Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,222 – Dante

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on February 7th, 2013

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Jan 28

Another Monday, another Dante?  I am not sure. There were quite a few clues that I didn’t find particularly satisfying. Perhaps it was just me. If indeed so, I am happy to hear the comments from other solvers. 

Definitions are underlined wherever possible and/or appropriate.

1 ENDANGER Cut short acrimony – compromise (8)
    END (cut short) + ANGER (acrimony)
5 ORNATE Decorated about noon, has to deliver speech (6)
    ORATE (to deliver speech) around N (noon)
    I think “about …. has to” is a very clunky way to describe the insertion.
9 FEASIBLE Changing a belief’s not impossible (8)
    (A BELIEF’S)*
10   GLOBAL Going round the world is a smashing opportunity for a girl to take in (6)
    GAL (a girl) around LOB (a smashing opportunity, think tennis)
12 TENSE Worried for the future, perhaps (5)
    Double definition
13 POLYMATHS  College course for all-rounders (9)
    POLY (college) + MATHS (course, something that can be read at university)
14 ASHORE A horse being exercised on the beach (6)
    A + (SHORE)*
16 AUDIBLE Bail due for release, it’s heard (7)
    (BAIL DUE)*
19 EASTERN Point behind the ship towards the sun (7)
    E (point) + ASTERN (behind)
    Of course, it could be that I parsed this one wrongly, but I do not see where ‘the ship’ comes in. Moreover, I think the definition is dubious, certainly at 6pm :) .
21 SALLOW Sarah depressed, rather jaundiced (6)
    SAL (short for Sarah) + LOW (depressed)
23 TEST DRIVE  Evaluate performance of stroke on the river (4,5)
    TEST ((the) river) + DRIVE (stroke)
    The solution as a verb. Chambers doesn’t give it, others do.
25 TAKER He accepts Kate is upset, right? (5)
    (KATE)* + R (right)
26 NORWAY No right way to see the country (6)
    NO + R (right) + WAY
    The repeat of “R = right” is not very elegant, in my opinion. And then just giving both ‘no’ and ‘way’ away, well. Norway has so much potential for being celebrated with a great clue – this one wasn’t.
27 ALLEGORY Go really wild with Pilgrim’s Progress for example (8)
    (GO REALLY)*
28 LAMINA Layer backs a horse, for example (6)
    Reversal of ANIMAL (a horse, for example)
    One of these ambiguous clues that I don’t like. The solution could just as easily have been ‘animal’. In fact, I think ‘animal’ would have been the better option. I hope that once there will be a Cryptic World without it – it’s so easy to avoid.
29 SHEPHERD   The lamb’s tender (8)
    Cryptic definition
    Not my cup of tea.
1 EFFETE Spent two notes at the gala (6)
    E, F (two notes) + FETE ((the) gala)
2 DIAGNOSIS Ill-judgment (9)
    Cryptic definition
    Got this one straight away and … I liked it.
3 NAIVE Innocent one in church body (5)
    I (one) inside NAVE (church body)
4 ECLIPSE Obscure point repeated about prunes (7)
    E,E (point, repeated) around CLIPS (prunes)
6 ROLE MODEL In part, one sets a good example (4,5)
    Straightforward definition with a cryptic ‘part’.
    ‘Part’, of course, referring to acting. The more I look at this clue, the more I find it unsatisfactory. Don’t know what it is. Perhaps just me :) .
7 AMBIT A scholar rising, snapped – there are limits (5)
    AM (reversal of MA (a scholar)) + BIT (snapped)
8 ENLISTED Went into service? (8)
    I cannot see anything cryptic here, but perhaps I am missing the point. 
11 FLEA It jumps and it’s said to run (4)
    Homophone of FLEE (to run)
15 OVERDRAWN Exaggerated account discredited (9)
    Double definition
17 BLOCK VOTE Veto using proportional representation? (5,4)
    BLOCK VOTE (veto) or perhaps a reverse anagram for VETO (with ‘block’ as the indicator?)
18 SENTINEL Guard ordered to breached line (8)
    SENT (ordered) + (LINE)*
20 NAIL To expose a lie it needs hammering home (4)
    Double definition
    Strictly speaking, the first definition is a bit incomplete as it refers to ‘to nail a lie to the counter’. That is, I guess – I am not British and didn’t know this expression.
21 STEALTH The last sort of quality needed by cat burglars (7)
    (THE LAST)*
22 X-RAYED Provided inside information about a complaint (1-5)
    Cryptic definition
24 SCRUM Pushing forwards (5)
    Cryptic definition
    ‘Pushing’ as an adjective, ‘forwards’ as a noun. Think Rugby. I liked this one very much.
25 TIE-UP Tether that is restricting ram? Quite the contrary (3-2)
    IE (that is) inside TUP (ram), instead of the other way around

3 Responses to “Financial Times 14,222 – Dante”

  1. TonyP says:

    A Dante is usually a crossword that I can manage but apart from the NW corner I really struggled with this.

    Thank you for the blog – I can see I should have done much better.

    Like you I cannot understand 19A – it reads as if the point is ‘N’ but I can see no connection between ship and Easter.

  2. Bamberger says:

    Well I got nowhere with the NW corner!
    Had no idea about 1a , guessed ??fair for 1d, would never have thought that nave was a church body, and didn’t associate tense with worried-nervous but not worried.

    Apart from that failed on 7d, 18d (sent =ordered hmm) and 28a -what an awful clue.

    Not one of Dante’s best imo

  3. Keeper says:

    19a: The stern is the rear of a ship, so astern is literally “behind the ship.” You could argue that “behind” is sufficient, but “Point behind towards the sun” does not flow as well. Of course, I have to agree that “towards the sun” is not a good definition for EASTERN. A simple remedy could have been “towards the morning sun.” Even though Dante is the setter, mistakes like this should be caught by the editor, IMHO.

    26a: Completely agree, Sil. A most underwhelming clue. How about this: “Neither path leads to the country”

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