Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,288 / IO

Posted by Gaufrid on January 20th, 2010


I’m not quite sure what to say about this one. I found it hard in places and very easy elsewhere. Some answers were obvious from the enumeration and a few took a while to parse. Overall I enjoyed the puzzle.

It might be that I am rather thick today but insertion indicators appear to be missing in two clues (23ac & 25ac). 3dn took me nearly as long to parse as the puzzle did to complete and I’ m not sure about my explanation for 24,20 but I cannot see an alternative.

9 APOLOGIST A (one) POLO GIST (point of sport)
10 AGORA dd
11 HOSTAGE TAG (label) in HOSE (stockings)
13 ROO ROO[m] (not quite enough space)
14 MUM’S THE WORD d&cd
17 CORIN I (single) in CORN[wall] (walled-off county)
18 OVA homophone of ‘over’ (on)
19 UNSAY U (20, superior) N (name) SAY (perhaps)
23 POM O (round) in PM (after lunch) – a pom (Pomeranian dog) might ‘need a walk’ but there is no insertion indicator for putting ’round’ in ‘after lunch’, as it reads the clue would give OPM
25 PAK CHOI CH (religious establishment) in A KO (a knockout) in PI (religious) – there doesn’t appear to be a second insertion indicator, as it stands the clue would give PIAKCHO or AKPICHO
27 AT FIRST A[ccess] T[o] F[lat] I[s] R[estricted] S[omewhat] T[oday] – ‘originally’ is doing double duty as the initial letter indicator and the definition
28 RUN IN dd

3 SOLAR MONTH ARM (branch) in SOLO (single) NTH (serial number)
4,27 WISEACRE *(CASE) in WIRE (cable)
6,26 BACKHAND BACK (support) HAND (worker)
7 COME TO dd
8 BALLADRY BALL (dance) A DRY (formal)
15 MOOT POINTS *(OPTION) in MOTS (more than one word)
16 EMULSIFIER EMU (non-flier) *(IS FLIER)
17 CHAMPERS C (many) HAMPERS (picnic baskets)
22 IN KIND IN (popular) KIND (generous)
24,20 MOTHER SUPERIOR – I think this must be some sort of reverse clue where the answer provides the wordplay, MA (mother) U (superior) ‘repeatedly’ gives ‘Mau-Mau’

7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,288 / IO”

  1. Jake says:

    Thanks for the blog.

    I found this rather odd. I managed most the answers and a few by guessing.
    I can’t help with 24,20 dn it’s one I guessed but cannot see how it works
    apart from ME must indicate MOTHER SUPERIOR with the rest of the cluing???
    (a bit lose for my liking though).

    I find Io a lot different than Enigmatist and not as much fun, but most Io
    puzzles are dry I find.

  2. Mike04 says:

    Thank you for the blog, Gaufrid.
    Some of today’s clues were difficult to parse.

    23ac POM
    I thought perhaps O in PM ’round in the afternoon’ could be read as
    ’round after lunch’

    25ac PAK CHOI
    I agree with your interpretation. I wonder if the word cabbage is doing double duty here as an enveloper – as its leaves surround its heart.
    Or is that just too far-fetched?

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Mike04
    I think you are right about ‘after lunch’ = ‘in the afternoon’. This didn’t occur to me whilst solving but with hindsight perhaps it should have done.

    As for 25ac, perhaps ‘too far-fetched’!

  4. JamesM says:


    Thanks for the blog. It was, I suspect, quite an undertaking!

    I am sure that you are right re 24/20 down, particularly when “mother” is diametrically opposite to “father”!

  5. Macca says:

    Is ‘walled-off county’ really good enough for CORN ? I think not. Maybe for ‘minus walled’ but not ‘minus wall’. Then of all men’s names, Corin ? Is that common enough to be clued simply as ‘man’ ?

    Cluing any old given name as ‘man/woman’ is pretty lazy, IMO. The setter shouldn’t have used it as an answer if that’s the best they can do.

  6. uncle yap says:

    Walled-off county for corn is as legitimate as deranged orange for the letter O (ala Araucaria) … my only grouse here is I do not know anybody by the name, Corin

    Yes, I agree that John Henderson sometimes gets carried away by his cleverness (after all, he is a former Times Crossword champion)and forgets to inject some humour in his clues. Some of his Nimrod puzzles, whilst being extremely challenging, are almost bereft of humour.

    John, if you are reading this; please remember solvers like to be challenged as well as entertained. So, get in your Spoonerism, the blue definitions and anything that will raise a wry smile here and there.

    Otherwise John is a fantastic compiler and I owe him some mugs of Guinness Stout for the pleasure his puzzles have given me over the years.

  7. verbose says:

    Thanks Gaufrid. Even with the explanations, I find many of the clues here puzzling. 24,20D, for example, strikes me as more ingenious than satisfying.

    13a: Why is ROO a “new” jumper?

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>

nine − 2 =