Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12946 / Neo

Posted by C G Rishikesh on December 9th, 2008

C G Rishikesh.
I had a slow start but when once I got a foothold here and a toehold there, I clawed my way up before I reached the apex. This is by no means a piece of cake (sorry for mixing metaphors), for even some anagrams – which are usually the starters in any puzzle – are not so palpable. I learnt one or two new expressions but to get them I fought every inch without taking recourse to electronic help.


1 DEAN MARTIN – anag. of ‘man trained as’ – good anagrind in ‘dissolute’ – American singer and film actor – as a comedian he teamed with Jerry Lewis.

7 LOCK – two def.

9 STAG – two def. – masc.deer which ‘does have as partner’ (I think it’s one against many) / ‘a person who applies for shares in order to sell them at once at a profit’ (Chambers). Clue is written in such a way that one might think it is ‘[He/She]does have …’

10 NOËL COWARD – Noël (Christmas), chicken (coward) – English playwright and actor

11 EASTER – E, aster

12 ONELINER – one(whole), liner (ship)

13 EYEGLASS – solved from the ‘monocle’ def. and ‘viewer’. I don’t get the full significance of ‘replacement viewer switched to’.

15 DATE – d., ate – I am not sure if there is any suggestion of fellatio here

17 RENT – two def. – When you hire a lodging and pay the charges, it’s “cost of living” / rent – past tense of ‘rend’ (cut, slash)

19 FRIEDMAN – fried, man – ref. to Thomas L Friedman, U.S. economist and NYT columnist – author of “The World is Flat”, which I, a Madrasi, dipped into in a friend’s home in Hong Kong during a brief visit there  Correction: See Comment 6 below.

22 AGLITTER – Ag, litter – Neat clue

23 THRACE – rev. of ‘car’ in ‘the’

25 AIRHOSTESS – anag. of ‘it she soars’ – not sure if any airhostess would like to be mentioned as ‘servant’ – one of the not-so-patent anagrams.

26 MAUL – two def.

27 CHAT – two def. – If you want a third def., in India it’s a snack or appetizer made of cooked vegetables (usu. potatoes) and spicy sauces. The ‘a’ is elongated in pronunciation.

28 SHRIEVALTY – shrie(v)alty In ‘wavy hairstyle’ we have an excellent combination of anagrind and anag. fodder. Wow! As for ‘shrievalty’, which I worked out by moving tiles, it’s ‘the office of a sheriff’. Post solving, I checked if any anagram generator returns this word for ‘hairstylev’ and found no matches.


2, 18 ESTUARY ENGLISH– anag.of ‘gay insults here’ – New expression for me. I got ESTUARY first and the second part of the phrase was delayed until I got some crossings. I had to reject ‘shingle’ which can be had with the remaining letters in the anag. fodder. It is a variety of English widely spoken in London and, more generally, in the southeast of England. I know only of billingsgate.

3 NIGHT – nigh (‘near’ as in ‘well-nigh impossible’), t, the last letter (‘closer’) of ‘spirit’ – it’s a euphemism for ‘death’

4 ABNORMAL – abn(o.)rma, L.

5 THE WORSE FOR WEAR – When a dress is so, it’s ‘shabby’. The other def. is new to me. Would be grateful for any assistance.

6 NUCLEI – anag. of ‘in clue’ – An excellent clue!

7 LOWMINDED – not a homophone clue, not a two-def clue. Can’tclassify this readily. Perhaps an allusive &Lit? A noisy herd might low and low repeatedly and loudly and when it does,it’s ‘low-minded’ (‘vulgar’)

8, 20 CURRENT ACCOUNT – No saving grace here!

14 GET WITH IT – ‘twit’ in ‘gehit’ (anag. of ‘eight’) – In ‘rowing eightwe have an excellent combination of anagrind and anag. fodder. Wow!  

16 DISTASTE – DI, sta(s)te

21 STASIS – the def. is ‘arrest’ (it’s actually a med. term, see dict.) The word was familiar to me; in fact, I used it as the title of a story that I translated from Tamil. ‘Secret police’ may be SS. That’s all! The breakup eludes me at the moment. P.S: See comment 1 below.

24 RUMBA – After Burma became Myanmar perhaps clue-writers don’t use it in the anagram clue for this dance. Romeo gives R. That’s all. The breakup eludes me at the moment. P.S: See comment 1 below.

6 Responses to “Financial Times 12946 / Neo”

  1. Geoff Moss says:

    13a ‘replacement viewer’ = glass eye, swap the two halves (switched) gives EYEGLASS (monocle)

    28a Chambers’ word wizard will create this anagram from the given letters

    5d a UK euphemism for ‘intoxicated’

    21d STASI (former East German secret police) S (succeeded) – we had this clue/ answer in one of Eileen’s blogs last week

    24d UMBRA (shadow) with the R moved to the beginning (coming to the fore)

  2. Geoff Moss says:

    Re my comment on 21d. Time must have passed more quickly than I thought. The stasi/s clue was 12a in FT No. 12,936 on 27/11/08:

    “Secret police arrest the last to leave.” STASI[s]

  3. Eileen says:

    Geoff: …and it was Octofem’s blog, not mine.

  4. Geoff Moss says:

    Thanks for the correction. My memory must be getting even worse than I thought!

  5. smiffy says:

    Hi Geoff, belated thanks for picking up the slack last Friday. We had an outbreak of lurgy in our household, so I was suddenly off-line for a couple of days.

    Rishi, the “economist” at 19A is Milton Friedman – aka the father of monetarism – who died a year or two ago. Thomas F. is a journalist/author.

    1A was a laugh out loud &lit for me (and that’s intended as a compliment, rather than as slight, to Dino).

  6. Geoff Moss says:

    Hi Smiffy
    No problem, glad to help anytime. I hope everyone is now well again.

    I meant to mention ‘Milton’ in my initial comment. It reminded me of that classic episode of Yes Minister (forget that, they were all classics) where Sir Desmond Glazebrook, Chairman of Bartlett’s Bank and later the Governor of the Bank of England, was confused about Milton Shulman (book – I want to be free) and Milton Friedman (book – Free to Choose) and between Maynard Keynes and the town Milton Keynes.

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