Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,690 by Monk

Posted by PeeDee on May 11th, 2011


A difficult crossword today I thought, but got there in the end.  All the clues were fair though, so no excuses on that front.

There were a lot of clues with first/last letter devices in the constructions, so many that I wondered for a while if it would turn out to be a theme, but I don’t think so.  I liked 8 down best, maily because on first reading I had absolutely no idea how I was ever going to solve the clue.

Hold mouse over clue number to see clue, click a solution to see its definition.

1 EGG FLIP FLIP (go mad) following EGG (egg on – urge)
5 DISTANT DISpuTANT (contestant with most of ‘put’ taken out)
9 CROFT Resistance (electrical property) inside COmpany with Financuial Times (us)
10 EXECUTRIX EXECUTive (business chief) with Brian RIX (actor famous for staging farces with his theatre company) replacing I’ve – cryptic definition for ‘lady who executes people’. From all the references I can find and executrix is actually a femal executor, ‘one who performs a task or carries out instructions of a last will and testament’. Amusing, but a bit of a naughty definition I feel.
11 PIGFEED GaFfEr (regularly spaced letters) inside PIE (flan) with Daughter – food for Napoleon the pig from Animal Farm
12 MALTESE SET reversed inside MALE (chap) – native of Malta
13 SWIFT SIFT (sort) around Wife
15 NONE OTHER NO (certainly not) and (ON THE ER)* cast = anagram
18 MUFFIN MAN NIFF (smell) reversed inside MUM (silence) and AN
19 STRAP PARTS (separates) reversed
21 NORFOLK Not Out (still in, cricket) Runs (cricket again) inside FOLK (race)
24 MARTINE ART (craft) inside (park = ‘to place inside’) MINE (tunnel)
26 CONFIDENT CON (prisoner) DEN (hideout) inside FIT (prepared)
27 STAKE fighT (ultimately = last letter of) inside SAKE (purpose) – ‘for boxing’ figuratively is ‘to be put inside’, stakes are prizes in horse racing
28 SURFEIT E (low grade in an examination) inside FRUITS*
29 EAST END ‘Frog and Toad’ is cockney rhyming slang for ‘road’, as spoken in the East End of London
1 EXCEPTS EXPECTS (trusts) with PEC (heart of) reversed
2 GOOD GRIEF GOOD (kind) in front of (comes over) GRIEF affliction – ‘my’ as an exclamation
3 LATKE Left and TAKE*
4 PSEUDONYM (ENDS UP)* (bent=anagram) MY reversed (back) containing (broken by) Old – Cinephile is the pseudonymn of an FT compiler
5 DREAM losE (finally = last letter of) inside DRAM (drink)
6 SCULLIONS anagram (‘getting it worng’) of CONSULt (brief) and LISt (short)
7 AGREE A GREEd (sin not completed)
8 TAX YEAR (EXTRA dAY)* without letter d (1/12 is ‘first of December’) – 5/4 is 5th April, end of UK fiscal year. What a great clue!
14 TRILOBITE I LOB (lift) inside (shell = a container) TRITE (worn out)
16 NANOMETRE winN (ultimately = last letter of) plus AN and REMOTE*
17 HERMITAGE TIM (chap) reversed (about) inside High Explosive RAGE (anger)
18 MENACES English N (knight, chess) inside MACES (a kinght’s weapons)
20 PRETEND PREEN (congratulate oneself) about Tactics (initial = first letter of) then Double (opening = first letter of)
22 R AND R Cryptic definition
23 KNELT bacK oN thE criticaL lisT (at last – last letters of) – definition is ‘bent’
25 ROSES ROSE and cactuS (ultimate = last letter of)


5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,690 by Monk”

  1. Conrad Cork says:

    Thanks PeeDee – and Monk. My brain hurts somewhat after this.

  2. Thomas99 says:

    I agree with Conrad Cork! But it was very satisfying to complete it in the end. I particularly like 8, 21, 10, 11, etc… I think I set off in the wrong direction on practically every clue!

  3. shuchi says:

    Thanks PeeDee. This was certainly tough but a pleasurable workout. I got 8D through the crossings but didn’t understand it till I read your explanation. A very clever clue.

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    I have never tried a Monk before, but I decided to give it a go today.
    Unfortunately, I couldn’t make much of it, being in an ‘average mood’.
    So I made another decision.
    ‘Reading’ the crossword with the help of PeeDee’s splendid blog.
    Just to find out what kind of setter Monk is.
    What devices does he like, what is the overall feel.
    It was revelatory.
    Certainly one of the setters at the upper end of the FT spectrum.

    Next time I give it a go, properly … :)

  5. Conrad Cork says:


    Well done. And that is precisely the point of fifteensquared. Everybody wins and the cause of crosswords is advanced. Especially, as you say, when the standard of blogging is as good as PeeDee’s – which to be fair, it usually is.

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