Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13666 Neo

Posted by scchua on April 12th, 2011


Completed this faster than I expected.  Some nice &lits and misdirections here.   Thanks Neo for an enjoyable puzzle.  A numerology believer (which I’m not) might find some significance in the number of this puzzle ….

… and what about the smattering of gods, legends, myths, magic, and the like in the clues and answers.  All coincidental I’m sure…No?


1 How things went for winners at pool? (10)

SWIMMINGLY :  Cryptic defn:  Reply:  Things went very well, in fact swimmingly, for the winners at the swimming pool.

7 English study delightful place (4)

EDEN :  E(English) DEN(study).  Defn:  Delightful place, a paradise.

9 Boast of rupees in sack (4)

BRAG :  R(rupeesin BAG(sack).

10 Enthrone with two kings fighting for Yorkshireman? (10)

NORTHERNER :  Anagram(fighting) of {ENTHRONE +(with) RR(two kings)}.  Defn:  Yorkshireman, from Northern England.  Allusion as well to the War of the Roses, perhaps?

11 Wealthy hedonists’ pet rhymes (3,3)

JET SET :  Two words that rhyme  with the word pet.  Defn:  People who travel extensively seeking pleasure.  Originating in the 50’s, when jet travel was THE thing.

12 Former knight seen timelessly as model (8)

EXEMPLAR :  Ex(Former) [t]EMPLAR(knight of the Middle Ages, who might have fought in the Crusades) minus T(timelessly, ie. less time).  Defn:  An &lit possibly:  Legends abound about the Order, and they’re held as models of knightly qualities.

13 Who chases female spy after time in wee room? (8)

LOTHARIO:  [Mata] HARI(famous female spy working for the Germans in WW1) after T(time) in LOO(wee room, there’s a double defn. here, a clue by itself).  Defn:  One who chases (females).

15 Lover’s meeting in tree (4)

DATE :  Double defn:  1st:  (Lover’s meeting) and 2nd:  Fruit from the date-palm tree

17 He composed letter after a bit of work (4)

BERG:  B(the letter after A) ERG(a unit, bit of work, work as used in the scientific sense =force x distance).  Defn:  Austrian composer.

19 Anything but odd number for prayer service (8)

EVENSONG :  EVEN(Anything but odd) SONG(number).  Defn:  Evening prayer service.

22 Joining together very good fellow with another nine in gay capital (8)

AFFIXING:  A(Class A, very good) FF(fellow, F, with another, ie. two of them) IX(nine, Roman-wise) IN G(capital, first letter of the word gay).  Defn:  Attaching, joining together.

23 International blog rewritten by top-grade student (6)

GLOBAL:  Anagram(rewritten) of BLOG + A(Class A, top-grade) L(Learner, student). 

25 Norse god – that’s nonsense! (10)

BALDERDASH :  BALDER(Norse god, son of Odin, cf 27A) DASH(-, the punctuation mark in the clue).  Defn:  Nonsense

26 Look in small container (4)

SCAN:  S(small) CAN(container).  Defn:  Look, increasingly being performed by machines.

27 God takes overdose at home (4)

ODIN:  OD(overdose) IN(at home).  Defn:  Norse chief God.

28 Absurd vehicle powered by green source in the country (10)

MADAGASCAR:  MAD(Absurd) A GAS CAR(a vehicle that runs on, powered by, gas, an environmentally clean, green, resource).  I’m not sure how to fit in the word “source” into the parsing – “resource”?.  Defn:  That country off the coast of East Africa, fourth largest island in the world, home to some unique life forms as a result of its physical isolation from the land masses.  


2 Welsh are surrounding hospital – other ranks to come from south with valiant soldier (3,4)

WAR HERO :  W(Welsh) ARE around(surrounding) H(hospital) + reverse of (come from south, going up for a Down clue) OR(other ranks, of soldiers).

3 Mother Goose at first seen by American priest (5)

MAGUS:  MA(Mother) + first letter(at first seen), G, of the word Goose +(by)  US(American).  Defn:  A Zoroastrian priest reputed to possess supernatural powers.  The word also means one of the 3 wise men bearing gifts to the baby Jesus; and sorcerer, ie. magician.

4 Who cause things to burn bright in frolicking with tigers? (8)

IGNITERS :  Anagram(frolicking with) of {IN + TIGERS}.  Defn:  Those who cause things to burn bright.

5 Does it surround country house in Kent perhaps? (6,2,7)

GARDEN OF ENGLAND:  Cryptic defn:  A garden surrounds a country house and Kent county is known as the Garden of England. 

6 God has cut and dried grass sent towards heaven (6)

YAHWEH :  Reversal(sent towards heaven, going up for a Down clue) of HEW(cut) HAY(dried grass).  Defn:  A name for God, originally from the Israelites.

