Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13677 Armonie

Posted by scchua on April 26th, 2011


This was quite a smooth solve, except for 7A which held me up for a bit.  In fact the “spare” time from the faster completion, was spent in embellishing (maybe too much, in restrospect) the blog.  But no complaints on my side, and thanks to Armonie – nice surface readings in the clues.


1 Allow a team to look on indifferently (5,5)

STAND ASIDE :  STAND(Allow,tolerate as in “I can/cannot stand your complaining”) A SIDE(a team).  Defn:  As a bystander, to look on indifferently.

7 Conservative leader to propose VAT (4)

CASK :  Initial letter(leader) of Conservative + ASK(propose in the form of a question, one form of which involves the bended knee).  Defn:  A large container.  Setter intended misdirection with the upper case letters, resulting in my trying to fit CESS (a tax) in. 

9 Rascal runs into club (4)

BRAT :  R(runs) in(into) BAT(club).  Defn:  A spoilt young/younger person, a young rascal.

10 Detention of Nationalist leader interrupts funeral (10)

INTERNMENT :  Initial letter(leader) of (Nationalist ) in(interrupts) INTERMENT(burial,entombment,funeral).  Defn:  Detention in, say, a POW camp

11 Change partners for nut (6)

CASHEW :  CASH(Change, ready money in hand/pocket) + E,W(East-West, partners in card game of bridge).  Defn:  An edible nut from the tropics.  The “fruit” is pear-shaped and is also edible.  The nut, strictly the seed, is that kidney shaped appendix, the kernel of which when roasted, gives that delicious snack food, a sort of upmarket beer-nuts.


12 Acclaimed former partner rang (8)

EXTOLLED :  EX(former partner, an ex to whom you might have to pay alimony) + TOLLED(rang).  Defn:  Praised,acclaimed.

13 Intellectual’s brother tucks into rye, say (8)

CEREBRAL :  BR(brother) in(tucks into) CEREAL(an example,say of which is rye).  Defn:  Intellectual, an egghead.

15 Fancy model endlessly (4)

IDEA:  IDEAl(perfect model) without the last/end letter(endlessly).  Defn:  As a noun, as in “a passing fancy

17 Cliff creates endless panic (4)

SCAR :  SCARe(panic) without the last/end letter(endless).  Defn:  A rocky cliff.

19 Capsize open vessel (8)

OVERTURN:  OVERT(as in “out in the open“, antonym of “covert”/”covered”) + URN(could be a vessel associated with the tea-lady, or one in which a loved one’s ashes are kept) 

22 Make teenager upset (8)

GENERATE :  Anagram(upset) of TEENAGER.  Defn:  To produce,make electricity, enthusiasm, profits, whatever.

23 Marina’s tipsy pilot (6)

AIRMAN :  Anagram(tipsy) of MARINA.

25 A neat Dutch organisation is independent (10)

UNATTACHED :  Anagram(organisation) of A NEAT DUTCH.  Defn:  Ability to stand alone,is independent with no ties,unattached to someone/something.

26 Put down school, on reflection (4)

NOTE :  Reversal(on reflection) of ETON(English public school, in fact more exclusive than public).  Defn: To record,put down on paper. 

27 Contradict Yankee after study (4)

DENY :  DEN(the study, the quiet room where one does intellectual work) + Y(widely used spelling alphabet, Y for Yankee, followed by Z for Zulu).

28 County provides bowler’s wage (10)

DERBYSHIRE :  DERBY’S(possessive of, apparently, the US name for the bowler, the hat named after its devisers, the Bowler brothers, widely used by, from Winston Churchill to Benito Mussolini to Laurel and Hardy to the Avenger John Steed to Goldfinger’s Oddjob to Bolivian and Peruvian women)  + HIRE(wage, payment for usage/service rendered)

Click to enlarge


2 Hesitation during search for street (7)

TERRACE :  ER(a verbalised pause,hesitation) in(during) TRACE(search, as a verb).  Defn:  A street with a row of houses, usually with identical facades and common dividing walls.

3 Some cannot change the score (5)

NOTCH :  Hidden(Some) in canNOT CHange.  Defn:  A score, or v-shaped nick/cut.  Word origins must be interrelated, as “notches” are also used as a simple method of  keeping “score”, as in the Wild West with a gunslinger and the notches on his gun (or so the legend goes).

