Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13683 Jason

Posted by scchua on May 3rd, 2011


This was quite relaxingly enjoyable.  Thanks Jason.


1 We men are at the top of church’s structure (12)

STEEPLEJACKS:  JACKS(plural of male name for men) +(at)  STEEPLE(the top of church’s structure literally).  Defn:  Those who scale great heights, eg. church spires, to do maintenance work on them.   

10 Forbear a cheese sandwich – it’s the cause of discomfort (7)

EARACHE :  Hidden(sandwich) in (ForbEAR A CHEese ).  Defn:  Cause of discomfort in the otic organ.

11 Drink obtained from little bazaar in Italy (7)

MARTINI:  MART(little bazaar,marketplace) + IN + I(International vehicle registration for Italy).  Defn:  Cocktail drink, the kind favoured by 007, shaken not stirred.

12 Peers left old signs of approval (5)

LOOKS:  L(left) O(old) OK’S(okays,signs of approval).  Defn:  Peers, as a verb.

13 Mate? We get on with this (8)

TEAMWORK :  TEAM(anagram fodder) + WORK(an anagram indicator applied to TEAM), the whole thing giving a clue-like answer, “Team work” = “mate“, a reverse anagram.  Defn:  What we, you and I, need in order to get on,progress,achieve.

15 No charge relating to the bingo (2,3,5)

ON THE HOUSE :  ON THE(relating to the) HOUSE(a variation of bingo or lotto, also formerly called houseyhousey).  Defn:  No charge,free for the customer, at the expense of the management of the commercial establishment.

16 Get in harmony with writer beginning to strum hard (4)

MESH:  ME(myself,the writer) + first letters(beginning) S+H of strum hard.  Defn:  Get in harmony, in concert, fitting together, eg. as with gears meshing.

18 Miss Penny once upon a time, born first (4)

NEEDFirst NEE(born, as in “She is Mrs. So and So, nee…”, followed by the maiden surname) + D(From £ s d, the last representing “pence”, plural of Penny, prior to the decimalisation of the UK currency).  Defn:  Miss, as in “to lack” something, eg. “the needs of the poor”.

20 Oxford Uni fashion a wing that’s isolated (3,2,1,4)

OUT ON A LIMB:  OU(Oxford University) TON(fashion) A LIMB(a wing, as much a limb to a bird as an arm or a leg is to a mammal).  Defn:  The common meaning is “to be in a vulnerable, dangerous, compromising situation”, but I guess it could also extend to “to be all by oneself”,isolated.  From the literal sense that if you’re out on a limb,branch, no-one can join you, lest the branch breaks. 

22 Popular Bordeaux outside? Blow that! (8)

CLARINET :  CLARET(red wine from the Bordeaux region of France) around(outside) IN(Popular).

24 Subject to pressure I’ll start to crumple (5)

TOPICTO P(pressure) I(‘ll) + first letter(start) C of crumple.  Defn:  Subject of discussion.  I’m not sure why “I’ll” is there, since “I” is sufficient for the surface reading of the clue.

26 Turkey is among true quarry (7)

EXTRACT :  TR(International vehicle registration for Turkey) in(among) EXACT(true,accurate).  Defn:  To quarry, ie. to extract, mainly stone, eg. granite, marble or mineral, eg. tin ore, by digging a great big hole in the ground.  

27 Be responsible for ordinary poem having echo (7)

OVERSEE :  O(ordinary, as used in conjunction with other words, eg. O Level exams, O S(eaman), O L(east) S(quares) (a statistical term)) + VERSE(poem) +(having) E(E for echo in the phonetic alphabet).  Defn:  Be responsible for,manage.

28 Till old C&W singer is in wasted regret (4,8)

CASH REGISTER :  CASH(Johnny, old C&W(country and western) singer, 1932-2003) + IS in anagram(wasted) of REGRET.  Defn:  The till, in which eg. shops keep their takings and change. 


2 Sod off!? (4,3)

TURF OUT:  Double defn:  1st, a literal one:  TURF(Sod,piece of ground with grass) OUT(off).  2nd: Sod off!,Get away! Chase out of the place (the politer interpretations).  Or is this an &lit? 

3 Floods former Conservative with letters (8)

EXCESSES:  EX(former partner, spouse, etc.) C(Conservative) +(with) ESSES(more than one S, the 19th letter of the English alphabet).  Defn:  Abundance of something, causing a flood of that thing. 

