Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,122 by Bradman

Posted by Pete Maclean on October 11th, 2012

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of September 29, 2012

I typically find Bradman’s puzzles more difficult than most and this one was no exception. In particular, it took me a good while to complete the bottom-right quadrant with a totally unknown-to-me word for 16A and one I am only vaguely familiar with for 17D. My favourite clue is the delightfully deceptive 27A (SINGULAR) — congratulations to Don for coming up with that one! I also especially like 25A (MIDGE), which I guessed very quickly but took a long time to decide was right, 2D (SCARECROW), and 11,21D (SLOT MACHINE).

Across
1. MISTRESS – MI (motorway) + STRESS (anxiety)
5. BREWED – homophone (“brood”)
9. DIANTHUS – anagram of IT HAD SUN
10. SCREAM – E (drug) in SCRAM (run off)
12. SEEDY – SEED (sow) + Y[ard]
13. ARLINGTON – [d]ARLINGTON (north-east city defaced)
14. BROGUE – B (bishop) + ROGUE (scoundrel)
16. THEORBO – THE (THE) + O (one circular thing) + ORB (second circular thing). A theorbo is a large, double-necked bass lute.
19. LOW GEAR – LOW (plunging) + GEAR (attire)
21. MARQUE – MARQUE[e] (big tent with far side sealed off)
23. SMART ALEC – MART (market) in SALE (business transaction) + C (about)
25. MIDGE – EG (say) + DIM (without much light) both backwards
26. OLDHAM – OLD HAM (person beyond learning how to act properly)
27. SINGULAR – double/cryptic definition
28. THEMED – THE MED[iterranean] (holiday area)
29. NEOPHYTE – anagram of NO TYPE HE

Down
1. MEDUSA – anagram of MADE US
2. SCARECROW – SCARE (worry) + C (about) + ROW (crop section)
3. RATTY – T[o]T (child that’s loveless) in RAY (man)
4,20. SAUSAGE ROLL – anagram of SO REGAL in SAUL (old king). I don’t think of sausage rolls as party food particularly — more something to eat on the run. Do others consider them party fare?
6. RACONTEUR – CON (deception) in RAT (scoundrel) + RUE (regret) backwards
7. WHEAT – E (energy) in WHAT (that which)
8. DOMINION – DO (party) + MINION (follower)
11,21. SLOT MACHINE – anagram of METAL COINS H (hard)
15. GREAT DANE – double definition
17. ROUNDELAY – ‘OUND (‘arry) in RELAY (broadcast)
18. FLESH OUT – anagram of SHE in FLOUT (disdain)
22. DECREE – anagram of RECE[iv]ED
24. ADDLE – DD (theologian, i.e. Doctor of Divinity) in ALE (alcoholic drink). I originally thought that there has to be an error of tense in this clue since to ‘addle’ means to confuse, not confused. And I was wrong as Bradman points out in one of the comments below.
25. MUG UP – ‘gum’ could be MUG UP. I learned this expression, mug up, only recently when it appeared in another crossword I blogged.

10 Responses to “Financial Times 14,122 by Bradman”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, Pete.

    Agree that this Bradman was certainly harder than the average Saturday stuff. But I am a fan of Bradman (ie the Don, particularly in this disguise), so no complaints.

    2d left me thinking and thinking all over again.
    Could it be that it’s not SCARE for ‘worry’, but the apostrophe S + CARE (worry)?
    Meanwhile, I opted for CRO as ‘crop section’, but couldn’t connect it to the rest of the clue.
    Therefore still not completely sure about this clue.

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Pete & Bradman

    I was particularly pleased that my home town of OLDHAM was featured.

    More of the same please Bradman!

  3. Bradman says:

    Thanks for being so nice. No worries though — ADDLE can be an adjective and SCARECROW is SCARE+C+ROW (crops being sown in rows). I was rather pleased with myself at finding the & lit. for SLOT MACHINE, I must admit!

  4. Paul B says:

    And it wasn’t ‘cash lost in ‘em’ either!

  5. Pete Maclean says:

    Thanks, Bradman. And sorry for thinking there was a problem with ADDLE. I should have checked further as I see now that my OED makes this clear. Indeed its first definition for addle as a verb is “to make addle”.

  6. Bamberger says:

    I failed on 16a, 17d and 27a.
    16a seems nigh on impossible unless you have heard of it.
    17d I hadn’t heard of and it has taken 5 minutes for the penny to drop on 27a.
    Still I’d take the Don over Cinephile anytime.

  7. Pete Maclean says:

    Some people may well take the view that finding an unknown word is a good part of the challenge of a crossword. One has a mystery to solve and something new to learn at the same time. I do think though that clues for obscure words should be fairly easy in their wordplay, as this one is. At worst one could try looking up all seven-letter words beginning with THE in a dictionary or find a list of old musical instruments. One might even guess (wrongly!) that the first circular thing is simply an O and look up all seven-letter words starting THEO and get the answer more quickly!

  8. Wil Ransome says:

    Well I’m sorry, the 27ac penny hasn’t dropped yet. I can’t see what on earth sheep have to do with being singular. Please could you put me out of my misery.

    How the Don manages in his various guises to get the level of difficulty just right is very clever: as Quixote or Giovanni he’s on the easy side, here as Bradman he’s middlingly difficult, as Duck he’s hard. Perhaps I’ve missed one of them.

  9. Pete Maclean says:

    Wil, That is interesting! I know well that Don has multiple guises but I have never tackled any puzzles from his other personas and I had not realized that each maintained different levels of difficulty.

    Regarding 27ac, the word ‘sheep’ can be either singular or plural — so, it may or may not be singular!

  10. Wil Ransome says:

    Many thanks, Pete. Quite obvious really.

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