Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,105 – Dante

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on September 20th, 2012

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Sep 10

Pleasant Dante crossword that didn’t cause me too much trouble (although I had to make my brains work to fully understand 26ac). Smooth as ever, even if there were some link words (on/by) that I personally would have tried to avoid.  Even so, many thanks again to Dante!

Definitions are underlined wherever possible and/or appropriate.


1    STRIDE A quarter tried changing step
    S (a quarter, South) + (TRIED)*
4 AVAILS Is of use when a number set sail
    A + V (number, 5) + (SAIL)*
8 BIG GAME Important match for the Lions?
    Double definition
    For me lions aren’t (or shouldn’t be) game, for others they really are!
9 SMASHED University people housed in outhouse, being broke
    MAS (university people, plural of MA (Master of Arts)) inside SHED (outhouse)
11   SEAMSTRESS     Sewer joint takes strain
    SEAM (joint) + STRESS (strain)
12 RUTH She is followed by Samuel, pity!
    Double definition
    In the old Testament the Book of Ruth is followed by the first Book of Samuel.
13 FUNDS Ready money?
    Cryptic definition, although not that cryptic
14 CATARACT Fall that impairs vision
    Double definition
16 BLUDGEON Doctor bound leg – supplied stick
    (BOUND LEG)*
    Nice surface for a word that I only know from crosswords.
18 CRAZE Make cracks on passing fashion
    Double definition
20 VETO Vote cast by objector?
21 STRONGHOLD     Keep product of long and short division to start with
    (LONG + SHORT + D[ivision])*
23 POSSESS Have the police unit gone to the ship?
    POSSE (the police unit) + SS (the ship, steamship)
24 SCREW UP Bungle a pay-rise?
    Double definition
25 DANGLE     Hang about as a number fish
    D (a number, 500) + ANGLE (fish)
26   PLIERS Tool for taxi-drivers, say
    Double definition
    Pliers is a tool (as a plural noun), and taxi-drivers are an example of people plying a trade – I guess, that’s it.
1 SUITE Music rooms?
    Double definition
2 REGIMEN Troops didn’t finish the course
    REGIMENT (troops) without the final letter T
3 DEMITASSE     Missed tea, perhaps, will take coffee
5 VAMPS Improvises with 5-amps fuse
    V (five) + AMPS
6 INSURER He takes risks when another takes cover
    Cryptic definition
7 SPECTACLE In some respect, a clever presentation
    Hidden solution:   [re]SPECT A CLE[ver]
10 MERCENARY     Bent on making money from an upturn in silks?
    AN (reversal of AN) inside MERCERY (silks, for example (hence the question mark))
13 FALSEHOOD Counterfeit cover for a lie
    FALSE (counterfeit) + HOOD (cover)
15 TECHNICAL Catch line, unravel using a specialised skill
17 DROPS IN Calls to urge reform on an evildoer?
    DROP SIN ((a call) to urge reform on an evildoer)
    Perhaps, my Clue of the Day.
19 ATHLETE Runner allowed to take part in a different heat
    LET (allowed) inside (HEAT)*
21   SISAL Raw material of rope and sails
    The second time in this puzzle that ‘sail’ was part of an anagram (see 4ac).
22   LOUTS Coarse types confuse love with lust
    (O (love) + LUST)*
    Another nice surface.

2 Responses to “Financial Times 14,105 – Dante”

  1. Bamberger says:

    I couldn’t get
    5a A number =five -how do you get 5 instead of the zillion others?
    1d Music=suite new one on me
    5d I had no idea that improvises =vamps
    Thanks for the blog

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Hi Bamberger,
    5d: I immediately opted for VAMPS, but at the same time I thought it was too easy/obvious. The AMPS were already there in the clue. “A number” is frequently used by setters (Dante/Rufus and Araucaria/Cinephile, in particular) referring to Roman numbers, so do expect V,L,C,D or M [not really zillion, to choose from :)]. Moreover, 4ac made clear that it had to be V.
    As to the definition, Chambers gives us (ah well, only as the last option) “to improvise inartistically”.

    In the world of classical music there are a lot of SUITEs.
    Peer Gynt Suite, Suite Bergamasque and many many more.
    But also in the world of pop we had one: “Suite: Judy blue eyes” (Crosby Stills and Nash, on their debut LP).

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