Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,600 / Neo

Posted by Agentzero on January 25th, 2011


I was happy to see Neo in the Tuesday FT again.  As always, there is plenty here to entertain the solver.

1 CROSS-REFER d&cd A cross-reference that refers to a cross.
7 BASE dd I recall a similar clue recently, but I like this one better
9 USED US (FT compliers) ED[itor]  Ha!  Whether this is a complaint or a condolence depends on whether one reads “worked” as an active or passive verb.
10 GOOD FRIDAY I (one) in *(FOR ODD) in GAY (brilliant)
11 SHINER dd
12 TELETYPE TELE (box = telly,…not sure why with “on radio” indicating the homophone) TYPE (classify) Thanks to Dreadnought
13 SPICED UP *(PIES C [about]) + DUP (unionist politicians).  Neo has said in this space that he “doesn’t do” indirect anagrams, so is this attributable to our editor Colin?  Or have I misparsed it?
15 ROOD ROO (marsupial) D[ied]
17 TSAR S (succeeded) in TAR (sailor)
19 OPHIDIAN OP (work) HID (kept secret) IAN (Scotsman).  A small point, but I didn’t like “at” as a connector between definition and wordplay.
22 GERONIMO MINOR (child) reversed in GEO (gully)
23 ATWOOD AT (in) WOOD (forest) Referring to Canadian writer Margaret Atwood.
25 BLACK WATCH BLACK (depressing) WATCH (look upon)  Amusing surface
26 TOGO dd
27 ACRE C (cold water) in ARE
28 DAMASK ROSE MAD (lunatic) reversed + ASK (question) + ROSE (came up).  I enjoyed the way “question came up…” fits together
2 ROSEHIP ROSE (girl) HIP (with it)
3 SEDAN D[aughter] in SEAN (Irishman)
6 RAFFLE RAF (our airmen) + FLE[w]
7 BLISTERED LISTER (famed surgeon) in BED  A nice clue.  I couldn’t help noticing that capitalizing “burns” would have yielded an entirely different surface reading
14 CARTOUCHE TOUCH (pet) in CARE (worry)
16 THE ASHES *(SHE HATES) In which for once it was the Australian side that collapsed.  I could add that in my house, a phrase like “she hates collapse in cricket series” has two superfluous words, “collapse” and “in.”
18 SHELLAC HELL (down there) in SAC (bag)
21 VIEWED VIE (struggle) WED (unite)
24 WATER T.E. [Lawrence] in WAR (conflict)

14 Responses to “Financial Times 13,600 / Neo”

  1. dreadnought says:

    Hello Agentzero, thanks for the blog, you completed it before me (I’m in Singapore GMT+8). A nice, gentle stroll today, but too many ‘Roses’.

    I think 12A is simply ‘telly’ (i.e. set), as heard on the radio=’tele’.

    13A why do you consider this an indirect anagram? is it because ‘about’ (i.e. ‘c’) is implicit rather than explicit?

  2. Agentzero says:

    Hi Dreadnought

    I think you are right about 12 across. I found some dictionaries that gave “tele” as a (rare) alternate spelling of “telly,” so I did not think of the homophone.

    Regarding 13 across: yes, that’s it.

  3. walruss says:

    Agree with Dreadnought abouty 12 and 13, but the ‘roses’ didn’t bother me as they’re clued differently each time. Really good and entertaining stuff here, with a ‘visual’ clue for FROM TOP TO BOTTOM and that clever ‘cross’ device. Lister in bed also very amusing. How did he get those burns?!

  4. nmsindy says:

    Enjoyable puzzle, not too hard. In 15A, I thought ‘at’ was maybe not a link but as indicating that HID (kept secret) was ‘at’ (next to) OP (work). FROM TOP TO BOTTOM was a nice touch I thought. Thanks for the blog, Agentzero, and Neo for the puzzle.

  5. jmac says:

    A super puzzle with Neo displaying a wonderful light touch.

