Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,275 – Dante

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on April 11th, 2013

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Apr 1

This Dante crossword was published on the 1st of April but lacked any topical clues. No references to the day, instead a lot of anagrams and the usual smoothness typical of this setter.

I can see from the use of two different colours of ink in my grid that I needed a second session to overcome the Middle East. Let’s blame it on 16 across.

Definitions are underlined wherever possible and/or appropriate.

1 DEFIANCE Upset ace fined for open disobedience (8)
    (ACE FINED)*
5 AVENUE A meeting-place in the suburban street (6)
    A + VENUE (meeting place)
9 BLESSING Grace, opening batsman, gets unusual singles (8)
    B[atsman] + (SINGLES)*
10   SNOOPS Sneaks around courts (6)
    Reversal of SPOONS (courts)
    One of these clues that could work both ways. But the N of 6d leaves only one option.
12 SALON Girl working in a hairdressers (5)
    SAL (girl) + ON (working)
13   OPERATION Medical treatment in battle (9)
    Double definition
14 SNIPER Are all his shots singles through cover? (6)
    Cryptic definition
16   GRINDER Mouth organist? (7)
    Cryptic definition
    I hope this is the right answer, thinking of teeth. I am not even sure whether I fully understand the clue. It is a cryptic definition, I guess?
19 SWEAR IN Induct into office when I answer correctly (5,2)
    (I ANSWER)*
21 CREEPS Toadies engendering feeling of revulsion (6)
    Double definition
23 OTHERWISE   He swore it might be different (9)
    (HE SWORE IT)*
25 DOWEL Peg possibly owed a pound (5)
    (OWED)* + L (a pound)
26 INLAYS Inserts in songs (6)
    IN + LAYS (songs)
27 ARTISTRY Create a stir, try some skill (8)
    (A STIR)* + TRY
28 HANDLE Held with an awkward grip (6)
    (HELD + AN)*
29 OPEN SHOP Frank to inform against business accepting non-union staff (4,4)
    OPEN (frank, lower case) + SHOP (to inform against)
1 DEBASE Lower by degrees into river (6)
    BAS (degrees, plural of BA) inside DEE (river)
2 FREELANCE He works alone to import fish into European country (9)
    EEL (fish) inside FRANCE (European country)
3 ARSON The offence of one coming to light (5)
    Cryptic definition
4 CONTOUR Outline of study-trip (7)
    CON (study) + TOUR (trip)
6   VANDALISE Destroy and put into a bag (9)
    AND inside VALISE (a bag)
    It took me a while to see the construction, but when the penny dropped a smile came to my face.
7 NAOMI No, I am wrong, she was Ruth’s mother-in-law (5)
    (NO I AM)*
8 ELSINORE Location for Hamlet relies on redevelopment (8)
    (RELIES ON)*
11 BERG Plead a case for right Austrian composer (4)
    BEG (plead) around (being ‘a case for’) R (right)
    Alban Berg (1885-1935)
15   PORTRAYAL Depicting characters performing in play or art (9)
    (PLAY OR ART)*
17   DIPSWITCH Wash hairpiece – it reduces the highlights (9)
    DIP (wash) + SWITCH (hairpiece)
    Nice hairy surface, “highlights” can be a bright tint in the hair (eg by dyeing or bleaching). Within the definition “highlights” should be seen as “high lights” ie the headlights of a car.
18 ASTONISH Cause amazement to a holy man on his involvement (8)
    A + ST (holy man, saint) + (ON HIS)*
20 NAIL A love outwardly secure (4)
    A with NIL (love, nothing) on the outside
21   CHEER UP Take encouragement from acclamation at university (5,2)
    CHEER (acclamation) + UP (at university)
22 PLAY UP Misbehave and make too much of a story (4,2)
    Double definition
24 HELEN She loved Paris – not only in the spring (5)
    Cryptic definition
    Classic romance with a nod to the Cole Porter song “I love Paris (in the springtime)”.
25 DEIGN Hamlet, say, gives consent (5)
    Homophone of DANE (Hamlet, say)

5 Responses to “Financial Times 14,275 – Dante”

  1. Muffyword says:

    Thank you for the blog, Sil. I agree that VANDALISE was cleverly amusing.

    My theory was that 16 GRINDER was a double definition.

  2. Bamberger says:

    I failed on
    10a Just couldn’t get either
    16a Very difficult in my book
    25a Couldn’t see it
    6d Valise =bag too hard for me
    11d Never heard of
    17d Switch=hairpiece unheard of
    25d Filed under too hard .

    Thanks for the enlightenment

  3. TonyP says:

    I failed on all of Bamberger’s list along with 5a.

    Some are so simple but not until the penny drops.

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks to everyone for posting a comment.

    Muffyword @1: “My theory was that 16 GRINDER was a double definition”.
    Can you explain this please?

  5. Muffyword says:

    I thought GRINDER might be a term for a mouth (as well as a tooth). When added to (organ) grinder, this made two definitions. I now think I was wrong and this is a cryptic definition/play on organ grinder and grinder (molar tooth). Sorry to have created confusion.

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