Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,456 – Sleuth

Posted by smiffy on August 5th, 2010


That was then, this is now…perhaps Sleuth is feeling a tad nostalgic, what with the three separate wordplay elements (13A, 28A, 6D) harking to times past.  Two major sticking points for me;  firstly the SW corner proved very tough to break into, until I spotted the possibility of a pangrammatic grid – which helped to guide the way.  Then, finally, I ended up staring at a partially solved 6D for several minutes.

1 LIVERY – double def’n.
4 TROPICAL – {pie}r in topical.
9 DIRECT – double def’n.
10 SOFTWARE – (for a West)*.
12 BLUE CHIP – E[nglish] in (club)* + hip.
13 PAGODA – ago in PD (Police Dep’t….Stateside) + a
15 RISK – is in {a}rk.
16 INSPECT – hidden, masquerading (to my mind at least) as a likely double def’n clue-type for far too long.
20 OROTUND – rot in {h}ound.
21 CLUE – {rehearsa}l in cue.  Definition (emphatically) = “this”.
25 OEUVRE – {man}oeuvre.
26 TEXTBOOK – te + (botox)* + {chee}k.  An imaginative – and impressive – treatment of a relatively setter-unfriendly word.
28 JURASSIC – s[econd] in (jura + sic)
29 MARINA – n[avy] in Maria.  Black Maria is a card game, and also the (older generation?) slang alternative to Paddy Wagon.
30 NUMERACY – cryptic def’n.
31 ATTEND – a TT + end

1 LADYBIRD – r{oute} in (I’d badly)*.
2 VIRTUOSI – cryptic def’n.
3 ROCOCO – roc + c in 00.
5 ROOF – {p}roof.
6 PITTANCE – pitta + {o}nce.
7 CHADOR – Chad + or.  Islamic womenswear.  With the rather vague definition, it took me an age to conjure up a four letter country fitting the letters C_A_.  APologies for the amnesia all you Chadians out there.
8 LEEWAY – Gen. Robert E. Lee + homophone of “weigh”.
11 DIGNITY – ignit{e} in d{readfull}y.
14 SPINNEY – inn in Spey
17 DRY RISER – dry + riser.
18 FLUORIDE – (fire loud)*.  Simple structure but too tidy and effective to pass up.
19 DECK HAND – I enjoyed the definition ‘crafty assistant’.
22 DONJON – Don + Jon  An unknown word to me, hence only solvable once I had all three checkers.
23 QUORUM – {Status} quo + rum….a Down, down, deeper and down clue?
24 STRAIT – S + trait.
27 ZINC – zin{g} + c[ollege].

3 Responses to “Financial Times 13,456 – Sleuth”

  1. mike04 says:

    Thanks for an excellent blog, smiffy.

    This was a difficult crossword, the partitioned grid making life even more difficult!
    The SW corner was tough and the incorrect usage of ‘amount’ instead of ‘number’
    in 23dn didn’t help. Otherwise, an enjoyable couple of hours!

  2. nmsindy says:

    I too found this v difficult and challenging. DONJON was new to me, but it’s in the Concise OED. I think this is a standard FT grid that I’ve seen before. Favourite clues, INSPECT – a ‘hidden’ I did not see for ages, VIRTUOSI, DECK HAND, QUORUM.

  3. Scarpia says:

    Thans smiffy.
    I found this difficult as well with the SW corner causing most problems.Some very imaginative clueing here,OUEVRE,TEXTBOOK,PITTANCE and DECKHAND(very crafty definition).DONJON was familiar from reading
    Dumas(in Translation).
    I’m sure nms is right,I’ve seen this grid many times in the FT,almost like four mini puzzles in one.

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