4 In report spill the beans about Welsh emblem (4)

LEEK:  Homophone(In report) of LEAK(spill the beans,let out secrets, as in Wiki-leaks).  Defn:  Vegetable that is represented as a national Welsh emblem

5 Impromptu time for a sarnie? (3,7)

JAM SESSION :  JAM(an example, of a type (a filling) of sandwich,sarnie) SESSION(time, period to have your sandwich?).  Defn:  A time when jazz musicians give an impromptu performance.  Not sure about “time” doubling up in the wordplay and definition parts of the clue.

6 Commander with honour finds vehicle for storage (2-3)

CD-ROM:  CDR(abbreviation of Commander + OM(the honour, the Order of Merit).  Defn:  Vehicle for storage of data (Compact Disc Read Only Memory) for computers, players, and other electronic equipment.

7 Hop over the French balancing stick (3,4)

SKI POLE:  SKIP(Hop) O(abbreviation for a cricket over) LE(the, grammatical article, in French).  Defn:  Normally a pair of sticks that a skier uses for balancing.

8 Aquainted with prestigious people who have their own oil supply? (4-9)

WELL-CONNECTED:  WELL(where oil supply comes from) CONNECTED(if people have their own oil supply, they must literally be “connected” by pipeline to the well).  Defn:  Aquainted with prestigious people.  Maybe another doubling up: of “people”?

9 Cash in your chips and go west (4,3,6)

KICK THE BUCKET:  3 phrases , including the answer, with the same meaning.  For when people don’t want to use the “D”-word (“die”).

14 Indolent person bolts down sports car perhaps (5-5)

LOTUS-EATER:  LOTUS(an example,perhaps of a make of sports car) EATER(person who bolts down).  Defn:  From Greek mythology, an indolent person, member of a people whose such state was brought on by eating the fruit of the lotus plant.  Here again, not sure about “person” doubling up.

17 Attendant with the very best lock (8)

WAITRESS:  W(with) AI(class A-One,first class,the very best) TRESS(lock, of hair).  Defn:  She who waits on you, an attendant to you during a meal in eg. a restaurant. 

19 What keeps laciest pants up? (7)

ELASTIC:  An &lit.  Anagram(?) of LACIEST.  Defn:  The elastic round the waist of pants, which in British usage = underpants, and presumably the female kind (panties) because of being laciest.  Have refrained from being pictorial here, I might not get past the moderator!

21 Gridlock? I am on the way out (7)

IMPASSE :  I’M(I am ) PASSE(on the way out,like last year’s clothes,out of fashion.  Defn:  Gridlock with no-one moving anywhere.

23 One postgrad with manuscript for devotional officers (5)

IMAMS:  I(One) MA(Master of Arts degree, what you get postgrad after your BA) MS(abbreviation for manuscript).  Defn:  The devotional officers or officiating priests in an (Islamic) mosque.

25 Carol, for instance, is thus . . . no good (4)

SONG :  SO(as in this or that way or fashion, eg. “so/thus it turned out”) NG(abbreviation for no good).  Defn:  What is sung during Christmas season.

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13683 Jason”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Scchua and Jason.

    This was very good!

  2. bamberger says:

    Don’t recall a Jason before. Got most of this out but had abbreviation failure.

    Turkey was obviously TY which left me with E?tya??.
    Commander was clearly CO so 6d was co-???
    11a had to be some some coffee drink -just couldn’t think of any alcoholic drink beginning with m.
    13a Sorry don’t really get it.I can see that an anagram of mate is team and I can see that we get on with work but I can’t see where the anagram instruction is.

    Liked the presentation of the blog

  3. scchua says:

    Hi bamberger. 13A was my last one in, and was the hardest for me to blog. The parts of the clue are firstly: “mate?” which was the wordplay; and secondly: “we get on with this” with the definition being that “this” and the emphasis on “we”. The answer to that definition is TEAMWORK. If we break it up into TEAM WORK, then “work” becomes an anagram indicator and “team” the anagram fodder, to give “mate”.

    Hope this explains it more completely than my first attempt in the blog, where I’ve also corrected an error which might have contributed to the confusion.

  4. bamberger says:

    Thanks Scchua – that clue seems rather convoluted compared to the rest -not surprised it was your last in.

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