Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 14,246 – Dante

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

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Feb 25

Most of this Dante puzzle went in very quickly but, not for the first time, I had some real trouble to fully finish a crossword by this setter. The North-West (1d, 2d, 8ac – all linked) puzzled me for a long long time. Dark clouds hanging in the air.  Well, I got there in the end and I am quite sure now that my entries are correct. Yet, these final moments gave me Blood Sweat & Tears.

Apart from that, a lot of typical Dante. That said, two clues (13ac, 17d) showed Dante at his very best!

Definitions are underlined wherever possible and/or appropriate.

Across
1 SNATCH Pluck shown in American kidnapping (6)
    Double definition
    ‘American’ is there because the word ‘snatch’ is probably more used by Americans than Brits when it comes to napping kids.
     
4 EARWIG Girl from near Wigan – a sixfooter (6)
    [n]EAR WIG[an] – with Nan being the girl taken ‘from’ it
    This could have been just a hidden solution, but Dante wants us to remove a girl called Nan. It’s mainly an American name (think of the famous opera singer Nan Merriman), very familiar to Chinese too. Not sure about people in the UK. Wikipedia says that it is short for Anna or Agnes.
     
8 BOYCOTT He earned a name for exclusive treatment in Ireland (7)
    Double definition, perhaps
    I could find the solution only after changing 1d from ‘space’ into ‘scope’.  The ‘exclusive treatment’ (BOYCOTT) is named after an Irish land agent (Cpt  Charles C Boycott (1832-1897)) who had a conflict with the Irish Land League.
     
9 TRAITOR He may be prepared to sell his land (7)
    Cryptic definition
    Another one that took some time to fall in place. One should see ‘to sell’ here as in ‘to sell your soul’.
     
11 REVELATION    No relative may make such a telling statement (10)
    (NO RELATIVE)*
     
12 PATH Irishman hot on the trail (4)
    PAT (Irishman) + H (hot)
     
13 FISTS What pacifists have but don’t use (5)
    [paci]FISTS
    Great clue. For me, everything pointed in the direction of a cryptic definition. It took a while to see what pacifists ‘have’.
     
14 REDSTART Bird seen in a colourful spring (8)
    RED (colourful) + START (spring)
     
16 FLARES UP Gets angry when signs of distress are seen? (6,2)
    Double definition, one without and one with hyphen – but very close together
     
18 ABETS Helps beast in distress (5)
    (BEAST)*
     
20 BEAM Wide smile gives support (4)
    Double definition
     
21 MATCH-POINT Decisive moment in game as striker takes position on the field (5-5)
    MATCH (striker) + POINT (position on the field)
     
23 CORRODE Rust found in the central shaft (7)
    ROD (shaft) inside CORE ((the) central)
    This is a kind of construction I do not like. Dante means: “shaft found in the central”, so the other way around. I know, some setters do this and it can indeed be justified but I would like to keep it far away from me. Just a matter of taste, I guess.
     
24    OUTINGS Excursions from Tunis go free (7)
    (TUNIS GO)*
     
25    DWELLS Lives well in the outskirts of Dallas (6)
    WELL inside D[alla]S
     
26 CYGNET The sound of a seal or swan (6)
    Homophone of SIGNET (seal)
     
Down    
1 SCOPE Room with a view? (5)
    Double definition
    Initially, I was pretty sure that this had to be ‘space’. I think it can be justified when seeing the second part of the clue as being cryptic – more space etc. Yes, SCOPE is much better after I saw the ‘view’ bit. SCOPE can mean ‘to scan’ as a verb and it is short for eg ‘microscope’, ie ‘something with a view’ (question mark).
     
2 ARCHERS They draw back before going for gold (7)
    Cryptic definition
    This one took a while to fall in place. It was clear that it had to be ‘archers’ but I think ‘going for gold’ is a bit unfortunate within the context. Perhaps, it’s me missing something. By the way, I am really scared of this kind of weapon / sports gear. Perhaps, because one can see the lethal arrow coming one’s way.
     
3 CATHARSIS Purge has racist components (9)
    (HAS RACIST)*
     
5 APRON Expert clad in an item of protective clothing (5)
    PRO (exper clad) inside AN
     
6   WHIPPET Nick has a favourite dog (7)
    WHIP (nick) + PET (a favourite)
     
7 GOOD TURNS Favours seeing only high-class acts (4,5)
    GOOD (high-class) + TURNS (acts)
     
10    DISREPUTE About to become involved in quarrel – shame! (9)
    RE (about) inside DISPUTE (quarrel)
     
13 FALSEHOOD Treacherous outlaw in fiction (9)
    FALSE (treacherous) + HOOD (outlaw, Robin)
     
15 DEATH DUTY Late payment? (5,4)
    Cryptic definition
     
17   REMORSE Ruth Rendell’s first English detective (7)
    R[endell] + E (English) + MORSE (detective)
    A lift & separate clue. Very unusual in a Dante puzzle (more the Alberich stuff) and once more an indication to the fact that Dante can act on a different (read: higher) level if he wants to. Fine surface too.
     
19 EMOTION Feeling I’m one to get pushed around (7)
    (I’M ONE TO)*
     
21 MODEL Fashion prototype (5)
    Double definition
     
22 NIGHT The fall that followed Eve (5)
    Cryptic definition
     
     

3 Responses to “Financial Times 14,246 – Dante”

  1. Finn says:

    Gold is the very centre of an Archer’s target, I believe.

  2. Bamberger says:

    I just couldn’t get 1a.
    I also had 1d as space
    Couldn’t get 8a or 23a
    Thanks for blog

  3. Marmaduke says:

    ‘Flares up’ doesn’t need a hyphen.

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