Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,159 – Dante

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on November 22nd, 2012

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Nov 12

After two Monday Prize Crosswords that got me on the edge of my seat, this Dante puzzle was really plain sailing.

As always, definitions are underlined wherever possible and/or appropriate.


1 SAMSON Man and boy, he was known for his strength (6)
    SAM (man, a man’s name) + SON (boy)
4 APPRAISE Value a quiet compliment (8)
    A + P (quiet) + PRAISE (compliment)
9 UNSAFE Unreliable fuse, an explosion reveals (6)
    (FUSE AN)*
10 CROUPIER He rakes in the money while others take risks (8)
    Cryptic definition
12 CURTAILS Shortens dog-ends? (8)
    CUR TAILS might be the ‘ends’ (tails) of a dog (‘cur’)
13 WHITER More like the snow I threw out? (6)
    (I THREW)*
15     SLAP Strike action when mates are sent back (4)
    Reversal of PALS (mates)
16 BRIDEGROOM   Man of the match (10)
    Cryptic definition
19 BUTTONED UP  Successfully concluded business in a taciturn manner (8,2)
    Double definition
20 REEF Bank gives free change (4)
23 HOUNDS Perhaps Hudson Bay may have come from one of these (6)
    (HUDSON)* – bay (lower case) can be ‘the sound of a hound on the scent’
25 STATUARY Solid achievements by men good at figures? (8)
    Cryptic definition
27 MODERATE Reduce speed, after a fashion (8)
    RATE (speed) coming after MODE (a fashion)
28 CAVIAR Millionaire’s roe? (6)
    Cryptic definition
29    ARRESTER Such gear is required to check naval aircraft (8)
    Cryptic definition – I thought it had to be ‘arrested’ but both ernie (@2) and TonyP (@4) made very clear that I was wrong.
30 SEWN UP Satisfactorily completed some mending? (4,2)
    Double definition, the second one in combination with the first one
1 SOURCES Origins of Crusoe’s shipwreck? (7)
2 MISCREANT     Mischief-maker intended to limit one’s credit (9)
    MEANT (intended) around {I’S (one’s) + CR (credit)}
3 OFF-DAY Holiday when one is not at one’s best (3-3)
    Double definition
5 PART Not all an unemployed actor hopes for (4)
    Double definition
6 ROUGHAGE Hard time obtaining dietary fibre (8)
    ROUGH (hard) + AGE (time)
7 IDIOT He’s one to do it wrongly (5)
    I (one) + (DO IT)*
8 EARDRUM One hears about a murder (7)
    (A MURDER)*
11 ALARMED Frightened by a number with guns (7)
    A + L (number, 50) + ARMED (with guns)
14 ADJUSTS Commercials about fitting suits (7)
    ADS (commercials) around JUST (fitting)
17 OPERATION     Relation seen in public performance (9)
    RATIO (relation) inside OPEN (public)
18 HONDURAS Has encircled round troubled country (8)
    HAS around (ROUND)*
19 BOHEMIA Region that is not a party to the Convention (7)
    Double/Cryptic definition
21 FLYTRAP Plant making two light carriages (7)
    FLY (light carriage) + TRAP (another light carriage) )
22 STRAFE Flying force possibly set out to attack (6)
    RAF (flying force) with (SET)* outside it
24 UNDER Not above using two foreign articles (5)
    UN (foreign article, a French one) + DER (another foreign article, a German one)
26 STYE Trouble in sight (4)
    Cryptic definition

6 Responses to “Financial Times 14,159 – Dante”

  1. John Newman says:

    Thanks for this Sil.

    I agree with you that this is a much better Dante. Not quite plain sailing for me as I failed to see the cryptics STYE and BOHEMIA. I also couldn’t see the reasoning for OPERATION. And couldn’t get HOUNDS which thanks to your blog I can now see is a very clever clue.

    I got STATUARY but Dante’s use of the word MEN rather threw me because women can be sculpturists as well.

    I also do not like the construction for STRAFE.

    I need some more help from you with 29A. What is arrested gear? Is Dante here referring to the arrest wire which pulls up landing aircraft?

    I was late with my contribution to your blog for the last Dante (14,147) because I was on holidays. Perhaps you might like to take a look back. I rather let myself go because the puzzle annoyed me a little.

  2. ernie says:

    I had arrester (gear) for 29A
    This consists of cables on the deck of an aircraft-carrier to which the hook of an alighting aircraft attaches to assist with landing

  3. Bamberger says:

    Just to prove that it is a difference of opinion that makes a horse race, I thought this was very hard .
    19a I have heard of a deal being sewn up but not buttoned up and I have never heard of buttoned up as meaning a taciturn manner-so would never had got that.
    23a Didn’t spot the anagram indicator. Silly me.
    25a I haven’t come across statuary either. I was misdirected to think of numbers and thought of actuaries.
    29a Like John Newman I just don’t get this at all.
    14d Should have got this but didn’t.
    19d Simply too hard for me.

    Look forward to reading the explanation of 29a

  4. TonyP says:

    I also found the bottom half to be a real struggle and failed to finish.

    My Chambers says that 29a is arrester. ‘arrester gear shock-absorbing transverse cables on an aircraft-carrier’s deck for the arrester hook of an alighting aircraft to catch on.’

    I am afraid I do not understand 19d.

    Statuary is a new word to me.

    Thanks to Sil for the blog and to Dante for another enjoyable crossword.

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Did I say it was plain sailing?

    Well, re 29ac, ernie and TonyP must both be right.
    I thought that ‘arrested’ was the only (normal) word that fitted.
    Then I googled a bit to find that there was a thing called “arresting gear”:
    And finally, I decided that it had to be “arrested” here – wrong!
    Now rectified.

    TonyP, Bohemia is a region in the Czech Republic and the word also means “A group of artists and writers with real or pretended artistic or intellectual aspirations and usually an unconventional life style” – unConventional people.

    John @1, I did read your comment on the previous Dante puzzle.
    No problem with your negative verdict there. That puzzle just had too many cryptic definitions (about a third!).

  6. John Newman says:


    I agree with you that buttoned up is not too common for concluding business but it is certainly used for not speaking. Usually when one feels that saying something might create problems. I can recall being told to button-up frequently at school. Got a bit of a shock when as a timid little boy going to school in Australia after migrating there, a teacher regularly told the class to “shut your noise”. Button-up sounds much more genteel.

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