Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13725 Neo

Posted by scchua on June 21st, 2011


This was a relaxing puzzle with which to restart blogging.  All straightforward, and perhaps made easier by quite a few anagrams (9 answers which are complete anagrams).  Got off to a roaring start with 1A, 1D and 8D, 3 out the 4 long ones, and that helped tremendously.  Some excellent surfaces, like 12A, 14D, 15D, 17D, 21A.  Thanks Neo.

Definitions are underlined in the clues.


1 What better hopes for replacing those with influence? (3,6,4,2)

THE POWERS THAT BE :  Anagram (for replacing) of WHAT BETTER HOPES.

9 Nervous laughter where teetotaller in bank takes shilling (7)

TITTERS :  TT(tee­totaller) in TIER(bank,an elevated section) +(takes) S(­shilling).

10 Euler is prepared for retirement (7)

LEISURE :  Anagram(prepared) of EULER IS.

11 Lavishly praise former Time Lord making comeback in Doctor’s absence (5)

EXTOL :  EX(former,as with spouse,position,etc.) T(time) + reverse(making comeback) of LOrd without(absence) DR(doctor)

First Doctor colour.jpg  The first Time Lord Doctor.

12 During divinity pray endlessly against moral turpitude (9)

DEPRAVITY :  PRAy without last letter(endlessly) V(againstversus) in(during) DIETY(divinity,god).

13 Soaking for sailor, very corrupt, receiving rand (9)

ABSORBENT :  AB(sailor,able-bodied seaman) SO(very) BENT(corrupt,presumably arising from crooked=bent) around(receiving) R(rand, that unit of money in S.Africa, named after Witwatersrand, the gold mining area there).  Defn:  Soaking as an adjective describing something that soaks in.

15 Communist in firm belief (5)

CREDO :  RED(communist) in CO(firm, as in company).

 16 From Scandinavia (and not some London district) (5)

NORSE :  NOR(not) SE(a south-east London postcode area,district, from SE1 to SE28. SE1 includes South Bank).


18 Formless poem, Anne Hathaway’s first, observed events (9)

PHENOMENA :  Anagram(formless) of [POEM ANNE + H(first letter of Hathaway)].

20 People seen with heroin runner (9)

RACEHORSE :  RACE(people, the singular of peoples,races) +(seen with) HORSE(slang for heroin, presumably because they have a common initial).

23 Old story line in the eleventh year after Christ? (5)

ILIAD :  L(line) in 11AD(eleventh year in the Gregorian calendar, counting from,after AD,Anno Domini, the year of the lord, specifically the year, or thereabouts, when Christ was born), with number 1=letter I and 11=II.

24 Turkish dynasty created in books given to us (7)

OTTOMAN :  OT(books, of the Old Testament in the Bible) +(given) TO MAN(us as a species,humankind,homo sapiens)

25 Rather feeble compilers finally get this sorted (7)

WETTISH :  WE(collective pronoun for compilers such as Neo et al in contrast to you, collective noun for us solvers) T(last letter,finally of get) + anagram(sorted) of THIS.  Defn:  Figuratively, a bit spineless, said disparagingly.

26 Maybe Geordie and Tony turn on charm somehow (5,10)

NORTH COUNTRYMAN :  Anagram(somehow) of TONY TURN ON CHARM.  Defn:  A native or inhabitant of Newcastle or its surroundings, in North England (or North Country if you’re from or live in England).


1 Naturally fitted for role like Hamlet (2,3,6,4)

TO THE MANNER BORN :  Play on “role”, doing double duty in the definition, as well as the theatrical part of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, from whose lines comes this phrase.  Defn:  Pre-disposed to behave as what is expected of one by virtue of one’s birth.  A related phrase, more recent in origin is “to the manor born”.

Audrey fforbes-Hamilton and Richard DeVere  To The Manor Born

2 European nations and lands for development (7)

ESTATES :  E(European) STATES(nations).  Defn:  Such development as varied as wine-producing, rubber, palm, and residences and industries.

3 After massage R. Laver ego too big? (9)

OVERLARGE :  Anagram(massage) of R LAVER EGO.  I believe Neo is refering to Rod Laver, tennis great, active in the 60s.

4 Given relief when caught in river’s back-flow (5)

EASED :  AS(when, substitute for “as” used in the temporal sense) within(caught) in reversal(back-flow) of DEE(river in England).

5 Liveliness with power to be for Sarkozy an explosive component (9)

SALTPETRE :  SALT(an element of liveliness,interest,excitement, as in “his wit added salt to the discussion”) +(with) P(power, especially in scientific equations) ETRE(as would be said by French President Sarkozy when he means “to be”; pardon my French if this isn’t right).  Defn:  Potassium nitrate, a powerful oxidant, therefore commonly used as a component in explosives.  Also used as a fertiliser, which explains why amateur bombers buy lots of fertiliser.

6 Seaside city Mafia henchmen hold up (5)

HAIFA :  Hidden(hold) and reversed(up, in a down clue) in mAFIA Henchmen.  Defn:  Port in northern Israel.

7 One into peculiar nature of organic compound (7)

TAURINE :  I(number one=letter I) into anagram(peculiar) of NATURE.  Defn:  An amino-acid derivative first isolated in ox-bile, and hence named after the adjective for Taurus the bull.

8 The renowned Navy messed up occasionally (5,3,3,4)

EVERY NOW AND THEN :  Anagram(messed up) of THE RENOWNED NAVY.