  6. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Agentzero, this was very enjoyable.

    Well done, Neo, and my thanks to you, too.

  7. Agentzero says:

    Nmsindy: I think you are right and I retract my nit regarding 15a. In other words, the cryptic reading is “at ‘work’, ‘kept secret’ …

  8. bamberger says:

    Too many general knowledge type clues for me. Straw poll of nearby colleagues.
    23a 0/6 Who?
    27a Acre 2/6 had heard of it.
    7d Lister 1/6 had heard of him and only because in Lister House at school

    19a Who is the Scotsman Ian?
    12a,19a& 14d were unknowns to me.

    Thanks for the blog.

  9. Tony Welsh says:

    Thanks, AgentZero. Never heard the word ophidian before, but got it anyway. Otherwise found this relatively easy.

    Bamberger, Ian is a generic Scotsman. It is just a Scottish name. I am not sure I had heard of Lister, but with some of the cross letters BLISTERED seemed obvious. Margaret Atwood is pretty well known at least in the US, but in any case could have been guessed once one had the W. Not having heard of Teletype or Acre is perhaps a reflection of your tender age. I am old enough to remember teletypes but not Acre in its hayday!

  10. bamberger says:


    I did get 7d but was left thinking “Lister” -who he? Of course googling explains.
    23a Didn’t have the w but even if I had I probably still wouldn’t have seen the wood for the trees.

  11. Paul B says:

    Exactly, NMS: hid+ian was ‘at’ op. Many thanks too for (all) the other comments, and for a great blog by The Agent.

    As to gk-ness, or general obscurity, that’s certainly not intended, but I do insist on crediting the daily FT audience with a certain standard of intellect. Especially given that most contributors here seem to be upset or bored when it’s an absolute pushover. And hey: isn’t Lister about the most famous surgeon there is? The Father of Antiseptic Surgery and a President of the Royal Society? And hasn’t Margaret Atwood been shortlisted for the Booker five times, winning once? I mean no disrespect, but where you bin livin caveboy?

  12. Sil van den Hoek says:

    As always I was very pleased to see Neo on the FT list when the day began, because I like the combination of his accessibility (even for the less experienced) and precision, while at the same there is room for some adventurous clueing too [even though today it was rather straightforward].
    I can only agree with jmac @5 – “wonderful light touch”.

    My last entry was ACRE (27ac), focusing on C for “cold” and not finding any justification for “water”. Ah well, I could hit myself! And although a very apt indicator (especially here), I can’t remember having seen “without” that many times before in a Neo (but maybe I’m wrong). I find it always a bit of an old-fashioned container indicator, a bit more Araucaria than Neo, if you know what I mean.

    I don’t see where the overdose of “roses” is coming from. There were only two clues with “rose” in it – or did miss something?

    Personally, I don’t see 13ac as an example of an indirect anagrind. It is only “about” that has to be translated into C first.
    In today’s Paul there was “Two hundred failures” for (CC FAILURES)*, in my opinion also not réally an indirect anagram.

    I knew “Lister” only from a very recent puzzle, maybe even a FT Prize Puzzle, so I shouldn’t say more now.

    I liked “Resin down there in bag” (18d), especially the HELL part – embedded in such a natural way.
    But I do not fully understand why 9ac says “worked unfairly”.

    Good puzzle!

  13. Agentzero says:

    Hi Sil

    Thoughtful comments as always.

    Re 9 across: If you are worked unfairly by your employer, you might be said to have been used by him.

  14. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Agentzero.
    I found this a bit easier than some of Neo’s puzzles but still very enjoyable.
    I don’t think too much general knowledge was required to solve this puzzle (try Mordred in today’s Indy!).
    I am totally amazed that 5 out of 6 of bamberger’s colleagues had not heard of Joseph Lister!
    Sil – if you use someone you treat them unfairly as in “I felt I was being used”.

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