Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 14,227 by Cinephile

Posted by Pete Maclean on February 14th, 2013

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of February 2nd, 2013

This is a typical Cinephile puzzle with looseness and liberties taken in a few clues that some people may object to but, for appreciators of John Graham, it is, I think, a rather good one. Okay, we have one of those barely readable long, winding anagrams (2,7,21) but one with, unusually, some misdirection in the form of words to be anagrammed that one might easily take to be anagram indicators (‘out’ and ‘novel’). My favourite clues are 5A (OLD LAG), 10A (DENVER), 23A (IDIOM) and 20D (HEY WAIN).

Across
1. MITIGATE – MITI (homophone of “Mitty”) + GATE (standard suffix for scandal). Not an exact homophone, I believe.
5. OLD LAG – [g]OLD + L (left) + AG (silver)
9. RYEBREAD – homophone of “Rye bred”
10. DENVER – hidden word
12. SLOTH – double definition
13. CLOSE-KNIT – INK (liquid) backwards in CLOSET (cupboard). Ink these days is very often not a liquid.
14. TRIFLE – double definition
16. DELIVER – double definition
18. PREVIEW – REV (vicar) + I (first) in PEW (his seat)
20. HUNGRY – HUNG[a]RY (article taken from country)
22. OLFACTORY – OL[d] + FACTORY (workplace)
23. IDIOM – ID (I had) + MOI (myself) backwards
24. KOREAN – E (one [oriental]) in KORAN (holy book)
25. BARNARDO – anagram of A BRAND OR. The definition, home provider, refers to Barnardo’s, a charity that provides homes for vulnerable people, primarily orphans.
26. TREATY – AT (at) in TREY (three). A card with three pips is sometimes called a trey.
27. ENTRENCH – [c]ENTRE (taking head from heart) + CH (church)

Down
1. MORASS – OR (gold) in MASS (lump)
2, 7, 21. THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE NEVER DID RUN SMOOTH – anagram of MISFORTUNE DROVE THE CURSED HERO OUT NOVEL
3. GIRTH – anagram of RIGHT
4. TRANCHE – T (time) + RANCH (cattle station) + E (energy)
6. LLEWELLYN – WELL (source of water) in LLEYN (his peninsula). Lleyn is the name of a peninsula in Wales.
8. GYRATORY – anagram of GRAY + TORY (possibly conservative)
11, 19. GOODWOOD – GOOD (applause for) + WOOD (bowler)
15. FLIP CHART – anagram of CHAP in FLIRT (philanderer)
17. SPROCKET – SP[ace] + ROCKET (traveller). Hmm, is ‘space’ intended to do some double duty here? I think he could easily have improved this clue.
20. HAY WAIN – homophone for “Hey, Wayne”. ‘Constable’ here refers of course to the British painter John Constable one of whose best known pictures is “The Hay Wain”.
23. INNER – INN (local) + ER (monarch). With an obscure definition: The concentric circles on a “bull’s eye” target are, from the centre: bull, inner, magpie, and outer.

7 Responses to “Financial Times 14,227 by Cinephile”

  1. Bamberger says:

    Since noone else has commented I will. I look forward to the Saturday and Monday FT crosswords but my heart sank as soon as I saw it was a Cinephile.I immediately looked at the Grauniad but Aracauria was the setter. I have tried Cinephile before, but not enjoyed the attempt so when I saw 2,7 ,21 I just thought “no way” and maybe given the lack of comments that is what other FT solvers thought.
    I am aware of the Rev’s illness and wish him well so I’m simply making the point that it appears that FT solvers expect an easier ride than they would get with the Times, Indie and Guardian and if they perceive that the game isn’t the owrth the candle, they “vote with their feet” by simply not even starting it.Why else the lack of comment?

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Bamberger, Thanks for not leaving me commentless! I suspect your assessment is correct.

  3. Jen and Nel says:

    We’re huge fans of Cinephile, and definitely appreciate your work in providing answers for the one or two words that we sometimes cannot get. Very sorry to hear that the Rev is sick. We thought this was a great puzzle. Thanks for the site!

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    Hello Jen and Nel, Thank you for chiming in and for your kind words. It is good to hear from some other Cinephile fans; I do not get comments from a lot. As I have mentioned before, I am a great fan as well, although one who is very ready to criticize.

  5. MichaelG says:

    There do seem to be fewer comments on Cinephile puzzles than Araucaria ones, which is strange given that they are from the same much-loved hand. A bit more work is needed to solve them as they can’t be done on-line, although they can be downloaded from FT.com – I subscribe to the paper version of the FT but always print out downloaded Guardian ones anyway. I’m sorry Bamberger finds them difficult – give them a try, get inside the setter’s head, and after a while you will get the hang of it. 2,7,21 could be guessed from the crossing squares without knowing who Lysander was or working out the anagram.
    My main complaint is that I wait ages for an Araucaria/Cinephile puzzle(they are the only ones I regularly attempt) and then two come along at once – I once asked the Guardian’s crossword editor whether he could coordinate with the FT to avoid this!
    The NW corner stumped me so I was glad of Pete Maclean’s blog when it appeared on Thursday. The explanation of 23D (solution was obvious from the wordplay) was helpful – I’d never heard of bull/inner/magpie – and assisted the solution of 12A in Araucaria 25,866 which I tackled after this one (and have only just finished after struggling with the NE corner).
    That said, in general Cinephile puzzles seem somewhat easier than Araucaria ones and often have an initial letter for a word theme.

  6. Keeper says:

    Like MichaelG, I was able to work out the long anagram with the help of the crossing letters (even though I didn’t realize Lysander was a Shakespearean character who spoke that line).

    Just one question: Is “Colorado’s” really a sufficient definition for DENVER?

  7. Pete Maclean says:

    Good question, Keeper. I think the answer is no. Denver may be the capital of Colorado, its largest city and its best known, but it is not defined by “Colorado’s”. That said, I still think there is some justification to this clue in that, if you read the whole clue as the definition, then it sort-of works. So, in a strictly Ximenean puzzle, it would not pass muster but, in Cinephile’s looser world, it marginally suffices.

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