Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,533/Sleuth

Posted by neildubya on August 10th, 2007


My first Sleuth puzzle but I’ve solved a few by the same setter as Hypnos in the Independent. This was a reasonably gentle solve with some nice touches here and there. One query with 15A, where I don’t understand all of the wordplay.

1 M,U in (CLEVER ARIA)* – MAURICE RAVEL. “Mark for all to see” to indicate M and then U(niversal – the film classification) was very good. Great surface too.
10 PR in I MOVE – “priest” can have a number of indicators: ELI and REV are pretty common but PR was the last one I thought of.
11 C,(A POLYS)* – CALYPSO was an easy anagram to spot.
13 ID in A CROCK – my first instinct was to not think about this too hard and fill in PUNK ROCK but while that fits perfectly with the definition – better than ACID ROCK I think – it doesn’t work for the wordplay. I’d never actually heard of ACID ROCK, although I’ve heard of acid jazz.
15 RIDICULOUS – don’t understand all of the wordplay for this. “It’s clear…after retirement” must be LUCID< but that leaves RIOUS. The full clue is “It’s clear one’s into drink after retirement? That’s laughable”.
4 CREW – “Crewe”, “Eight perhaps” is the definition and is a reference to rowing CREWs.
7 ([-em]PLOYERS)* – Seems a bit of an understatement to describe LEPROSY as a “complaint”.
8 (LIBERAL CHUM IF)* – not often you see LIEBFRAUMILCH in a crossword and this anagram does rather jump out at you.
14 BLOOD’S PORT – I filled this in from the definition with confirmation from the checking letters as I didn’t understand the “Irish adventurer” bit of the clue. It’s a reference to a novel called Captain Blood.
17 JA,CO,(I BET)* – JACOBITE. “Yes abroad” is JA (German for “yes”).
23 hidden in “fulL HAS Accumulated”
25 TT in OO – one classic bit of crossword-ese – TT (tee-totaller, “dry figure”) – and one fairly new (but not unheard of) innovation: OO for “glasses” (OO looks like a pair of glasses).

7 Responses to “Financial Times 12,533/Sleuth”

  1. Testy says:

    As with 24D in yesterday’s puzzle (please enlighten me if you know the answer to that one too!) 15A today also has me stumped for an explanation.

    I’m guessing that it is possibly (LUCID I) reversed (clear one’s … after retirement) which leaves ROUS (or possibly SUOR) for drink!

    My only thought is maybe it was intended to be LUCID I in SOUR (as in the type of cocktail) all reversed and the setter made a mistake?

  2. neildubya says:

    I didn’t understand LEMON either!

    I had the same thought about ROUS/SOUR and I think you’re right that LUCID I is accounted for in “clear one’s”. That would be quite a blooper if it is a mistake…

  3. Testy says:

    Did you have any views on “My Scottish” giving MON in 10A in yesterday’s Orense too?

    Do any of the FT setters/editor follow this blog? Are they willing to chip in at all?

  4. neildubya says:

    MON – like you, I’ve always thought this was a Scottish word for “man” rather than “my”. But I don’t have a big dictionary to hand (like Chambers or Collins) and it could be in one of those. It’s not in Concise OED.

    The FT xwd ed does read the blog but I don’t know about most of the setters. I know a couple do because they’ve commented here under their real names and other newspaper pseudonyms. I’d like more setters to comment too as I’d be really interested to hear (for example) why they clued a word a certain way.

  5. niloci says:

    lucid+i in sour (all rev)is the setter’s explanation for Ridiculous, which works I think.

  6. neildubya says:

    But that gives SUOR not SOUR…

  7. niloci says:

    Very true, it does …

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