Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,645 / Styx

Posted by shuchi on March 18th, 2011


This was a gentle ride with a few pleasant pauses to smile, my picks of the day being 12a, 25a.


1 CABOTAGE CAGE (confined space) around (BOAT)*. A new word for me.
5 SPICES SP (special) ICES (treats popular on a hot day)
9 I DARE SAY I, ARES (Greek god of war) in DAY (age);’day’ could be ‘age’ in the sense of ‘in this day/age’.
10 ENSURE E (party drug) (NURSE)*
12 GOOD SENSE GOOSE (foolish person) round (ENDS)*; good surface!
13 HABIT H (hard) A BIT (to some degree)
14 IDOL I (one) DOL[l] (attractive woman, almost)
16 DIOCESE (CODE IS)* E[ncryption]
19 STARDOM ST (street), DO (party) in ARM (branch)
21 SELL sounds like ‘cell’ (phone)
24 WAIVE WAVE (outbreak) around I
25 REGISTRAR GIST (substance) R (right), in REAR (back); in UK, a registrar could be a hospital doctor.
27 ORIGIN O (ring) RIG (engineer, as verb) IN (concerned with)
28 RESORTED (SET ORDER)*; interesting that each word in the clue be an anagrind in its own right.
29 EMERGE [performanc]E MERGE (mingle)
30 OTOSCOPE SO (in due course) TO reversed, COPE (carry on)


1 CRINGE RING (group) in [ni]CE; ‘quail’ as verb.
2 BLAZON BLAZ[e] (fire, not fully) ON
3 TREES (DESERT)* – D (died)
4 GRAPNEL (ANGLER)* around [dro]P. Nice surface.
6 PUNCH-BOWL PUNCH (bore), L (left) after BOW (bending)
7 CRUMBLED RUMBLE (deep, resonant sound) in CD (recording)
8 SHEATHED HEAT (part of race) in SHED (building)
11 LEAD dd, ‘heavy metal’ and ‘guitarist‘ are the two definitions.
15 DODDERING DING (sound of a bill) around ODDER (stranger)
17 AS A WHOLE A SAW (cutting tool) HOLE ([a saw] may be responsible for one)
18 MARITIME MAR (ruin) I (one) TIME (season)
20 MART After its “opening” i.e. its first letter, the word SMART (attractively neat and stylish) gives MART.
21 SEGMENT SENT (transported) around EG (say) [co]M[mand]
22 GROTTO (GOT)* around ROT (rubbish)
23 DREDGE DR (drive, as used in street names) EDGE (border)
26 SPOTS STOPS (arrests) reversed

12 Responses to “Financial Times 13,645 / Styx”

  1. bamberger says:

    I came on here expecting to have a comment of “tough workout” or similar so maybe I just wasn’t on the setters wavelength or tired after 3 days of Cheltenham.

    Gave up after an hour only having completed 14a,16a, 21a,28a 3d & 11d.

    1a This may have been gettable if ‘d had 1d,2d&4d but I didn’t so it wasn’t.
    5a It remains one of the mysteries of crosswordland to me as to what 1 letter and 2 abbreviations can be used. I would never have guessed that sp could be used for special. SP=starting price surely?
    9a I haven’t heard of Ares.
    10a I thought that party and drug were distinct and so was looking for do + e .
    12a I have heard of soem expressions for a folish person but never goose. Perhaps its regional.
    30a Perhaps if i’d had 21d,26d,22d& 23d I might have guessed this but would never have got this “cold”.

    1d I thought a quail was a bird and I haven’t come across it as a verb.
    2d Blazon is not a word I’ve come across.
    4d Ditto
    6d Punch=bore didn’t occur to me
    8d Is a heat part of a race? To win the 100m final you have to get through several heats but isn’t each heat a race rather than part of a race?
    22d I should have got this.

    Ah well back to the racing.

  2. Thomas99 says:

    No thoughts on 27a?

  3. shuchi says:

    @bamberger: About 5a, an abbreviation listed in a standard dictionary is fair game. SP could also be sine prole i.e. without issue.

    @Thomas99: Missed that one while blogging. My apologies. Post updated.

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Hi shuchi and thanks for the blog of a nice crossword, as we’ve come to expect from Styx.
    My Pick of the Day would surely be 4d (GRAPNEL) with its fully appropriate surface.

    But I have one question.
    Maybe I am missing something or perhaps I have been staring too long at the clue of 20d (MART), but I cannot see why the S must be deleted (?) or otherwise.
    I would be happy if someone could/would enlighten me.

  5. shuchi says:

    Hi Sil van den Hoek,

    After its “opening” i.e. its first letter, the word SMART gives MART. I’ll add that to the main post as well. Thanks!

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yep, shuchi, that’s what I already thought.
    But after reading the clue again and again I still had the feeling that there was something not completely right.
    Maybe it is the fact that SMART is clued too (read: unnecessarily) wordy, although thinking about it again it is probably the use of both ‘is’ and ‘after opening’ that doesn’t feel clean enough.
    When you read the clue as: MART is what you see in SMART after its opening, then it’s OK.
    But in my opinion, one has too much to read around it.
    I see the construction and in the end it can be justified, but I don’t like it.

  7. Tony Welsh says:

    I found this tough. Finished eventually, after looking at it on and off over a total of about 4 hours elapsed, but was guessing 24a. Still not sure I get why WAVE is outbreak.

    Also, quite a few words I had to look up: cabotage, otoscope, and grabnel come to mind, and I note that this site’s spell checker shares my ignorance!

  8. Scarpia says:

    Thanks shuchi.
    A very good puzzle but I didn’t find it a gentle ride.It took me quite a while to make much headway but once a few check letters were in most of the rest fell quite quickly.The bottom half seemed a lot easier than the top with the NE being the last to complete.
    CABOTAGE was new to me as well,derived from French I see and nothing to do with the 15th/16th century explorers!
    17 down was my favourite clue.

  9. mike04 says:

    Hi shuchi
    Have you seen the published solution to 26dn? Another example of an ambiguous clue?

  10. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks for pointing this out, mike04.
    I had just like shuchi (and you?) SPOTS, but re-reading the clue (“result of outbreak, possibly, brought up arrests”) I must say that STOPS is probably more likely as the solution. It is more natural to connect ‘brought up’ with the first part of the clue than with ‘arrests’.
    Ambiguous? I would say: yes.

  11. mike04 says:

    Hi Sil

    Yes, I also plumped for SPOTS, having considered both possibilities when solving.
    Now, confronted with ‘The Solution’, I agree that STOPS is more likely.
    I still can’t explain my sudden change of mind!

  12. shuchi says:

    Hi mike04

    Thanks for mentioning this, I hadn’t spotted the ambiguity when solving. With hindsight I agree with you and Sil that STOPS is the better answer but a fair case can be made for SPOTS too.

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