Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,242 / Jason

Posted by Agentzero on November 24th, 2009


Unfortunately the grid that appeared with this puzzle was incorrect.  There are two blacked-out squares that should not have been blacked out: the square between what is given in the grid as 13 across and 14 across, and the square between what is given in the grid as 23 across and 24 across.  If these are unblacked and the lights renumbered accordingly, everything makes sense, but I suspect many solvers will have given up and gone on to something else before getting this far.

Update: the FT crossword editor has posted a corrected grid.  See comment below.

1 SWITCH S (son) WITCH (something irritating).  W (with) ITCH (something irritating).  Not sure why witch=”something irritating.”  I couldn’t find support in Collins or COED, and didn’t have Chambers available to me.  Thanks to Rishi for this clarification
4 ASSASSIN ASS ASS (two identical fools) + IN
9 AFFRAY A F (loud) FRAY (show the effects of strain)
10 LAWCOURT A homophone–of what I am not sure.  No doubt I am handicapped here by my rhotic accent.
12 CORE C (carbon) ORE (mineral aggregate)
13 MONOLITHIC hidden in kiMONO LIT HICkstead
21 COW PARSLEY PAR (scratch, in golf) S (society) in COWLEY
22 DIGS dd
24 LOVE KNOT LOV[e] or LOV[er] (short paramour) + *(TOKEN).  Doesn’t quite work for me as an &lit, since “short” doesn’t fit with the definition.
25 BEWARE WAR (conflict) in BEE (work commune)
26 AFLUTTER A (about?) FLUTTER (bet).  I couldn’t justify A as an abbreviation for “about.”  If the setter simply intended “bet” = A FLUTTER, then “about” doesn’t fit in the clue
27 SPREAD Alternate letters of SuPeR dEmAnDs
1 SEASCAPE cd; reference is to the bridge of a ship
2 INFERNAL INFER (deduce) + LAN (local area network) reversed
3 CHAP A triple definition; small part of book = CHAP[ter]
6 AUCTIONEER *(ROUTINE ACE) with a cryptic definition
7 SOUGHT homophone of SORT.  Even in non-rhotic accents, aren’t the vowels here somewhat different?
8 NOTICE OT[t] (almost over the top) in NICE (pleasant)
16 MARINATE A T (Tango) in MARINE (jolly)
17 BEDSTEAD ST (stone) in BE DEAD (lie still)
19 SCYLLA SC (abbreviation of silicet=”that is”) + ALLY (friend) reversed
20 SWIVEL *(WIVES) + L (left)
23 HELP HE (male) LP (record)

13 Responses to “Financial Times 13,242 / Jason”

  1. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    I think 1a is
    S(son) W(with) ITCH(something irritating)

  2. Niloci says:

    Apologies for the grid error; must have been sleeping while checking proof

  3. Niloci says:

    Crossword with correct grid can now be found on the FT website at

  4. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Niloci.

  5. Agentzero says:

    Thanks, Rishi. Don’t know how I missed that. And thanks, Niloci, for the corrected grid.

  6. Tony Welsh says:

    The errors in the grid were easy enough to sort out, but I still found this difficult. I don’t understand the “a” in “aflutter.” Nor do I understand why “marine” is jolly.

    I sort of got “lawcourt” but don’t understand why. In any case I would have thought “law court” was two words. Started out pleased with myself for sorting out the grid but ended up feeling quite unsatisfied!

  7. Gaufrid says:


    ‘a’ as an abbreviation for ‘about’ can be confirmed in Chambers.
    A ‘jolly’ is a slang term for a Royal Marine.
    Lawcourt is given as one word in Chambers and Collins but two in COED. I too have a ? against this clue.

  8. Agentzero says:

    Thanks Gaufrid

    No-one has explained LAWCOURT yet. Have you been able to parse it?

  9. Tony Welsh says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid. btw, my 1961 Chambers’ has “law-court” hyphenated.

  10. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Agentzero
    I still have a ? against 10a. My initial thought was a simple cd and I have not been able to come up with anything better.

  11. nmsindy says:

    Unfortunately, I did not have time to tackle this puzzle, but have looked at 10 across. Wondered if what was in mind was recorder as an example of a type of judge.

  12. verbose says:

    Thanks Agentzero. About 12a: Why is CORE “mould”? I found this puzzle deeply unsatisfying, as many of the solutions made little sense to me even after I knew what they were; 12a, 10a, 26a for example.

  13. Agentzero says:

    Hi verbose

    I think the setter is relying on the definition of MOULD (given in Collins) as “a frame on which something may be constructed.”

    Regarding 10a, I have concluded that it is simply a cd, with “recorder” being used in the sense Nmsindy suggested.

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