Never knowingly undersolved.

FT 12,923/Gozo

Posted by smiffy on November 12th, 2008


An earlier than usual online appearance online for this puzzle allowed me to solve before turning in for the night Stateside. All very accessible stuff, with the gimmick being a slew of longer answers decomposed into separate word pairings. This struck me as being a more rudimentary variation on the theme of “Printer’s Devilry” type clues (as seen occasionally in the world of advanced cryptics).

1 SCRUBS – Ref. Wormwood Scrubs, one of the less des-res locations in West London.
4 DI(SPUT)ED – “about rams” = tups (rev)
10 HECKLER – (cheek,l,r)*, with a backward-induction anagram indicator (I think).
11 SARA,CEN[-t]
13 MESMERISES – (seem remiss)*. “Dr” Mesmer’s pioneering quackery paved the way towards respectability for hypnosis.
15 EDGERS – Hedgers, with a dropped aitch.
16 & 7D FIDDLES TICKS – one of the numerous, delicious terms for “nonsense” in English.
20 & 21 TEMPERA MENTAL – a bit of an old chestnut.
24 LACE,RATION – another readily splittable answer.
26 & 12 PAST ORAL
29 LEO,NINE – Several “Pope”s have been dubbed Leo. However, I haven’t figured yet the “Victor Two” relevance to Nine.
31 DE(LET)E – another clue which has seen the light of day a fair few times before.

1 SCHOONER – double def’n.
2 RECTANGLE – (green talc)*. An anagram that seems better suited to a Countdown conundrum.
3 (& 12A) BALM (ORAL) – Not often that one encounters the same answer (12A) clued twice,differently, in one puzzle!
5 I,NSOMNIA – (mansion)*. The surface reading conjures up a slightly intriguing image. Puts me in mind of rock stars swinging from their chandeliers.
8 D(A,N)ISH – “Attractive person” = dish, sounds a bit twee these days.
17 EXTRA TIME – (Tate remix)*
18 PRE,TEN,CE – one of those sneaky ones where the figure in the wordplay needs to be interpreted literally, and not as a cross-reference to another clue.
19 ALL THERE – hidden.
25 CRAZE – homophone of “Krays”. To paraphrase Monty Python‘s Piranha Brothers, “Yeah, they nailed my head to the floor, but they didn’t want to. I had to insist”.
27 & 28A MOLE STATION – it’s been a few years since I’ve had the pleasure of being at Euston but, back then, Virgin Trains certainly didn’t need any help from secret agents for things to be interfered with….

3 Responses to “FT 12,923/Gozo”

  1. Octofem says:

    Good morning, Smiffy. Good to have such an early blog – a pity it wasn’t a more difficult puzzle to entertain you, but at least it would not have kept you up for long. Pope Leo IX was followed by Victor II, by the way.

  2. Paul B says:

    Good gags in this puzzle I reckon. Good on yer, Gozo.

    Back in the day, when The Anagruid was a bit more consistent (or when I was sufficiently stupid crossword-wise to think it so) there was one from Enigmatist involving two lights with


    Of course the answer numbering was (7,8) despite how the phrase appeared in the grid. It went something like

    Classes ‘Tendency to Fluctuate’ with ‘Intelligence’.

  3. smiffy says:

    Thanks for the history lesson Octofem. With hindsight, that should have struck me as a plausible line of inquiry – and one that I could have pursued with a modicum of web-trawling.

    I’m only a sporadic Listener xwd solver, but I do vaguely recall there being a puzzle entitled “Acro’s Sword” a couple of years ago, which toyed around with the same kind of deconstruction theme.

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