Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,263 by Cincinnus

Posted by Pete Maclean on March 28th, 2013

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of March 16, 2013

This puzzle struck me as looser and harder than the typical Cincinnus. My top clues are 9A (OPERETTA), 12A (RATES), 2D (SPECTATOR) and 8D (POSITION).

Across
1. ALSATIAN – A (a) + L (large) + I (one) in SATAN (devil)
5. CHOP UP – CHOP[in] (composer dropping in) + UP (at university)
9. OPERETTA – anagram of TO REPEAT
10. EMMAUS – EMMA (classic novel) + US (American)
12. RATES – E (English) in RATS (expression when annoyed)
13. RETHOUGHT – RE (engineers) + THOUGH (for all that) + T (time)
14. STICKS – double definition
16. BRAVADO – A (a) + D (duke) together in BRAVO (Charlie’s predecessor, in the phonetic alphabet that is)
19. APROPOS – A (a) + PROP (supporter) + SO (like this) backwards
21. AGHAST – AGHAS (commanders) + T[urkish]. ‘Aghas’ is an unusual spelling that I had to check in my Chambers.
23. BRIDEWELL – DE[ad] + WE (we) together in BRILL (fish). The origin of ‘bridewell’ is interesting. The word was once used in England to mean any place of detention and I imagine that Cincinnus intended it in this generic sense. The term came from a particular prison that was created in a building originally constructed as a royal palace and named Bridewell Palace due, it appears, to its proximity to a well known as St. Bride’s Well. There is more on Wikipedia if you are curious.
25. SUCRE – C (about) in SURE (safe)
26. REMISS – RE MI (notes) + S[inger]S. I guessed the answer quickly but had a tough time seeing how the wordplay worked.
27. IGNORANT – [s]IGNORA (foreign lady not opening) + NT (books, i.e. New Testament)
28. ACROSS – anagram of OSCARS
29. NOT A BEAN – double/cryptic definition (BEN is ‘bean’ with not A)

Down
1. ABOARD – A (a) + BOARD (panel)
2. SPECTATOR – anagram of PROTECTS A
3. TREWS – reverse hidden word
4. ANTARES – RE (about) in ANTAS (Christmas visitor, i.e. SANTA, with head lowered)
6. HOMEOPATH – HOME (in) + O (love) + PATH (way)
7. PRANG – P[olice] + RANG (called)
8. POSITION – anagram of I STOP + NO I (no-one) backwards
11. STAB – BATS (cricketer) backwards. At first I thought ‘cricketer’ was a poor definition for BATS but, after checking, I am satisfied that it’s a good one.
15. CYPRESSSES – C (100) + Y (years) + PRESSES (cider makers)
17. ASSOCIATE – anagram of TAOISEAC[h]S
18. CANBERRA – CAN BE (is possible) + RR (Republicans) + A (area)
20. SEES – palindrome
21. ALLEGRO – anagram of LEGAL OR
22. SEXTON – double definition, the second referring to the fictional detective Sexton Blake
24. IZMIR – homophone (“is mere”) (is nothing but)
25. STOMA – STOMA[ch] (put up with no church)

6 Responses to “Financial Times 14,263 by Cincinnus”

  1. Bamberger says:

    I couldn’t get
    5a -why does chop up =hash?

    My first in was 29a but I didn’t get it at the time and I still don’t.
    No money =not a bean.
    How does no money =for ben?
    I can see that bean without a is ben but what has that got to do with anything?

    18d I had no idea that rr =republican
    26a I couldn’t see it -got it now

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Hi Bamberger,

    Why does chop up = hash? Because ‘chop up’ is exactly what ‘hash’ as a verb means.

    As for NOT A BEAN, well, it’s crosswordese I suppose that “not a bean” can be construed to mean ‘bean without an A”. It’s not elegant.

    RR = republican? Well, strictly, it is R = republican so RR = republicans. I had not known it before either.

  3. ernie says:

    Thanks again, Pete, for your blog.

    Re 11D
    cricketer = bat
    so ‘cricketer’s’ in the clue = bat’s
    and as you say bats backwards is stab.

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    Ernie, thanks. Yes, I could have been more careful about that.

  5. Keeper says:

    Thanks for the blog, Pete. The SW quadrant was tough for me — not familiar with Bridewell Prison, got stuck on “A BRA” for “A supporter” for the start of 19a, and never would have thought of SEES as a synonym for “Clocks”. (M-W has “4 chiefly British: attain, realize —usually used with up”. I guess that’s it.)

    In the U.S., R is a common abbreviation for Republican (as D is for Democrat). For example, “Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).”

  6. Pete Maclean says:

    Keeper, thanks for commenting. I have added some information to the blog about bridewell. I realize I have seen expressions such as “Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)” many times but did not clock (!) the context when solving 18d.

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