Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,171 – Dante

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on December 6th, 2012

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Nov 26

Mostly straightforward, but as always with a Dante puzzle there were these final bits that held me up.  I think the end-product is right, but I need some help to justify one or two clues.

Definitions are underlined wherever possible and/or appropriate.

1 HOODOO Robin needs spectacles – bad luck! (6)
    HOOD (Robin) + OO (spectacles, a familiar visual device in crosswords)
4 PAY COURT Meet fine, attractive lady – giving reason to do this? (3,5)
    Cryptic definition (probably a kind of Double definition)
    Or is there a construction going on? With ‘fine’ alluding to something that has to be paid?  I think our beloved Gaufrid @5 is right.
10 ADJUTANTS Notice goes to workers accepting project for military assistants (9)
    {AD (notice) + ANTS (workers)} around JUT (project)
11 LUGER Automatic right to go on toboggan (5)
    LUGE (toboggan) + R (right)
    A luger is an automatic weapon.
12 DICE They are outnumbered in play (4)
    Cryptic definition
13 GET UP AND GO   A pet gun-dog involved in drive (3-2-3-2)
    (A PET GUN-DOG)*
15 NAIVETE I have innate artlessness (7)
    IVE (I have, I’ve) inside NATE (in/nate, in The Guardian way)
16 TABLET Prescription for sober man with healthy heart (6)
    TT (sober man, teetotaller) around ABLE (healthy)
19 UNITES Joins military formations round the east (6)
    UNITS (military formations) around E (the east)
21 PANICKY Fearful of cut in one’s wages (7)
    NICK (cut) inside PAY (one’s wages)
23 SECOND-HAND Used to support worker (6-4)
    SECOND (to support) + HAND (worker)
25 OPAL Gemstone in ring presented to friend (4)
    O (ring) + PAL (friend)
27 ERATO Bend an ear to the muse of poetry (5)
    (EAR TO)*
    I do not like this. “Bend an ear to’ suggests an anagram of ‘an ear to’. That said, I am used (even immune) to Dante’s love for padding with articles. Yet, don’t like it.
28 LAUNDRIES Under sail, perhaps, they may look after the sheets (9)
29 PINAFORE Garment one may have to fasten in front (8)
    One may have to PIN (fasten) this garment AFORE (in front)
30 TENNIS Game entangled in nets (6)
    (IN NETS)*
1 HOARDING Setting great store by a spot of publicity (8)
    Double definition
2 OBJECTION Notice job is diversified – protest (9)
3 OATH One shouldn’t lie under it (4)
    Cryptic definition
5 ASSAULT Attack by a saint about one who became one (7)
    A + {ST (saint) around SAUL (one who became one, a saint that is)}
6 COLLARBONE It may be broken by colonel stumbling round strange bar (10)
    (COLONEL)* around (BAR)*
7 URGED Did some pressing (5)
    Cryptic definition
    How cryptic is this?
8 TERROR Fear to make the initial mistake (6)
    T[he] + ERROR (mistake)
9 SNEEZE Suddenly expire, having snuffed it? (6)
    Cryptic definition
    One I liked.
14 GETTING OFF Going for acquittal (7,3)
    Double definition
    I first had here ‘letting off’which fitted ‘acquittal’, though ‘Going (for)’ cried out for ‘setting off’. Peter Groves @1 offered another possibility, one that got support from Dante himself (@9).
17 EXCEPTION Omission that may be taken as an offence (9)
    Double definition
18 CYCLISTS They’ll get nowhere unless they push themselves forward (8)
    Cryptic definition
20 SCHOLAR Student starts singing choral arrangement (7)
    S[inging] + (CHORAL)*
21 PENT-UP Enclosure sheep is held in (4-2)
    PEN (enclosure) + TUP (sheep)
22 ASLEEP Successfully retired (6)
    Cryptic definition
24 CHAIN A measure of restraint (5)
    Double definition
26 ADZE Axe broadcast commercials (4)
    Homophone of ADS (commercials)


11 Responses to “Financial Times 14,171 – Dante”

  1. Peter Groves says:

    I am sure that FINE alludes to a sum of money that has to be paid to the court, but I do find that clue difficult to work out.

    A further alternative for 14d is “getting off”, which fits “acquittal” and seems to me to be closer to “going” than “letting off”.

  2. Rishi says:

    Re 4a PAY COURT: I too am unable to get a completely satisfactory explanation. “Pay court” we may derive from “meet, fine lady”. And if we “meet fine”, in a manner of speaking, we might “pay [the] court”. But the wording of the clue does not quite lead us through all this.

  3. Rishi says:

    In the above message, please read “meet fine lady” instead of “meet, fine lady”. When we pay court to her, we must be visiting her frequently, I suppose.

    PS: I made a mistake in the elementary arithmetic, but I was given a second chance, without my having to retype!

  4. Bamberger says:

    I couldn’t get 4a across either Maybe Dante can enlighten us?

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Ringo
    Here’s my take on 4ac, the clue needs to be split after ‘fine’.

    To ‘meet [a] fine’ you would PAY [the] COURT and if you see an ‘attractive lady’ you might be given a reason to woo or PAY COURT to her.

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    That makes sense, Gaufrid, so it’s more of a double definition.
    Leaves me with 14d and the alternative that Peter Groves offers us.
    What’s your opinion on that, Gaufrid?

  7. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Sil
    Sorry I thanked Ringo instead of yourself. I’ve had a very busy few days and my mind wasn’t as clear as it should have been. I thought I was adding a comment to yesterday’s FT. Doh!

    I didn’t solve this puzzle so I don’t know the checked letters in 14dn. Chambers does give let=leave which would account for LETTING but then there’s no wordplay for the OFF.

  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Well, Gaufrid, if only my name would have been Ringo while being the drummer in a band …..
    Thanks for giving your thoughts on 14d.
    I think I’ll stick to LETTING OFF (sorry, Peter) but perhaps next Monday’s FT will prove me wrong.

  9. Rufous says:

    Apologies for delay. We are in Lanzarote having our villa rewired with everything going wrong! ( and we now hear our boiler at home needs replacing). Without a grid I would go for “getting off” , as a double definition. In haste!

  10. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Many thanks, dear Rufus/Dante, for dropping by.
    Especially given the fact that currently you have a lot of other things to worry about. But keep smiling!
    In the end, I guess, Lanzarote is a more comfortable place to be than Shropshire this time of year.

    So, 14d is from now on GETTING OFF.
    And a plus for Peter Groves too …. :)

  11. TonyP says:

    Today’s paper gives ‘getting off’ as the answer to 14d.

    Not Dante’s clearest clue.

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