Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,593 / Crux

Posted by Agentzero on January 27th, 2011


The FT gave us a pleasant change from Dante this week.  Please don’t take that the wrong way — I am a fan of the cd master.  But some variety in this space is good.  And Crux has set a delightful puzzle, with innovative definitions and plenty of twists and turns in the wordplay.  If you didn’t solve this last week, stop reading, print it off the FT website, enjoy, and I’ll see you back here in half an hour or so.

4 STAIR ROD cd, with cross-reference to 20 across (STEP).  “In flight security device” is an inspired definition
9 PADDED P[enny] ADDED (extra)
10 RIPTIDES *(SPIRITED) A very smooth clue.
12 PARASITE PARA (solider) SITE (location).  “It depends on the host” is another great definition
15 ROOT dd
16 MY FAIR LADY M[a]Y (“may, without a”) + FAIR LADY (blonde)
19 CONVOLUTED CONVO[y] (escort, nearly) LUTED (homophone of LOOTED (“robbed,” you could say))
20 STEP PETS (those favoured) reversed.  The reversal indicator and definition are deceptively spaced (i.e., not spaced): “go back/stage”
23 RECEDE homophone of RESEED (repair the lawn)
25 FAREWELL FARE (food) + WELL (drink here); “all the best” is the definition.  A simple but great clue
27 IDEALIST DEAL (agreement) + IS in IT
28 AMUSED A MUSE (Clio, for instance) + D[aughter]
29 CUSTOMER O.M. (Order of Merit = “order”) in CUSTER (US general)
30 UNISON UN (international body) IS ON[ly] (only half)
1 REPAPER “about the same” indicates that this is a palindrome
2 EIDERDOWN EIDER (bird) DOWN (dropping)
3 UNEASY [j]UNE (most of month) + *(SAY)
5 TOIL Initial letters of Take Over In London
6 IN THEORY IN (popular) + OR (gold) in THEY
7 RODEO I am unsure about the parsing of this.  Did the cowboys “perform only on foot” because they RODE O (zero) horses?
8 DESTROY DES (“some,” French) TROY (city of antiquity)
11 STAY PUT STAY (vacation) PUT (place).  The reference is to a stay or vacation of, e.g., a legal order
14 CAVEMAN CAVE (beware) MAN (an isle, cross-referring to 26 down)
17 ACTRESSES TRESS (lock) in ACES (masters)
19 CARDIAC CARD (jack possibly) I (one) AC (account)
21 PALADIN LAD (young man) “in PAIN” (suffering).  I love clues like this, in which the container indicator is indirectly given (the standard example being “owing money” = in the RED).
22 YESMAN Y (unknown) + *(MEANS).  “Unknown” appears to be doing double duty here, providing part of the answer and indicating the anagram
24 CHESS hidden in ApaCHES Supposedly
26 ISLE Another deceptive nonspacing: [a]ISLE (“partway to the altar” = part of “way to the altar”).  An inch may be an island in Scotland

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,593 / Crux”

  1. Rishi says:

    Agent0 – Thanks very much for your recommendation. I enjoyed solving this puzzle. I might have missed it but for your preamble.
    Though the words are not unusual and even word breakups are not unfamiliar, the clues are appealingly written.

    Re 3d: Can “most of WORD” suggest -ORD rather than WOR-?

  2. nmsindy says:

    Pleasing puzzle from Crux, thanks for the blog Agentzero. Re some of the points raised, I agree with you re 7D, RODE O is what is intended, I would think, ie rode nothing = perform only on foot. Re Rishi’s point, it would seem logically correct, as ORD is as much ‘most of word’ as WOR is, but one does not see it too often maybe because that reading left to right instinctively might give WOR but it’s not wrong to look the other way. In YESMAN (nice clue), I thought the definition was “A most agreeable chap” with ‘unknown’ part of the wordplay, indicating the anagram as you say.

  3. jmac says:

    Thanks for the heads up on this Agentzero. A little gem of a puzzle. Re 22 down, I took “of” as the anagram indicator, in the sense of from, constituted by, etc.

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Good to see more and more solvers discovering this excellent setter – in my opinion, one of the best the FT has in store.

    I didn’t fully understand RODEO (3d), so thanks for that, Agentzero.

    26ac (ISLE) is what you might call, adventurous clueing – even though I’m personally not so keen on the use of ‘Partway’ (or for that matter ‘backstage’ in 20ac).
    A ‘plus’ for the ‘in pain’ device in PALADIN (21d) though. I know (from experience) some people don’t like it, but I do.

    BORDELLO (18d) was only recently clued by Paul, also as an anagram of ‘doorbell’ – but then, great minds think alike. :)

    I’m not so certain that ‘unknown’ is doing double duty in the YESMAN clue of 22ac. It is not really an anagrind , I think, and I’m more inclined to take that little word ‘of’ as the (not very satisfying) indicator, in a sense of ‘… by using …’.
    BTW, I first thought of X + (MEANS)* leading to SEXMAN …. :)

    Nice crossword!

  5. bamberger says:

    I got most of this out but the top lh corner stumped me -though the answers don’t seem too hard.
    Enjoyable and very fair.

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