Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12991 / Neo

Posted by C G Rishikesh on February 3rd, 2009

C G Rishikesh.

This puzzle has four 14-letter phrases, each of which are in two slots in the grid. I generally don’t like this kind of splitting but to the credit of the composer I must say that each of these four phrases are in the same column, the words divided only a single block. Only the parts of a 15-letter phrase are put in an across slot and a down slot.

I have not solved some three clues, answers to which are names. (On edit: These are provided by Persephone in the Comments section.)

Below, phrasal answers are given first.

1, 17 BANANA REPUBLIC – play on “hand” which is the term for a bunch of bananas.

4, 15 BEAT GENERATION – managed to solve with the crossings but I must confess that I have not heard of these personalities.


6, 14 MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE – anag. of ‘mind is ego’ in ‘mad’ (crazy) and ‘age’ (times) – His = God’s, “His like” being the def. – I am not sure if the def is perfect as the ans. is MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE and not just ‘God’s image’

8, 24 – CHINLESS WONDER – anag. of ‘swindler he cons’


9 AHOY THERE – definitive – I got the first word of the phrase immediately but the second one took time.

10 ABASH – AB, ash (“little hASHish”, this device seems to be original and unusual)

11 AGAINST- Aga, in, st.

12 IBERIAN – I, be, r, Ian

13 ASS – A (very good), SS (bodyguard, short for Secret Service? Or Schutzstaffel, Ger.?)

17 RUING – ruin, G

18 NAN – two def. – short for nanny; Indian bread, also spelt ‘naan’.

19 TIMES – again two def. – X as in 8 x 4 are 32. I think x in the sense of ‘times’ is usually in lower case.

21 PUT IN PRISON – cha. of anag. of “turnip pi” (after deleting e from pie), son

23 NOW – read ‘regained’ as ‘re gained'; but is ‘re’ OK as rev. ind.?

25 Not solved

27 Not solved

28 IDAHO – rev. of had in Io (moon)

29 OSCILLATE – anag. of lost and Alice, “at sea” being the anagrind.


2 Not solved

3 STANDING IN – stand-in(g) in – stand (“run-making partnership”), in (“at the crease”), g (“edge to groundsman”), “on as substitute” is the def., “broken by” is c/c ind. Surface reading is rather involved.

7 LA-DI-DA – Di in lad, A

16 INTANGIBLE – anag. of “iningtable” deleting D from “dining table”

20 MINUTIAE – I haven’t fully worked out the wordplay. Of course it is “nut” tucked between two institutions. “West” because the abbreviations are reversed?

22 TRIBAL – rib (“joke playfully”) in Tal (“chess champion”, Mikhail Tal)

28 GOON – two def. – thug, talk too much (go on)

5 Responses to “Financial Times 12991 / Neo”

  1. smutchin says:

    Still not there at 4pm GMT!

  2. Persephone says:

    For the record:
    25a BRIDGET (bridge + t), the lead character in the book/film Bridget Jones Diary;
    27a BRITTEN (bitten around r), Benjamin Britten, famous 20th century composer and pianist;
    2d KOWALSKI (ok, law reversed over ski), Stanley Kowalski, a character in Tennessee Williams “Streetcar Named Desire”
    Like you, overall I thought it was a nice puzzle!

  3. Eileen says:

    Hi Rishi

    In 20dn, ‘west’ wouldn’t work to indicate reversal in a down clue. I thought it was I NUT I in MAE [West] but could find ‘I’ as an abbreviation only for ‘institute’, not ‘institution’.

  4. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Thanks, Eileen.

    Chambers XWD: A Dictionary of Crossword Abbreviations does not give I = institution.

    And I can’t think of an abbreviation where I = institution, while I can think of many where I = institute, such as the famous IITs in my country.

    While Chambers Crossword Dictionary gives many abbreviations/acronyms where I = institute, there is none where I = institution.

    The setter seems to have used an abbr. for the nonce.

  5. Neo says:

    Phrasal answers were split to give access to different areas of the grid, hopefully to aid rather than hinder solvers. Whether that was successful or not …

    I = ‘institute or institution’ according to Chambers Online (the everyday usage one). I can’t remember exactly where I sourced it, but it was a standard abbrev in either Collins Lite or Chambers fat.

    6/14 ac definition as in ‘we are His like’.

    10 is AB/ AS/ H (little hashish).

    13 (Hitler’s) bodyguard = SS

    23 NOW regained as in ‘won back’.

    All other queries as parsed by the contributors.

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