typing my contribution at 8, so my comments on MONROE are unjustified and out of date!

  10. PeeDee says:

    I still prefer “M ON ROE” to “M ON RO, E”. The latter seems a bit strained, RO isn’t a word and the surface reading doesn’t really make any sense. Using ‘on’ to mean ‘in’ seems not that bad, and roe is a word and the surface does make some sense.

    I have often wondered whether cryptic crossword clues are like poems, where there is no single ‘correct’ interpretation, or are they quizes where the setters intention is the definitive solution?

  11. PeeDee says:

    Please ignore that last post, I just realised that “Rome” is the clue, not “Monroe”.

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