Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,606 / Armonie

Posted by Agentzero on February 1st, 2011


A quick, clean Tuesday puzzle from Armonie.  No especial comments, except that I thought the anagram fodder was cleverly blended into the clue in 10 across.  Other favourites today were 27 across and 8 down.

1 OLIVE BRANCH O (Oscar) LIVE (current) BRANCH (department)
7 CUP CU (copper) P (coins)
9 REEVE E (esctasy) in EVER (always) reversed.  A reeve is the female of a kind of sandpiper, of which the male is the ruff
12 HOVER HOVE (Sussex town) R (river)
13 RECITES CITE (quote) in RES[olution]
15 THEN THE (article) N[ew]
18 WAIF WA (state, i.e., Washington) IF (provided)
20 DISEASE *(SEASIDE); definition by cross-reference to 22 down, MALADY
23 LOADS LO (see) ADS (hoardings)
24 RESENTFUL E, N (bridge opponents) in RESTFUL (comfortable)
26 SOAP OPERA A[merican] in SO (as) POP (father) ERA (time)
27 MOOCH MOO (low) CH[urch]
28 TRY dd
29 LET OFF STEAM LET OFF (fire) S[econd] TEAM (eleven)
2 IN EFFECT IN (popular) EFFECT (result)
3 EVENT EVEN (regular) T[ime]
4 REDRESS RE (engineer) DRESS (clothing)
5 NASCENT N[ame] A SCENT (perfume)
6 HARSHNESS SH (“SHropshire” openers) in HARNESS (exploit)
7 CLEAVE C (“Conservative” leader) LEAVE (holiday)
8 PETARD TAR (sailor) in PE (gym) D[ied]
14 TOADSTOOL *(DOT ‘AS) + TOOL (gadget)
16 CALF LOVE CALF (hide) LOVE (nothing).  What’s known as “puppy love” on my side of the Atlantic
17 SEALYHAM SEAL (stop) Y (unknown) HAM (actor)
19 FERMENT FE (iron) + MEN (workers) in RT (right)
20 DISTAFF DI (detective) STAFF (personnel)
21 CLOSET LOSE (miss) in CT (court)
22 MALADY MA (relative) LADY (woman)
25 NIMES SEMI (house) N[ewton], all reversed

6 Responses to “Financial Times 13,606 / Armonie”

  1. smiffy says:

    G’day Agentzero, and thanks.

    I found this something of a Jekyll and Hyde puzzle, mainly as a result of Armonie’s strict adherence to clue-writing economy (typically no clue longer than seven words). When it works well (e.g. 18A, 19D) the multum in parvo is impressive. However on several occasions this self-imposed constraint leads either to surreal surfaces (e.g. 11A or 6D, with 14D gaining bonus points for the gratuitous slang) or definitions that are too obvious or pedestrian (again 11D – why not ‘brewer’, or perhaps a pun on ‘tarts’ at 6D?)

  2. Lopakhin says:

    Smiffy’s right, of course, but in my masochistic way I enjoyed this – as I enjoy a lot of the FT crosswords, usually attacked on line when the Grauniad has defeated me and I need heartening! Shame though that Agentzero’s hard work has attracted little response/appreciation. Are there really so few who try the FT?

  3. bamberger says:

    A game of two halves for me. Top half finished without any real difficulty but hardly any clues solved in the bottom half.This wasn’t helped by me having 21d as covert, thinking being miss=over in the absence of anything else coming to mind. This scuppered 23a & 26a.
    Never heard of calf love sealyham or nimes.
    Don’t like 25d -if you can’t get the wordplay “in France” hardly gives it away.

  4. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Agentzero.
    I enjoy the brevity of Armonie’s clues,but I wish he would vary them sometimes.Nearly all of these are charades with a few insertions and a couple of anagrams.
    Strangely enough,I had the exact same thought as smiffy @1 re the definition for 11 across.

  5. Dreadnought says:

    Ta agent zero.
    Not much to say except I’m still baffled by the “heist” or “hoist” or maybe “hoisted” by one’s own petard conundrum. Is it a ws quote, so you always say “hoist”? Or is it just a common mistake, like ” cut the mustard”? Thoughts anyone?

  6. Agentzero says:

    Hello Dreadnought,

    I think the WS quote is “the engineer hoist with his own petard,” where “hoist” means lifted into the air by the explosion. I am not sure whether “hoist”, where today we might say “hoisted”, represents Elizabethan verb conjugation or is just “poetic.”

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