Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times no.14,108 by REDSHANK

Posted by Ringo on September 13th, 2012

Ringo.

I’ve always liked redshanks, pretty and raucous little lakeshore potterers that they are, and I’m a big fan of Redshanks, too – and this minor masterpiece is one of his very best. I got off to a flying start before running into a thicket of intricate cluing, innovative mechanisms and double-jointed definitions. The attention to detail is superb.

ACROSS

1. ON EDGE  One + alternate (‘regular’) letters from DeGrEe

5. OXIDANTS  Sounds like occident [western nations] + s(ell)

9. PINCER  Anagram of nipper with p [pence, money] replaced with c [caught] and nipper doing double duty as both anagram fodder and definition

10. DOUBTFUL  tofu minus o [zero, duck] within doubl(e) [lookalike]

11. RAWLPLUG  Reversal of war [conflict] + anagram of pull + g [government]

12. DECANT  E [Ecstasy, drugs] within DC [District of Columbia, Washington] + ant [soldier]

13. STYE  Anagram of yest(erday)

15. PATHETIC  A the [indefinite and definite articles] + t [time] within pic [photo]

18. VENETIAN  Reversal of ten within anagram of naive

19. URGE  Hidden in coURGEtte (the definition is ‘egg on’)

21. HIJACK  Ac [account] within HIJK [successive letters of the alphabet]

23. IMPETIGO  I + anagram of MEP got I [one]

25. MARATHON  Ra(ce) within anagram of a month - a lovely &lit

26. EMBARK  B [British] within E [European] + mark [(former) currency]

27. WORLD WAR  Another ingenious &lit: l(an)d within reversal of raw [bitter] + row [dispute]

28. ELEVEN  Hidden in cancEL EVENt

DOWN

2. NAIRA  Air [broadcast] within reversal of an to give the Nigerian currency ['African settler']

3. DECOLLETE  Co [company, firm] + l [large] within delete [cancel] to (rather Paulishly) give a definition descriptive of a low-cut dress

4. EERILY  Reversal of ire within Ely [crossword setter's favourite bishopric, see]

5. OLD AGE PENSIONER  A rather odd &lit, but anyway, it’s an anagram of Ie a golden person

6. INUNDATE  Nun [sister] within I’d + ate [consumed]

7. AZTEC  Yet another &lit (possibly the best of the bunch): A [one] + anagram of Cortez minus or [gold]

8. TRUANTING  Anagram of Aunt within Tring [Hertfordshire town]

14. THE MIKADO  Anagram of mike had within to

16. EQUITABLE  Quit [stop] within anagram of albee

17. RICKSHAW  Anagram of (w)arwicksh(ire)

20. SPHERE  A bookie’s notice might announce: ‘S.P. [starting price] here

22. AVAIL  Sounds like a veil [a mask]

24. GORSE  Go [turn] + alternate letters of dReSsEd, with the definition (unusually) given as a homophone: furs sounds like furze [gorse]

8 Responses to “Financial Times no.14,108 by REDSHANK”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Ringo.

    I’ve nothing really to add to your praise for this superb puzzle. 7dn is stunningly good.

    Huge thanks, Redshank!

  2. rowland says:

    Good puzzle, astonishing to say but the FT now surpassing The Guardian in many areas? But I think you may be stoking the &lit debate, Ringo! To me, so just a personal opinion, the AZTEC one is probably closest, while I think, maybe, some might not go for ‘pursued’ as meaning ‘coming after’ in a cryptic or ‘down-directional’ (?) sense. Course if someone like a debt collector pursues me, they’re definitely seen as ‘coming after’ me!

    Well done Ringo and FT, someone’s got to kick The Guasrdian up the bum, cheers
    Rowly.

  3. aztobesed says:

    Thanks Ringo and Redshank.

    One of my favoutite setters, the clues fly at you from such varied directions – you really need to be on your toes. More than other setters, you get slight ‘double-duties’ (fairly) such as the pincer and Aztec clues which I find especially pleasing. I always forget that Redshank is Crucible in the Guardian but it soon comes back to me when he’s got me in the head-locks. Very entertaining.

  4. mike04 says:

    Thanks for an admirable blog, Ringo, and thanks for a fantastic puzzle, Redshank!

  5. flashling says:

    liked oxidants and the &lits, thanks Redshank and Ringo, great stuff.

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Crucible? Radian? Who are they?
    Well, they are very good setters, well appreciated by Guardian and Indy solvers.
    But I think, step by step Redshank has put them in the shade.

    What a marvellous crossword this was!
    No coincidence, because his previous one was brilliant too.

    Please no discussions on &Lits (because of reasons given by Picaroon in the abovementioned Guardian blog), but there were a few contenders indeed.
    Not just 7d (AZTEC) but also the great 25ac (MARATHON), for example.

    So many good clues that it’s hard for me to choose a Clue of the Day. If one would point the trigger at me, I would perhaps go for 19ac (URGE) in which a familiar device is in complete harmony with the surface.

    Chapeau Redshank!

    Many thanks to Ringo too.

    A crossword that deserves a lot more posts than submitted today, also a puzzle that was a Pangram!

  7. Paul B says:

    A (proper and genuine) discussion on anything would be welcome just now at 15^2, Sil.

  8. flashling says:

    Ooh PB, I’ve not seen much wrong really in the blogs (except the Guardian’s but I expect that), missed the pangram.

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