Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13003 / Jason

Posted by C G Rishikesh on February 17th, 2009

C G Rishikesh.

I had good time with this crossword, which I would assess as above average in difficulty. If I solve one-third of the clues in any puzzle quickly one after the other without entering any answers in the grid, I would call it easy. That didn’t happen here. I got top half first, then right bottom and finally left bottom – where two clues were yet to go at the end of the allotted half-hour.


1 MATADOR – charade – mat(mark) ,ad(info), o (old), r (resistance) (On edit) The correct breakup is M (mark) DATA (info) reversed O (old) R (resistance) (With thanks to Geoff Moss)
5 BODEGA – charade – bod (chap), e.g. (for example), a
8 DECK CHAIR – charade – deck (floor), c (conservative), hair (locks)
9 SLANG -container/content – L (Latin) in sang (chanted)
11 IDLER – anag. after deletion – anag. of lider after deleting g (good)
from glider
12 SOMEWHERE – c/c with anag. – me (me) in sowhere (anag of he swore)
13 ESSAYIST – charade – es [‘are’ (2nd sing.) in French], say (for
example), is (is), t (beginning to trouble)
15 STREET – charade – s (second), tree (plane, eg), t (ending in airport)
17 RAGOUT – c/c, with deletion – a (a), g (head of garlic) inserted in
ROUT (after deleting t from trout)
19 DOORKNOB – cryptic definition – Of course, a doorknob, as dead as
a doornail, is an inanimate thing. The point I am trying to make is whether here and in Clue 21d I can be used for lights that are inanimate objects
22 SMUGGLING – charade, with a c/c – s (son), L (left) in mugging
(street attack)
23 HENNA – charade with a reversal – rev. of Anne (girl), h (beginning to
turn) Reread the clue for def. Clue of the puzzle for me.
24 (On edit)SHAFT – Triple def. (With thanks to Eileen for this and a couple of other answers)
25 MINCEMEAT – c/c with anag – C (clubs) in anag. of meantime
26 MIRROR Two def.
27 SPANNER – I am unable to classify this readily. A CD? Or two def?


1 MID-LIFE CRISIS – Anag of I filmed sir sic
2 TACKLES – c/c – CK in tales (stories) I don’t understand the need for
the question mark. What do crossword editors think of the use of brand
names in the grid or the clues? Does the brand name here get any free
3 DECOR – hidden in cruDE CORrection
4 REASSESS – charade – re, asses (bums), s (seats finally)
5 BIREME – charade – b, I, REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical
Engineers) (engineers), in India the army branch is EME
6 DISHWATER – charade with deletion – dish (cutie), w (with,) a (a), ter
(after deleting bet from better) – I have some comments here. I thought that ‘dish’ is “a sexually attractive female”. Is it used to refer to a man?
In the dictionary it is defined as “a sexually attractive person”. So, is it
because I am a man I have this female fixation? Ahem. Secondly,
though “better half” is defined in the dictionary as “a person’s spouse or
partner” at least in India it’s always the wife who is referred to as a
man’s “better half”. I have never heard a woman mentioning her “better
half” (poor fellow!).
Is ‘dishwater’ fresh water that is used for cleaning dishes or water in
which dishes have been used? I am an alien user of the English
language and such doubts crowd upon my mind.
7 GLAD EYE – anag. of lady gee – I have this doubt whether ‘glad eye’
could be used as a verb; even if it could be, I would expect the verbal
form to be ‘gladeye’ or ‘glad-eye’. Oh yes, in the surface reading ‘ogle’
is a verb but as the def. for the required word, it does a switcheroo as a
noun. Hence the question mark.
10 GHETTO BLASTER – two def – I solved this from the second
definition (in Madras there is at present an operation to demolish some
slums put up by encroachers on public lands) but for the second I had
to resort to COD: “a large portable radio and cassette or CD player”.
Question mark because ‘ghetto blaster’ does not mean a person who
dismantles slums.
14 YOUNGSTER – charade with anag. – y (last thing in gastronomy), oungster (anag. of sturgeon). Excellent clue. I had this doubt whether
‘youngster’ could refer only to a young human. COD def. is “a young
person or young animal”. As a non-native speaker of the English
language, I have never heard anyone in my country referring to a young animal as
16 LODGINGS – Even with longings (craves), digs (lodgings), n (new) I am unable to parse this now. (On edit) dgi (anag of dig) in longs (craves), ‘digs’ being the def.
18 (On edit)GOURAMI – charade – go,u,ram,l (I had put in GOULASH on the erroneous parsing go,u,lash)
20 NANKEEN – charade, nan(grandma), piercing (keen)
21 DIMMER – two def – comparatively stupid / “I shed light”
23 HYENA – c/c with anag – n in hyea (anag. of yeah) – excellent clue.

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13003 / Jason”

  1. Eileen says:

    Good morning Rishi

    24ac: SHAFT: triple definition
    26ac: [Daily] Mirror
    18dn: GOURAMI: GO + U[ndercook]+ RAM [batter] + I: A gourami is a tropical fish
    16dn; [DIGS]* inside LONGS
    27ac: double definition

  2. 44 says:

    Dish – not a word I use, but I normally think of it as something a girl/young woman would say about a man: “he’s a real dish”.
    Dishwater – I’d use it as water that has been used for washing dishes.
    Better half – probably mostly used by men about women. Other half more used by women about men.

  3. Geoff Moss says:

    Hi Rishi
    I am rather late commenting today because I have only just done this puzzle due to other commitments keeping me occupied all day.

    Just one thing to add, the correct parsing for 1a is:

    M (mark) DATA (info) reversed O (old) R (resistance)

  4. John in USA says:

    6D DISH (cutie) + W (with) + A + TER (‘better’, first half taken away)

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