Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,226 / Styx

Posted by Gaufrid on November 5th, 2009


What’s happened to smiffy?!

This setter appears to be a new addition to the FT stable so it is a pity that a few errors crept into the puzzle along the way as indicated below (24a, 1d, 3d, 6d & possibly 23d) unless, of course, I have missed something.

1 PUBIS PUB (watering hole) IS
4 HEAD START HE ADS (notices) TART (promiscuous woman)
9 REACTOR A in RECTOR (church leader)
10 MAN-SIZE N (pole) IS reversed in MAZE (labyrinth)
14 FOUL homophone of ‘fowl’
18 ENTERTAIN ENTER (record) A in TIN (metal)
19 FAIR dd
21 BIRD OF PASSAGE *(FIBRO PADS) SAGE (discerning person)
24 REDRESS *(ERRED) SS (ship) – ‘redress’ is not defined as ‘help’ in any of the usual references
26 DESPAIR DES[k] PAIR (put together)
27 HOMESTEAD *(SOME) T (time) in HEAD (main)
28 TALES hidden in ‘hospiTAL ESpecially’

1 PERK – presumably this was meant to be a dd but I cannot find ‘perk’=’bring up’ in any of the usual references even in the sense of ‘puke’
2 BEAN COUNTER AN in BE COUNTER (against) – Uncle Yap will not have liked this one!
3 SUTURE TU (trade union) in SURE (firm) – Chambers gives this as ‘a line of union’ rather than ‘line of a union’
5 ADMAN MA (graduate’s achievement) in *(AND)
6 SUN DANCE – I assume ‘nuns case’ was meant to be an anagram but it isn’t
7 ANI A[rea] N[ear] I[ndia]
8 THEORISERS THE O (old) RISERS (people getting up)
13 AFTERBIRTH TRIB[e] reversed in *(FATHER)
16 MANY-SIDED *(DISNEY) in MAD (round-the-twist)
17 PRIORESS RIO in PRESS (crowd)
20 BASSET ASS (nitwit) in BET (wager)
22 PASSE PASS (approve) E (drugs)
23 PROS – this could be a homophone (expressed) of ‘prose’ (ordinary language) or PROS[e] (ordinary language in abbreviated form) – with both homophone and curtailment indicators I don’t think this clue works
25 DAM MAD (nuts) reversed

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,226 / Styx”

  1. Macca says:

    Apart from 6dn, which is pretty clearly an error, I don’t think it’s all as gloomy as you assert.
    What’s the difference between options in the 3dn definition anyway ? One’s lifted directly and the other’s an interpretation.
    Possibly ‘expressed’ is part of the defn of ‘prose’ and doesn’t need to be a homophone indicator.

    I think it’s a pretty fair effort with good attention to surface reading.

  2. Raoul says:


    I thought you a little hard on Styx in this puzzle!

    I had no qualms with PERK and REDRESS at the time – I can only find perk equating to vomit in Macquarie, but it appears in very regular usage in that context? Chambers et al under Redress have every synonym in the world for help – except the word help; I thought it a logical connection.
    I put in SUN DANCE but just thought I was stupid. Thank you for confirming that it was in fact a typo.
    And with SUTURE and PROS, I think you are just being pedantic.

    I thought BEAN COUNTER and HERBAL TEA excellent clues.

    I, for one, would like to see another Styx.


  3. Paul B says:

    OTOH I think Gaufrid is right to point these, um, idiosyncrasies out: what else could you expect here at 15/2?! And in the FT, to me at least, it seems quite important to be unequivocal, as English is not always the first language for solvers. A couple of potentially controversial enries too, which were a surprise.

  4. verbose says:

    I enjoyed some of the clues very much, particularly BIRD OF PASSAGE and THEORISERS, but I agree with Gaufrid that 1D and 6D don’t work. On the whole, though, I liked this crossword a whole lot better than yesterday’s, even though this one is not completely satisfying either.

  5. Richard says:

    I assumed 3D referred to a surgical suture, which is a thread to join tissue, rather than an anatomical suture.

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