Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,620 / Styx

Posted by smiffy on February 17th, 2011


A perfectly respectable crossword, with several particularly fine clues.  Just a pity for Styx that that it’s hard to escape the inevitable sense of “After the Lord Mayor’s show..” still lingering from yesterday’s splendiferous offering.

1 SECONDS – Co. in sends.  The ‘reported’ seems a little redundant and, I assume, is intended to lead us unwittingly up Homophone Boulevard.
5 DEPUTY – EP (Extended Play) in duty.  A ‘Lieutenant’ in the hierarchical, rather than purely military, sense.
8 AEROPLANE - pore< in (a lane).
9 SLATE – double def’n.
11 TRAIL – R[iver] in tail (= ‘dog’, verb).
12 SCREENING - C[arbon] in (Greens in)*.
13 NATATION – (a + t) in nation.
15 RING-IN – ringin{g}.  I wasn’t familiar with the Aussie slang.  A ring-in is an outsider in the sense of an unfamiliar last minute replacement.
17 POODLE – do< in pole.
19 RIVERBED – (I + verb) in red.  A great surface, I thought.  Worthy of the runner-up spoils in clue of the day stakes.
22 IN EARNEST - I + near + nest.  One of those de facto decompositions that the phrase always seems to beg for.
23 HINDI – hidden.
24 TRUST – homophone of “trussed”.  Have to admit that ‘Commercial credit’ would not have been the synonym that sprang most readily to mind if I’d been searching for a definition.
25 REINSTATE – rein + state.
26 LEAD ON – do (=’cheat’) in lean.
27 SKEWERS - [stic]k in sewers.  One of those setter-friendly checking words that seems to only ever inhabit the extreme SE corners of grids!

1 STARTING POINT - star + tin + GP (Grand Prix) + (it on)*.
2 CURRANT – ran in curt.
3 NEPAL – tucked away in ‘fine palace’.  Somewhat morbidly ironic if you happen to recall the Nepalese royal family massacre of a few years back.
4 SNAPSHOT - spans< + hot.  The wordplay for hot is a little, shall we say, unadventurous.
5 DREARY – ear in dry.
6 PASSERINE - passer + in + e{arly}.  One of these. Take your pick, there’s plenty enough to go round apparently.
7 TEARING – granite*.
10 ENGINE DRIVERS - needing* + rivers.  Another clue where the definition, wordplay and surface all hang together in a tidy way.
14 TOLERATED – tole (= lacquered ‘metalware’, a new word for me) + rated
16 PIGTAILS – (I + g{irl}) in plaits*.  &lit; clue of the day by a good few lengths.
18 OVERUSE – ove{n} + ruse.
20 BANDAGE - band + age{d}.
21KEIRIN - {b}ike* + R + in.  A form of cycle-racing, which I’ve only ever encountered on late night Olympic Games broadcasts.   It’s that slightly curious slow-slow, quick-quick, quicker race format; if I’m doing the event a dis-service then please feel free to enlighten me.
23 HASTE – if you were to add a ‘C’ (for ‘clubs’), you’d end up chaste.

3 Responses to “Financial Times 13,620 / Styx”

  1. ACP says:

    Thanks Smiffy.

    I found it a really neat puzzle. It was neither unintelligible nor simple. I think Styx is developing his own little niche among the setters.

    ‘hot’ may be unadventurous in its definition but it worked nicely in the surface.

  2. Tony Welsh says:

    Thanks, Smiffy. I failed to get 15a and 21d. Never heard of KEIRIN but maybe should have guessed RING IN. Never heard of PASSERINE either but got it anyway. Also got TOLERATED though I had never heard of TOLE and nor had my Chambers’s in that sense. Got STARTING POINT but had absolutely no idea why! Not sure that major is a good synonym for star, btw. Nor do I really think routine a good synonym for DREARY, but never mind.

  3. bamberger says:

    I was not on the setters wavelength and/or having an off day as 90 minutes of effort yielded only 23& 27a and 3,4,7 & 20d. Of course the more clues you solve, the more checking letters you have and the more chance you have of getting further clues out. Sometimes I look at the answers and think “Good grief-how did I fail to get that?” but not today.
    15a was an unknown
    26a Wouldn’t have got bank =lean -kept on thinking of savings bank or river bank.
    1d I’m with Tony here. He was a star player isn’t quite the same as he was a major player.
    2d tart =curt?
    6d Not heard of this.
    14d Best I could come up with for coated metalware was “plate”.
    21d Never heard of this.
    Thanks for the blog

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