Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,110 by Cincinnus

Posted by Pete Maclean on September 27th, 2012

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of September 15, 2012

Here is another impressive puzzle from Cincinnus. The number of ingenious clues is amazing with, I think, 26D (CHINA) being the best. I am also struck by 30A (ARKANSAS) which is an &lit., 2D (RIALTO), 8D (NORSEMAN) and 17D (EMMENTAL).

Tthe puzzle contains a tribute to Pink Martini (14A, 19A) and its lead singer, China Forbes (26D, 22D). In spite of being a fan of this musical group myself, I totally missed the references until Cincinnus pointed them out to me (see comment #1 below).

Across
1, 13. PORTLAND STONE – anagram of PATTERNS ON OLD
5. OREGON – O (old) + REG[i]ON (area excluding current). ‘I’ is used as a symbol for electrical current.
9. FLAG DOWN – FLAG (Iris) + DOWN (depressed)
10. LINEAR – A (area) in LINER (ship)
12. EATING OUT – anagram of AUNTIE GOT
14. PINK – hidden word. Is this intended as a hidden-word clue and nothing more? I cannot decide. The reason I wonder is that Cumberland Gap is a rather obscure location but one that is, I understand, noted as a habitat of a wildflower called the Fire Pink.
16. GORILLA – anagram of ALLIG(at)OR IS
19. MARTINI – ART (skill) in MINI (dress)
21. SODA – S (singular) + ADO (fuss) backwards
24. EAGLE – double/cryptic definition, the second referring to golf
25. PRESCHOOL – anagram of POOLS CHER
27. TITIAN – TIT (bird) + I (one) + AN (an)
28. SCRIABIN – S (small) + RI (Rhode Island) in CABIN (shack)
29. LUNATE – AN (article) backwards in LUTE (instrument)
30. ARKANSAS – A (a) + R (river) + KANSAS (state) &lit. The Arkansas River is a tributary of the Mississippi.

Down
1. PUFFER – double definition
2. RIALTO – anagram of TAILOR
3. LED ON – LE (the French) + DON (teacher)
4. NEW YORK – double definition. Queens is a borough of New York City. The second definition refers to the song, “New York, New York”.
6. REINSURED – anagram of DIRE NURSE
7. GRENOBLE – ERG (bit of work) backwards + NOBLE (illustrious)
8. NORSEMAN – N (Knight) + [h]ORSEMAN (rider heading off)
11. STAG – GATS (arms) backwards
15. ITINERANT – anagram of AIR IN TENT
17. EMMENTAL – E[vening] M[eal] + MENTAL (crackers)
18. FRIGHTEN – RIGHT (OK) in FEN (bog)
20. IMPS – hidden word
21. SPENCER – double definition referring to Diana Spencer and Spencer Tracy
22. FORBES – B (black) in FORES[t] (forest, time out)
23. PLANTS – T (tons) in PLANS (intends)
26. CHINA – IN (in) in CHA (tea)

8 Responses to “Financial Times 14,110 by Cincinnus”

  1. Cincinnus says:

    Hi Pete,

    Thank you for a fine blog, as always, and for your kind words.

    You say re 14 across: “Cumberland Gap is a rather obscure location”. Really? As a location, perhaps, but very well known – at least to those of us of a certain generation – as the title of a folk song popularised in the US by Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, among others, and in the UK by Lonnie Donegan in the 1950s.

    Still on a musical track, but a more up-to-date one, the puzzle contains a hidden tribute to one of my favourite bands – but I should imagine hardly anyone would have spotted this. PINK MARTINI (14, 19 across) is a “small orchestra” based in PORTLAND, OREGON (1, 5 across). The lead singer is CHINA FORBES (26, 22 down). Listen to them here.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    I am ashamed and disappointed that I missed the tribute to Pink Martini. I know them well although I have never managed to see them live. I am on their mailing list in the hope that I will get to see them one day. That day could be Valentines Day next year when they are scheduled to play in Washington DC. I live about 150 miles away but I am not sure I will be in the country at the time. I did see a streamed performance they gave a few months ago but that was with Storm Large, not China Forbes.

    Another musician I have seen live is Pete Seeger but I must have missed that particular folk song. The name does not ring a bell for me at all. And I am old enough (just!) to remember Lonnie Donegan.

    Thanks for your feedback.

  3. Bamberger says:

    9a How does Iris =flag, please? The free online dictionary doesn’t have this.
    Thanks

  4. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Bamberger
    See: http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/flag–3

  5. Pete Maclean says:

    My Chambers has as its fourth entry for ‘flag’: n an iris; reed-grass (Bible). [Ety obscure; cd Du flag]

  6. Pete Maclean says:

    I meant to add: this ‘flag’ = ‘iris’ often comes up in cryptic puzzles and is a handy thing to remember.

  7. John Newman says:

    Nice of Cincinnus to have a word. But we still do not have an explanation for 14A. Pink is indeed the hidden word. But what is the pink flower?

    I am old enough to remember Lonnie Donnegan as well, but remember him mostly for his use of “bloody” British which was cut out by most radio stations in Australia at the time when playing the song, and for his chewing gum on the bedpost.

    I always enjoy Cincinnus puzzles but this one was spoilt for me by his use of too many America reference clues.

  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    John @7, Chambers gives us as definition no 2 in the main entry for “Pink”: Any plant or flower of the caryophyllaceous genus Dianthus, including carnation and sweet william.
    That will do, I guess?
    [but I wasn't familiar with it (either)]

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