Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,063 – Crux

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on August 2nd, 2012

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Jul 13

Another elegantly clued puzzle by Crux which, in case one still wants to give it a go, can be found here.  While there was nothing too difficult, I really made a mess of the NE by making no less than 4 (four!) mistakes to which I will refer in the blog below.

As always, definitions are underlined whenever possible and/or appropriate.

 

Across
1 UPSTAGE Model puts many years in to steal the show
    (PUTS)* + AGE (many years)
     
5 ONE-STOP Single person’s favourite kind of convenience store
    ONE’S (person’s) + TOP (favourite)
    My Mistake No 1: ONE + STAR (as my favourite), thinking of a grading system of hotels, restaurants and perhaps stores?
     
9 TIARA Headdress, one buried in Ireland’s royal site
    I (one) inside TARA (Ireland’s royal site)
    See: Hill of Tara.
     
10 AUTHORESS     Christie possibly organised shareouts
    (SHARE-OUTS)*
    My Mistake No 2: ARTSHOUSE as an anagram of ‘shareouts’, referring to the famous auctioneers. The Christie intended, however, was Agatha.
     
11    INELEGANT Line breaks down, say, worker being clumsy
    (LINE)* + EG (say) + ANT (worker)
     
12 INTRO Italian leader leaves to present musical opening
    INTRODUCE (to present) minus DUCE (Italian leader, more specifically Mussolini)
     
13 THYME Season, we hear, for seasoning
    Homophone of TIME(season)
     
15 ENGENDERS     Leads to sex in various quarters
    GENDER (sex) inside E,N,S (various quarters, East North South)
    My Mistake No 3: I was so focused on an anagram (indicator: various) of ‘to sex in’ that I thought it might give me, together with some quarters (E, N): EXTENSION – think: extension leads.
     
18 PHEASANTS     Game that’s hard, which country folk accept
    H (hard) inside PEASANTS (country folk)
     
19 LAIRS Places to hide from penniless landlords
    LAIRDS (landlords) without D (penny)
     
21 SOAVE Husband admits love for Italian wine
    SAVE (husband, as a verb) around O (love)
     
23    SMELLIEST High as can be and still seem stupid!
    (STILL SEEM)*
     
25 ABUNDANCE     A knees-up with cake eaten in plenty
    A DANCE (a knees-up) around BUN (cake)
     
26    VITAL Key WW2 missile the army lacked, initially
    VI (WW2 missile, a V1) + T[he] A[rmy] L[acked]
    The last bit might also be seen as TA ((the) army, Territorial Army) + L[acked], but I prefer the one above (because of ‘the’).
     
27 EYEBROW Intellectual, says 14, with facial hair
    Homophone of HIGHBROW (intellectual) with the H swallowed as an Eastender (14d, a Cockney) would do
     
28 SPRAYER Travellers about to catch fish with type of gun
    Reversal of REPS (travellers, salesmen) around RAY (fish)
    SPRAYER = spray gun : not that dangerous.
     
Down    
1 UNTWIST A French orphan is free of entanglements
    UN (a, in French) + TWIST (orphan, Oliver Twist)
     
2 SPARE TYRE     Unwanted fat found in rolls we’re told
    Double definition with a cryptic part perhaps?
    The first bit is clear, but I am unsure about “we’re told” bit. I saw ‘rolls’ as fat rolls and also as as Rolls (spare tyres in cars) although it should ideally be capitalised then. Could be that “we’re told” is there to distinguish ‘rolls’ from ‘Rolls’.
     
3 ABATE Relax in a club, mid-September
    A + BAT (club) + [sept]E[mber]
     
4 EL ALAMEIN     A name I’ll confuse with English battle
    (A NAME I’LL + E (English))*
    My Mistake No 4: (an avoidable one) writing EL ALAMEIN as EL ALAMAIN, hence A as the starting letter for 15ac [indeed Bryan @4, not 10ac] (which it clearly wasn’t).
     
5 OCTET Group extremely eloquent after a month
    E[loquen]T following OCT (a month, October)
     
6     EMOTIONAL Dramatic eastern proposal the French rejected
    E (Eastern) + MOTION (proposal) + AL (reversal of LA (the, in French))
     
7 THEFT Crime you have in hand!
    Plain definition with a cryptic element
     
8 PISTOLS Pilots trained on top secret weapons
    (PILOTS)* + S[ecret]
     
14    EASTENDER Cockney festival about to finish
    EASTER (festival) around END (to finish)
     
16 GAS METERS    They may well be read below stairs
    Cryptic definition
     
17 EVIDENTLY Pit in live broadcast closes in year, it seems
    DENT (pit) inside (LIVE)* + Y (year)
    I had to think a bit about ‘closes in years’ but it’s all right, I guess: the first part of the clue ‘ends in/with Y’.
     
18 POSTAGE It could be first-class when Gestapo gets involved
    (GESTAPO)*
     
20 SETTLER Pioneer Crux eg takes control, finally
    SETTER (Crux eg) around [contro]L
     
22 ACUTE A charming accent
    A + CUTE (charming)
     
23 SINEW It indicates strength in exotic wines
    (WINES)*
     
24 LOVER Romeo (or Juliet) left for dead in port
    DOVER (port) with L (left) replacing D (dead)
    Nice device and, er, nice surface, even if I have seen ‘left for dead’ before.
     
     

7 Responses to “Financial Times 14,063 – Crux”

  1. flashling says:

    Hi Sil, Arthouse, ouch, that’s really unlucky and unlike some setters can’t believe Crux realised or intended two viable answers here.

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    As you say, flashling, ARTHOUSE (which is a cinema) – not ARTSHOUSE. So it was wrong anyway.
    Still, my idea was not that silly: see eg http://www.artshouse.co.uk

  3. Rishi says:

    Granting that some of our early hazards at answers might be tentatives -

    if the setter had the auctioneers in mind, the first word in the clue would have been Christie’s, not Christie.

  4. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Sil and Crux

    Silly Me (Yes a pun is intended), I couldn’t spell EL ALAMEIN correctly either!

    I had it as El Alamain which then screwed me up for 15a.

  5. Bamberger says:

    Failed on 6d,12a,15a,17d& 28a. No particular reasons -just too good for me.

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Rishi @3, I do not feel any need to justify ARTSHOUSE or ARTHOUSES. That early entry was purely My Mistake, and – as I read between your lines – Crux himself has really nothing to do with it.
    That said, personally, I find it a kind of “interesting” mistake, just like 15ac.

    By the way, anyone out there who can say more about 2d?

  7. jmac says:

    Hi Sil,

    I took 2dn as a double definition: Spare tyre being both a car tyre and spreading waist; rolls (of fat)& Rolls (the car) both being pronounced the same, hence “we’re told”.

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