Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,152 / Dogberry

Posted by Pete Maclean on November 15th, 2012

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of November 3, 2012

I believe that Dogberry is new to Weekend crosswords and he is completely new to me although he is a well known compiler (especially as Shed in the Guardian). Perhaps because I am unfamiliar with his style, I got a slow start on this puzzle and also took a while to finish off the last couple of clues. My favourites are 8D (TUMBREL) and 18D (MISSION). I don’t think much of 18A (MIDWINTER).

Across
1. MAH-JONG – anagram of JOHN in GAM[e] backwards
5. TOSSPOT – P (quiet) in SOT (drunkard) backwards + SOT (drunkard)
9. NAPPE – NAPPE[r] (kipper’s unfinished). A nappe is a sheet of rock.
10. NEOLOGISM – anagram of MONGOLIAS with A[sian] replaced by E[uropean]
11. BEAUTIFUL – anagram of [yo]UTUBE FAIL
12. TOKER – [S]TOKER (decapitated novelist). Bram Stoker, that is.
13. SCARF – SCAR (legacy of trauma) + F (female)
15. ELEMENTAL – EL (the Spanish) + E[m]MENTAL (source of mould removed from…cheese)
18. MIDWINTER – double/cryptic definition. The cryptic definition depends on NT (New Testament) being the middle of wiNTer. I find two faults with this clue. First, I think the question mark should be inside the parentheses. Second the straight definition is very loose. I take it that it refers to Jesus’ birth but midwinter is, strictly speaking, the season when this birth is celebrated; as far as I know, its actual date is unknown.
19. DORIC – D (D) + C[a]IRO (capital not A) backwards
21. STAFF – F-FATS (D-Domino) backwards
23. ANGOSTURA – anagram of ARGONAUTS
25. IMBROGLIO – IM (Dogberry’s) + BR (brother) + anagram of IGLOO
26. BLINI – L[obbed] in BIN (trashcan) + I (one)
27. NEMESIS – anagram of MEISSEN
28. SUMMERY – homophone (“summary”)

Down
1. MINIBUS – I (one) + B (black) together in MINUS (con)
2. HAPHAZARD – PH (a hostelry) in HAZARD (gamble). PH is used to denote Public Houses on Ordnance Survey maps.
3. OVERT – OVER (spare) + T (time)
4. GENUFLECT – anagram of [incens]E ETC FLUNG
5. TROLL – double definition. This was hard for me because I did not know that ‘troll’ could mean to sing.
6. SHORT HEAD – anagram of O (nothing) and THRASHED
7. PRICK – R (royal) in PICK (choose)
8. TUMBREL – hidden word
14. FLIP-FLOPS – double definition
16. EGREGIOUS – E (English) + EG (say) + I (compiler) in GROUS[e] (bird not quite)
17. TURQUOISE – anagram of QUITE SOUR
18. MISSION – MISS (don’t hit) + I (one) + ON (on)
20. CHARITY – IT (it) in CHARY (cautious)
22. ALBUM – ALBUM[en] (white space deleted)
23. AXLES – L (left) in AXES (choppers)
24. SEBUM – BE (live) backwards in SUM (problem)

5 Responses to “Financial Times 14,152 / Dogberry”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    And, whoopee, it’s a pangram!

    Thanks Pete, and Dogberry for a welcome change.

  2. Bob Cumbow says:

    You wrote that 5a was hard for you “because I did not know that ‘troll’ could mean to sing.” The only common familiar usage of this I can think of is the line “Troll the ancient Yuletide carol” in “Deck the Halls” (which will soon become ubiquitous for about five weeks).

  3. Pete Maclean says:

    Hi Sil. Well, a pangram strictly speaking is a sentence, is it not? But I see what you mean and I do think that is a notable characteristic so thanks for pointing it out. I wonder if it was at all intentional.

    Bob, I must have heard and maybe even sung that line but I may not have ever seen it in writing because if you’d asked me to fill in the blank in “_____ the ancient Yuletide carol”, I would have failed!

  4. Bamberger says:

    I know that crosswordland is very unforgiving of not knowing a word because the answer is always obvious from the wordplay.
    Anyway I hadn’t come across nappe,imbrogolio, tumbrel and egregrious and the wordplay didn’t help me.
    I would have been here forever trying to solve 18a & 21a.
    Too hard for me I’m afraid.

  5. Pete Maclean says:

    Bamberger, Thank you for commenting. I was unaware of NAPPE and acknowledge that that was a difficult one because, without crossing letters, I would have been hard-pressed to solve it too. Likewise, 18A was truly a difficult one. Sometimes I wonder how I know so many words but, in this case, I did know all the others, even TUMBREL.

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