Posted by Pete Maclean on June 28th, 2012
Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of June 16, 2012
I found this puzzle a bit disconcerting. It has a few good clues, such as 17D (PANDA CAR) and 16D (NONENTITY), but also has one that I did not fully understand (27A) and a couple that I have doubts about (12A and 29A).
1. PARAGUAY – PARA (soldier) + A (American) in GUY (oddly dressed figure)
5. SPEARS – E (English) in SPARS (boxes)
10. MEDAL – D[iners] in MEAL (dinner, perhaps)
11. BAGATELLE – GATE (wicket) in BALL (delivery) + [leagu]E
12. CHAMELEON – double or cryptic definition?? While it is eminently solvable, I cannot decide how this clue is intended to work. Is it a cryptic definition or a double definition? I cannot convince myself that it fits the mold of a cryptic definition. But if taken as a double definition then the two meanings defined seem inappropriately close. Well, not in the sense that they mean the same thing but in the sense that one derives directly from the other.
13. UPSET – UP (leading) + SET (group)
14. UPSHOT – UP (increased) + SHOT (exposure)
15. ALMONER – M (miles) in ALONE (unaccompanied) + R (runs)
18. ANTENNA – ANT (social worker) + ANNE (girl) backwards
20. CORONA – COR (cor) + ON (playing) + A[nglais]
22. DRESS – double definition
24. BULLFINCH – double definition. Bullfinch can mean a kind of hedge?! It is news to me but, yes indeed, according to Chambers. In particular it is a high hedge that is hard to jump.
25. COCK-A-HOOP – COCK (friend) + A (a) + HOOP (band)
26. ALIVE – A (a) + EVIL (bad) backwards
27. RELIEF – LIE (story?) in REF (whistle blower). Only I did not see this properly initially and was looking at ELI as the story!
29. BOSS-EYED – BOSS (chief) + EY (old article?) + ED (editor). ‘Ey’ is very obscure. My OED says only that it is an obsolete form of egg and ay. It gives ‘ay’ several meanings but none that I can easily see as being an article.
1. PUMICE – reverse hidden word
2. RED CARPET – REDCAR (seaside town) + PET (dog, perhaps)
3. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – cryptic definition. I don’t see that this works well. A golden handshake is what one may receive upon leaving work, in the sense of retiring, but I do not see that it indicates a readiness to do so. But see comment #2 below!
4. AMBIENT – AM (morning) + I (one) in BENT (determined)
6. PUT OUT MORE FLAGS – PUT OUT (published) + MORE (again) + FLAGS (fails). Put Out More Flags is a novel by Evelyn Waugh. Which I did not know!
7. ATLAS – AT LAS[t] (finally reduced)
8. SEES STARS – double definition
9. AGENDA – GEN (information) in ADA (girl)
16. NONENTITY – anagram of NINETY NOT
17. PANDA CAR – cryptic definition
19. ALBION – double definition
20. CALYPSO – CAL[l] (nearly phone) + SPY (agent) backwards + O (love)
21. SHREWD – SHREW (vixen) + [fol]D
23. EXCEL – homophone (“XL”)