Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 14,098 by Cincinnus

Posted by Pete Maclean on September 13th, 2012

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of September 1, 2012

Ah, what a lovely puzzle! Plaudits for 12A (LA MER), 18A (EXTRACTOR FAN), 24A (LA SCALA) and 9D (TRANSFORMATION). Slight, tentative quibble about 1D (PEDALO).

Across
1. PARLANCE – PAR (standard) + LANCE (equipment for a tourney)
5. LAPSED – anagram of PLEADS
10. DODGSON – DODG[e]S (lacking energy avoids) + ON (working). Lewis Carroll was the pen name of Charles Dodgson.
11. RESERVE – double definition
12. LA MER – double/cryptic definition. That is ‘Nice view’ as in ‘view from Nice’.
13. EINSTEINS – EINS (German ones) + T (time) + EINS (more German ones)
14. CLOSE-FITTING – SEAL (close) + FITTING (apt)
18. EXTRACTOR FAN – EX-TRACTOR FAN (one who used to like farm vehicles)
21. CREAM SODA – REAM (plenty of paper) in CODA (passage)
23. OMAGH – O (old) + MAG (publication) + [punc]H
24. LA SCALA – anagram of CALLAS. This clue may seem an obvious one for LA SCALA but I wonder if I would have spotted it. Others might well have but Cincinnus, I fancy, could hardly miss it.
25. ISTHMUS – IS (is) + M[alin] in THUS (like this)
26. SEDATE – double definition
27. ANNOUNCE – ANN (girl) + OUNCE (cat)

Down
1. PEDALO – P[eopl]E + O LAD (old boy) backwards. I think that using ‘people on vacation’ to indicate that PEOPLE should be vacated is very clever but I am not sure that I like it.
2. RADOME – AD (notice) in ROME (capital)
3. AUSTRALIA – A (a) + L (half-century) in AUSTRIA (another country). Would this clue be better written as “Test match player …” instead of ‘players’?
4. CONVERSATIONAL – anagram of LONERS VACATION
6. ASSET – A (a) + S (small) + SET (rig)
7. SARDINIA – anagram of AIDS IRAN
8. DRESSAGE – DRESS (groom) + AGE (time)
9. TRANSFORMATION – anagram of FOR ASTON MARTIN and &lit. What a great find! I contend that this is a fine clue although it might also be considered slightly awkward. If one takes it as not an &lit. then ‘change’ has to do double duty (as definition and anagram indicator) which is not considered good form. If one does take it as an &lit., as I think we should, then the definition seems a bit over-specific, but workable.
15. TEA FOR TWO – double/cryptic definition
16. HERCULES – HERCULE (Poirot) + S (‘s)
17. STRESSED – DESSERTS (fools, perhaps) backwards
19. CARMEN – CAR (Austin) + MEN (Morris). How does ‘Morris’ clue men? Does this refer to Morris dancers?
20. CHASTE – CHAS (Charles) + [stuar]T [fugitiv]E
22. MEANT – N (nitrogen) in MEAT (food)

9 Responses to “Financial Times 14,098 by Cincinnus”

  1. dreadnought says:

    Yes I enjoyed this too, especially the Aston Martin fodder.

    19d: I think both Austin and Morris are both cars and both men, so ‘carmen’ works OK.

    Thanks for blog.

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Pete & Cincinnus.

    I opted for PEDALO @ 1d but left a note for myself: ‘Is 1d Correct?’

    It was and now that I know why maybe I will be able to sleep again at nights?

    And here’s a link for William Morris otherwise Lord Nuffield:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Morris,_1st_Viscount_Nuffield

  3. John Newman says:

    Thanks Pete and Cincinnus for yet another excellent puzzle.
    I can’t resist putting in my bit as an Australian to say that 3D is in error. It should definitely read PLAYER. I don’t recall ever seeing Cincinnus make a mistake before so it is a huge surprise. Australia is a singular noun so takes the third person singular conjugation of the verb “to be” which in turn must take a singular object.
    Interestingly, in my work my country is always being muddled with Austria so I should have solved this clue immediately but sadly must confess to taking a little while.

  4. Bamberger says:

    I couldn;t get 1d,2d & 10a which were all interlinked. Also failed on 17d even with ?t?e?s?d.

    I’m ok with Australia . The test match players (ie those playing in a test match) make up Australia.

    I’m afraid I don’t follow the point being made in “Australia is a singular noun so takes the third person singular conjugation of the verb “to be” which in turn must take a singular object.” Sorry.

  5. Pete Maclean says:

    Ah, yes, interpreting 19D as Austin and Morris being both cars and men is better. Thank you, dreadnought. By the way, I once owned a car that was one of the two — and I cannot remember which!

    I think we will have to agree to disagree about 3D. Americans find expressions such as “Australia play test cricket” to be odd and consider them wrong. But I believe that Brits use such constructions commonly and consider them to be fine.

  6. Bamberger says:

    I can’t imagine a commentator saying “Australia is 20 for 4″ they would always say “Australia are 20 for 4″ . Mind you I think Australians would say 4 (wickets down ) for 20 runs.

  7. Wil Ransome says:

    Lovely crossword as always from Cincinnus. I was a bit thrown by writing in SIMPLE for 26ac: it could be the answer, couldn’t it? There were not at that stage any checkers so it went straight in.

  8. Pete Maclean says:

    Wil, I cannot say that I see SIMPLE as fitting 26ac.

  9. Wil Ransome says:

    Well one of the senses of ‘simple’ given in Chambers is ‘a medicine having only one constituent’, and at a stretch simple = unexciting, not really the same but possibly their meanings overlap.

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