Never knowingly undersolved.

FT 12,900 Set by Flimsy, October 16 2008

Posted by Octofem on October 16th, 2008


This was one of my least satisfactory days – most of the clues were straight forward and easy,
 but several  defeated me.  I am sure they are obvious to most people.  Au secours!!!!


1.      DANGER – (d-anger)
4.      GARDEN – ( ‘gardenia’ without ‘ia’ (one adult)
8.     COTTAGE – ( ‘tag’ within ‘cote’)
9.     CELLARS – ( dd)
11.   ASTRONAUTS -( *tours at Nas[A])
12.   HOOP – ( <Pooh)
13.   PULSE – ( only thing which seems to fit, but why not ‘pulses’ .  There are recipes for ‘pulse stew’.)
14.   GOODNESS – ( *does song)
16.   COMPOSER – ( com-poser. John Field, Irish Composer of nocturnes, 1782-1837)
18.   CURLY – ( *Lucy-r)
20.   JESS (?) -( a pure guess that this is ‘Jess’ by Rider Haggard, from which we learn that
                            ‘ Deep things only can be moved. Shallow pools know nought.’
                             Otherwise, ‘Nell’ has the two last letters of ‘small’.  I need help)   
21.   PRESENTING – ( present-in-g – middle letter of prize-‘G’iving)
23.   ESKIMOS – ( *some ski)
24.   ITALICS – (cd)
25.   RANGED – (dd)
26.   GANDER -( male goose – ‘ Take a gander’ is used to mean ‘take a look.’)


1.    DROPS – ( dr-ops)
2.    NATURAL -(‘He’s a natural’, is said of someone with inborn ability.)
3.    ENGINEERS – ( *seeing –  plus last letters of ‘the fatter television’)
5.    AREAS – (hidden in ‘F-ar-easT)
6.    DOLPHIN  – ( * on D phil.  Said to be one of most intelligent creatures)
7.    NERVOUSLY – (* Louvres within NY)
10.  SURGERIES – (‘ urg’ E -within ‘series’.  MP’s hold surgeries within their constituencies,
                                       to hear elector’s problems)
13.  PROFESSOR – ( *poses for -r)
15.  ORCHESTRA – ( * torches ar -E.  They play in the orchestra pit)
17.  PASSION – ( another possibility only, with no real explanation)
19.  RATTLED – (rattle-d.  Simon Rattle, renowned conductor)
21.  PHONE – ( phone -Y)
22.  NICER – ( hidden in ‘O-n ice r-INK)

4 Responses to “FT 12,900 Set by Flimsy, October 16 2008”

  1. Geoff Moss says:

    Hi Octofem

    13a Pulse can be both a singular and plural noun. The wordplay is *(PLUS E) – plus = and with ‘e’ being the end of vegetable

    20a BEDS – DEB (girl) reversed S (small) definition ‘bottoms’

    17d PASSION PASSI[m] (everywhere) ON – definition ‘fire’

  2. Octofem says:

    Thank you once more Geoff. I am impressed that you remembered ‘passim’ when I just could not think of it! Your Latin is better than you claim. Your simple explanation of 20a is so obvious once you point it out. I was sure that this puzzle did not have anything as complicated as my stretched solution.

  3. smiffy says:

    I struck out on 20A too. Ended up plumping for GEMS, even though that didn’t jive with the definition.

    A question on 19D. I’m certainly no muso, but was always under impression that, technically speaking, the “leader” of an orchestra is one of the musicians (e.g. first violinist) and not the conductor?

    The anagrammatic answers in the top and bottom rows are spookily similar to another Nina I’ve seen before (god knows when or where though). On that occasion the quartet contained the same letters plus an extra E (DERANGE, ANGERED, ENRAGED, GRENADE).

  4. Geoff Moss says:

    Hi Smiffy

    I agree with you re 19d. Sir Simon Rattle has always been a conductor and so is the director of an orchestra.

    The leader is the principal first violin.

    For once all three dictionaries agree on these definitions though COED only gives leader as ‘the principal player in a music group’ rather than the first violinist.

    However, Collins also includes a definition under leader of ‘US a conductor or director of an orchestra or chorus’ so perhaps we should give Flimsy the benefit of the doubt.

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