Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,251 by Cinephile

Posted by Pete Maclean on March 14th, 2013

Pete Maclean.

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

A Cinephile puzzle that is very Cinephilic! Solving it took me some time and I needed a bit of help here and there. Cinephile’s themed puzzles often prove fairly easy because, once one cops to the theme, one can easily complete a number of answers including, typically, the longest ones. Even though I am hazy on the history of Neville Chamberlain’s time, I was easily able to get all the “appeasement” clues. But, unusually, that still left a few toughies such as 10A (TRADESMAN). My favourite clues here are 9A (ROWAN), 22-24A (PEACE IN OUR TIME) and 2D (NEWS VALUE).

Across
1,25. MUNICH AGREEMENT – [im]MUNI[ty] + ME (setter) in GREEN (colour) in CHAT (talk). Rather loose cluing of MUNI.
4. EPISODIC – SODI[um chloride] (a lot of salt) in EPIC (saga). A lot of salt? I’d say a pinch!
9. ROWAN – double definition. Topical of course and rather clever. I like it.
10. TRADESMAN – ART (painting) + DESMAN. Yes there is an amphibious mammal called the desman — look it up on Wikipedia if you wish confirmation. I had to! (Thank you, Bob.)
11,12,19. NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN – NE (Geordie, that is as in North East, I guess) + VILLE (town) + CHAMBER (room) + LAIN (had a rest)
14. ROUNDERS – hidden word
17. EASY MEAT – Y (“why”) + ME (me) + A (first) all together in EAST (quarter)
22,24. PEACE IN OUR TIME – anagram of AUCTION EMPIRE + E (east)
26. AVAIL – A (a) + VAIL (homophone of “veil”)
27. ENTANGLE – [p]ENTANGLE
28,13. DEADLY DULL – Spoonerized DUDLEY (West Midland) + DELL (wooded hollow). Dudley is a town in the West Midlands of England.

Down
1. MARINADE – MARINA (boatyard) + DE[ck] (quarterdeck twice). Is a marinade necessarily spicy?
2. NEWS VALUE – anagram of EVEN US LAW
3,21. CANDLE GREASE – AND (with) + LEG (member) together in CREASE (fold)
5. PRANCING ABOUT – anagram of NO GRUB CAPTAIN
6. SEEPAGE – SEE (V, as in vide) + PAGE (P). I needed help understanding this wordplay! (Thanks, Peter.)
7. DEMOB – DEMO (protest) + B (second)
8. CANARY – double definition
10. THE COMMON WEAL – anagram of MONTH COME + WEAL (damage). Weal may refer to something like a welt that damages skin or to wealth.
15. SWAZILAND – [br]AZIL (American country not British) in SWAN (bird) + D (dead)
16. UNDERLAY – UN (a French) + R (right) in DELAY (procrastination)
18. SHEBEEN – SHE (lady) + BEEN (gone)
20. UPTAKE – anagram of A PET UK
23. AFRIT – FRI (a little day) in AT (at). An afrit is a supernatural creature in Arabic and Islamic cultures. I fancy I came across one in Morocco last year.

4 Responses to “Financial Times 14,251 by Cinephile”

  1. Wil Ransome says:

    As usual when Cinephile sets, quite apart from the excellent clues (like 14ac), which must be the ones that cause such hero-worship, I have a number of doubts:

    a) In 1/25 it is very unusual for ‘some immunity’ to give ‘muni’ as only part of the wordplay. Mind you, I can’t see what is wrong with this device, but it is very seldom if ever used, so far as I know.

    b) In 4ac yes I agree, the only way for sodi to be a lot of salt is for salt to be sodium, which it isn’t.

    c) In 10ac the word ‘to’ grates. How can it work?

    d) In 17ac first = A, and in 7dn second = B. Well …

    e) In 1dn ‘quarterdeck twice’ to give de, seems remarkably tortuous. Indeed, I can’t actually see how it works.

    f) In 2dn of course ‘Man bites dog’ may have news value but is it really a satisfactory definition of this?

    I may well be wrong here and would be grateful if someone could point out how.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Well that’s kind of what I meant about its being Cinephilic. There are several bits and pieces that are not totally satisfactory but I do not feel obliged to point them all out; the puzzle is still well solvable. For me, the only thing that goes beyond the pale is the SODI thing while MUNI is close. I think ‘quarterdeck twice’ works in that it means take two quarters of ‘deck’, that is DE. The trouble is that it could, I suppose, just as easily clue DD (taking the first quarter twice) or at a pinch, any two letters of DECK. As for 2dn, I agree that “Man bites dog” is a poor definition but I could not think of a better one.

  3. MichaelG says:

    I found this one quite hard, with several gaps even after resorting to onelook.com – not helped by inserting SPORADIC in 4A! In 28,13 I knew it should be “dell” as Spooner’s version of 13A but missed the vowel shift rather than consonant when looking for a place in the West Midlands…
    Thanks Pete for explaining 6D – an “aha” moment there, although I think “V.” is short for “vide” = see, albeit part of “viz.” = videlicet or namely.

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    MichaelG, thank you, yes, as I just confirmed for myself in my Chambers, “v.” is short for “vide”. I have fixed the explanation of the clue to this effect. And I will try to remember this v versus viz distinction.

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