Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times no.14,225 by Wanderer

Posted by Ringo on January 31st, 2013

Ringo.

Not sure if I’ve blogged on Wanderer before – but anyway, time is short, so I’ll simply say that I enjoyed this puzzle: nothing knock-your-socks-off great or tear-your-hair-out difficult, but plenty of variety, some very nice surfaces and a fairytale theme to boot. Thank-you, Wanderer.

ACROSS

9. ANDANTINO  And [joiner] + ant [social worker] + in + o [love, zero]

10. RURAL  R [river] + Ural [river]

11. PREEMIE  Anagram of E [European] Empire (‘Preemie’ is a US term for a premature baby [early arrival])

12. EDGINGS  D [dead] + GI [soldier] within Eng’s [England’s]

13, 6, 7. THE FROG PRINCE  Anagram of Chef reporting

14, 22, 18. THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA  The princess [royal] + and the pea [sounds like the letter P, the ‘top’ of Princess]

17. SET TO  Reversal of otter’s [swimmer’s] minusr [right]

18. See 14ac.

19. RESIT  Re [about] + s [second] + it [sex]

21. REASSURANCE  Anagram of a nurse cares

23, 4. EBB TIDE  Anagram of debt ie [id est, that is] B [Britain]

25. CADENCE  A den [a study]  within C [Catholic] + CE [Church (of England)]

27. OLYMPIA  Double definition

28. ETHER  (N)ether [bottom]; ‘number’ is used in the sense ‘thing that numbs’

29.  CLOSE-KNIT  Anagram of link Scot (stereotyp)e 

DOWN

1. CARPET  Double definition: a nodding dog toy might be a ‘car pet’

2. ADHERENT  Hidden in sweetbreAD HER ENTrails

3. ANIMATIONS  I’m [setter’s] within a nation’s [a country’s]

4. See 23ac.

5. FOREORDAIN  Anagram of roof rained

6. See 13ac.

7. See 13aa.

8. CLOSE-SET  S(creened) e(xclusively) within closet [small private room]

15. EXPERIENCE  Double definition: Hendrix’s band were known as The Jimi Hendrix Experience

16. NURSERYMEN  N [North] + anagram of Surreymen [people]

17. STRICKEN  Rick [man’s name, male] within Sten [gun, arm]

20, 24. SLEEPING BEAUTY  Cryptic definition, alluding to the heroine awakening [revival] after a hundred years’ sleep [centenary]

22. See 14ac.

26. NORM  Norm(a) [opera]

27. OBOL  O [Fanny Adams, nothing, zero] + reversal of lob [toss]

4 Responses to “Financial Times no.14,225 by Wanderer”

  1. mike04 says:

    Thanks for the blog, Ringo.

    An enjoyable romp in Fairyland today. In the real world, I liked the Number at the bottom,
    the Old coin and the Nodding dog.

    Wanderer may be a new FT setter. I wonder if he/she is the same Wanderer who has contributed comments on Fifteensquared in the past?

  2. Neb says:

    Curate’s egg, this one. Easy as anything except for 11, 28. “Preemie” – is that actually a word in English? And “number” as the clear for ether is a bit weak, in my opinion.

  3. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, mike04, I had the same thoughts about Wanderer’s identity.

    I found this debut puzzle pleasant enough, but also one with a few clues of which I thought “there’s still some work to do for Wanderer” [hope I am not too pedantic :)].
    I am nearly always on the setter’s side as he or she wants to entertain us and/or share his or her ideas with us.
    So, a warm welcome to Wanderer.

    As I said, a pleasant and thoughtful puzzle.
    I particularly liked the nice anagram in 13,6,7 (THE FROG PRINCE), the idea behind 14,22,18 (THE OTHER LONG ONE), the nodding dog in 1d and OBOL (27d).

    That said, some things I found a bit iffy.
    In 9ac (ANDANTINO) we have AND for ‘joiner’ (which is OK) but immediately after that the clue gives us ‘and’. Strictly speaking, nothing wrong with that, but I would have tried to avoid it.
    In 19ac (RESIT), I do not like ‘The’. Perhaps it is there for the surface, but for me it is a kind of padding that annoys me.
    While – again – it can be justified, that little word ‘it’ stands right in the middle of a construction while only being there for a better surface reading.
    Both 8d and 29ac contain “CLOSE-“. Once more, something that I would have tried to avoid.

    On the other hand, 12ac and 17d wrongfooted me.
    In 12ac (EDGINGS) I went for ED for “England’s borders”, trying to fit in a soldier, then ending up with “dead” as the definition. Wrong. So well done, Wanderer!
    In STRICKEN (17d) I was fixated on M for ‘male’ inside a weapon – wrong again.

    I already mentioned my favourites, but I have to add one more.
    2d is very well crafted. Good surface. And ADHERENT is precisely in the middle of “sweetbread her entrails etc” – Wanderer must have thought about that.

    When this would have been Wanderer’s 25th crossword, I would have said – like Neb – a mixed bag.
    But I do not.

    Thanks Wanderer, and Ringo for the blog.

    ps, 23,4 is (DEBT + IE)* around B (Britain), not a full anagram.

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    “While – again – it can be justified, that little word ‘it’ stands right in the middle of a construction while only being there for a better surface reading”

    I am talking here about 5d (FOREORDAIN).

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