Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12784 / Neo

Posted by C G Rishikesh on June 3rd, 2008

C G Rishikesh.


9 ISHERWOOD – isher (anag. of ‘hires’) + wood
10 AMONG – hidden in ‘jAM ON, Going’ :: The clue suggests a crush in a pressing crowd
11 RUNAWAY – two def.
12 (Not solved)
14 GREENMANTLE – green, man + tle (anag. of ‘let’) :: Is this anno correct? I read Buchan’s more famous book “The Thirty-Nine Steps” when in school.
17 DOGGO – two def? :: I solved this from the crossings – the first def is ‘quiet and hidden’ (see Chambers.) I am not sure about the rest of the clue.
18 SEE – SE, E (Spanish, from Espanol)
19 ORIEL – two def
21 PLEISTOCENE – anag. of ‘telescope in’ :: geological period
27 SCOURGE – ‘co’ (company, firm) in ‘surge’
28 ATTIC – two def
29 ESPERANTO – anag. of ‘n’ (noun) and ‘operates’ :: Zamenhof devised this international language


1 PIERCE – R (Rex) in ‘piece’
2, 25ac, 24dn THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX – Cryptic def
3 BROWN GOODS – brown, good,s (cf. ‘white goods’)
4 GORY – go, ry (railway, line) :: Pray, what is a ‘try-line’?
5 ADAM AND EVE – two def
6 (Not solved)
7 (Not solved)
8 EGGSHELL – eggs, hell
15 EAST OF EDEN – anag. of ‘defeats one’ – Novel by John Steinbeck (whose book “The Red Pony” was another favourite of mine in school). The clue seems to suggest that one goes to bed with a Steinbeck book but its reading is so compelling that one stays up most of the night. No dispute about the premise. But I am not very enthusiastic about the clue and would not justify the exclamation mark at the end. What do others think?
16 ABOVE-BOARD – above, board
17 DIPLOMAT – anag. of ‘PA, I’m told’
20 IGNORANT – anag. of ‘Ringo” + ant (worker)
22 ESTATE – cryptic def – ‘estate’ is all of one’s assets which one may pass on to someone else
26 INCH – (-f)inch – Nice clue in the use of ‘head’ and ‘foot’
27 SEPT – se(p)t – Sept is a division of a tribe; a clan.

9 Responses to “Financial Times 12784 / Neo”

  1. Wendy says:

    This is the first time I’ve used this site. However…

    6Down is SATIRICAL (anagram of racialist)
    7Down is ENNUI (Don’t know if ‘t’s English, but is definitely a word in French for Boredom. Also, En (means in) and NuiT but endless gives you nui) is French for night.

    Apols if I haven’t explained this too well – there’s always a first time!!

    Does anyone know Neo’s real name – I’m trying to find out who the compilers are for Guardian and FT.

  2. Magpie says:

    Hi Rishi

    Your missing answers are – 12a M + others (Frank Zappa’s 1960s band was The Mothers of Invention; 6d Fast (two def) and 7d Forest (anag).
    4d – try-line – the line crossed by Rugby Union/League players to score a try perhaps?
    15d – I think “nod” is used in the sense of an allusion to something/someone, rather than the sense you’ve ascribed to it. As to the exclamation mark, I’m not aware of any hard and fast rule as to usage, but as an aspiring compiler myself, I would use it either if the clue is humourous enough to justify it, or if I’ve not been completely “Ximenean” in definition!
    I often struggle with Neo’s puzzles but I thought this one was a joy!

  3. ilancaron says:

    Neo is Tees in the Independent and sometimes comments himself on all and sundry here…

  4. Magpie says:

    Hi Wendy
    I didn’t see your response before posting mine – I think perhaps your 6 & 7 down answers are not from today’s FT puzzle!
    Re your question, I believe Neo is a gentleman called Paul Bringloe (though where I found that out from I don’t know), who also sets as Tees for the Independent. Not aware of any Guardian involvement.

  5. Wendy says:

    Magpie, so sorry – my answers were for yesterday’s Guardian which was Rufus!
    We also completed today’s FT which was excellent. I know that Rufus from the Guardian also sets puzzles as Dante for the FT. He’s always very fair in his answers. Thanks both of you for the info on Neo.

  6. Neo says:

    You had me going there for a minute. I couldn’t remember writing those excellent clues.

    A couple of clarifications on my own efforts: ‘The Mothers’ (or just ‘Mothers’, as in ‘Live at the Roxy and Elsewhere’) became the name of Frank Zappa’s band on Mother’s Day 1965. Immediately prior to this, the group had been entitled ‘Captain Glasspack and his Magic Mufflers’. FZ was obliged to change it again to ‘Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention’ after complaints regarding what ‘mother’ is short for across the pond.

    17a is DOG/ GO.

    4d indeed refs the try-line in rugger.

    15d (Nod to Steinbeck defeats one otherwise!) refers to (The Land of) Nod, itself referenced by JS as the land to which the Bible alludes as ‘East of Eden’. The original clue was simply ‘Nod to Steinbeck?’ but I added the anagram to make it easier.


  7. Tom says:


    6d – Fixed in a flash: Answer is ‘lash’ (Fixed, in ‘a flash’)
    7d – Chopped up softer wood: Answer is forest. Ana. of softer

  8. Neo says:

    6d – answer is ‘fast’ (dd using adj. & adj. phrase)

  9. Magpie says:

    Belated thanks Neo for the clarification – as must have been evident from my first post, I haven’t read East of Eden (or any other Steinbeck for that matter), but at least the 4,2,4 gave it away before I spotted the anagram!

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