Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12997 / Armonie

Posted by C G Rishikesh on February 10th, 2009

C G Rishikesh.

I had a pleasant outing with this crossword. The left half was the first to fall; then the top right and finally the bottom right.


 1 CHANCEL – chance, L

 5 PIPING – I put in PAVING before landing on this answer. I don’t get the hang of this clue.  (On edit) COPING Thanks to Persephone for this and other corrections. (See Comments below)

 8 REMINISCE – MINI in RESCE (anag. of scree)
 9 RUMBA – refreshingly new clue, leaving alone bachelor, odd and Burma. Shifting R in umbra to the front.

11 ENROL – anag. of loner

12 ESTIMATOR – anag of ‘riot teams’ – Should a compiler avoid an anagram clue next to another in a set of clues? Opinions invited.

13 SURVIVAL – viva ( exam, from ‘viva voce’) in SURL(-y)

15 CUDGEL – cud, gel – Stick is verb in surface reading and noun in word required


19 SANTIAGO – san, anti, go (journey, v.). I have no prob with ‘school head’ yielding S.

22 POTENTIAL – anag. of ‘toilet pan’. Can a nounal anagrind follow the anag fodder? Again, I have no prob. After all the surface reading is so good and the intent of the clue-writer patent.

23 DRILL – D, rill. Another neat and concisely written clue.

24 RINSE – telescopic in beeR IN Serbia’. Because of seamless surface reading one does not realise immediately that this is a hidden clue.

25 DEPRESSED – press in deed (doing). When one is in depressed circumstances one is in need. If I tell someone that I am depressed, people would only think that I am sad, not needy.

26 BAREST – BA, rest. I don’t know how [to] bank = rest.  (On edit) BARELY – BA, rely (to bank).  Read “Graduate” gets “to bank”.

27 NURSERY – (U, rser*) in NY – Another clue with smooth surface reading.


1 CARPET-SWEEPER – Ah, I got the explanation just at this moment of writing! The def. is ‘cleaner’. The wordplay is carpets (reprimands), weeper (keener – one who keens)

2 ADMIRER – A d(mire)r. – Concise and neat clue. 

3 CANAL – If the passage had been whole-heartedly erotic it would have been carnal. Alas, it’s not!

4 LAS VEGAS – ‘vega’ in ‘lass’

5 PRESTO – I got the answer without difficulty but the justification eludes me. E may be from the drug. But the ‘container’ part I don’t get. I take ‘found’ (as in ‘hey presto!’) to be the def.  (On edit) CREATE – E in ‘crate’

6 PARAMOUNT – par, amount

7 NAME-TAG – rev. of gate man (with the novel def.’access supervisor’).

10 APRIL FOOLS’ DAY – (A floor display)* – Good anag. fodder but a hackneyed anagrind – We have to wait for some months for the occasion to come. “Our revels now are ended”.

14 INSINCERE – lovely word breakup – in, since, RE

16 CALL UPON – Good surface reading – in COUPON, take out O and put in all

18 ANTENNA – rev. clue – girl (Anne), yes but smoker? – The explanation beats me.  (On edit) We have to forget Anne. It’s rev. of ANN, ETNA (the volcano)

20 AT ISSUE – another good breakup – a, tissue

21 Not solved. (On edit) TID(DL)Y – DL, rev. of LD. in TIDY (groom, n.)

23 DREAR – D, rear (tower, one that tows)

4 Responses to “Financial Times 12997 / Armonie”

  1. Persephone says:

    5a is COPING (dd)
    26a is BARELY (bank (on) = rely)
    5d is CREATE (e inside crate)
    18d – Etna (the volcano) is the “smoker”
    21d is TIDDLY (ld reversed inside tidy)
    Your point on consecutive anagrams (11a, 12a) is a good one; for my part I would be more concerned if there were too many rather than where they actually came in the grid.

  2. seeword says:

    How can antenna (20 down) cross with nursery (27 across)?

  3. seeword says:

    Oops, sorry…I had antenna in the wrong place.

  4. Smutchin says:

    Really enjoyed this one in the same way as I enjoyed yesterday’s Rufus – not difficult but some utterly charming examples of the art of clue writing – notably 9a, 22a, 24a, 5d, 18d. All very neat and concise.

    Rishi – thanks for the blog – detailed and thorough as usual, sorry it will be one of your last. On the subject of adjacent anagrams, I think it’s OK since the two across clues provide checking letters for different down clues. I think the idea of that injunction is that since anagrams are the “easiest” clue type, to ensure crossing words aren’t rendered too easy to solve. Does that make sense?

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

7 × = fourteen