Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,287 / Neo

Posted by Agentzero on January 19th, 2010


This was a quick solve, but with some definite pleasures. Neo has a way of cluing three- and four-part charades with economy and style.

1 IDIOTIC I’D (Neo had) I (one) OTIC (of the ears) Amusing!
5 OCTOPUS OCT[ober] (month) OPUS (work).  Collins has as a definition “a powerful influential organisation with far-reaching effects, esp. harmful ones”
9 LUNGI *([b]ULGIN[g]) (anagram of “bulging content”).  This word for a loincloth was new to me, but readily obtainable from the wordplay (with the help of crossers)
10 WOEBEGONE O (love) in WE BEG (we ask) + ONE (individual)
11 MAN OF IRON cd, Fe of course being the atomic symbol for iron.
12 EPSOM hidden in sleEP SO Menelaus
13 CLIFT C (about) LIFT (withdraw); Montgomery Clift the actor is perhaps best remembered for playing the lead in From Here to Eternity
19 GULAG U (acceptable) L (line) in GAG (joke)
21 STOUT ST (virtuous man) OUT (proud to be gay)
23 LLANDUDNO L,L (students) AND (with) U (university) *(DON)
26 REALM REAL (silver coin) M[onsieur] (Frenchman)
27 LARCENY C (cycle) in *(NEARLY)
28 REYNARD ANY reversed in RE (on) RD (road)
2 ION ENGINE EN (measure) G (gravity) in IO (satellite) NINE
3 THIEF Sort of a reverse clue; THIEF + LAD anagrammed makes HATFIELD
4 COWARDICE CO (company) WAR (fighting) DICE (gamblers)
5 ODEON OLD EON (time) minus L (Warhol trailer) Nice clue; good surface and deft wordplay
6 THEME SONG THE MESON (elementary particle) G (good)  Unfortunately, this one seems to lack any surface meaning.
7 PIOUS P (priest) IOUs (promises to pay)
8 SHERMAN S (small) HER MAN (the one she loves).  Not the most common crossword general (Lee), but his opponent
14 TIGHTROPE TIGHT (firm) ROPE (line)
16 LANCASTER CAST (thrown) in LANE (road) R (king)
17 MELODRAMA ME  *(OLD) RAM (stuff) A.  A lot of wordplay fit nicely into seven words
18 EASEFUL FU[n] in EASEL (Lowry’s frame)
22 OWNER DOWNER (depressing experience) minus D (pennies)
23 LOWRY LOW (blue) RY (line).  The definition here is “he painted us very thin;” L.S. Lowry was known for populating his landscapes with small stick-like figures that came to be referred to as “matchstick men.”
24 DERBY dd; the reference is to EPSOM from 12 across.  (Added late – I somehow omitted this explanation from the first posting.)

7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,287 / Neo”

  1. ACP says:

    Hi Agentzero,
    could you please explain 25ac FUND OF WIT ? Even Google tells me nothing.

  2. Nathan Jesurasingham says:

    I really loved this puzzle – it had humour, was a pleasure to solve and had excellent clues.

    My favourites were 1a, 11a, 13a, 8d, 14d and 24d.

    Neo, thanks for this excellent puzzle. I have been solving your puzzles in the FT for a while and have enjoyed all the ones I’ve attempted. I look forward to your next FT puzzle.

    Thanks also to Agentzero who always writes very good reviews.

  3. Conrad Cork says:


    Neo is Tees over at the Indie, so more chances to enjoy him.

  4. anax says:

    Stunning stuff as ever from Neo. 9a had me in stitches – great to see implied naughtiness rather than the blatant stuff – and there were loads of cracking constructions elsewhere; 10a, 17d, 20d and 23d just a handful of clues with big ticks alongside them.

    As Conrad says, check out Tees in the Indie – always a safe bet for really good entertainment.

  5. John French says:

    6d. THEME SONG loosely equivalent to signature tune, if that’s what you mean by surface meaning.

  6. Agentzero says:

    Hi ACP,

    FUND OF WIT is a cryptic definition. Someone who is always ready with an amusing remark may be said to have a fund of wit. Also, a fund of wit might punningly refer to a fund of money (backing) for Oscar Wilde (who was a wit).

    John French,

    No, that’s the definition within the clue. IMHO, in a good clue, the definition and subsidiary indication, taken together, should make up a meaningful English phrase or sentence that seems to be about something else entirely. 5 down, among others, has this quality; 6 down does not.

  7. Neo says:

    Many thanks for splendid blog, and for generous comments.

    Couple of things seem to have been lost in transit: 6 down started life with caps on ‘The Elemental Particle’, which was intended to look a bit like a name a musical group might use. 7 is possibly not the original clue, as until reading the blog I had no idea that P can be clued as ‘priest’ (and I would very likely have dispensed with the ‘has’!).

    Many thanks.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

7 − = three