Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,045 – Dante

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on July 12th, 2012

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Jul 2

First of all, many many thanks to Flashling who was so kind to blog all four of the June Monday Prize Crosswords. It must have been hard to adjust to the level as he is more a champion of Nestor, Anax, Bannsider, Dac and the like. When this blog appears, I am perhaps (who knows, not me) on the way back to the UK after kind of camping in my Utrecht property for several weeks. If so, how nice to be back with a Dante.

I felt this was a rather different kind of Dante.  There was only one (!!) full anagram, but to compensate that, Mr Squires gave us 8.5 double definitions (on a total of 29 clues). Not sure whether I have seen that before. There were also three very nice clues that some might call a partial &Lit, one of these being my CoD (3d).  

Definitions are underlined wherever possible/appropriate. 


1 MAKE-DO     Manage somehow to produce and act at the same time
    MAKE (to produce) + DO (act)
    Bit of a wordy clue to start with.
4 VICTIM Prey of little boys
    VIC and TIM (two little boys)
8 ANDIRON Article on Rodin’s mongrel dog
    AN (article) + (RODIN)*
9 SCREEDS They smoothly finish off pieces of writing
    Double definition
    Initially I had here ‘accents’. They might be seen as ‘the finishing touch to something, to highlight it’ and one can see them as ‘pieces of writing’, but the clash with 7d made me change my mind.
11   BOOTLEGGER     One operating still as a pirate
    Cryptic, perhaps double definition
    ‘Still’ meaning ‘a distillery’, therefore ‘one operating still as a pirate’ is somebody who really likes his own brand of whisky and rye. The word ‘bootleg’ reminds me of all those unofficial LPs that were around in the 70s: something that some call ‘piracy’ nowadays. Therefore, for me, a hint of a double definition.
12 TOTE Child has a point to convey
    TOT (child) + E (a point, East)
13 CIRCA It’s about time
    Cryptic definition
    What happened c 1753, happened ‘circa’ 1753, which is ‘about’ 1753 on a ‘time’ scale.
14 OBSERVED Said to be celebrated
    Double definition
    (1) She observed (mentioned, said) that the last line in the explanation of 15d is not on, and (2) We observed (celebrated) Yom Kippur – didn’t we?
16 EMPLOYED     Used to be in a job
    Double definition
18   CREAM Pack a quarter in of the very best
    CRAM (pack) with E (a quarter, East (again!)) inside
20 SMUG Sticks around, looking complacent
    Reversal of GUMS (sticks)
21   PEACE TERMS    Postwar conditions?
    Cryptic definition, with Dante playing on two kinds of ‘conditions’
23 BELTS UP Keeps quiet, like a sensible motorist does
    Double definition
24 SCRATCH Slight wound is no handicap
    Double definition
    The second definition refers to Golf.
25 THEBES Almost the finest of ancient cities
    Almost THE BEST (the finest), hence minus the final T
    One of three clues (the others being 3d and 17d) in which the clue as a whole is meant to be the definition.
26   SWEETS Ways to get round little children’s demands
    STS (streets) around WEE (little)
    Street = ST, so Streets = STS.  Nice definition, well embedded in the surface.
1 MANGO Fruit gives chap vitality
    MAN (chap) + GO (vitality)
2   KNITTER One joining in needlework
    Knitted double definition, a KNITTER does ‘needlework’ but may also be someone who ‘joins’
3 DROMEDARY     One of the odder army varieties of transport
    Like in 25ac and 17d, the clue as a whole is the definition. Because, as in the other ones, the constructional part is restricted to just a part of the whole, we cannot call this an &Lit, I fear. But a great one it is – my Clue of the Day!
5 INCUR Risk having a dog at home
    A dog (CUR) at home (IN) is an IN-CUR
6 TWEETER Loudspeaker for one sending message?
    Double definition (I think, I wouldn’t have put a question mark at the end, but it’s not in the way either)
7   MIDSTREAM Where currency is equally divided
    Cryptic definition
    Apart from money that circulates, currency can also be seen as circulation in general. Streams of money?
10   A GOOD DEAL    Something much appreciated by card-players?
    Double definition
13 CAMEMBERT     One in the club has whip-round for cheese
    MEMBER (one in a club) with CAT (whip) going around
15   SACRED COW     Counterpart of a Papal Bull that’s above criticism?
    Cryptic construction: a Papal Bull might be seen in the same meadow as a Sacred Cow, so beware of Holy S**t  (idea for a clue?)
17 LEGATEE He took in, in wild glee, what was left
    ATE (took in) inside (GLEE)*
    The clue as a whole is the definition – nice!  But I must also admit that, if this were my clue, I would feel uncomfortable with it (because I do not like ‘double duty’ as is the case here with ‘took in’).
19 ELEVATE Cheer for most of the players at end of game
    ELEV[en] (most of the players, the team) + AT + [gam]E
21 PRUNE Victoria, perhaps, when old and wrinkled?
    Victoria is an example of a plum, and when a plum is old and wrinkled one gets a dried plum, a PRUNE
22   MOCKS Ridicules exams
    Double definition

8 Responses to “Financial Times 14,045 – Dante”

  1. flashling says:

    No problem Sil, at least Io/Nimrod/Enigmatist didn’t appear in your absence.

  2. Bamberger says:

    I couldn’t get 8a even with ?n?i?o?. If you put together three words for types of dogs of which one was made up, I’d go for andiron. Never heard of the breed.

  3. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Don’t worry, Bamberger, I didn’t know the breed either.
    Got it purely from the construction after which I checked it in Chambers Crossword Dictionary.
    It looks like a typical crossword word as it is also AND+IRON – it must have been used that way a lot of times before, I guess.

  4. flashling says:

    Wasn’t totally happy with andiron being dog when it’s part of an open fire that logs burn on, an IRONDOG, rather trickier than you usually get with Dante / Rufus

  5. Rishi says:

    @flashling #4

    Is the andiron also called ‘irondog’?

    I thought it was called ‘firedog’. Chambers has this term but not ‘irondog’.

    That dictionary gives the meaning ‘andiron’ for just the term ‘dog’ as well.

  6. John Newman says:

    Thanks Sil.

    I didn’t get the construction for Camambert. Andiron had me stuck for a long time because it is not a breed of dog but the iron construction looks like a dog and is so called.

    I have problems with two clues. 14A Observed. Don’t like SAID as a simile. I think Dante made a mistake. His clue should read “Seen to be celebrated”. And 7D. Presumably he is using currency as a noun the same as current. Which it is not.

  7. Sil van den Hoek says:

    John, I wasn’t happy with 14ac and 7d either.
    In my blog I have tried to justify ‘said’=’observed’ with a dictionary at hand, but of course ‘seen’ would have been the obvious choice.
    Re currency/current: this felt wrong (too). Therefore I had to give it a little twist. ‘Currency’ can be ‘circulation’, and ‘circulation’ perhaps be ‘stream’ (think air), although that doesn’t make ‘currency’ equal enough to ‘stream’, does it?

    ps, forget about my post@3 – ‘andiron’ a breed of dog ….. ?? :)

  8. flashling says:

    oops I meant to type firedog – sorry about that.

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