Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12719 / Neo

Posted by C G Rishikesh on March 18th, 2008

C G Rishikesh.

I took longer than two previous Tuesday puzzles that I have blogged on. Less than 45 minutes.

First entry was 5ac. The upper half was completed first. The most difficult quadrant was bottom right. The last three entries were 23ac, 26ac and 24dn. This does not necessarily mean that these are the most difficult clues in this crossword. It all depends on connectivities in the brain of the solver.


COVERUP - C, over(done), up (done)

NONET – read ‘no net’ (online link denied)

10 LANCASTER – Lanc(a st)er – ‘contradicts’ because it is not ‘lancer’ in ‘a st’ but ‘a st’ in ‘lancer’. (Will someone confirm this?)

12 ELENA – rev. telescopic from ‘IndiAN ELEphant’. I may be pardoned if I toyed with HATHI before I drove it away. ‘Hathi’ may not be in Chambers but it is in Bradford’s and in US dictionaries such as The New Comprehensive A-Z Crossword Dictionary.

15 INSWINGER – I, N S, winger (footballer). ‘moving’ here is an adj. qualifying ‘ball'; cricketing term.

18 PHENOMENA – solved after I got some crossings and from the def., ‘events’. I have not parsed it as yet; anag. components must be A H POEM but ‘daft’ part of it eludes silly me. I am not using paper and pencil to work it out. Help!

21 NORTH – solved from one of the definitions, ‘up’. Who is this “he…”?

23 DEAD HORSE – Runner (horse), late (dead) but the required phrase is not in this order; for def, re-read the whole clue; allusion to the expression ‘flogging a dead horse’.

25 HAND-BUILT – Cryptic def.

27 REYNARD – Re(yna)<-rd 

28 EMPRESS – Em<- press (v. from ‘Iron’) ‘Me’ is from ‘this writer’ or the setter. Did Margaret Thatcher delay your solution?


VANDALISE – van, dalise (anag. of ‘ladies’), ‘repaired’ being the anag. signal

POLONAISE – polo, naise (anag. of ‘in sea’), ‘replaced’ being the anag. signal and ‘dance’ the def.

TRAGEDIAN – anag. of ‘and a tiger’, ‘run wild’ being the anag. signal. Solved from the anag. letters; had to look up subsequently to learn that Edward Alleyn was an Elizabethan actor (NB: I have revised this entry in the light of a comment below as there was an oversight in the anagram fodder.)

CORSAIR – cors (homophone of ‘coarse’, ‘in speech’ being the hom. ind.), air (bearing).

14 NEOPHOBIA – clue type is not even mildly cryptic but straightforward. In any case, I for one do not have NEOphobia!

16 SEABATTLE – Se(AB)battle – ‘rating’ gives AB (able-bodied seaman); solved from wordplay; the def. part (Jutland) is lost on me. Help!

17 GABARDINE – ga(bard)in, e (key), ‘material’ being the def.

18 PANTHER – pan (v., to criticise), the, R (Rex, king)

24 HET UP –  he, t up<- – ‘given accommodation’ = put up – TUP<-

3 Responses to “Financial Times 12719 / Neo”

  1. Testy says:

    18A (POEM ANNE H)*. “Daft” is the anag ind.
    21A refers to Oliver North
    6D is an anagram of “AND A TIGER” with “run wild” as the anag ind.
    14D I think is trying to allude to the fact that the setter is called NEO hence “I fear”=NEO+PHOBIA where “fear” is to be read as a noun. It’s a kind of an &lit (except that the word “novelty” is superfluous for the cryptic reading but essential for the definition)
    16D the battle of Jutland was a naval battle. It’s interesting that Seattle has only been known as the “Emerald City” since the 1980’s when it was chosen after a competition to come up with a nick-name for the city!

  2. nmsindy says:

    Excellent puzzle – I agree with your interpretation of LANCASTER.

  3. Neo says:

    Thanks for a great blog, CGR – following comments too are spot on.

    21ac Oliver North, Iran-Contra scandal, is the other def.

    14dn I saw this word as ‘(mental illness) in which Neo fears something’, to wit ‘novelty’.

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