Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,508 / Neo

Posted by Agentzero on October 5th, 2010


Some good stuff here; 2 down and 3 down are lovely discoveries.

1 CLASSICAL LASS (girl) in CI (Channel Islands) + CAL (state)
6 COPRA OP. (work) in *(CAR)
9 CHAPATI CHAP (man) AT I (one)
10 LEANDER N[ew] in LEADER (say, PM)
11 EARTH hidden, as the centre, in nEAR THe.  Elegant.
12 FREAK SHOW *(FAKERS WHO).  The word “both” is not strictly necessary in the clue.
14 HAM H[otel] AM (before noon)
15 THATCHERITE *(THRACE) + IT in THE (article)
17 PUMPING IRON MP (politician) IN (at home) in *(IN GROUP)
19 ODD hidden in goOD Diet.  Not sure about the sentiment expressed in the clue; whiskey maybe
22 SADDO D.D. (bishop) in SAO (saint in Portuguese, hence in Lisbon)
24 INDICES DICE (gambler maybe) in *(SIN)
26 ELITIST ELI (priest) + IS in T, T (times)
27 EERIE E[nglish] ERIE (lake).  Not sure why “Lake” is capitalized in the clue
28 BOYLE’S LAW BOY (lad) + *(AS WELL)
1 CACHE homophone of “cash;” the homophone indicator would normally be placed next to the fodder rather than the definition
2 ANAGRAM Moonlight Serenade = *(AN OLD TIME SONG HERE).  Love this.
3 SPAGHETTI *(AT THE PIGS) Great surface and great anagram find. 
5 LOL O (love) in L, L (liberals).  OMG! An interwebs clue! ROTFLMAO at this one.
6 CLARK C[aught] LARK (songbird)
7 PAD THAI D (many) in PATH (course) A-1 (excellent)
8 ARROWHEAD [h]ARROW (famous public school) HEAD (chief)
14 HYPOCRITE *(CYPRIOT) in H.E. (ambassador)
18 MEANDER AND (with) in MEER (some cats).  The reference (I think) is to meerkats, occasionally spelled meercats (which are neither cats nor found near meres).
19 OLD BILL OLD (worn-out) BILL (banknote)
21 LOCKE C[old] in [b]LOKE
23 ON TOW ONTO (aware of) W[omen]
25 SOB SO (therefore) B (job’s ending)

12 Responses to “Financial Times 13,508 / Neo”

  1. Rishi says:

    In 27ac, Neo’s intention in using ‘Lake’ (capitalising the initial letter) is probably that you have to find a proper name (Erie in this case) and not a synonym for ‘lake’ such as ‘mere’ or ‘pool’.
    Or it may be just a typo in the online version.

  2. Eileen says:

    Many thanks for the blog, Agentzero. I needed your help for 7dn, which I’d never heard of.

    I really enjoyed this. As you say, 2 and 3 dn are superb – and I also particularly liked BOYLE’S LAW and CLIFFHANGER.

    It was good to see an original crossword use for Kent in 6dn.

    My only grouse would have been about 1dn, if the word count hadn’t made it obvious which homophone was correct.

    [We over here have been more familiar with meerkats since the introduction of TV ads like this: :-) ]

  3. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Maybe there’s something wrong with me today, but I rushed through this crossword in rightback-time [started it in bed last night, finished it while having cereal this morning – and slept in between :)].
    I can’t remember having solved a Neo (who is usually a bit trickier) that fast.

    So, probably it was an easy puzzle (as I am normally a slow solver).
    That said, it was far from negligible.
    Very well clued – plenty of fine surfaces and , above all, precise [a Neo trademark!]
    I didn’t have problems with 1d [one can read it as “We hear that there’s money in store”, which fully justifies CACHE].
    Only a pity that in 25d SOB has a lot in common with “job”.

    As we always say when the clueing is as smooth as it was today: “Too many good clues to mention”.
    Only a real pity that it was over all too soon.

    Thanks Agentzero (and Neo, of course).

  4. crypticsue says:

    Very enjoyable but shouldn’t 13d be EXCURSIVELY? Thanks Neo and Agentzero

  5. Agentzero says:

    Thanks Sue. Comes of typing the blog too quickly and too late at night! Fixed now.

  6. jmac says:

    Thanks for the blog Agentzero, particularly for explaining MEANDER. Agree with Sil that this was at the easier end of the spectrum for Neo (although only familiar with this setter’s puzzles under a different name elsewhere) but what great fun it was. ANAGRAM, SADDO, CLIFFHANGER, LOL, brilliant stuff.

  7. Gnomethang says:

    I still really dislike 1d. Per Sil’s annotation, the setter could have said that and I would have had no quibbles.
    That said, 2&3d and 28a were thoroughly excellent.
    Thanks agentzero and NEO.

  8. Agentzero says:

    Thanks for the link, Eileen. Over here we buy auto insurance from geckos:

  9. bamberger says:

    Got 7d wrong -faced with p?? ?h?? I could only think of pak choi which meant I couldn’t get 10a.
    Failed on 15a and admit to using an anagram solver early on to get ernestine which I had never heard of .

    Couldn’t see wordplay for 2d and still uncertain about 4d. Ok a cliffhanger is a dramatic film but “depends on bluff”?

  10. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Agentzero – I enjoyed that! But – an English gecko? [Same clever advertising agency?]


    Collins: ‘bluff: a steep promontory, bank or cliff’.

  11. Neo says:

    Unfortunately, once some crosswords leave Neo Towers, they pass forever beyond my controlling and insane grasp. 1dn is currently backwards as you have noticed, having originally been the right way around with ‘Money said to be in hidden store’. One or two others have lost their sense, but that’s the way of the world for us mere pawns.

    Very many thanks for your kind comments, and Agent0’s excellent bloggery.

  12. verbose says:

    @bamberger: “depends” etymologically means “hangs” (the same root as “pendulous”). “Bluff” is a synonym for “cliff.” Hence “depends on bluff” = cliffhanger.

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