7 Throwing pie is rude old playwright (9)

EURIPIDES :  Anagram(Throwing) of PIE IS RUDE.  Defn:  Old, ie. ancient Greek dramatist, playwright.  (Ed. note: Typo corrected, thanks walruss@1; No, I haven’t discovered any new nor ancient life forms!)

8 Look of cricket side having peculiarly neat attire? (7)

ELEGANT :  LEG(cricket side, for non-cricketing folks:  that part of the field to the left and behind of and for a right-handed batsman) in(having … attire) an anagram(peculiarly) of NEAT.  Defn:  An &lit:  A cricket side having neat attire  will have an elegant look.  Liked this clue also, it’s elegant.

14 As a broomstick may be misused by women (9)

HAGRIDDEN :  Double defn:  1st:  Tormented or worried, as by witches, ie. misused, or even abused, by women and 2nd:  a cryptic defn.  A broomstick may be ridden, misused, by hags, witches, women.  Liked this one too.

16 Restrict dangerous driver – one often flat out on road? (8)

HEDGEHOG :  HEDGE(Restrict, as with fields bounded by hedges) HOG(dangerous driver, a road hog).  Defn:  A small mammal that often is run over by vehicles and whose carcass lays flat out on road.

18 Magical place to see African beast drinking fluid (7)

ELFLAND :  ELAND(African beast) around(drinking) FL(abbreviation for fluid, eg. fl. oz.).  Defn:  A fairyland. 

20 Falls head over heels once more with artist (7)

NIAGARA :  Reversal(head over heels, for a Down clue) of AGAIN(once more) + RA(one from the Royal Academy, crosswordese for artist).  Defn:  That natural landmark shared by Canada and the USA.  Nice misdirection with “Falls head over heels“.

21 Fourth version sent up to Indian man? (6)

VIKRAM :  Reversal(sent up, for a Down clue) of MARK IV(Mark 4, the fourth version to be developed, nowadays it would be v4.0 in computerspeak).  Defn:  A proper name for an Indian man, eg. Vikram Seth.

24 Disc unaltered for Manchester band (5)

 OASIS:  O(Disc) AS IS(unaltered, eg. for sale as is where is.)  Defn:  Rock band from Manchester, since disbanded. 

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13666 Neo”

  1. walruss says:

    Very thorough blog scchua, very well put together. You hasve typo with EURIPEDES, which must be old Greek worms I guess? Perhaps not a theme here, but some tantalising effects created by Neo. Maybe the ‘vehicle powered by green source’ is synonymos with A GAS CAR? Many thanks.

  2. shuchi says:

    Thanks scchua. I fell into the verb trap at 20d and enjoyed it when the penny dropped. 21d was a pleasant surprise – I have never seen that Indian name in a crossword before. There was lots more to like – the creative wordplay of 11a, the modern technology reference of 23a, the reminder of Blake’s poem in 4d, to mention some high points. Really good puzzle, thanks Neo.

  3. Sil van den Hoek says:

    A sunny puzzle to start this sunny day with!
    Surprisingly ‘undemanding’ (in my perception, that is, I haste to say), but very well written.

    My highlights were the use of ‘Mother Goose’ in 3d, a technique very often used by Alberich and right up my street (nowadays), and the inventive 17ac (BERG), where I knew it had to be that composer but kept on asking myself why.

    Thanks scchua for a great blog that, in this form, is useful for Quiptic fans too.

  4. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Scchua this was very enjoyable.

    I am now looking forward to another Neo, please!

  5. bamberger says:

    Got all except the SW out though needed a solver for 6d -even with yah?e? I couldn’t get it and I’ve never come across it before.
    17a I guessed was a composer but the only 4 letter composer I could think of was bach and that didn’t fit. Doesn’t appear that Berg was particulary famous .
    Defeated by 18d -good clue, 21d I kept thinking of swami , sahib but never hit on the right answer and 22a where the word play was too tough for me.

    Thanks for the blog

  6. Lenny says:

    I whizzed through this. I enjoyed Elfland, Hagridden and Vikram but I thought other clues were a bit iffy. However, on reading Scchua’s blog, I realise that the fault was all mine. Berg, Affixing and Balderdash were all quite brilliant, I just had not bothered to parse them properly. Thanks Scchua and apologies to Neo.

  7. Neo says:

    Thanks to Scchua for his excellent bloggery, and to contributors for their extremely kind remarks.

    To exercise some pickery, MAGUS is ‘Mother Goose at first’ for the MA/ G, ‘seen by’ the US: the HAGRIDDEN 2d is (a) ‘As a broomstick may be’ (cos broomsticks are said to be used as air transport by witches) and (b) ‘misused by women’ which (homophone unintended) is the (facetious) second meaning cited in Collins. Or is the whole thing a cd&d? I give up.


  8. scchua says:

    Thanks Neo, for dropping by. Points noted. Hope to blog another of yours soon.

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