Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12962 / Jason

Posted by C G Rishikesh on December 30th, 2008

C G Rishikesh.

Two words (12a, 17d) were new to me but both were easily obtainable from wordplay.


1. TEST CASE – test, case (A kind of break up and defining that is not quite satisfactory.)
5. STARCH -star, CH (ISO abbr. for Switzerland)
10. REARS – r, ears
11. NEWSROOMS – (Morse owns)*
12. SCHLEPPED – chle (anag. of lech), p. (pressure) in sped
13. WHELP – w., help – ‘say’ here is e.g.
14. STRICT – deleting di (rev. of I’d) from district
15. When I began writing this blog, I had not solved this but now it occurs to me that the answer is SENDS UP – but the full anno. is eluding me at the mo. See comments below for explanation.
18. CRIMSON – crime(-e), son
20. REHEAT – re,h, eat (v. to lunch)
22. MISER – mis(-t)er – t is the first letter of ‘tradition’
24. ALLOTMENT – hidden clue that I got only at a later stage. Even now I am unable to see what the def. is.  It is an “And literally” clue. See comment below.
25. LETTER BOX – what’s the clue-type?
26. WRYER – w(ry)e,R
27. ZEPHYR – solved from def. – yr might be from ‘your'; can’t make out where ‘zeph’ comes from. See comment below.
28. ADULTERY – (rudely at)* – a quaint def. for extra-marital activity; the not-so-adventurous would play within the four corners of their conjugal bed, it seems.


1. THRASH – t(H)rash – Is the abbr. from the store name? Is it valid? (On edit: Actually H is from ‘Leader of Harrods’ )
2. SPAGHETTI – (at the pigs)*, ‘ground’ (v.) is the angrind
3. COSMETIC SURGERY – what’s the significance of ‘no problem’? See comment below.
4. SANDPIT – s, and (‘with’), pit (‘seed’)
6. THROW IN THE TOWEL – when one fails to stand up before the referee’s count is complete and so accepts defeat. But see comment below.
7. RHONE – r, hone(-st)
8. HOSEPIPE – two def.
9. SWEDES – rev. of SE, dews
16. SPARE TYRE –  two def – I know that it’s the roll of fat around one’s midriff but I don’t get the first def in the clue. See comments below.
17. SCHMALTZ – sch., maltz, after substituting m for w in waltz. ‘Schmaltz’ is music or art that is sentimental. From Yiddish ‘shmalts’, literally, rendered fat (M-W)
19. NEARBY – appears to be anag. of ‘bare’ in NY (‘bum’ being the anagrind, perhaps) – didn’t peer too much into it.
20. RELAXED – re(lax)ed (rush, n.)
21. STURDY – stu(r)dy (con, v. ‘to study’)
23. SITUP – si(tu)p – no, no, it’s s(it)up. I recall the clue “This is it (7,8)” in a recent Everyman crossword.

7 Responses to “Financial Times 12962 / Jason”

  1. Shuchi says:

    15a: double-definition. To “send up” is to ridicule, and also (in American English?) to send to jail.
    1d: leader of Harrods = H, no abbreviation there.
    16d: Spare tyre, as in what gets one going when the car has a flat tyre!

    3d: I’m guessing this could mean that cosmetic surgery leaves the face with “no problem”, but there’s probably a better explanation. The clue looked like an anagram on first reading…

  2. C G Rishikesh says:

    Re your comment:
    16d: Spare tyre, as in what gets one going when the car has a flat tyre!
    Yes, that is the second def. What I don’t get is the import of “A source of food?”, the first part of the clue.

  3. Geoff Moss says:

    24a is an andlit (I won’t use the ampersand character because it screws up the RSS feed, at least it does in IE7 and Firefox). Hidden word, and shallots could be grown in an allotment.

    27a Zeph is the abbreviation for the book in the Old Testament attributed to the prophet Zephaniah.

    16d If you were in a situation where no food was available you would survive by resorting to living off your body fat so a spare tyre around the stomach would be an indirect source of sustenance. Personally I think this should have been clued as the result of too much food rather than a source of food.

  4. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Thanks, Geoff!

    I too would have appreciated ‘spare tyre’ as the result of excessive food.

  5. Agentzero says:


    6d I think the explanation is that a boxer’s assistant outside the ring (his “second”) would throw his towel into the ring to concede the match. Hence “retire by the second” — I don’t think the clue is referring to the seconds counted off by the referee.

    15a Yes, in the US to “send up” or to “send up the river” means to sentence to imprisonment. Generally thought to be derived from sending someone from NYC up the Hudson River to Sing Sing prison, in Ossining, New York.

    3d I wondered whether the point was that cosmetic surgery is optional surgery that may be done not to resolve any medical “problem” (hence “no problem”) but simply to enhance appearance?

  6. smiffy says:

    I thought that 17D was a nifty treatment of a relatively setter-unfriendly word.

    Does 28A work? It seems to me that “playing” is doing double-duty; as anagrind and part of the definition.

  7. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Your response is highly appreciated.

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