Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,412 / Crux

Posted by Agentzero on June 15th, 2010


Some clever clues here from Crux.  As seems usual for me lately, there is one clue I haven’t been able to parse:  19 across.  I’m sure it’s something clever that will elicit an “Aha!” as soon as someone explains it.  Will it be Rishi, Gaufrid or Eileen?  My money is on Rishi.

4 REDSTART dd; alluding to the phrase “red sky at morning, sailor take warning”
10 THEREFORE hidden (well hidden) in foughT HERE FOR Emperor
11 ELITE E[ast] TILE (roof cover), all reversed
12 ELAN Initial letters of Ebb Long After Nightfall
13 IN GOOD NICK d&cd, referring to a prisoner of course
15 USURPER P[ower] in USURER (Shylock type)
16 THIRST dd
19 LE MANS This is surely the “motor race,” but the wordplay here eludes me.
21, 23 ALICE-IN-WONDERLAND *(Indian owner called)
25 OTTO LOTTO (numbers game) minus L (learner and therefore “novice”)
27 NADAL *(AND) + A + L (50).  “Star with a 30″ is a cross-reference to 30 across (“RACKET”), but of course 30 and 50 are also possible scores in a tennis game, so I thought this was pretty clever
28 MULTI-TASK *(I MUST TALK).  Definition is “so hard to do for a man” — oh, how true.  I cannot, for example, watch football and process any other information at the same time
29 DREADING D (daughter) READING (at university)
30 RACKET dd
1 BUTTER UP BUTTERCUP (flower) minus C (colour, initially)
3 SEEK homophone of SIKH
5 EVEN OUT O[pen] U[niversity] in EVENT (competition)
6 SPEED LIMIT a good, Rufus-esque cd
7 ALIBI A LIB[eral] + I (first person)
8 TWEAKS T + homophone of “weeks.”  A clue in which the homophone is given directly is not very challenging, I think.  Contrast 3 down, a much better clue
14 APPARELLED RE (royal engineers or “sappers”) in APPALLED (shocked)
17 SWEET TALK homophone of SUITE (course); I think “say” is doing double duty here as the homophone indicator and as the source for “TALK”
20 SOLOMON SOLO (single) MON[k] (brother almost)
21 ANNALS I liked this: ANNUALS (plants) that are non-U (uncultivated)
22 TWINED TWIN (identical) E[nglish] D (soword, finally)
24 NUDGE G (midnight, an oft-seen device) in NUDE (naked)
26 DIVA DIVA[n] (sofa)

9 Responses to “Financial Times 13,412 / Crux”

  1. smiffy says:

    G’day AgentZ.

    Thought I’d swoop in from the “also-rans” part of the racecard, to confound your bet.
    19A: Leman is an archaic word for lover/sweetheart (a bit more common in barred crosswords), so it’s a plural thereof. The word “joined” still seems a little superfluous.

    Highlights for me included 28A, the hidden at 10A, and 9D (which provides a rare parochial, advantage to US sports followers).

    Finally, re 27A. I’m intrigued as to your scoring system; some sort of All England Club variant of Duckworth-Lewis?

  2. Eileen says:

    Hi Agentzero

    I don’t do the FT crossword every day [and certainly don’t get up at 3.00am to do it!] but your preamble intrigued me, so I gave it a go – and enjoyed it, thank you.

    I had come across LEMAN but only ever in crosswords.

    I agree with Smiffy re THEREFORE and [of course!] MULTI-TASK and also thought TWINED was a nice misdirection.

    I think you’re reading too much into 17dn – surely it’s just a charade: SWEET [course] TALK [say]?

    And finally, I agree with Smiffy again: I don’t think even Nadal, star though he is, has ever scored 50! :-)

  3. Agentzero says:

    Smiffy and Eileen,

    Thanks for LEMAN. And you’re right about tennis, I got carried away by the possible correspondence. It’s 15, 30, 40, 60 (game), isn’t it?

  4. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Agentzero
    Not quite. You are right about the 15, 30, 40 but the next point is ‘game’, unless the players are at 40-40 (known as ‘deuce’) when the next point is called ‘advantage’ (to whoever scored it). If that player then loses the next point the score returns to ‘deuce’. The following point is again ‘advantage’ until one players wins two consecutive points when the score becomes ‘game’.

  5. Conrad Cork says:

    27 across ‘and possibly’ gives ‘nad’ and ‘a 50′ gives ‘al’. Lovely clue.

  6. Conrad Cork says:

    Sorry folks must have had the DTs when I clicked on submit. Time for a hair of the dog.

  7. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Conrad
    It may not have been your fault. There have been duplicated clues with the same timestamp previously, including one this morning, though I have not seen a triple before. I assume the duplication is due to a glitch in the WordPress software. I will delete the two redundant repeats.

    Regarding 27ac, this is what Agentzero indicated in his blog by: *(AND) + A + L (50).

  8. Rishi says:

    You say “I had come across LEMAN but only ever in crosswords.”
    Perhaps you don’t remember its use in Twelfth Night – where I must have first met this archaic word.
    Of course, I didn’t remember the exact passage but thanks to the Internet I traced it in a jiffy:
    Sir Andrew (to Clown): “…I sent thee sixpence for thy leman:…” (II,iii)

  9. Eileen says:

    Quite right, Rishi, I didn’t remember. It’s a long time since my third year of secondary school – although, like many of my contemporaries, I do often tend to remember things learned in those days more readily than the name of someone I met last week!

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