Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12742 / by Highlander

Posted by C G Rishikesh on April 15th, 2008

C G Rishikesh.
I breezed through this crossword, taking less than 15 minutes. This time around I solved all but a couple of Down clues first before looking at the Across set. When once these were put down, some of the Acrosses were correctly guessed even before reading the clues or before reading them fully.

On an analysis of clue-types, I find: charade – 12; two definitions – 5; container/contained – 6; anagram after deletion – 1; anagram – 5; charade with anagram component – 1; reversal – 1; telescopic – 1 Total – 32.


1 PRIMROSE - prim, rose – charade – Whether ‘stood up’ is ‘behind formal’ is debatable.

5 SPRING – two definitions

9 SUPPLIER – supp(l,i)er – container/contained

10 CLEFTS - c(left)s – container/contained

12 ROUND – two definitions

13 DEBUTANTE – debut,ante – charade – not a very satisfactory word breakup as ‘debut’ is closely related to the answer word

14 BETTER – two definitions – I would think ‘better’ = improved, not ‘is improving’

16 DEBACLE – anag. of ‘bleaced’ after deleting ‘h’ from ‘bleached’ – anag. after deletion

19 RETREAT – two definitions

21 THEORY - the(or)y – container/contained – cf. 21 dn.

23 PALATABLE – pal, a, table – charade – see comment below

25 SHEER – two definitions

26 SOLVER – anag. of ‘lovers’ – by including ‘hopefully’ in the clue, the setter seems to think that someone after looking at the crossword may turn away from it without attempting it. In the surface reading ‘you’ is plural but as def. for word required it is singular.

27 PARROTED – anag. of ‘part, rode’ (ignoring the comma)

28 LOCATE - l(OC)ate – container/contained

29 HYSTERIA - anag. of ‘this year’ – the def. is ‘frenzied laughter’ but I would think that ‘hysteria’ might manifest in frenzied crying too.


1 PASTRY – pa’s, try – charade -don’t these dads ever complete the job of baking? I am not quite happy with ‘dough’ as the definition.

2 IMPRUDENT – i’m, prudent – charade

3 RILED – RI, led – charade

4 SLENDER – s(l)ender – container/contained

6 PALATABLE – pal, a, table – charade – see 23 ac. above – to repeat the same word in a crossword is a ‘no-no’, to repeat the wordplay to boot is more so. But crossword compilers sometimes turn puckish.

7 IN FUN – anag. of ‘if nun’

8 GAS METER – anag. of ‘eg stream’

11 IBID  – I, bid – charade

15 TREATMENT – treat,men, t – charade

17 CARPENTER – carp, enter – charade

18 PROPOSAL – prop, osal (anag. of ‘also’) – charade with anag.component

20 TUBA – Rev. of ‘abut’ – reversal – The def. for the word required is only ‘touch’, the ‘up’ from ‘touch up’ in the surface reading being the rev. ind.

21 THERAPY – the(rap)y – container/contained – More careful compilers might perhaps avoid the use in any clue of a word that is an answer word in the grid. The word ‘treatment’ in this clue is the solution for Clue 15 in the same segment. Both 21 ac and 21 dn have the same ‘container’ that is given gratis to 26 ac.

22 GRADE A – anag. of ‘grade’, a OR anag. of ‘grade’ around a – charade with an anag. component OR container/contained with anag. component

24 LILAC – hidden in ‘shalL I LACk’ – telescopic

25 SPRAT – Sp., rat



3 Responses to “Financial Times 12742 / by Highlander”

  1. Magpie says:

    I completed this in under 10 minutes – Highlander is consistently the easiest of the FT setters (though that can be a blessing when there’s work to be done)! But I’d echo your comments about 23ac/6dn – in 25 years of solving I have never seen a repeated answer in a grid before (except in phrases in themed crosswords of the type that Cinephile/Araucaria and Enigmatist/Io are so good at).

  2. Ali says:

    A rare chance for me to do the FT crossword after I took advantage of a complimentary copy from an office reception! Took me less time than it took the Central line to get from St Pauls to Oxford Circus to polish it off. A good crossowrd for beginners I guess.

  3. Pogel says:

    Yes, was surprised to see the same word twice – and with the same wordplay! Must have been an oversight.

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