Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12808 / Highlander

Posted by C G Rishikesh on July 1st, 2008

C G Rishikesh.

A puzzle where no clue poses any especial difficulty. I solved 21dn first even as my eye took it in.  I got 5, 6, 7, 8, 14, 17 and 24 in the Down set before moving on to the Across set where 4, 12, 13, 15 and 28 fell first. I completed the right half of the grid first. The very last clue was 18dn.

Many clues such as the following have familiar wordplay: Across: 10, 13, 20, 30 and Down: 5, 11, 14, 24


WAY OUT – way-out (unconventional) sans the hyphen  
9 TARTAR – tar, tar –  I suspect that ‘Salt’ is a misprint for ‘Salts’ which will give salt (tar), salt (tar).
10 SUNDRIES – sun (‘heat source’) dries – The repetition of the word ‘heat’  might have been avoided
13 ORDEAL– or (gold), deal
15 THIN – hidden in boTH INstances
16 SPLENDIDLY – (Len, did, l) in spy
19 GREENHOUSE – green, house – at the time of solving I took ‘family’ to be a nounal adj. qualifying ‘place’, only now do I see that the def. is ‘place to cultivate plants’ and that we have to get ‘house’ from ‘family’ (as in the ‘house of the Montagues’)
20 SCAR – s,car
23 ROCOCO – ro in C0 (company), CO (Commanding Officer)
25 ORIENTAL – or(i.e. nt)al – nt is got by deleting o from not – The clue as a whole has rather tricky wordplay 
27 ARCHIVES – arch(iv)es*
28 HAMLET – ham, let – good surface reading
29 ETERNITY – eternit*,y – y after anag. of (enter it)
30 STONED – two def.


1 WITHOUT – wit (brains), h (hard), out 
2 YORKSHIRE – anag. of (His yorker)
3 USABLE – (-yo)u, sable
6 EL DORADO – el, do, rado* (anag. of road)
8 DISPLAY – dis (rev. of Sid), play
11 STEPSON – steps on (walks over)
14 LEISURE – lei, sure
18 INACTION – in, action (fighting) –
19 GARBAGE – b (born) in garage
21 RELATED – two def – As this is a linked clue, I believe, there must be three dots after the word ‘kin’ .
22 REPAST – re, past – Why four dots, I wonder. Three dots would suffice.
24 CACHE – hom. of cash
26 DEFT – d,e, FT (the paper)

One Response to “Financial Times 12808 / Highlander”

  1. smiffy says:

    The only puzzle for me is how Highlander manages to produce such consistently underwhelming and hackneyed stuff. (I’m still half-convinced that he/she/it is in fact some prototype kind of clue-writing software masquerading as a setter!).

    Not trying to sound smug or boastful, but if even I can solve a puzzle in 3 minutes then it’s probably high time for some kindly words of advice from the Xwd editor.

    Tant pis. Roll on tomorrow.

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