Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,196 / Sleuth

Posted by Gaufrid on October 1st, 2009


Smiffy is away on business and so has missed a pleasant puzzle from Sleuth today. A little tricky in places, with some convoluted wordplay in a few clues, but overall a fair challenge.

10 TUNISIA  IS I[nvest] in TUNA (fish)
11 COLOGNE  LOG (record) in CONE (traffic marker)
12 HELLO  HELL (extremely unpleasant place) O (ordinary)
13 SCHEDULE  C (college) in *(SUE HELD)
15 SATURNALIA  A TURN (a performance) in SA (it) AIL (trouble) reversed
16 ATOM  A TO M – ‘matter’ seems to be doing double duty here as part of the definition (‘tiny matter’) and as an indicator of the contents of (‘matter within’) ‘Amsterdam’ which go from A to M
18 AIDA  A1 (excellent) D (director) A (amateur)
20 RAGAMUFFIN  GAM (school) in *(RUFFIAN)
22 PASTICHE  ASTI (wine) in PC (policeman) HE (man)
24 PINOT  PI (good) NOT[e] (character largely)
26 NIAGARA  A GAIN (a profit) reversed RA (artist)
27 ON THE GO  O (old) NT (conservationists) EG (say) in HO (house)

3 MISSOURI  cd – [s]MO[g] is the abbreviation for Missouri
4 TEAK  [s]TEAK (cut after sun disappears) – ‘cut’ as in cut of meat
6 ALLIE  ALLIE[s] (associates snubbed) – a diminutive of Alice
7 YOGHURT  YOG[a] (exercises to eliminate a) HURT (pain)
9 DETERMINATION  DETER (put off) MI (note) NATION (race)
14 PARAPHRASE  A R (a rector) in PAP (drivel) *(HEARS)
17 QUIPSTER  PS (extra note) in QUITE (completely) R (right)
19 DESPAIR  DES (of, in French) PAIR (duo)
21 FONTEYN  F (fine) ON (performing) [da]Y in TEN (figure)
23 ISAAC  AS reversed in 1 AC (opening to crossword)
25 ROPE  OP (work) in RE (about)

6 Responses to “Financial Times 13,196 / Sleuth”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Enjoyable puzzle, which I found reasonably easy. Liked in particular SATURNALIA, AT THE SHARP END, ROPE.

  2. Agentzero says:

    Hi Gaufrid

    I agree that the wordplay was tricky (but fair) in a few places, such that there were clues I solved from the definition and did not work out the wordplay until afterwards.

    “Gam” (a group of whales, and therefore a “school” was a new word for me. Interestingly, we had its synonym (pod) just yesterday in the FT.

  3. Paul B says:

    Yes, I liked it too. Very well-written puzzle from a dogged detective whom Indy solvers will recognise as the god of sleep.

  4. Nathan Jesurasingham says:

    I found this quite tricky. I breezed through the previous four puzzle by Mudd, Falcon, Neo and Satori and only missed one clue (the “Threnody” clue from Neo’s excellent Tuesday puzzle).

    With this one I failed to solve eight clues. Hardest FT puzzle of the week by far. Good challenge though. As a self-confessed slogger, it is good for me to do a puzzle like this as it stretches my mind and teaches me new things in the world of cryptics.

  5. verbose says:

    15 ac: I did get SATURNALIA just from the checks and the definition, but I don’t understand why SA is “it”. Could someone please explain? Thanks.

  6. Gaufrid says:

    Both ‘sa’ and ‘it’ mean sex appeal.

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