Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,576 / Flimsy

Posted by smiffy on December 23rd, 2010


A playful miscellany of items today, as we veer from Playtex push-ups to perma-tan puns, by way of Pertwee portrayals.  Apologies for the somewhat tardy post – my web connectivity has not been all that it should for the last 12hours.

1 BRASSIERES - (breasts rise)* – t{hese}. But no thanks to this gentleman apparently.
7 ALTO - {m}a{i}l + T[ax] O[fficer].  The splitting of ‘voice mail’ is something of a giveaway, as I usually encounter it (rightly or wrongly) as single word.
9 APSE - P[astor] in {c}ase.  A novel treatment of an oft-clued word.
10 DEFINITION - double (or should that be triple!?) def’n .
11 RUMPUS - rump + us.
12 EXACTING - ex + acting.
13 BESMIRCH - (crimes)* in BH (country code for Belize – the erstwhile British Honduras).
15 DUET - cryptic def’n.
17 LASS - {c}lass.
19 RHEOSTAT - R[esistance] + (set to a h)*.  &lit.
22 SCENARIO - (car noise)*.
23 TINSEL - (I sent)* + l[eft].
25 MAN OF STRAW - double def’n.  Good to see the Grand PooBah of scarecrows get a name-check, albeit in a clue rather than an answer.  I’ve encountered his lady-friend (Aunt Sally) enough times in grids down the years, that some redress is overdue.
26 TUBA – initial letters.
27 IMAM - hidden &lit.  A twist on the hoary old “I’m a Muslim leader” gag.
28 SPELLCHECK - spell + check.

2 RAPTURE – (put)* in rare.  Neatly misleading surface.
3 STEEP – E in step; as opposed to step in E.
4 INDUSTRY – r{omances} in (in study)*.
5 REFRESHER COURSE – refresher + course.
6 SUNTAN - (quirky) cryptic def’n.
7 ATTITUDES - a + (destitut)*.
8 TROUNCE - (no truce)*
14 MISINFORM - m + is + in form.  ‘Fool’ (vb).
16 TEA TOWEL - (wet locate)* – c{utlery}.  In my courtroom, the jury is still out as to whether this a very clever or unduly convoluted clue.  Maybe I was just hoping that the first four letters would allow a cross-reference to 1A?
18 ACCLAIM - Acc + homophone of “lame”.
20 ACERBIC - I in (brace* + c).  Another tidy and misleading surface.  “Tight”, is the well-oiled anagrind.
21 CRISPS - c[anine] + (s in rips).
24 NOTCH - n + OT + Ch.

9 Responses to “Financial Times 13,576 / Flimsy”

  1. bamberger says:

    I got half out but the answers I had very scattered so I didn’t have enough checkers for the unsolved clues.

    9a I didn’t know pastor could be simply P. Indeed I sometimes think that if the setter wants ,say the letter M, he can use just about any word that begins with M. Is that really so?

    5d This was todays “didn’t get it but I should have done”

    7d I thought that in the Times , one could only be the letter I. However it seems that elsewhere one can be a or I. Is that right, please?

    Thanks for the blog -it really helps me.

  2. Ramasamy says:

    Hi smiffy

    Nice blog and a neat puzzle. Not sure if I am right, but there is one place where I contradict you. In 2D, I believe ‘reform’ should have been used instead of the plural, given it works as a verbal anagrind.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    P as an abbreviation for ‘pastor’ is in Chambers. Normally only abbreviations given in Collins, Chambers or COED are permissible but occasionally setters to not follow this rule.

    The phonetic alphabet may also be used to indicate a single letter. For example, yesterday Auster used ‘Robert’ to clue R but this is not in any of the dictionaries I have. If you look at the comments in that post you will see that Robert used to be in the phonetic alphabet but it has been superceded by Romeo.

    I don’t know about the Times, but the use of ‘one’ to indicate ‘a’ or ‘i’ is quite widespread elsewhere. In fact yesterday Hamilton used ‘a’ to give ‘i’!

  4. nmsindy says:

    I think I’ve seen somewhere (maybe Brian Greer’s book) that the Times does not allow ‘one’ = A, it has to be I.

  5. Eileen says:

    Hi Gaufrid

    It was Roger, not Robert. :-)

  6. Tony Welsh says:

    Thanks, Smiffy.

    I note more discussion of the use of the first letter of a word as an abbreviation even when it is not a generally accepted one. C(anine) in 21d is I think another example.

  7. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Eileen
    Thanks for the correction. I just goes to show how poor my short term memory now is. :(

    Hi Tony
    C as an abbreviation for Canine (dentistry) is in Chambers.

  8. scarpia says:

    Thanks smiffy.
    Nice puzzle from Flimsy,not too taxing but some good clues with nicely misleading surfaces.Particularly liked 1 and 13 across.

  9. niloci says:

    Anyone solving today’s Polymath may wish to note that it has bafflingly been given the wrong puzzle number. It is No 586 and was set by Gozo not Bradman.

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