14 Noun operates differently in composite language (9)

ESPERANTO :  Anagram(differently) of [N(­noun) OPERATES].  Defn:  The constructed language, a composite of some other languages

15 Boy singer with his rector for excitement (9)

CHORISTER :  Anagram(for excitement) of HIS RECTOR.  The surface (cheekily) points to the relationship between certain clergymen and choir, and other, boys.

17 Scientist associated with groundbreaking research? (7)

RICHTER :  Cryptic defn. of Charles Richter (1900-1985), the scientist who studied earthquakes,groundbreaking research, and in 1935 developed the Richter scale to compare the intensities of earthquakes.

19 Wood maintains it is goverment (sic) by chosen group (7)

ELITISM :  ELM(a type of tree,wood) around(maintains) IT IS.

21 Lyttelton’s dissatisfied exclamation? (5)

HUMPH :  Double defn:  1st:  Nickname for HUMPHrey Lyttlelton (1921-2008), jazz musician (trumpet and clarinet), singer, writer, broadcaster.  I liked his BBC Radio 2’s Best of Jazz, and BBC Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue.

Humphpic3.jpg (17880 bytes)    

22 Man United ditching complete system get three points (5)

EDWIN :  ED(unitED minus,ditching UNIT,complete system) +(get) WIN(in a football match, that adds three points to your tally in the league table).  Defn:  A man‘s name.

11 Responses to “Financial Times 13725 Neo”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Scchua and Neo

    You did say ‘All straightforward’ but I had to guess 7d TAURINE – a new word for me which actually sound like a lot of bull.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was a pleasing puzzle, not too difficult I found esp with the 15-letter perimeter entries where the letter-count helped a lot.
    A v minor point, I think that in NORSE N0R is ‘and not’ rather than just ‘not’. Many thanks, scchua (incredibly detailed blog!) and Neo.

  3. walruss says:

    Wonderful blog Scchua, although I wasn’t sure whether your picture shows a beautiful sunset or a nuclear explosion. But I really like the detail, it makes for a good read and helps me if I haven’t actually had a chance to solve the puzzle I’m reading about. This is one of two I’ve got through today, and quite easy for the reason MMS mentions, but there were still some good challenegs among the very well-written clues. PHENOMENA and ILIAD faves, C.O.D. EXTOL.

  4. Ferret says:

    I wonder if the Edwin is a reference to Edwin van de Sar, the recently retired Manchester United goalkeeper?

  5. Jezza says:

    Having got the longer clues early on, the rest fell into place without much of a struggle.
    Thanks to Neo for the enjoyable puzzle, and to scchua for a most comprehensive review.

  6. Bamberger says:

    A very rare unaided all correct for me -but it did seem like a Daily Mail with very long anagrams.

  7. scchua says:

    Thanks, commenters.
    Hi walruss, afraid it’s neither a nuclear explosion (associated with destruction) nor a sunset (beautiful as it is, but signifying decline). When I started blogging, I surfed the Net for a picture of a sunrise. For some reason (probably because more people are up and about at sunset than at sunrise), lots of sunsets but very few sunrises, and the latter looked very much like the former! Picked what I thought looked least like a sunset, but apparently not far enough (sigh).

  8. Neo says:

    Coo! My nads are still a-janglin’ after that, Bamberger! Bah, phooey bloomin’ Daily Hate. Pah. Phtah.

    However, thanks too from me also as well to commenters (all), and to scchua for an excellent blog with lots of luvverly pix, which I looked at. Great clue breakdownery ‘n’ all. You nailed the lot apart from ‘and not’ = NOR, and crosswordy nerdy Niall had that anyway.

    Stonshing lair (geddit?), that speller in 19 is down to me, having been submitted in the original CC file. Not an easy one to pick up either (unless you’re scchua), so many apologies to all concerned for that.

    Thanks for dropping in,
    luv Neo.

  9. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Neo, I would say: thank You for dropping in (the capital Y is only there to emphasise the word … :)).

    I found this perhaps the easiest Neo that I have solved so far.
    But as one cannot fault the setter on precision – no sloppiness whatsoever – I’m fine with it. Always one of my main criteria in ‘judging’ a crossword.

    I liked, in particular: 18ac (PHENOMENA) [the use of names/titles is right up my street], 25ac (WETTISH) [natural silliness], 8d (E N A T) [splendid anagram fodder] and 22d (EDWIN) [just a perfect clue – Clue of the Day].

    BTW, nice to see ABSORBENT in this puzzle, which I used in my ‘recent’ Christmas Crossword (at work). It is an anagram of (Mike) Sabberton, one of the few colleagues with an eye for cryptics and the one who – secretly looking over my shoulder – found THE POWERS THAT BE …. (also a very nice anagram).

    Thanks. Neo (& scchua)

  10. Neo says:

    Thank you Sil. I’ve been trying to turn up for a meet that you might be at recently, but whilst one is expected to do 1.33 recurring jobs, it’s bloody tricky.

    I’m being told that sleep is the next thing to be taxed – there’ll be a special online Dreamgate beyond which we’ll not be able to progress unless payment is made – so I’m off now to get the last remaining free zees.

    Bon nuit.

  11. scchua says:

    Thanks Neo for looking and writing in. IMHO Setters can be forgiven any indiscretion (if any) just by dropping in! :-)

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