Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,057 – Dante

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on July 26th, 2012

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Jul 16

Another Dante Crossword written in his familiar style, although – just like in his previous puzzle – too many double definitions.  In the Down clues there were even three in a row! And we had a subtraction anagram (29ac) that might perhaps provoke some thoughts (again).

Definitions are, as always, underlined wherever possible or appropriate.


1 WATERLOO After a drink, game for battle!
    WATER (a drink) + LOO (game)
    My first thought here was: “a drink, “a gin” – it looks like it’s going to be Agincourt”. Clearly not!
5 METHOD Become acquainted with a brickcarrier’s way of working
    MET (become acquainted with) + HOD (a brick-carrier)
9 COMPLETE Perfect finish
    Double definition
10    POMPOM Cannon ball?
    Double definition
    POM-POM with hyphen is a piece of artillery, POMPOM without hyphen a wooly ball used for decoration.
12 EASED Facilitated return by stamped addressed envelope to editor
    Reversal of SAE (Stamped Adressed Envelope) + ED (editor)
13 TORMENTOR     Hill guide is a bully
    TOR (hill) + MENTOR (guide)
14 MODIFY Do recoil if included in my temper
    {OD (reversal of DO) + IF} inside MY
16 EJECTOR Sort of safe seat a highflier appreciates in difficulty
    Cryptic definition
19 CHELSEA Church lease runs out in London
    CH (church) + (LEASE)*
    Might be that some solvers find “in London” a bit insufficient for defining Chelsea.
21 BOTTLE Dutch courage?
    A mixture of plain and cryptic definition, perhaps
    “Bottle” is slang for courage, while someone with Dutch courage needs a bottle to show bravery.
23 ISOSCELES     In this form, two sides are perfectly matched
    Cryptic definition, referring to an isosceles triangle (one with two equal sides)
25 RURAL A game between two sides back in the country
    Reversal of A RU (game, ‘Rugby Union’) inside RL (two sides, Right and Left)
26 SECOND Back in a jiffy
    Double definition
27 AMENABLE     During stroll, girl is likely to be won over
    ENA (girl) inside AMBLE (stroll)
28    SCYTHE Terribly chesty, cut down the weed?
29 INDECENT Disenchanted, dash out upset, it’s lewd
    In the blog of a recent Redshank crossword (FT 14,055 – 13 July 2012) we had a very ‘lively’ discussion on subtraction anagrams. One of the issues was: do we always need two anagram indicators?  Now here we have a clue, in which the subtraction (minus ‘dash’) comes before the anagram (indicator: ‘upset’). In a situation like this, without a secondary anagram indicator, the letters of ‘dash’ should be deleted in the given order d,a,s,h. which is not the case here. So, in my opinion, there should ideally be one more anagrind.
1 WICKET Small gate with a keeper in attendance
    Double definition – in fact, ‘gate’ should be underlined twice
2 TOMBSTONE     Last monument in Arizona?
    Double definition
    If “in London” is fine for Chelsea, then “in Arizona” is fine too here. Where do you live? I live in (a) Tombstone …..
3 RULED Directedin a straight line?
    Double definition
4 OUTSTAY Dismissed, don’t go before a welcome, it displeases the host
    OUT (dismissed) + STAY (don’t go)
    The definition alluding to “to outstay one’s welcome”.
6 ELOPEMENT     Running away to join up?
    Cryptic definition
7 HOP IT Strike about work? Get away with you!
    HIT (strike) around OP (work, ‘opus’)
8 DEMERARA Sugar made with rare ingredients
    (MADE + RARE)*
11    BRAE Bank of Scotland
    Cryptic definition
    Well-known by now, “brae” is a Scottish word for riverbank.
15 IT’S A CINCH   What holds the saddle on a certainty?
    Double definition
    Two possible meanings of “cinch” are according to Chambers: a saddle girth and a certainty.
17 TOLERABLE     Fair distribution of beer to all
    (BEER TO ALL)*
18 ECLIPSES Cuts in the diocese set up blackouts
    CLIPS (cuts) inside EES (reversal of SEE (diocese))
20 ABLE Island uprising accomplished
    Reversal of ELBA (island)
    An overfamiliar clue that, unfortunately, might also lead to ‘Elba’ for the answer.
21 BEST MAN The perfect chap to be a match official
    BEST ((the) perfect) MAN (chap) – ‘match’ as in ‘wedding’ or the like, of course
22 CLIENT Customer’s right established in court
    LIEN (right) inside CT (court)
24 ORCZY Nothing to cry about, holding last letter of author of The Scarlet Pimpernel
    O (nothing) + {(CRY)*  around Z (last letter)}
25 RANGE Limits the area where cattle may graze
    Double definition

6 Responses to “Financial Times 14,057 – Dante”

  1. rowland says:

    Morning Sil. Re clue 29, I’ll have a stab at either IENCNTED or DIENCNTE being the answer! You can see what’s meant of course, but sticking with the logic sends you in a strange direction.

    Have to say I did not try this puzzle, but it seems a good one, and I enjoyed your blog very much.

    Best, Rowly.

  2. Paul B says:

    Doesn’t look like you’ve too many takers for today’s Subtraction Anagram Tournament, SvdH. I’ve been holding off all day, hoping, hoping, and polishing my lance.

  3. Bamberger says:

    I got stuck in the SW and failed on 18d,20d,24d and 26a. I had “its a” for 15d but couldn’t get cinch.
    Thanks for the blog

  4. JollySwagman says:

    @Sil re 29a – This is well enough trodden ground. I’m sure you know what Dante’s expectation was.

    “‘dash’ should be deleted in the given order d,a,s,h”

    remove D
    remove A
    remove S

    Since this method always works I personally find a second anagrind to be redundant but I can live with it, especially if it helps the surface.

    I don’t like too many DDs so I don’t often do Dante/Rufus, but this best of his wordplay clues would make a fine puzzle.

    But I rather like this clue. There could be a reading where “upset” jumbles “dash” and “lewd” is the main anagrind, doubling as the def – but maybe then you’d have him up on another charge.

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    JS, thanks for coming back to my Subtraction Anagram Tournament :).

    When I said “dash should be deleted in the given order d,a,s,h”, I meant that the letters d,a,s,h should be part of the original fodder in that order.
    Your interpretation of my words is a way to look at these, but not what I meant to say.
    And if you’re happy with it, fine.
    Many setters are too – some are not, though.

    Perhaps one should take a look at 10ac in today’s Monk (FT):
    “French school voluntarily pruning plant ruined by Vichy water (3,7)”
    That’s how it should be done, in my opinion. Monk’s spot on.

  6. JollySwagman says:

    @Sil #5 – I think we’ve changed wormcans there. LILY is already in order – OTOH it’s indirect and not entirely obvious, which I’m not a stickler against, but there are limits. Eg see Anax here:

    re the example:

    There’s no real presence in parental desire (4)

    Actually the original issue is discussed further up the same page, starting with “Setters and editors are split over what is and is not acceptable when it comes to a slightly different procedure – the subtraction anagram.”

    Well chosen words I think. What I was on about the other day was not wanting to debate what the “rules” should or shouldn’t be but just welcoming the appearance of this device at all – it gets talked about quite a bit but doesn’t appear all that often – although I’ve seen Dante/Rufus use it exactly as here at least once before.

    OTOH I don’t agree (same page) that “[editorial] preferences should be consistent within your chosen publication – if they are not, you have every right to complain!”. One of the great strengths of the Guardian, in particular, is that it has traditionally been a broad church and many different cluing styles are on offer.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

8 + four =