Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13660 Armonie

Posted by scchua on April 5th, 2011


Worked myself up from the bottom row, having got none of the top half acrosses on the first pass.  But quite a quick solve in the end.  Enjoyable, straightforward clueing with no obscurities.  Thanks Armonie


1, 4 Plain suit is striking, say (6,6)

DIRECT ACTION :  DIRECT (“Plain” as in straight talking, not beating about the bush), and ACTION (“suit” brought to a court of law).  Defn: An immediate effective act, which could be (“say”) a labour strike, to achieve one’s end.

8 Lustful partners united in Cork (7)

SENSUAL :  N[orth] +(“united”)  S[outh] (“partners’ in game of bridge) in SEAL (to stop a bottle with a “cork”). 

9 Shortage of parking area acceptable to municipality (7)

PAUCITY :  P[arking] + A[rea] + U (appropriate to upper class, “acceptable”) + CITY (“municpality”).

11 Maid used to get share of warm approval (10)

ADMIRATION :  Anagram(“used”) of MAID +(‘to get”) RATION (“share”).

12 Ruler found in throne room (4)

NERO :  Hidden(“found”) in [thro]NE RO[om].  Defn:  Emperor (“ruler”) with a penchant for playing the fiddle.

13 Rapid task force (5)

FLEET :  Double defn.  1st:  Fast and 2nd: in a military sense.  Aptly modern surface, where nowadays rapid deployment is key to success.

14 See about flower in the wind (8)

EASTERLY :  ELY (the “See” or Diocese around the city of Ely, a staple of crossword setters) surrounding(“about”) ASTER (a particular “flower”).  Defn:  A blow from the east.

16 Weigh down detective with booze (8)

DISPIRIT :  D[etective] I[nspector] “with’ SPIRIT (“booze”, of higher proof).  Defn:  Discourage.

18 Put on suit (5)

APPLY :  Double defn:  1st:  as in “put on” makeup or paint, and 2nd: as in to be applicable to, apt.

20 Stop and shoot (4)

STEM :  Double defn:  1st:  as in stop the flow, and 2nd:  the outgrowth of a plant.

21 Court poser upset court official (10)

PROSECUTOR :  Anagram(“upset”) of COURT POSER.  Defn:  Law “court official” representing the Crown or state.

23 Artist’s line (7)

PAINTER :  Double defn:  1st:  often used as RA in crosswords, and 2nd:  Rope attached to bow of boat for purposes of tying it to the dock, etc.

24 Heather embraces joiner between flights (7)

LANDING :  LING (shrubs on the hill, as in this song from Brigadoon: ) around(“embraces”) AND (a connective word in grammar).  Defn:  That area “between flights” of stairs, usually where the stairs make a turn. 

25 Self-seeking earl gets gismo repaired (6)

EGOISM :  E[arl] +(“gets”) anagram(“repaired”) of GISMO.  Defn:  All to do with and for Number One.

26 Picks up eastern vehicle (6)

HEARSE :  HEARS (“picks up”) + E[astern].


1 Deceased understood fear (5)

DREAD :  D (for “deceased”) + READ (having examined and grasped the meaning of.)

2 Sixth sense displayed during ceremony causes interruption (7)

RESPITE :  E[xtra] S[ensory] P[erception] (could be labelled as a “sixth sense”) inside(“displayed during”, latter word is used so as to have a smoother surface reading) RITE (“ceremony”).  Defn:  A breather, or “interruption” in the proceedings.

3 Bond admits a cold constitution (9)

CHARACTER :  CHARTER (one of various types of documents that set out functions, purposes, etc. of an organisation, transactions, etc. to which relevant parties are bound) surrounding(“admits”) A C[old].  Defn:  Collective noun to denote one’s traits, ie. one’s constitution, what one is like.

5 Length of string (5)

CHAIN :  Double defn:  1st:  unit of length in old Imperial System equivalent to 66 feet or 22 yards, which explains why there once was an athletic track event measuring 220 yards, the furlong, which is still being used for horse racing, and 2nd:  a series, as in a “string” of shops, events, etc. 

6 Anglican in pub getting directions? Holy smoke! (7)

INCENSE :  C[hurch] of E[ngland] (“Anglican”) in INN (“pub”) +(“getting”) S[outh] + E[ast].  Defn:  Fragrant “smoke” from a type of wood or gum burned during some religious (“holy”) ceremonies.

7 Of course aunt organised gathering! (9)

NATURALLY :  Anagram(“organised”) of AUNT  + RALLY (“gathering”).  Defn:  an exclamation expressing agreement that there’s no doubt (“of course”) about (what someone tells you). 

10 Command soldier, in a manner of speaking (9)

DIRECTION :  R[oyal] E[ngineer] (“soldier”) in DICTION (“manner of speaking”). 

13 Market rated badly for equitable dealing (4,5)

FAIR TRADE :  FAIR (noun for an event with stalls “market”ing stuff) + anagram(“badly”) of RATED.

15 Vapid couple in deadlock (9)

STALEMATE :  STALE (“vapid”, tasteless, as in stale beer) + MATE (verb, to “couple”, illustrated by the  tortoises in yesterday’s Big Dave’s Quiptic 15sq’d blog).  Defn:  An impasse (which also looked like what the tortoises were in!)

17 Plant self-righteous people take to (7)

PIMENTO :  PI (“self-righteous”, short for “pious”, though one might be the latter but not necessarily the former, according to the dicts.) + MEN (“people”) +(“take”) TO.  Defn:  “Plant” that produces bell peppers.

19 Place foreign articles in sack (7)

PLUNDER :  PL[ace] (as used in street direcories) + UN (article in French) + DER (article in German).  Defn:  What the Vikings were reputed to have done. 

21 Iron the papers (5)

PRESS :  Time for another double defn:  1st.  what the valet does to your suit, and 2nd:  collective noun for the news”papers”.

22 In the old days sheltered union leader’s cat (5)

OUNCE :  ONCE (“in the old days”) surrounding(“sheltered”) U[nion].  Defn:  The snow leopard, a “cat” which belies its name in weight.


4 Responses to “Financial Times 13660 Armonie”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Scchua this was another gentle stroll.

    Also many thanks Armonie for producing such perfect Harmony.

  2. bamberger says:

    I usually give it an hour but I gave up without hope after 30 mins only having got 12a,21a,21d&25a and having no idea what I was looking for in the others
    While still a novice, I did get most of the Saturday and Monday puzzles out but I just wasn’t on the setters wavelength.
    1a I was thinking along the lines of plain =bland and suit =hearts, clubs, diamonds or spades.
    8a Ironically I didn’t think of partners of being anything to do with cards and had pairs and towns in Cork to mind.
    9a I never thought of acceptable=U
    11a I don’t recall seeing used as an anagram indicator and went off along the line of char, cleaner etc
    18a I was stuck with suit being to do with cards or being a clothing item
    20a All I could think of was halt and fire
    23a Doesn’t artist’s mean belonging to an artist?
    26a For picks up I had lifts, hoists ,raises , erects etc
    2d Too clever for me
    3d I would never had got bond =charter . I thought of glue or tie
    17d I don’t think I’ve come across pimento
    19d You name it, I tried it -le, la, un , une, der, die ,das ein ,eine , el , les but not in the correct combination.

    Well blogged sir and Bryan I take my hat off to you for considering it a gentle stroll.

  3. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Bamberger

    Most of those that you had difficulty with today employed tricks and/or conventions that are familiar to us old timers.

    Please don’t get discouraged: the game gets easier with experience and, of course, this site is a great help to learning.

  4. Paul B says:

    As is the cheat button.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

× five = 25