Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,071 by Monk

Posted by PeeDee on August 1st, 2012

PeeDee.

A difficult but very rewarding puzzle.  Monk at his best.

I really enjoyed this, a good stiff challenge.  I did go astray a couple of times.  Having spotted X, Y and Z  etc in the grid I decided this was going to be a pangram and wasted a lot of time time trying trying to get Q and J to fit into the remaining solutions.  I was also sure 2dn would be an &lit.  I wonder if these were deliberate from Monk to trick us?

Notwithstanding me being the world’s worst person at spotting Ninas, I have finally managed to see one – SUPERMAN written down the right hand side of the grid.  Hurrah!  I wonder if Monk has also included something else in here too?

I am still puzzled about 22 across, any help appreciated.

Thank you Monk.

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

Across
1 MAGNUM OPUS MAGNUM (two 75cl bottles worth) O (of) SUP (drink) reversed (knocked back)
7 LEAS SALE* – a lea is a meadow, in which flowers may be found
9 XMAS SAM (a fellow) X (a cross) reversed (about)
10 ART NOUVEAU VOULNTARILY* (ruined=anagram) missing LILY (plant) then EAU (water in French, at Vichy for example)
11 YONDER contrarY tO expectatioN turneD thE corneR (at last=last letters of) – definition is ‘that one’
12 RYDER CUP RYDER sounds like (announced) “rider” (jockey) by (next to) CUP (half a bra, a lone supporter) – I think ‘cup’, though both clever and amusing, is going a little too far. It is a bit of a crossword in joke, not guessable unless you know that supporter=bra in crossword land.
13 ZEPPELIN PP (by proxy) getting ELI (high priest) in ZEN (branch of Buddhism) – Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, founder of the Zeppelin airship company.
15 OCHE ricOCHEt – the line from which darts are thrown, i.e. “darts away from this”
17 PACT sounds like “packed” (in the bag)
19 THRILLER anagram (shot) of HITLER R and L (both hands)
22 TABULATE LATE (dead) placed on TABU (forbidden) – definition is ‘altar frontal’. I can’t figure out the definition here, Chambers gives tabula as altar frontal, not tabulate.
23 NAPALM baNAna (middle letters) PALM (tree)
25 LOCH LOMOND cryptic definition – reference to the chorus of the famous Scottish song:

O you’ll take the high road, and I’ll take the low road
And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye
For me and my true love will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.
 
26 OKRA part of dARK Orange reversed (round)
27 KATA Knew All These Answers (originally=first letters)
28 SOFT SPOKEN anagrm of STEPSON F (fine) working=anagram, outside (without) OK approval – definition is ‘affable’
Down
2 ARMHOLE cryptic definition – a cock-up when trying to put a jumper on, for example. I wondered if there might be some fiendish &lit in here somewhere, but I can’t see it.
3 NOSED DES (Desmond, a chap) ON (leg side, cricket) reversed (over)
4 MEAGRELY MEG (girl) outside (without) A then RELY (bank)
5 PETER AND THE WOLF PETER (safe) with AN (one) D (duke) (WHO LEFT)* unexpectedly=anagram – composition by Sergei Prokofiev

6
SHODDY ODD (rum) that has SHY (lacking) containing it (bottling) – definition is ‘inferior’
7 LIVERPOOL LIVER (one who lives, exists) POOL (to accululate) – definition is ‘port’
8 AT A PUSH TA (Territorial Army, volunteers) PUSH (advance) underneath (to the south of, on a map) A (area)

14
PETRUSHKA RUSH (euphoric feeling) in KEPT* (cast=anagram) before A

16
GRENADES GRENADinE’S (pomegranate syrup’s) missing IN – definition is ‘pineapples’

18
AMAZONA AMAZONs (most of strong women) A (are, metric measure) – a genus of parrots

20
ENLARGE GENERAL* anagram=ground – definition is ‘swell’
21 FAROES FOES containing (capturing) A (area) and AdmiRalty (centre of) – definition is ‘islands’
24 PROMO PRO (for) a MO (moment, a little while) – definition is ‘small plug’, small=abbreviated

*anagram

8 Responses to “Financial Times 14,071 by Monk”

  1. Rishi says:

    Chambers has “‘tabulate’ adj ‘having tabulae'” ['tabulae' being pl. of 'tabula']

    Whether the adjectival form is properly indicated or not by the def given in the clue is a different matter. I won’t go into that.

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks PeeDee for an excellent blog of an equally excellent crossword.
    I fear I cannot help you with TABULATE, but perhaps others can. And in case there is, as it looks to me, something missing here, Monk will probably turn up himself today.

    For once, I did spot the Nina on the right.
    Then I looked to the left, only to find there was nothing there (apart from XYZ).

    Thank you for explaining 2d and 9ac which defeated me.

    On the whole a very satisfying puzzle!

  3. rowland says:

    Managed about half of this before setting aside for later, but the clues I solved were, if complex, really solid and well-wrought, I think. LOMOND was a favourite, evoking the old song that brings back memories of happy times for me!

    Many thanks
    Rowly.

  4. Wanderer says:

    Improbable though it may seem, the string of letters down the left perimeter is indeed part of the Nina. See here:

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

    Many thanks to Monk and PeeDee

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, Wanderer, that’s quite unbelievable (but true it is)!

  6. PeeDee says:

    Thanks Wanderer, I knew there must be more to it.

  7. flashling says:

    Well you live and learn, I’d never have guessed that was a nina, but suspected something to match superman, suprt tough puzzle to thanks Monk & PD

  8. Monk says:

    Many thanks to PeeDee for super blog and to all for +ve comments.

    PeeDee, Rishi #1 and Sil #2: it would be remiss of me not to apologise for my error (there, it’s writ large) at 22a. Indeed, Chambers has tabulate = with tabluae, so the definition should have at least indicated with altar frontal(s), rather than simply altar frontal, which would have demanded a different clue. I think this is one of those (thankfully very) rare mistakes induced by a final pre-submission clue polish. “Shall I prepare the guest room for Mr. Cockup, my lord?”

    As a childhood reader of DC comics, (Mr) Mxyzptlk was well known to me. But I paired him with Superman in the nina (Nina?) because his “xyz” jumped out in a Tea search, and this very chain appears to have caused the intended red herring today. “So that’s all good.”

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