Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,341 / Neo

Posted by Agentzero on March 23rd, 2010

Agentzero.

I was just thinking that it had been a little while since we had seen Neo. Here he is with a fresh collection of clues.  I found these to be high on inventiveness and thankfully low on crossword cliches.

Across
1 ALL BUT A FEW *(AWFUL TABLE)
7 HYPE hidden in pusHY PEople
9 AGOG A (one) GOG (giant)
10 BLUE MURDER BLUE (down) MURDER (collective noun for crows)
11 FIELDS FIELD (scene) + S (initially “seen”).
12 THATCHER d&cd
13 RENDERED END (last) in RE (on) + RED (ball)
15 USER hidden in serioUS ERror
17 AGAR AG (silver) AR[t] (works shortly)
19 MULETEER The driver of an ass, rather than the other way around.
22 QUESTION *(IN QUOTES), referring to the Hamlet soliloquy, of course.
23 TAIPAN T[h]AI (Asian without H for Hotel) PAN (utensil for frying).  The world’s most venomous snake is a resident of Australia, naturally.
25 HOME OFFICE HOME (in) OFF (out) I  C (see) E (hodge at last)
26 ISIS IS[t] IS[t] (two firsts); the Thames is called the Isis in Oxford
27 GERM R (resistance) in GEM (stone)
28 TANK ENGINE *(TAKEN) + G (gangland principal) in NINE
 
Down
2 LEG SIDE a cricket cd
3 BAGEL BAG (container) E[the]L (Ethel found empty)
4 TO BE SURE *(BEERS OUT)
5 FOURTH DIMENSION *(I’M SHUT IN FOR DONE)
6 WOMBAT O (love) MB (doctor) in WAT (temple)
7 HARD COURT HARD (difficult) COURT (attempt to win)
8 PRECEDE P (pennies) RECEDE (decline in value)
14 DARTS TEAM *(STARTED) + AM (before noon).  I liked the definition here (“maybe bullish competitors”) and the well-disguised anagram (“started fighting”)
16 ALL THERE If you are a sandwich short of a picnic, you’re not all there
18 GLUCOSE *(CLUES GO)
20 ELATION [r]ELATION (beheaded family member)
21 MISFIT M (Mike) IS FIT (in fine fettle)
24 ICING hidden in panIC IN Going

3 Responses to “Financial Times 13,341 / Neo”

  1. Nathan Jesurasingham says:

    Another excellent puzzle from the talented Neo – it was challenging, enjoyable and had good humour.

    My favourite clue was 4d – it made me smile.

    Thanks Neo – you’re the best.

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Dear Nathan, I am not sure if Neo’s the best (I don’t think so, and probably he doesn’t think that either), but this was a good crossword – only my second Neo.

    In February I nearly completed his last offering on a flight from Stansted to Schiphol Airport (I remember me questioning whether a ‘film noir’ is a gangster movie or not).

    Given the fact that you can’t make it too hard during weekdays and that, for example, a football-themed puzzle like today’s Boatman in the Guardian would be unacceptable for the FT (and I understand that), this was a rather fine crossword.

    “Friendly” is what I would call this puzzle, but it doesn’t mean “13 in a dozen”, because there are too many original clues.
    Like 4d (TO BE SURE), 23ac (TAIPAN) and 19ac (MULETEER).
    Great constructions in 26ac and 16d.
    There’s a lot of thought behind these clues, I guess.

    On the negative side, there are – of course (people should know me by now) – these cryptic definitions.
    12ac (I hated Thatcher anyway), 18d (ALL THERE) and 2d (LEG SIDE) [please, don't try to convert me :)] don’t work for me.

    But the fine anagram of 1ac (ALL BUT A FEW), the DARTS TEAM of 14d (already mentioned by Agentzero – thx for the blog!!) and 26ac (TANK ENGINE) are a generous compensation.

    Good crossword – looking forward to the next.

  3. Neo says:

    Thanks indeed for the excellent blog, and comments.

    I absolutely agree I’m not the best, but I do try to offer MY best at any given point.

    (limps off)

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