Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,608 / Orense

Posted by smiffy on February 3rd, 2011


I found this one a little chewy in sections and on several occasions found myself resorting to the toothpick after digesting a clue.  In fairness to Orense, there is a reasonable sprinkling of wit in here too; and my own critical filter may be somewhat heightened, due to solving this immediately after an arduous hour-plus of shovelling snow.

1 INBREEDS – cryptic definition, which is open to interpretation on whatever level your own personal smuttiness threshold allows.
5 OFFEND – off (=’high’ as in stinky) + end.
10 SHRUG – Sh! + rug.
11 CHAIN GANG – a nifty cryptic definition; ‘joined’ being nonchalantly adjectival here.
12 CLINGFILM - cling + film.
13 SALSA – s{alad} in alas<.
14 LAD MAG – mad* in lag.  I always thought that this term referred more to younger/upstart publication (like FHM/Maxim).  Besides, I’m sure that Mr Hefner would far rather us refer to his organ as a journal for gentlemen…
15 NOISOME – M.O.(Med. Officer)< in noise.
18 ASSENTS - Homophone of “ascents”.
20 RIGGER – Another homophone (“rigour”), but a far more contentious one, I’ll wager.
22 NADIR - hidden.  Either the hidden indicator (‘revealed’) is a tad lackadaisical, or there’s some double-duty going on in this clue.
24 BUSHCRAFT - Bush + craft.  ‘Skill’ strikes me as a rather non-specific definition, particularly as it is more or less synonymous with the -craft suffix.
25 RACONTEUR - (cut on rear)*.  A conversational case of  “too much information” in the surface!
26 OSIER – {r}osier.
27 PHRASE – p (‘copper’ = penny) + hears*.
28 HEMLINES – cryptic def’n.

1 INSECT - in + sect.  Only a letter-switch away from revisiting the intersecting 1A. Phew!
2 BARBICANS - Inca* in barbs.
3 ENGAGEMENT RINGS - an unflamboyant but clever and highly effective clue.
4 DOCKING – Doc. + king.
6 FINISHING SCHOOL - the joke here passes me by.  I think it’s a pun on forming (nurturing) society debutantes.
7 EMAIL - {m}em{o} + ail.  Gratified to see the enumeration as (5) rather than (1-4).  I’m all in favour, not least as it doesn’t provide such an immediate dead giveaway.
8 DEGRADED - agreed* in DD (Dr of Divinity).
LAWMEN – me (‘setter’) in lawn (‘material’, a type of cotton).  This may be technically pedantic, but I think the use of an apostrophe in this clue is dubious, due to the plural.  Fair enough that in clues, the singular (e.g. officer’s) provides cryptic leeway to also mean ‘officer is’, but in the plural the “s'” cannot be equivalent to the necessary ‘officers are’.  Then again, I may completely wrong.
16 OPERATION - PE in oration.
17 RAINDROP – Spoonerism of drain op(?), although that doesn’t make completely stack up to me.
19 SUBBED – sub[marine] + [ocean]bed.
20 RESERVE - double def’n.
21 STARTS – double def’n.
23 DECOR – Dec. (‘Christmas’) + 0 + r.

7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,608 / Orense”

  1. Dreadnought says:

    Thanks smiffy. I’m sure Freud could read a lot from your 1a/1d comments…maybe a result of too much exposure to the beano.
    Any road up: 6d, an ( old) school is made up of forms aka classes. Dunno about now, my kids have classes…
    9d orense has to use “officers” plural so logically has to put apostrophe after to maintain the surface, surely?
    17 yes I got it but drainrop doesn’t make sense to me either…
    14 yes I just get it for the articles.

  2. Tom_I says:

    Thanks Smiffy.

    I couldn’t make sense of 17d either. As Dreadnought says, the Spoonerism of raindrop would be drain rop.

    I’d also take issue with “sewage” being equated with “drain”. Sewage is what flows through a drain. “Sewer” or “sewerage” would have been OK, but not “sewage”.

  3. Tony Welsh says:

    I agree with Smiffy re 9d. If the answer was LAWMAN singular, then the clue might read “officer’s material…” but this would NOT be a possessive. Rather it would be short for “officer is material…” though the surface reading might be to interpret it as a possessive. In fact, the clue would rely on this ambiguity.

    So, given that the definition is LAWMEN plural, there is no equivalent ambiguity and so I am not sure what the clue should say. Certainly not the apostrophe. Maybe “officers are material…” but then the surface does not make sense. There is no absolute requirement to have a word between the definition and the cryptic part of the clue so just “officers material….” would be OK. Or maybe it should be turned around, something like “Material protecting setter for officers.”

  4. Nestorius says:

    Fully agree with Smiffy’s critical observations. Decidedly a lack of smoothitude. 3d was a jewel, though.

    Talking about smutty minds:
    It really gives me no pleasure at all to even entertain the thought of ever referring to Mr Hefner’s organ…

  5. bamberger says:

    First one in was 14a which must mean something.
    Couldn’t get 6d which would hve opened up the rhs. All I could think of was something meaning red tape and with f?n , tried financial burden, financial return but in vain.
    Hadn’t heard of noisome or osier and share the doubts about rigger.

  6. nmsindy says:

    Re 6D, I think ‘forms’ are very much still around eg sixth-form college in the UK.

  7. Scarpia says:

    Thanks smiffy.
    I thought this was a pretty good puzzle and while I can’t argue with the technical quibbles raised,a misplaced/superfluous apostrophe and a couple of ‘loose’ definitions didn’t bother me too much.
    I think 20 was fine,surely this type of clue indicates an answer that sounds similar to,but not necessarily exactly the same.
    Re.the Spoonerism at 17 down – this is,as you say wrong,but strangely enough,I didn’t notice it when solving the puzzle.
    6 down was,I think,the weakest clue in the whole puzzle – a bit too vague.
    11 and 12 were my favourites.

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