Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,740 / Styx

Posted by shuchi on July 8th, 2011


Very much enjoyed this puzzle. Nice smooth surfaces, sleek wordplay throughout. I had a little trouble parsing a couple of clues. I entered 25a without fully understanding it and it is only while blogging that the explanation dawned on me. 22d, a new word for me, was my last in.


1 SOLDIERS (DOSSIER)* around L (fifty)
5 GHETTO H (hospital) in GET TO (reach). A ghetto is the slum area of a city.
8 BUM dd; slang for ‘false’ as well as ‘bottom’ come together in a fine surface.
9 CONTESTANT (SAT)* in CONTENT (comfort)
10 DOTTEREL OTTER (fish-eating mammal) in DEL[l] (wooded hollow, mostly). This bird.
11 ABOUND A BOUND (spring)
12 TIDE sounds like ‘tied’ (drawn)
14 DISSONANCE IS SON (child), in DANCE (social event)
17 REASSIGNED REIGNED (was king, say) around ASS (donkey)
20 EASE sounds like Es (letters)
23 CANYON ANY (some) in CON (bluff)
24 PLEASANT PLEAS (requests) ANT (one from a colony)
25 LOS ANGELES Called LA in short, which is French for ‘the’.
26 ADO A DO (complete)
27 GRASPS P (pressure) in GRASS (pot)


1 SUBEDITOR BED (found) in SUITOR (person known to court); bed = found in the verb sense, as in, to plant.
2 LIMITED MITE (small child) in LID (top)
3 INCHES IN (popular) CHES[s] (board game, largely)
4 RENDERING END (finish) E[xterio]R, in RING (enclosure)
5 GESTAPO (TAPES)* in GO (act). Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany.
6 ELABORATE BALE (package of goods) reversed, ORATE (talk)
7 TITANIC (IS INTACT)* – S[hip]; ‘bow’ i.e. forward part of ship. This took me long to solve – I was trying to think of a synonym for ‘sunken’.
13 ESSAYISTS SAY (influence) IS, in [t]ESTS
15 STEEL BLUE (SUBTLE)* around EEL (fish)
16 ERECTIONS I (one) ON (working), in (SECRET)*. A very elegantly constructed clue.
18 E-TAILER REL (relative) I (one) ATE (fed), reversed. // Updated. Thanks to arthur and Jezza for the correction.
19 INNINGS WINNINGS (proceeds) – W (wicket). Clever use of ‘proceeds’.
21 ADAMANT MAN (staff) in AD (commercial) AT
22 PASSIM PASS (scrape through) I (one) M (mark). Passim is Latin for ‘here and there’, used in textual annotation to indicate that the writer has drawn upon material scattered throughout the source cited.

10 Responses to “Financial Times 13,740 / Styx”

  1. arthur says:

    Greetings–nice puzzle

    18 down answer is e-tailer

    e-tai is I ate up

  2. Jezza says:

    18d – I think the answer should be E-TAILER (a reversal of REL I ATE)
    Thanks to Styx, and to shuchi.

  3. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Schuchi & Styx

    This was very enjoyable except that I was completely stuck with 18d. I can’t see where the extra L comes from nor how the Internet seller works.

    I fear that I’m stuck in a river beteen the Earth and the Underworld.


  4. shuchi says:

    Thanks arthur and Jezza. Made the correction now.

    Hi Bryan, we had the wrong answer! It should be E-TAILER.

  5. canalonly says:

    thank you both – and thank you arthur for Los Angeles – it had to be but i had no idea why!

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks shuchi, this was indeed a nice puzzle.
    Very well constructed with hardly any giveaways.
    The constructions are splendidly embedded in the surfaces.
    For example in 21d or 23ac, but also in 5ac where Styx uses the combination within/reach in such a natural way.

    I fear, I had never heard of an E-tailer, but it had to be it.
    And I missed the homophone of TIDE (12ac) completely – was literally thinking of an audio device (like eg an i-Pod).

    And shuchi, ‘false bottom’ a ‘fine surface’ ….. ?
    My LOL moment of the day! :)

  7. shuchi says:

    “And shuchi, ‘false bottom’ a ‘fine surface’ ….. ?
    My LOL moment of the day!”


  8. Bryan says:

    Many thanks everyone for the timely rescue.

    It ain’t much fun being stuck in the Styx.

  9. scchua says:

    Thanks shuchi, and Styx.

    Very nice puzzle. Favourites were 23A LOS ANGELES, got the parsing post-answer, 13A ESSAYISTS, and 28A TERMITES, enjoyable definition.

    Re 18A E-TAILER, I recall this being used in my debut FT blog 13654 by PHSSTHPOK. Well, a good ides will always be thought of by more than one person!

  10. Ferret says:

    A little tickled to see 12A had DIODE hidden in the clue….another way to draw current?

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