Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,526 / Loroso

Posted by Agentzero on October 26th, 2010


Loroso, aka Anax, makes infrequent visits to the FT crossword page that are always welcome.  This was a terrific puzzle, with plenty of misdirection and clever wordplay, as well as a set of interconnected clues.  My favourite stand-alone clues are the hilarious 11 down and 21 down for its well-disguised definition.

1 CRACKING C (clue, to start) RACKING (defined in the clue as 16 across, SHELVES) 
5 SLOWER S[econd] LOWER (not so good).  (The definition is 14 across, DIMMER.)
9 SIT TIGHT I (one) TT (races) in SIGHT (view)
10 BUDDHA BUD (old fruit) + *(HAD)
12 AWOKE OK (defined in the clue as 2 down, AUTHORISE) in AWE (wonder)
13 PSEUDONYM, as Cinephile is for the Rev. Graham.  DUES (subscription) reversed in PONY (L25) M (minute)
14 DIMMER I’M ME (“I am what I am”) in DR (doctor).  On a first reading, I was hoping this would be POPEYE.
16 SHELVES SH (mum) ELVES (referencing 22 down, GOBLIN, and 24 down, TROLL).  The definition refers to 15 down, MOTHBALLS.
19 INERTIA I (one) + *(RETINA)
21, 23 NESTOR NOTABILIS *(ROTATION + BLESSIN[g])  The New Zealand parrot, more succinctly known as the Kea.  Of course you knew that, didn’t you?  You probably did if you knew that Roger Phillips sets for various publications as Kea, Nestor, and Notabilis.
25 PHOTO HOT (popular) in P and O
26 POORLY OR (Ordinary Ranks = men) in POLY (college)
27 REMEDIAL reverse hidden in practicaL AID EMERgency
28 GALOSH LO (look) in GASH (split)
29 STUNT MAN STUN (hit for six) + M (motorway) in TAN (wallop)
1 CASUAL USA (America) reversed in CAL (US state)
2 AUTHORISE A + THOR (god) I (one) in USE (application)
3 KNIFE E (drug) FINK (informer), all reversed
4 NO-HOPER HOP (bound) in *(ONE R[uns])
6 LAUNDRESS *(UNDER) in LASS (girl).  I wondered for a moment whether LAUN was a word meaning “pants,” in which case the answer could be made by putting DRESS for “girl’s clothing” “under” it.  In fact “pants” operates here as an unconventional anagrind, meriting the qm.
7 WIDEN IDE (fish) in W[ith] N[ew]
8 REARMOST ARM (branch) in *(STORE)
11 ZEUS ZE (how some mimic “the,” French) US (those opposing “them”)
15 MOTHBALLS BOTH MALLS (the two arcades) with initial letters switched
17 VOODOOISM V[ery] O[ld] O (circle) + IS in DOOM (fate)
18 WINNIPEG WIN (catch) NIP (a chill) E.G. (say)
20 AXLE A XL (bigger than usual) E[ast] (point)
21 NASCENT N (“woman” finally) A SCENT (bouquet)
22 GOBLIN GO BLIN[d] (get very drunk)
24 TROLL R[iver] in TOLL (fee)
25 PREEN RE (soldiers) in PEN (fence)

14 Responses to “Financial Times 13,526 / Loroso”

  1. jmac says:

    What an amazing puzzle. Full of deceptive surfaces. If it was a book I’d read it again. Thanks to Agentzero for a great blog which clarified those clues that I didn’t have time to parse properly.

  2. bamberger says:

    On leave today and as it is tipping it down outside, I started at 7.30 with the full internet paraphernalia. Usually I limit myself to an hour but today I gave it two hours at which stage I had solved 19a (confess to using anagram solver), 27a (all my own work), 21&23a (googled Kea) 15d (crossword solver) and 20d (crossword solver). V poor effort considering that I got a good 2/3rds of Saturdays puzzle without pausing for breath. I can see that for the seasoned solver all the clues were gettable (though 18d I thought a bit harsh) and on a going day I might have got the odd one. From a novices point of view the difficulties were
    1a,5a,12a,16a –for me anyway needing the answers to the clues referred to ,and not having them.
    9a Getting tt=races & view=sight
    10a Getting bud=old fruit
    13a I knew pony =£25 but couldn’t get dues=subscription and in any case I wouldn’t have realised that rejected is an instruction to reverse.
    29a Getting stun =hit for six and tan =wallop
    2d Getting Thor =god
    3d I didn’t know fink=informer
    4d I had this but didn’t write it in as I could only see bound=tied
    6d Didn’t see pants meaning make an anagram of under.
    7d Didn’t know ide was a fish.
    8d I thought there was an anagram of store but could make the connection with arm=branch.
    11d I realised I needed a god –but how clever to get ze.
    21d I was thinking bouquet as in bouquet of flowers
    24d I didn’t know that to troll is to fish.;

    Well done Agentzero for the clear explanations.

  3. Eileen says:

    Many thanks, Agentzero, for a great blog, and Loroso for another superb puzzle. [Well said, jmac – it’s one of those puzzles you don’t really want to finish!]

