Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,029/Flimsy

Posted by smiffy on March 19th, 2009


I hope that my appraisal of this puzzle is not jaundiced by having solved it in something of an already bleary-eyed mood. I found this to be an balanced  blend of innovative ideas, intermixed with some clearly-telegraphed anagram fodder. The NW corner proved to be a mini-battle of attrition at the end for me.

1 RED FACED – Re + face in d,d
5  BOO-BOO – boo(-b) twice.  I would imagine – not of course that I’ve dwelt on the matter – that cosmetic breast reduction surgery is rarely an either/or procedure.
11 IRON AGE – ON (Old Norse) in I rage.
12  CREED – Cree + [ignore]d
13 ABHORRERS – (Arab horse)* with r(un) for a.
14 BODY LANGUAGE – pretty imaginative stuff.
21  UNSETTLED – double def’n.
23 IRATE – (fire at)* – f.  A niftily assembled piece of deception.
24 AMOROUS – A(dult) + U in moros[-e].
25 ENEMIES – (seem nice)* -c.  I enjoyed this clue, without really being to point ot any particular structural brilliance.
26 TALENT – tale + NT
27  ISOSTASY – (So stay is)*.

1  REDUCE – double def’n. The culinary context, again, proving a troublesome blind spot for me.
2 DRAWER – (reward)=”pay” rev
3 ASSIDUOUS – Ass + (duo,u) in is.
4 ESTUARY ENGLISH – Punning def’n.  I vaguely recall encountering a similar treatment of this phrase somewhere else recently.
6 ODOUR – homophone of “Oder” (German river).
7  BRAKE PAD – This seems like a clue of wafer-thin transparency, so I’m probably missing a clever subtlety.  Is it also alluding to “taxi” in the sense of an aircraft moving while on the ground?
9 HIGH-HANDEDNESS – handed in Highness.
15 GAWKINESS – (wages sink)*
16 ADJUTANT – Double def’n. A military rank, and a type of (one might say, gawky) bird.
17 CESSPOOL – (cope + loss)*.  Even with checking letters and an obvious anagram indicator, I didn’t fathom this one too quickly.
19 FARINA – far in (“v. much involved”) +a.  A “meal” in the sense of the foodstuff itself, rather than a repast.
20 FEISTY – F + (is yet)*.  “Excitable” didn’t strike me as the most natural definition (I tend to the word as a synonym for spirited); tant pis.
22 THORN – (Roth)* + n.

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,029/Flimsy”

  1. Jake says:

    This puzzle is repeated – January 15th 09 – puzzle 12,975 (Flimsy). Good puzzle though if missed the first time around. May be a error at FT?

  2. Agentzero says:

    Hah! No wonder some of these clues (including ESTUARY ENGLISH)looked so familiar.

    I have obviously reached that ideal state of mental deterioration where I still have enough wits to solve puzzles, but have lost enough memory cells that I can enjoy solving the same puzzle twice in a few months!

    Smiffy, I really liked 25ac as well … the reason may be just that a fairly complex wordplay fit so smoothly and unobtrusively into a natural surface reading. What the art is all about, really.

  3. JamesM says:


    Did you leave 19d unsolved for a reason? I think I have the answer.

  4. smiffy says:

    Good spot Jake! I think I can spare my blushes, as I don’t think I attempted this one the first time round. (Although the sense of deja vu that 4D gave me, now seems particularly spooky).

    James, the glaring omission at 19D was a late-night oversight on my part; I’ll amend that now.
    Hope that my answer matches yours (and the one from January too, for that matter).

  5. Tony Welsh says:

    Re not remembering, over 50 years ago when I was 11 I redid the IQ part of a mock 11-plus without realising I had done it before. I got one answer wrong while my classmates mostly got every question right because they remembered it!

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