Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times N° 14,065 by Cinephile

Posted by PeterO on July 25th, 2012

PeterO.

Two fill-ins in a row give me Cinephiles. This one came with special instructions, that

A at the beginning of a clue always has the same meaning.

I came near panic hunting for an easy entry; the last of all, 21D finally came, and the SE corner followed, giving me the theme, that it is A for Astronomer. From there it was a push all the way to fill in the grid anticlockwise. There was nothing outlandish, but no write-ins either. There are some lovely clues (24 and 26A particularly tickled my fancy); altogether a finely crafted puzzle.

Across
1. To be a visitor, put down your name and ID (4,4)
CALL SIGN A charade of CALL (‘to be a visitor’) + SIGN (‘put down your name’).
5. Change second of three in Macbeth? (6)
SWITCH A charade of S (‘second’) + WITCH (‘three in Macbeth’).
9. Danger here – of hepatitis suggested? (4,4)
LIVE RAIL LIVER AIL (‘hepatitis suggested’).
10. Name of Welshman detailed by investigator (6)
PROBER On the strength of Rosie Probert from Under Milk Wood, I take it that PROBER[t] is ‘name of Welshman detailed’
11. Motorway part, southeast Italian (8)
MILANESE A charade of M1 LANE (‘motorway part’) + SE (‘southeastern’).
12. Very sad time with trashy paper in charge (6)
TRAGIC A charade of T (‘time’) + RAG (‘trashy paper’) + IC (‘in charge’).
14. A in theory Bach composed (5,5)
TYCHO BRAHE An anagram (‘composed’) of ‘theory Bach’.
18. A with money about to invest in the horses? (6,4)
MARTIN REES An envelope (‘to invest in’) of TIN (‘money’) + RE (‘about’) in MARES (‘horses’). Not the easiest of wordplays, for the current Astronomer Royal, of whom I had not heard. Not surprisingly, the SW corner was the last in for me.
22. Breakfast time to break fast with sad song (6)
LAMENT An envelope (‘to break’) of AM (‘breakfast time’, loosely) in LENT (‘fast’).
23. Spoil one in the set (8)
DENATURE An envelope (‘in’) of A (‘one’) in DENTURE (‘set’ of teeth).
24. Books in pleasant spot (6)
NOTICE An envelope (‘in’) of OT (Old Testament ‘books’) in NICE (‘pleasant’).
25. Political economist first with lawyers to create some pressure (8)
MILLIBAR A charade of MILL (‘political economist'; most probably John Stuart, but it could also be his father James) + I (‘first’) + BAR (‘lawyers’).
26. A stink about record being returned (6)
KEPLER An envelope (‘about’) of LP (‘record’) in REEK (‘stink’); all reversed (‘being returned’).
27. Synthetic material not for fat boy, say? (8)
TERYLENE A homophone (‘say’) of TERRY LEAN (‘not for fat boy’).
Down
1. Pillar in paper (6)
COLUMN Double definition.
2. A revolutionary force for students (6)
LOVELL A charade of LOVE (makes the world go round, ‘revolutionary force’) + LL (‘students’).
3. Leap year’s beginning? (6)
SPRING Double definition.
4. Verbal opposition to succeed with detective story writer (10)
GAINSAYERS A charade of GAIN (‘succeed’) + SAYERS (Dorothy L, ‘detective story writer’).
6. Military doctor gets medal for clothing (8)
WARDROBE A charade of WAR (‘military’, loosely) + DR (‘doctor’) + OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire, ‘medal’).
7. Slider puts old coat round standard on pole (8)
TOBOGGAN An envelope (‘puts … round’) of BOG (‘standard’) in TOGA (‘old coat’) + N (‘pole’).
8. A lady’s at sea in London (8)
HERSCHEL A charade of HERS (‘lady’s’) + CHEL[sea] (‘in London’).
13. Revolutionary oriental Jew that eats dairy produce (6,4)
CHEESE MITE A charade of CHE (‘revolutionary’) + E (‘oriental’) + SEMITE (‘Jew’, loosely).
15. Effect of fire largely over glass in Russian city (8)
SMOLENSK An envelope (‘over’) of LENS (‘glass’) in SMOK[e] (‘effect of fire largely’).
16. Drug chic up here to catch car (4,4)
TRAM STOP A reversal (‘up’ in a down clue) of POT (‘drug’) + SMART (‘chic’).
17. Top 50 in boat (8)
PINNACLE An envelope (‘in’) of L (Roman numeral, ’50’) in PINNACE (‘boat’).
19. A year’s opening under orchestra (6)
HALLEY A charade of HALLÉ (‘orchestra’) + Y (‘Years opening’).
20. A centre of revolution with some bleeding (6)
HUBBLE A charade of HUB (‘centre of revolution’) + BLE (‘some BLEeding’).
21. Edict of French and native American (6)
DECREE A charade of DE (‘of French’) + CREE (‘native American’).

4 Responses to “Financial Times N° 14,065 by Cinephile”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many Thanks PeterO and Cinephile this was VERY enjoyable even though I had to Google for Astronomers’ Names after solving 21d HUBBLE.

    Much tougher than the usual Cinephile but none the worse for that.

    But has anyone (apart from his mother) ever heard of Tycho Brahe?

    And he certainly had the silliest moustache ever:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tycho_Brahe

  2. PeterO says:

    Bryan

    I was late getting to the blog, so had not looked up Tycho Brahe; thanks for posting the link. It is quite a tache, isn’t it? It kind of reminds me of Rowan Atkinson with pencils up his nose in Black Adder goes Forth.
    And, as you may see from the article accompanying the moustache, some people other than his mother have heard of him – he is an important figure in the development of modern astronomy. As icing on the cake, Cinephile manages to come up with a great anagram for him.

    Wot no Copernicus?

  3. jmac says:

    This was tougher than I had expected, but great fun. Thanks for explaining 10 ac – it had to be but I had no idea why.

    The Tycho Brahe thing I suppose just depends on what your interests are. As one of the greatest of the early modern astronomers he easily holds his own (cosmologically speaking) in comparison with the other star-gazers in this puzzle.

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, PeterO, I too thought this to be a very fine Cinephile.
    Just like you, 21d (DECREE) was my first entry but, unfortunately, it didn’t open up that quarter of the puzzle (talking about grids …..).

    My Astronomer no 1 was MARTIN REES (18ac), although, at that point, I didn’t have a clue who he was. After KEPLER (26ac) followed the penny dropped.
    14ac was clearly an anagram and as the name of TYCHO BRAHE is quite familiar to me, the ball started to roll faster and faster.
    When at University, I did study astronomy for a year or so, but I must say I don’t know much about it anymore.

    The Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe died in Prague in 1601. I’ve been quite a few to this beautiful city and so I happen to know that there’s a plaque dedicated to him in the Tyn Chruch which dominates the central city square.
    It’s perhaps interesting to read that there are some mysteries surrounding his death. Only two years ago they opened his grave again (and that of his wife) to get more insight what had happened: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tycho_Brahe

    Lots of good clues, 9ac (LIVE RAIL), 11ac (MILANESE) and WARDROBE (6d) among the very best. Not so keen on TERYLENE (27ac), because of the order of the two components.

    As you say, Peter, hardly any write-ins.
    Good puzzle!

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