Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,251 / Adamant

Posted by shuchi on December 4th, 2009


An easy, rather predictable one with many double definitions. The clue surfaces are good but a few clues like 19a, 25a don’t seem entirely satisfactory.


4 THICKSET THICK (stupid) SET (group)
9 BANGER B[oil] ANGER (rage)
10 DOWNPLAY DOWN (county) PLAY (drama)
12 NEARSIDE NEAR (mean) SIDE (team)
13 QUANGO QU (question) A N (new) GO
15 SATS dd. SAT = Scholastic Aptitude Test. I don’t recall seeing an abbreviation as the answer before. Is this considered valid?
16 ABLE-BODIED dd, more like a straight definition. Seaman = AB (able-bodied) is the first abbreviation any crossworder learns.
19 DECATHLETE DEC (winter) ATHLETE. The definition ‘Those taking part…’ leads to a plural answer, which should have been DECATHLETES, surely?
20 USER dd
23 CITING CITIN? G (good). Need help with the explanation. // Update: CI (Channel Islands, of which Jersey is one) TIN (can) G (good). Thanks Rishi.
25 CANNABIS CAN (is able) (BANISH – H)*. Missing anagrind?
27 DAMNABLE (BAD MAN)* LE (‘the’ French)
28 HOOTER cd
29 RAINDROP RA (artist) IN (at home) DR (doctor) OP (work). ‘Spot’ is questionable as definition for ‘raindrop’, I think.
30 RETYPE RE (engineers) TYPE (sort)


1 DEBUNKS d&cd
3 CREASE CR (credit) EASE (facility)
5 HOOK cd
6 CONJUROR CON (cheat) JUROR (one in twelve)
7 SALON (ALSO)* N. ‘Also redecorating’ doesn’t work perfectly as the ‘redecorating’ action has to be performed on ‘also’. ‘Also redecorated’ would have been more effective.
8 THYROID (HYDRO IT)*. If ‘treatment at’ is the anagrind then ‘helped with’ is superfluous.
11 ODDBALL ODD (not even) BALL (dance)
14 BESTIAL (STABLE)* around I
21 RESERVE dd, but not really, since ‘book’ and ‘keep’ are identical in meaning.
22 ENCORE (ONCE)* RE. One of the few clues I enjoyed in this puzzle.
24 TEMPI TE (note) MP (politician) I
26 ALTO A L (number) TO. ‘end it with’ is somewhat loose for the cryptic reading.

10 Responses to “Financial Times 13,251 / Adamant”

  1. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    I think 15ac is SATs (in the exam sense) and Sat(urday)s (from weekend). But how ‘weekend’ can give the plural form, I am not sure. No, no, it is not a DD; it’s a charade. SAT (educational assessments) + S (Saturday, some calendars have S for Saturday as well as Sunday). But is “edcational assessments” OK for the seemingly singular SAT? No, the clue is a CD. But are all SATs held only during weekend? I am confused. Let’s see what others say!

    I agree with your comment at 19a.

    As for 23a, it is CI TIN G
    CI – Channel Islands of which Jersey is one
    TIN – can
    G – good

  2. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    In 25a the anagrind appears to be missing, as you say. Besides, ‘not heroin’ is, IMHO, misplaced in the surface reading.

  3. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    In 8d, the clue-writer probably wants to mislead us momentarily when we count letters for the anagram. If we jumble AT HYDRO (8 letters), we won’t get the required answer.

  4. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    29ac: We say “a spot of rain”.

    As ‘spot’ means ‘a small quantity of anything’, I think the definition is sufficient, especially with the string of wellknown abbreviations forming part of the charade.

    Congrats on an insightful blog.

  5. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    Sorry. In the above, it should read AT HYDRO (7 letters).

    Just as the letter count in HYDRO IT is 7.

  6. Octofem says:

    Hi, Shuchi. Is there a typo at 5 down? Surely ‘hook’ as in ‘hook and eye’?

  7. Gaufrid says:

    Hi shuchi
    I agree with your various reservations.

    I think there is another way of looking at 15a besides the SATS = educational assessments and Saturdays. If we turn around ‘taken at the weekend’ (with a pause between ‘at’ and ‘the’) we could get ‘the weekend taking at’ giving AT in S (Saturday) S (Sunday). I doubt that this is what was intended, I’m just throwing it in as a possibility.

  8. Tony Welsh says:

    I agree with Octofem; 5d is “hook”. I think people are over-analysing 15a. “Sats” are Saturdays which occur at weekends. Living in Houston, I was doubtful about this one simply because I thought SATS were tests in the US only.

    btw, nobody mentioned the typo in clue to 18d. Following the recent mess-up in the grid and some clue-numbering problems in a recent Saturday prize puzzle, one wonders about FT’s QA.

  9. shuchi says:

    Hi, Typo at 8d fixed. Thanks.

    @Rishi: Thanks for explaining CITING. *sigh* All my Googling about Jersey cows gone waste.

  10. Richard says:

    Shuchi, I agree that there were some less than satisfying surfaces including 21d not being a dd for RESERVE.

    8d seems to imply that THYROID is a disease rather than a gland that may be diseased. It is like saying that heart and kidney are diseases.

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