Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12868 / Jason

Posted by C G Rishikesh on September 9th, 2008

C G Rishikesh.

I have been blogging here on FT crossword every Tuesday for the past six months. Usually, as my readers will know,  I have been completing or very nearly completing the day’s grid. But this puzzle proved to be quite difficult. My confidence was almost shaken, for 30 minutes after I started I had only a handful of answers. Are the clues really hard? Or am I out of sorts? Let me put down the answers I have got and return to the grid. I am not sure if I will be back here, though!  Perhaps Geoff and others will come to my rescue.


8 FORGIVE – f(org.)ive

9 PIEBALD – pie, bald

14 PEDANTRY – (darn type)*

21 PENALTY BOX – anag. of ‘Expat nobly’ – a term from ice hockey

23 MIRACLE – mi(rac<)le

24 BOX-KITE – b, ox (neat), kite (eagle)

26 SYNDIC – syn., dic. – For me, abbr. for dictionary is ‘dict.’ – syndic: (in ancient Greece) judge


1 CLOTH – c(lot)h.

5 ELIAN -I in ‘elan’ (anag. of ‘lane’)

6 ALBUMEN – album, en (being the first and last letters of ’emotion’)

13 BANDOLIER – b, and, o(-i)lier

15 DESULTORY – desul (anag. of ‘led us’), Tory

17 OVERACT – (to carve)*

19 UNYOKED – U, nyoked (anag. of donkey)

22 OPTIC – ref. to the nerve that enables us to see. To understand “where spirits come from” I had to look up. Chambers in a second entry for Optic (regd.) has: a device attached to an inverted bottle for measuring alcoholic liquid dispensed

P. S. : With some answers entered in the Comments area by Eileen, I am continuing with the crossword. Please see Comments area for further solutions.

18 Responses to “Financial Times 12868 / Jason”

  1. Eileen says:

    Don’t you just hate that kind of day! Yes, it is hard!

    Just a few offerings – I’m working on the rest!

    11ac: THUMBS DOWN cd
    13ac: BANJO [from the song ‘Oh, Susanna’
    21ac: PENALTY BOX: anagram of EXPAT NOBLY but can’t quite see the wordplay
    24ac: BOX-KITE [B+OX+KITE]
    25ac: ROTUND = TUNa in ROD
    26ac: SYNDIC
    2dn: BOGY-MAN [rev of MYGOd in BAN]
    21dn: PYLON P+ anagram of ONLY
    22dn: OPTIC

  2. Eileen says:

    Sorry, Rishi – you put in a few while I was typing!

  3. C G Rishikesh says:

    Thanks, Eileen.

    I have not completed it yet but I managed to get some more.

    I edited my blog subsequently to add some that I did not enter at first.

  4. C G Rishikesh says:

    3 dn LIVESTOCK – lives, to, ck (removing ler from ‘clerk’, vacuous (!) being the deletion ind.

    10 dn COMPUTING – ha – even after i had COMPUT… I didn’t see that this was a hidden clue. How purblind can one be?

  5. Eileen says:

    4ac: DEnMARK
    12ac: MOHS [initial letters]
    18ac: S QUIZ
    7dn: KILOHERTZ

  6. C G Rishikesh says:

    Clues remaining:
    Across: 1, 4, 12, 16, 18
    Down: 7

  7. Geoff Moss says:

    1a BA (graduate) in COLT (youth) – CO is the chemical symbol for cobalt

    4a DE[n]MARK

    12a MOHS – first letters of four words – a scale for measuring hardness

    16a IN POCKET – still working on the parsing

    18a S QUIZ

    3d LIVES TO C[ler]K


    10d COMPUTING – hidden word

  8. C G Rishikesh says:

    Sorry. Postings crossed.

    Still to go: 1ac, 16ac and 20ac only.

    16ac is prob. IN POCKET

  9. C G Rishikesh says:

    Thanks, Geoff and Eileen.

    Now only 20 ac remains. An architectural element which could be funny? Word pattern: ?O?E

  10. C G Rishikesh says:

    Though I had R?T??? at 25 ac, I didn’t get ROTUND, because from ‘cane’ I was thinking of RATTAN (a familiar term here in India with so many cane furniture around) and trying to justify the answer!

    Re 20 ac, doing the letter run, I have JOKE (which can be ruled out) and CONE, DOME, even COPE (I am thinking of coping) but the full justification eludes me.

  11. Geoff Moss says:

    16a I still cannot understand ‘cabbage or mint’. I’ll come back to this later.

    20a We may have to wait till tomorrow for the solution to this one.

    Architecturally related words: DOME COVE NOSE
    Words related to funny: BONE JOKE

    If we take ‘architectural’ in the sense of relating to a structure, rather than a building, then BONE seems to be the most likely with the structure being a skeleton (I admit this is a very loose correlation that I have been unable to confirm in any of the standard references).

  12. Eileen says:

    20ac: OED has ‘Bone; fig. the hard framework of anything [‘an architectural element’?] eg of a ship, 1634 – and we do have a ‘funny bone’ and the clue does have a question mark!

  13. Eileen says:

    Sorry, Geoff – you posted while I was looking this up!

  14. C G Rishikesh says:

    When one is “in pocket”, one has money.

    Mint is a money-related term.

    I find that ‘cabbage’ has the sense of “money” (see Chambers).

    Now, ‘potted’ may be intended to mean “stored in the pot”.

    Geoff, does all this lead to anything?

  15. Eileen says:

    Does potted = in pocket in snooker?

  16. Geoff Moss says:


    I was in the middle of typing a similar comment when yours came in. In fact I was nearly at the end but for some reason all my text disappeared.

    I still think that perhaps ‘potted’ equates to ‘in pocket’ (as in snooker etc) with ‘in pocket’, ‘cabbage’ and ‘mint’ being related to money.

    Certainly not the clearest of clues!

  17. Eileen says:

    For what it’s worth, I’ve never heard of them before but I’ve found several websites featuring recipes for ‘cabbage pockets’.

  18. Geoff Moss says:

    16a OK, one final (outlandish!) take on this before I give up a move on to something more productive.

    ‘potted’ = IN POCKET

    ‘cabbage’ = banknotes or paper money (N Am slang)

    ‘mint’ is the name of a credit card issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland

    There is a credit card (I can’t remember which) that is advertised with the slogan “what’s in your wallet?”

    The clue ends with a question mark so perhaps it is asking whether you have money or a credit card in your pocket (maybe appropriate for FT readers :-)

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