Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,128 by Cincinnus

Posted by Pete Maclean on October 18th, 2012

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of October 6, 2012

Ah, a Cincinnus puzzle with a theme, the TV program “Frasier”! I like a themed puzzle occasionally but this one proved difficult for me since I have never seen “Frasier” and knew none of the names of the characters in it. It also seemed especially difficult since one is led to think that the theme is revealed in 25A (CRANE) while, for the uninitiated, it is discovered only in 21D (FRASIER).

In case you don’t know, Crane is the surname of the primary characters in “Frasier”. There is the title character Frasier Crane (25A, 21D), his younger brother Niles (3D) Crane, their father Martin (5A) Crane, a live-in English physiotherapist (my father’s profession) Daphne (10A) Moon and Martin’s Jack Russell Terrier, Eddie (28A)

My favourite (of many fine) clues this time are 12A (FORMS), 26A (AT LAST) and the cleverly deceptive 3D (NILES).

Across
1. ADDENDUM – anagram of MEND A DUD
5. MARTIN – double definition (cranes and martins are both birds)
9. RABELAIS – AB (leading characters) in anagram of SERIAL
10. DAPHNE – double definition
12. FORMS – FOR (representing) + MS (paperwork)
13. GREAT DEAL – GREAT (cracking) + DEAL (wood)
14. FILLIP – homophone (Philip)
16. LAERTES – SET (put) + REAL (material) all backwards
19. REGENTS – R[isibl]E + GENTS (guys)
21. FATHOM – double definition
23. PER CONTRA – anagram of CAN REPORT
25. CRANE – double definition
26. AT LAST – ATLAS (titan) + [rocke]T
27. FILLED IN – double definition
28. EDDIES – double definition
29. TRUE GRIT – FAST (true) + GR (Greek) + IT (Italian)

Down
1. ADRIFT – A (a) + DRIFT (tenor)
2. DEBARKING – D[rive] + E[veryone] + BARKING (mad)
3. NILES – double/cryptic definition
4. USING UP – U (in text you) + SING UP (make your voice heard)
6. APARTMENT – ART (painting) + MEN (people) together in APT (fitting)
7. TAHOE – TA (cheers) + HOE (weed). Do Brits generally know Lake Tahoe? It is a lake that crosses the California-Nevada border near Reno. I visited it in winter a couple of years ago when it was beautiful in the ice and snow.
8. NEEDLESS – NEEDLES (indicators) + S[eattle]. Seattle is very apt as it is the home of the Space Needle.
11. PEEL – double definition
15. LANGOUSTE – anagram of G (good) SOLE TUNA
17. TWO-HANDER – anagram of WHO RANTED
18. TRIPLANE – TRIP (flight) + LANE (path)
20. SATE – hidden word
21. FRASIER – anagram of [a]IR FARES
22. RENNET – TENNER (note) backwards
24. RILED – I (one) + R (runs) backwards + LED (glower)
25. CALVE – L (left) in CAVE (primitive dwelling)

6 Responses to “Financial Times 14,128 by Cincinnus”

  1. Bob Cumbow says:

    And of course Seattle is the setting for the show FRASIER (though, to our chagrin, it is mostly shot in LA or Vancouver BC).

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Ah, thanks Bob. That was something I failed to spot in my research.

  3. Wanderer says:

    And also, of course, FRASIER was a spin-off from Cheers, which puts in an appearance in the TAHOE clue, 7d.

    I always enjoy a Cincinnus puzzle, and thought this one of the best I can remember. I wondered if APARTMENT at 6d was also part of the theme, since almost all the action takes place in Frasier’s apartment, as far as I remember.

    About a year ago Cincinnus gave us a puzzle (13,843) which you also blogged, Pete, in which SPEKE was a solution — it turned out that he was an explorer who looked for the source of the White Nile, and the river Nile was also needed to complete another solution. I noted on the blog the connection between Speke and the Nile and another poster, John Newman, joined in to say that he was living in Ethiopia, through which flows the Blue Nile. For this reason I was highly amused to see NILES clued as ‘Blue and white flowers’, and got it immediately. John, should you look in, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

    Many thanks to Pete and Cincinnus, splendid fun.

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    Thanks, Wanderer, for that. I never watched Cheers either so did not know that Frasier was a spin-off.

    I cannot say if he will look in on this blog but John Newman did do this puzzle; he and I had some private communication about it. In fact it prompted him to send me a photograph he had taken of, as he put it, the Blue one.

  5. Bamberger says:

    I got 25a but couldn’t see the relevance of other clues refering to it. I got a long way but had no idea there was a theme. I watched Frasier once but it seemed to be one of those programmes that Americans might love but it is a mystery as to why that should be.

  6. John Newman says:

    Thanks Pete and thanks Wanderer. As you say I loved the particular clue. If it were possible, but I don’t know how, I would attach the photo I have of the Blue Nile falls. At this time of the year, after the three months rainy season (July, August, September),the falls are spectacular.

    It is getting hard for us solvers when setters use TXT shorthand, isn’t it?

    I have a beef with 7D. I thought it was unfair in this crossword to use the word “Cheers” outside the theme. I spent ages on the internet trying to find a character in that sitcom which fitted the clue.

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