Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,123 – Dante

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on October 11th, 2012

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Oct 1

Last Monday, in the Guardian’s blogosphere, some solvers found it – once more – necessary to heavily criticise Dante’s alter ego Rufus for setting puzzles that are too easy (or even inferior). In my opinion, these solvers only appreciate one kind of crossword: the one that suits them. I really hope they didn’t tackle this Dante crossword, otherwise I might get a record amount of posts ……. :)

Definitions are underlined wherever possible and/or appropriate.


1 MODEST Diffident in two ways (6)
    MODE (way) + ST (one more way, street)
4 BOLD FACE Type showing impudence? (4,4)
    Cryptic definition – a nod to something called  “typeface” in eg Word (like bold)
10 GERMINATE Men involved with a tiger shoot (9)
    (MEN + A TIGER)*
11 FLORA Plants I’d removed from state (5)
    I’D removed from FLORIDA (state)
12 ARCH Cunning chief (4)
    Double definition
13 REPRIMANDS The donna is in tears from these rebukes (10)
    PRIMA (the donna) inside RENDS (tears)
    “Prima” doesn’t work for me (and certainly not in lower case). However, nice to have here ‘tears’ that should be pronounced as ‘tears’ :).
15 TRIDENT Dire disaster – trapped by highexplosive missile (7)
    (DIRE)* inside TNT (high-explosive)
16 NOTICE Mark breaks into church (6)
    (INTO)* + CE (church, Church of England)
19 INTENT Steadfast purpose (6)
    Double definition
21 STRANGE Odd way to go from place to place (7)
    ST (way, street (again!)) + RANGE (to go from place to place, to rove freely, as a verb)
23 APOSTROPHE Sign for a missing letter (10)
    Cryptic definition
25 NUDE Having nothing on a dark horse, back the favourite finally (4)
    NUD (reversal of DUN ( a horse of greyish brown colour, a dark horse)) + [favourit]E
27 RULER It’s made to measure (5)
    Cryptic definition
28 TEMPERATE Self-restrained – or consumed with anger? (9)
    TEMPER (anger) + ATE (consumed)
29 TAPESTRY Hanging picture is a nuisance – attempt to get round it (8)
    TRY (attempt) around A PEST (a nuisance)
30 CELERY Plant in haste, losing it (6)
    CELERITY (haste) minus IT
1 MIGRANTS Around the end of spring martins may be these (8)
    (MARTINS)* around [sprin]G
    This was my Clue of the Day. Perhaps I should have underlined the whole clue.
2 DIRECTION Management course (9)
    Double definition
3 STIR Act as an agitator and get jail (4)
    Double definition
5 OVERRAN Went through and overwhelmed the enemy (7)
    Double defintion – the third in a row!
6 DEFAMATORY Fed up before morning, a politician became abusive (10)
    DEF (reversal of FED) placed before {AM (morning) + A TORY (a politician)}
    Just two days ago we had the same word in a Puck puzzle, also using ‘a Tory’ – my PinC found Puck’s clue just a bit better, but Dante was first!
7 ADORN A party with sailors below deck (5)
    A + DO (party) + RN (sailors, Royal Navy)
8 ELAPSE Slip by England’s opener, run out (6)
    E[ngland] + LAPSE (slip)
9 TALENT Story book is a gift (6)
    TALE (story) + NT (book, New Testament)
    Normally, NT is ‘books’ (plural) as, I think, it should be. That said, I have seen setters using the singular form before.
14 DEBENTURES Shares exist in false teeth (10)
    BE (exist) inside DENTURES (false teeth)
17 CONSULATE Cleans out jumble in diplomat’s residence (9)
18 CEMETERY Dead centre? (8)
    Cryptic definition –  a bit macabre
20 TROTTER Food for man or horse (7)
    Double definition
21 SCHEME Hatch a plot (6)
    Double definition
22 GARRET Slip up in the gun room (6)
    RRE (reversal of ERR (slip)) inside GAT (gun)
24 ORLOP A deck or dock (5)
    OR + LOP (dock)
26 FETE Shuffling feet in the bazaar (4)
    How an extremely simple anagram still can be very elegant (because of the indicator).


4 Responses to “Financial Times 14,123 – Dante”

  1. Bamberger says:

    I couldn’t get 18d and 30a. I think 30a is hard -haste =celerity is not something that would ever have sprung to mind.

  2. john newman says:


    I agree with you. I found this Dante very difficult. Sometimes he uses double definitions which are hard to see as being double. e.g. overrun. But even when his puzzles are easy I enjoy them because he is clever and cheeky.

    I hope I am not too late with this comment because I wanted to point out that Dante has made a mistake in 17D. A consulate is not a diplomat’s residence. It is his place of work.

    And what do you think of 29D? A tapestry is not a picture is it?

  3. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Well, John, the tapestry/picture ‘identity’ indeed crossed my mind as being ‘not identical’. But then I thought, there will possibly be something in one of the dictionaries to change my view. Chambers says: “An imitative representation of an object on a surface” – on a surface, so there we are.

    As to your ‘residence’ query, (again) Chambers tells us that it is not only the place where someone lives, but also “The office, residence, jurisdiction, government or time of a consul or consuls”.
    Those *&^%$ dictionaries ….. :)

    BTW, nice to read something positive about Mr Squires’ contributions to Crosswordland (which – at another place – is not always the case nowadays).

  4. John Newman says:

    Thanks for your response Sil.

    I have to say I keep getting amazed at what I am told is in Chambers. I am a diplomat and when I saw the clue I thought to myself what on earth can this be? Our Ambassadors’ residences are all called The Residence or The Head of Mission Residence. Our Consul-General in Hong Kong for example lives in The Residence. All the rest of us just live in Staff Residences. I was lucky in Hong Kong as I lived in a great old apartment overlooking Repulse Bay.

    But I must say I have twice noticed the French Ambassador having a plaque up outside his home saying L’Ambassade de France”. I mentioned this to the French Ambassador in Port Moresby saying that he had the wrong sign and he just said “Oh, I didn’t notice”. But he didn’t ever take it down. So maybe Chambers has something. But not the case for us Australians.


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