Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,225 / Io

Posted by Gaufrid on November 4th, 2009


It’s been six months to the day since we last saw Io and that is too long. I blogged his last puzzle and my opening comment was “Well, this one was different!” and I could say the same again today. There were some ‘straight’ clues but a significant number of others involved some form of cryptic definition or indication and there was an interesting dd plus anagram at 18a.

On my first pass through the clues I thought “this is going to be tough” because I only had a few entries in the grid but perseverance led to steady progress and eventually everything fell into place. This was a little different from the usual FT fare and I thoroughly enjoyed it, particularly 16d.

7 OPHIDIAN HID (secreted) in PIANO (musical instrument) with O (prelude to opera) brought forward
8 ACT OUT A C[u]T-OUT (tube missing from safety device)
11 STORM hidden in ‘tarS TORMent’
13 REDRAWN N (new) WARDEN (supervisor) reversed
14 BAS-BLEU *(BAUBLES) – a bluestocking (woman of some intelligence)
18 INGRATE dd & *(GREAT [w]IN)
20 TAMARIN TAMAR (flower of the South West) IN
23 RAPID RAP (sharp blow) ID (driving force)
24 FLAGON d&cd

1,4 CONSERVATION OF MASS AND ENERGY – M (mass) E (energy) is in Ahmed, James, Imelda and me
3 ADAMS ALE cd – an allusion to ‘leading a horse to water …..’
5 ACROSS A (one) CROSS (religious symbol)
6 FOOTSLOG – the Spoonerism is ‘soot (black) flog (sell)’
16 NIGHTJAR NIGHT JAR (drink at closing time) – definition ‘is it similar to a swift’
17 UP-MARKET *(PUT ME ARK) – ‘container of each species’ = ark
19 ALISON AL IS ON (confirming Jolson’s performing)

9 Responses to “Financial Times 13,225 / Io”

  1. jetdoc says:

    The clue for 22,21 has been edited — originally, it was: No news, “luv”?, which makes more sense.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks jetdoc. The original ‘luv’ (homophone of ‘love’) would have been much better.

  3. Jake says:

    Extremely tough.

    IO beat me hands down.

    Thank you Gaufrid for the answers/explanations. I really needed to see what was what, and how this puzzle worked.



  4. uncle yap says:

    Chambers defines tamarin as a monkey and so do all the dictionaries cited by One-Look. The tree is tamarind (with a d at the end)

    Or am I missing something?

  5. verbose says:

    Thanks Gaufrid. I finished only the left half of this crossword, with a few stray words on the right. Several of the clues I did solve (e.g. “Conservation of Mass and Energy”) I didn’t really understand until I saw the explanation here. And I still don’t understand some of them. Three in particular still baffle me.

    2D/12A: Why is an old school tie a show of mutuality?

    I don’t understand how 10/9D works. I know a powder monkey is a young gunner on a ship, but the clue baffles me.

    Also, in 20A, why is “flower of the south west” TAMAR?

    I’d be grateful for any explanations.

  6. Gaufrid says:

    Hi UY
    No, you’re not missing anything. The tree is a ‘tamarind’ so it is a faulty clue.

    Hi verbose
    ‘old school tie’ – “a distinctive tie worn by old boys of a school; the emblem of (esp upper-class) loyalties shown by such people to each other.” (Chambers)

    In 10/9d ‘relation’ (as in the telling of) refers to a poem, book, saying etc, a ‘powder monkey’ was usually a boy and if he was preparing a sign to say ‘this is alight’ he would be standing on the burning deck.

    20a the Tamar is a river (flower) in SW England.

  7. Macca says:

    10/9dn: to have such a large part of the grid hinging on such a long cryptic definition is a bit rough, isn’t it ?
    At least 1,4dn had some secondary indication that could be helpful.

  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    When this crossword appeared (last Wednesday) we hadn’t much time trying to solve it, but then 22,21ac clue was so intriguing that we saved the puzzle for later – which was today.
    Unfortunately, NOTHING TO REPORT didn’t convince us at all.
    (maybe IO tried to match his “I say nothing” clue?)
    And to find out that 20ac is plain wrong, is a shame as well.
    Having said that, there’s a lot that IS right.

    For me the problem with this setter is, that – while solving – I don’t like it (just like the recent Enigmatist), but when looking back at it, there is much to admire.
    So, very clever, but not at the right time.

    I think this crossword was far above FT standards.
    And I must admit that we dint’t finish it without additional resources.

    I still don’t like the 10,9dn clue.
    Apparently a cryptic definition, of which I am not really a fan.
    And can anyone tell me what The Ashes have to do with the clue of 18ac?

    But then, 15ac.
    One of the best anagrams I have seen in ages, although I am not convinced by the anagrind (whatever that is).

  9. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Re #8 (my own post …):
    I got it now, about the Ashes.
    Was just distracted by the capital A.

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