Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,942, Set by FLIMSY, 4 December 2008

Posted by Octofem on December 4th, 2008


Not in the same league as yesterday’s splendid puzzle but pleasant enough.  I had constant interruptions this morning so I  apologise for the lateness and rather sketchy explanations.  One or two parsings need help, please.I didn’t much like  ‘sort of’ as an answer to 1A.


1.      SORT OF – ( hidden in CHOCOLATE-s or t of FEE)
5.      MISTRIAL – (Mistral with AiD – Frédéric Mistral, 1830-1914,  Joint winner of Nobel Prize for Lit. 1904)
9.      PRISONER – ( pr-is-one-r – an inmate given special duties and privileges because of perceived trustworthiness.)
10.    PIRATE – ( * i rape with t-HOUGHT)
11.    TROPIC – ( t-r-opic  -‘r’ middle letter of INFIrMARY)
12.    INSANITY  -( in-s-anity -not sure this really equates with ‘stupidity’)
14.    LOLLIPOP LADY – ( in UK, a lady who is paid to see children across the road at school, and carries a lollipop-shaped stick to warn motorists)
18.    FOSTER PARENT – (dd., issue with the meaning of ‘children’)
22.    SAUCEPAN – (sauce-pan. ‘brass’ meaning ‘impertinence’ and therefore ‘sauce’)
25 .   THREAD  – (thAT- read, the thread or plot of a narrative.)
26.    TENNIS – ( * sent in)
27.    LANDLORD – ( * droll and)
28.    KNOCKOUT – ( Not sure of this  one.  ‘Kraftwerk’ were an electronic group founded in Germany 1970.  Need illumination on the ‘knockout’ connection)
29.    SAYING – ( s-a-y-ing.  ‘sing’ as in ‘inform upon’ or ‘rat’)


2.      ORRERY – (*error -AGENCy  – an apparatus for representing positions of planets etc in the solar system)
3.      TEST PILOT – (test-p-iNTEREST-lot)
4.      FUNICULAR – ( funD-*rail cu)
5.      MARTINI – ( martin-i – martin is another name for swallow)
6.      SEPTS – ( se-p-ts – divisions of clans, probably from Latin, septum – an enclosure or fold)
7.      RERUN – (re- [ second note in Tonic Solfa] run – a roulade is an eleborate run of several notes)
8.      APTITUDE – Amended from ‘attitude’ after Geoff’s comment – see below.  Presumably as in ‘a head for business’) 
13.    ALP -(<plaN)
15.    OVERTONES – ( over-*notes – harmonics – the study of musical acoustics)
16.    LITERALLY – ( *really after lEAP-iN-tEMPERATURE)
17.    SOYA BEAN – ( * a bone say)
19.    EVE – (S-eve-RAL. Adam’s wife and therefore the first female)
20.    ANNULET – ( Ann-yULE-t  – various small rings carry this name.)
21.    WARREN – ( war-Wren – just a  male first name in this case I believe.)
23.    CONIC –  ( co-nIPPLE ic)
24.    PESTO – ( PENELO-pes-to-MATO – Italian sauce, actually mainly made of cheese, pine nuts, olive oil and basil)

9 Responses to “Financial Times 12,942, Set by FLIMSY, 4 December 2008”

  1. Geoff Moss says:

    Hi Octofem

    28a ‘Kraftwerk opened initially’ = KO = ‘knock out’.

    8d is APTITUDE – dd. To have a ‘bent’ for is to have a bias or ‘aptitude’ towards and one of the definitions for ‘head’ in Collins (but not Chambers or COED) is ‘aptitude’.

  2. Geoff Moss says:

    Back again!

    I think 3d is a straight cd as there is no indication in the clue to give the removal of part of ‘interest’.

  3. Octofem says:

    Thanks Geoff – I have amended 8d. I am amazed that I didn’t see KO – was trying too hard I think. 3d still looks like my parsing to me – ‘test’ as gauge, and ‘iNTEREST’ in ‘plot.’ ????

  4. brenda says:

    1a “pretty” means “sort of”.

  5. Octofem says:

    Yes, I realised that Brenda, but it’s a ‘pretty’ awful expression to have in a crossword. I think of it as almost illiterate!

  6. Geoff Moss says:

    If ‘I’ was listed as an abbreviation for ‘interest’ in any of the usual references then I would agree with you, but it isn’t.

    Therefore I still maintain that there is no indication in the clue for the removal of ‘nterest’, so I still read this as ‘test (gauge) the ‘pilot’ (trial) to determine the level of interest in a proposed scheme.

    Now had the clue read ‘Trial flier to gauge initial interest in scheme’ things would be different.

  7. Geoff Moss says:

    “I think of it as almost illiterate!”

    I agree, but there again Chambers does give ‘rather’ as a definition for both ‘pretty’ and ‘sort of’.

  8. smiffy says:

    G’day all. Belatedly weighing in on the 3D discussion, I’m siding with Octofem. I’ve often encountered interest abbreviated as I in the world of finance (even if it isn’t kosher per the reference books). Also the clue seems a tad clunky to be a simple cryptic def’n.

    A ripple of applause to Flimsy for 16D which, for whatever unknown reason, struck me as one of the neatest clues I’ve encountered of late.

    If “sort of” is considered borderline illiterate then we should set aside a special place in linguistic hell for “kinda”…

  9. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Im maths sums in schools I had x per cent S.I. or x per cent C.I., where S.I. was simple interest and C.I. was compound interest.

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