Posted by Pete Maclean on March 21st, 2013
Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of March 9th, 2013
Cinephile marks the 30th anniversary of his first puzzle in the FT. Of course, as most readers will know, John Graham has been compiling puzzles for publication for over 50 years. And I have been enjoying his FT Weekend crosswords for most of these last 30 years. I do not precisely remember when I started doing them but it was many years ago. I congratulate John on his anniversary and on an especially fine and appropriate puzzle here. I am honoured to be blogging it.
The puzzle contains several clues related to the anniversary: 1,4 (THIRTY YEARS WAR), 10 (SOLVERS), 13 (CROSSWORDS) and 17 (CINEPHILE). It also has a brilliant series of clues, 17D to 23D, that refer to events that occurred back when Cinephile started with the FT in 1983: Star Wars’ Return of the Jedi, the creation of a U.S. holiday to commemorate Martin Luther King, a law to require use of seat belts in cars, and the Brinks MAT robbery.
I also find several outstandingly good clues, my favourites being 1A (THIRTY YEARS WAY), 10A (SOLVERS), 20A (ANOTHER) and 6D (ROTTWEILER).
1,4. THIRTY YEARS WAR – anagram of ARTISTRY WHY ARE. There actually was a Thirty Years’ War fought in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648.
10. SOLVERS – SOL[e] (endless fish) + VERS[e] (endless lines)
11. RUTHFUL – [t]RUTHFUL (candid with lost leader)
12. KNOT – double definition
13. CROSSWORDS – CROSS WORDS (these seem to suggest some lack of harmony). Not perhaps a conventional clue.
15. NEMEAN – NE (directions) + MEAN (indicate). I was unfamiliar with this term which, I learn from Wikipedia, refers to one of the four Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece. They were said to have been founded by Heracles after he defeated the Nemean Lion.
16,27. DA VINCI CODE – DA (from, in Italian) + VINCI (Tuscan town) + CODE (sequel to highway, as in The Highway Code). I don’t much like this way of cluing ‘code’.
20. ANOTHER – A (first) + NOT (it wasn’t) + HER (that lady)
21. PEANUT – double definition
24. REAL ESTATE – anagram of TEA STEALER
26. SPAR – double definition
28. NOWHERE – NOW (the present time) + HERE (the present place)
29. EROTICA – OT (books, as in Old Testament) in ERICA (heather)
30. SANCTITY – [o]NC[e] + TIT (active little bird) together in SAY (speak)
31. RECESS – double definition
1. TASHKENT – ASH KE[y] (almost all the fruit of a tree) in TNT (explosive)
2. ISLE OF MAN – IS (is) + LEO (big cat) + M (male) in FAN (cooler). John Donne is famous for saying that no man is an island.
3. TIER – homophone (“tear”)
5. EUROSTAR – U (turn) in EROS (love) + TAR (sailor)
6. ROTTWEILER – WEIL (Simone) in ROTTER (bad guy)
7. WAFER – homophone (“way for”). An unusual but very good direct homophone.
8. RELISH – R (take) + ELISH[a] (prophet without a)
9. USURP – SUR[e] (not quite certain) in UP (ascending)
14. BATTLEMENT – BATTLE (fighting) + MEN (folk) + T (time)
17. CINEPHILE – double definition. Not really a cryptic clue but that’s okay.
18. SEAT BELT – SEAT (throne) + BELT (zone)
19. STAR WARS – STAR (*) + WARS (conflicts)
22. BRINKS – BRINKS (verges) which, with MAT (without gloss), fits the definition ‘big robbery’
23. UTHER – [martin l]UTHER [king]. ‘This old one’ refers to the old English king, Uther Pendragon.
25. ASWAN – A (a) + SWAN (bird)