4 Sweatier alternative, so to speak (2,2,4)

AS IT WERE :  Anagram(alternative) of SWEATIER.  Defn:  So to speak, in a manner of speaking.

5 Hitherto elegant model is exposed (2,3,10)

IN THE ALTOGETHER :  Anagram(model) of HITHERTO ELEGANT.  Defn:  Exposed, as in your birthday suit, the full monty.

6 In time informer makes mistakes (6)

ERRATA :  RAT(informer,squealer) in ERA(a long (time).  Defn:  Plural of erratum,mistake.  Also a list of mistakes and corrections.

7 Grievance of officer married to unattractive model (9)

COMPLAINT :  CO(commanding officer) +(married to) PLAIN(unattractive, as a pikestaff?) and T(crosswordese for model, from the American car, the Ford Model T)

8 Seeing that’s about true (7)

SINCERE :  SINCE(as in “Seeing that …. is true, then …..) + RE(about,regarding).  Defn:  Honest,no joke!,true

14 Advanced engaging retreat with gusto (9)

EARNESTLY :  EARLY(advanced,brought forward,nearer than the usual time.  A bit tricky, since advanced also means “gone, progressed further” as in eg. “advanced,late stages of cancer”) around(engaging) NEST(retreat,some place to run to, eg. a love nest).  Defn:  With gusto, heartily.   

16 Greek goddess left tedious study of insignia (8)

HERALDRY :  HERA(mythical Greek goddess, sister and wife (gods can do anything they want) of top god Zeus) + L(left) + DRY(tedious,boring).  Defn:  Study of insignia.

18 Counts on being in church to give absolution (7)

CLEANSE :  LEANS(relies,counts on) in(being in) CE(Church of England).  Defn:  Give absolution of one’s sins, restart with a clean/cleansed slate.

20 Touching performer makes a pile (7)

REACTOR :  RE(regarding,touching on a subject/topic) + ACTOR(performer).  Defn:  Pile is another word for a nuclear reactor.

21 Danger for firm receiving a final letter (6)

HAZARD :  HARD(firm, not yielding) around(receiving) A + Z(final letter of the alphabet).

24 Managed church estate (5)

RANCH :  RAN(Managed) + CH(church).  Defn:  A large piece of real estate for raising livestock.  Not to be confused with the objectionable American slang.

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13677 Armonie”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Scchua – I really wish I knew how to pronounce your nom de blog.

    This was very enjoyable and thoroughly Armonious.

    However, I do keep wondering why this setter’s style reminds me so much of The Grauniad’s Chifonie.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    “However, I do keep wondering why this setter’s style reminds me so much of The Grauniad’s Chifonie.”

    Because, as indicated in the ‘Setters’ page, they are one and the same person.

  3. Steve says:

    Thanks scchua.

    Gaufrid, this seemed surprisingly easy for an Armonie or maybe my recollection is poor. Anyway, it prompted me to look for the listing of setters by difficulty, which I thought I’d seen previously on this site (on the aforementioned ‘Setters’ page), but without luck. Are you able to point me in the right direction? Thanks.

  4. Gaufrid says:

    The ‘Setters’ page became woefully out of date, with many new setters not being listed and some departed ones still included, so I updated it at the end of last year.

    My perception from comments on this site is that some people can find a particular puzzle hard whilst other say it was easy. Also, my own experience is that puzzles from the same setter can vary widely so far as degree of difficulty is concerned, though a few setters do seem to be consistently at the harder end of the spectrum and others at the easier one.

    There have also been comments on this site to the effect that “why does the ‘Setters’ page say this setter is hard when this puzzle was so easy?”, and vice versa. A further complication is that a setter can change with time. A few months ago I solved a Nimrod that originally appeared some years ago and the difference in level of difficulty compared with his current offerings was like chalk and cheese.

    I therefore decided to remove the very subjective ‘difficulty’ indicator and instead to provide links to Michael Curl’s excellent Crossword Who’s Who which I felt would be of more use.

    I have just looked back at the old ‘Setters’ page and found that Armonie was listed as ‘easy’ and Chifonie ‘hard’.

  5. MarcoPolo says:

    A small correction for the blog – you left out the M = married in COMPLAINT.

    Agreed that this was a relatively easy but well-clued.

    Every time an English county comes up I shudder (having never even set foot there) but I got this one (DERBYSHIRE) without assistance

    Thanks to Armonie and scchua

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