Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,686 / Styx

Posted by shuchi on May 6th, 2011


A very nice puzzle today, smart clues and not too tough except for a brief struggle with the NE part of the grid.

My favourites of the day: 9A, 7D, 20D


1 KISMET K (king) IS MET (satisfied)
5 OPTIMISE OP (surgical procedure) IS in TIME
9 GOLD LEAF (DEAL)* in GOLF (club game). Coincidentally, today is the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya in India, a day when many buy gold.
10 PENNON PENN[y] (old money, largely) ON (being supported by). This was my last answer in, needed to look up this definition of standard: a flag or military symbolic figure on a pole.
11 TENANT TENT (section of camp) around AN
12 CORVETTE VET (check) T (temperature) in CORE (part of a nuclear reactor).
14 ALTERCATIONS ALTER (convert) CATIONS (electrically charged particles)
22 SERGEANT (ANGER)* in SET (hardned)
25 HAVENS HAVE (consist of) N and S (poles)
26 NAUSEA Na (sodium) USE (application) A
27 MAINTAIN MAIN (important) TIN (metal) around A
28 REDOLENT RENT (letter’s due) around DOLE (a beneficial amount)
29 GASKET ASK (request) in GET (contract). A gasket is a seal that fills the space between two mating surfaces to prevent leakage. A common use of a gasket is in the pressure cooker.


2 ISOMER SOME (a little) in [g]IR[l]
3 MADE A FACE MA (mother) DEAF (not able to hear) ACE (one)
4 THE STATES TAT (shabby articles) in THESES (long dissertations)
5 OFFICER I (one) C (caught) in OFFER (volunteer)
6 TAPER d&cd; ‘give a point to’ and ‘recording artist’ are the two definitions. Good one!
7 MINCE MINE (store) around C (cold); great use of the lift-and-separate device in “cold meat”.
8 SHOOTING SHOO (frightening cry) TIN (can) G[enerate]
13 VAT TV (the box) reversed, around A
15 ALIGHTING A LIGHTING (feature on stage)
16 INNOVATES IN (batting) NOVA (star) + SET (position), reversed (not written down => written up)
17 COVERAGE OVER (extra) in CAGE (shut up)
19 RYE hidden in ‘distilleRY Evaluated’
20 ATTEMPT A TEMP (worker who doesn’t always get to work) in TT (time, doubled)
21 ON FIRE ONE (a person) around FIR (tree)
23 GUSTO GUST (puff) O (duck)
24 AWAKE A WAKE (watery track); “wake” is the track of waves left by a boat or ship moving through water.

2 Responses to “Financial Times 13,686 / Styx”

  1. bamberger says:

    After four days of getting nowhere with the Indie, I took one look at today’s offering which included one four word clue and thought no.
    I managed all bar five clues here and found it enjoyable rather than a frustrating waste of time -so thanks setter, thanks FT crossword editor and thanks for the blog

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks shuchi, for a good blog of a very nice crossword.
    Styx is a setter who’s high in my FT Ranking, and today’s puzzle was no disappointment.
    As always – and unlike you, at least today – I ended up in the NW where Styx championed me.
    Forgot to check KISMET, failed to see ISOMER [I considered it, but now I see the explanation: great use of “in stomach of” for [g]IR[l] ], while I must kick myself for not having found TENANT.

    I wasn’t sure whether 14ac was ALTER-N/C-ATIONS.
    I put in IONS for ‘electrical charged particles’ and therefore couldn’t make perfect sense of the first part.

    Only quibble: the definition of THE STATES (4d). Just ‘Place’ is a bit meagre, isn’t it?

    Apart from that, a lot of clever and inventive cluing – but, as you said, not too tough.

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