    I agree about 11dn – but I have so many more ticks that it’s invidious to list them, really. I laughed at 22dn and 6dn: I think I’ve seen ‘pants’ as an anagrind recently – probably in an Anax puzzle!

    I did like the excellently-clued tributes to two fellow setters. I knew Kea was Nestor, without knowing about the parrot, and didn’t think to look it up. I was held up in that clue anyway, having entered B[R]ILL for 24dn. :-(

    What a treat! – thanks again.

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Coming home very late last night after an Amy MacDonald concert, I thought: Let’s see what the papers bring us ‘today’. The FT was quicker than usual [and with the right grid!] and with Loroso.
    I decided to have a quick look but the crossword was so absorbing that it became the first one ever that I started ánd finished after midnight.

    And? Was it worth it? I think so.
    There were one or two occasions on which I thought “is this right?”
    Like in 2d where AUTHORISE was [the UK spelling of] a verb, and which had “licence” in the clue, used as a noun. However, Chambers made clear that the version with a “c” is an alternative for the verb.
    A similar thing I had in my last-word-to-go-in (AWOKE) – “OK” can be a verb, too.

    Talking about nouns and verbs, Loroso made ample use of them to misdirect us.
    Apart from the ones already mentioned, there were, for example, 7d (WIDEN) [spread], 24d (TROLL) [fish] and 15d (MOTHBALLS) [stores].

    I especially liked the cross references today [normally not a big of fan of them, as they can make a crossword somewhat impenetrable].
    The opening duo (1ac, 5ac) was splendid – clued in a similar way, but with a different way of treating the numbers.
    I thought 16ac (SHELVES) was ingenious, even if a kind of nonsense.

    On the negative side [how dare I!], I wasn’t sure whether ‘where winters are very harsh’ was a fair definition for WINNIPEG (18d).
    And although the ‘under/pants’ device in 6d was a bit tricky [just like Eileen I’ve seen it before] and although the clue reads well, I found it a pity that the clue had ‘clothing’ in it which could lead to ‘dress’. Others might say, this was just great misdirection.

    For me, two clues stood out from the excellent rest, mainly because of their elegance and conciseness: 25ac (PHOTO) and 21d (NASCENT).

    This was a great puzzle.
    At this very moment I am halfway today’s Paul, but that one is not half as good yet – which btw doesn’t mean that it isn’t good.

    Thanks Loroso for another 1ac puzzle!

    And thanks, Agentzero, for your fine blog.

  5. crypticsue says:

    Had to look up kea and had to think about quite a few before I ‘got’ them but I really enjoyed the tussle with this 1a offering from Loroso.

  6. shuchi says:

    A superb puzzle! Every clue had something special to offer. Loved the two opening clues, the letter exchange in 15d. 11d made me laugh. If I had to pick one favourite, it’d be 25a.

    6d: Regular Anax solvers will know “pants” a mile away :)

    Thanks for the great blog Agentzero.

  7. Alberich says:

    What a nice, happy coincidence – after a month without Internet (Czech O2 make even the worst UK ISPs look like geniuses!) I go online to find an offering by Loroso aka Anax. Lots of very clever misdirection here – I had BRILL at 24 down for a while, and the surface of of 22 down convinced me that I was looking for a drink. The idea for the first two clues was lovely, though I disagree that the clue for SLOWER is in any way inferior! 14 across a particular favourite, also 7 down (“sandwich” is an excellent container indicator) and I liked the device at 15 down (makes a change from Spooner). I agree that 11 down was very amusing, as was 25 across. Great stuff and a good reminder of why I enjoy crosswords so much.

  8. Eileen says:

    Hi Alberich

    It’s good to hear from you – and great to know I was in such good company with my initial BRILL mistake. :-)

  9. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Dear Alberich, welcome back to The Real World.
    [ah well, the world of 180,000 quid/week for a footballer we all love so much?]
    So, I prefer to say: welcome back to this Wondrous World!

  10. Alberich says:

    Thanks, Eileen and Sil!

  11. Gnomethang says:

    I feel that I must complain in the strongest possible terms about the setter’s underpants (he told me to do that)
    I loved the other setter references, particularly the 21/23 slot.
    11d and 22d made me laugh the most, apart from6d of course!
    Thanks to Agentzero and our setter.

  12. Agentzero says:

    I am commenting for the sole purpose of enabling this FT thread to reach the lofty, rarely-seen-around-these-parts height of a dozen comments.

    Not really — I wanted to express my appreciation for the kind comments about the blog and reiterate my appreciation to the setter. Come back soon!

  13. Sil van den Hoek says:

    And, Agentzero, the setter’s still to come {I guess/hope].

  14. anax says:

    Greetings all! I’m a bit late joining in today – after solving Tyrus’ superb Indy puzzle (which makes this FT offering look rather humble, to be honest) it was back to tackling my own latest concoction which I must confess has been an absolute pig. I’ll be back on it after writing this; 5 clues to go and a mental block to overcome.

    Many thanks to Agentzero for a top quality review and to all of you for your kind comments; especially nice, too, to see me ol’ mucka Alberich back online after the move to Prague. Hope all is going well over there pal.

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