Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12501/Io

Posted by neildubya on July 4th, 2007


IO was another new name to me until I checked the Setters page here and found that he is also Nimrod and Enigmatist, which explained a lot. Unusual to see a preamble in a daily puzzle too; this one read “The “ones” are of a kind; their clues lack further definition”. They turned out to be artists; thematic clues are asterisked below.

1,29 A PICTURE PAINTS A THOUSAND WORDS – which links in with the “ones”.
10 NOT,ER – the second but last one I filled in. “Observe” is defined in the Chambers online dictionary as “to examine and note” although I’m not completely convinced that an “observer” is a NOTER.
*11 DONATE,LL,O – “overhead” for O would give some people the heebie-jeebies…
12 O in ROSTER – …as would “Empty duty list” here. We have to interpret this as “duty list” with “nothing” (“o”) in it.
*19 R.E.M,BRAND,T – Wikipedia helpfully informs us that R.E.M is a stage of sleep “characterised by rapid eye movements” – that’ll be where they got the name from then.
*20 MO,NET
22 EMI in SPED – very skewed syntax in this clue. It reads “Ran music organization, breaking part of foot” but we’re supposed to interpret it as “Music organization breaking ran part of foot”, which is obviously gibberish. My feeling is that this is a step too far – if you have to bend the syntax that much to get a better surface reading (which isn’t even particularly convincing) then surely it’s better to just write a different clue? It wouldn’t be so bad if the word was common but SEMIPED is not in the Concise OED or Chambers Online.
*25 V, R in EMEER
27 (SO STAND UP)* – I guess this is SANDSPOUT as it’s the only thing that will fit but I can’t find the word defined anywhere online (it may well be in Chambers though). The surface reading (“Feature of Desert Storm, so stand-up wags“) is incomprehensible to me but maybe someone else would like to have a go at interpreting it?
2 PET,LEU in ROM – another kerrazy surface reading.
*3 TO,ROC (going up) – not an artist I’ve ever heard of but not too tricky wordplay.
*5 hidden in “modERN STyle”.
6 (THE HAMLET)* – nice clue; best of the puzzle I think.
7 hidden in “EuclideaN ALGOrithms” – NALGO is (or was) the National Association of Local Government Officers.
8 S,(LOTS ON)* – STOLON(S) was new to me. I had S?O?O?S so it was either going to be SLOTONS or STOLONS and I went for the latter.
*9 INGRES(s)
15 PA in PARIS,US (the last bit going up) – can’t remember how I knew PARI PASSU – probably from another crossword. “Romantic city” is a fairly obvious signpost for PARIS and “old man” is often PA.
17 IT,IT (going up),VAT,ED – I knew TITIVATE was a word but didn’t know what it meant and it was a bit suprising to learn the meaning; feels like it should mean something else, although I’m not sure what.
*22 MUN(i)CH
24 D,IOTA – another new one to me. Took a while to work out “a little” was IOTA.

One Response to “Financial Times 12501/Io”

  1. John H says:

    This puzzle took me ages to solve.

    Needed help with DIOTA and SEMIPED.

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