Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,372 / Styx

Posted by smiffy on April 29th, 2010


Plenty of gentle clues, including a slew of hidden answers and double definitions.  But there are also some admirable clue surfaces (I ticked 10A, 18A and 15D), plus the potentially mundane answer at 11D was very imaginatively handled.

1 SEMILLON – Se{e} + mill + on.  The clue itself was solvable enough, but it took me a while to justify the wordplay (getting hung-up on millon as a botanical plant, rather than mill as an industrial one).
5 SWAMIS – swam + Is.
9 ATTACKED – a + {gunboa}t + tacked.
10 PARROT – par +rot.
12 TYRES – hidden.
13 ACETIFIES – ace + (if in ties).
14 FASTER – double def’n.
16 SLOGGED – {wood}s + logged.
18 ABIDING – din in (a big).
20 CLERIC – (relic)* + c{hurch}.
22 BLATHERED – lather in bed.
23 POKER – double def’n.
24 EDITOR – it in (rode)<.
25 FIELDERS – (if)< + elders.  Put me in mind of the evocatively-named baseball player, Prince Fielder, of the Milwaukee Brewers.  With contra-eponymous irony, he’s much more proficient at smiting the ball than handling it.
26 SENSES – hidden.
27 TEA ROSES – rose in teas{e}.

1 SMARTS – art in SMS (aka a text message).
2 MATERIALISATION – mate + (is in (a tailor in)*).
3 LICKS – double def’n.
4 ONE PAIR – (Open)* + air.  Unlikely to win you the World Series of Poker, unless you’re an impeccable bluffer.
6 WEARISOME – wear + I + some.
7 MORNING SICKNESS – (mocking sinners)* + S.
8 SET ASIDE – t in seaside.
11 SEES – se + es; i.e trisect the word “series” and then dispose of the middle section.
15 THIGHBONE – (high + B) in tone.
17 HAS-BEENS – (base)* in hens.
19 GERM – German – an.
20 CODEINE – code + in + E(cstasy).
21 CRISIS – c{a}r + is x2.
23 POLAR – lop< + a + {snappe}r.

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,372 / Styx”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Smiffy.

    My favourite clue was 7dn, for the ‘expecting’ trouble – I still remember it! [You need to add another S [direction].]

  2. smiffy says:

    Hi Eileen – wordplay at 7D duly amended (I was somewhat blase with my diagnosis after spotting the answer). The cryptic definition obviously didn’t really resonate as strongly for me. In fact, on reflection, the phrase “morning sickness” seems likes a rather vague catch-all term. It must have been coined by an unempathetic man…

  3. Eileen says:

    Hi Smiffy

    I agree with you that the surface of 10ac is very good – it’s just a pity that half the answer appears in the clue.

    I was way behind you on 1ac – trying for a while to find a word beginning with LO. This top corner foxed me for a long time [I didn’t know licks = music] and I finally had to admit defeat on 1dn.

    I thought this was an enjoyable puzzle, all told.

  4. scarpia says:

    Thanks Smiffy,
    I thought this was a good puzzle with some inventive clueing.
    like Eileen I struggled with the top corner and must admit that I didn’t know ‘smarts’ could mean intelligence.It sounds like it might be an Americanism.
    It also took me a while to spot ‘tyres’ in 12 across – most annoying as I usually class embeddeds as gimmes!
    What with Paul’s ‘everything’, that’s two in one day.

  5. Colin says:

    Thanks Smiffy,
    I enjoyed this but had to work hard to finish that top left corner. I lacked the smarts and was on the wrong tack to begin with. So Styx got his licks in on me but they all materialised in the end.

    And thanks for the baseball reference – a pleasant change.

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