Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13755 Armonie

Posted by scchua on July 26th, 2011


This was a pleasant puzzle, thanks to Armonie.  Got held up a little with the last couple, but no trouble in the end.  (Definitions are underlined in the clues)


1 Property like flats (6)

ASSETS :  AS(like, as in “as one”) SETS(flats as the plural of a piece of scenery in a theatre, also called a set.  I’m not sure if this is correct, but I couldn’t find another connection between the nouns “flats” and “sets”.  I think that “flats” can only be a plural noun.)

4 Bishop has drink with supporter back in the Caribbean (8)

BARBADOS :  B(bishop, as in chess) +(has) reversal(back) of {SODA(carbonated drink) +(with) BRA(supporter for women’s busts)}

Defn:  Island in the Caribbean.


10 Private source of information for fruit producer (9)

GRAPEVINE :  Double defn.

11 Elicit approval in a girl (5)

EVOKE :  OK(okay,approval) in EVE(name of a girl)

12 Greek goddess starts to natter in king’s ear (4)

NIKE :  Initial letters(starts) of Natter In King’s Ear

Defn:  Ancient Greek goddess of victory.  Also sports foot and other wear telling you to just do it.

 The Winged Victory of Samothrace 

13 Financiers having met unexpectedly round rampart (10)

EMBANKMENT :  Anagram(unexpectedly) of MET around BANK MEN(whimsy for financiers)

15 Scruffy punk met disaster (7)

UNKEMPT :  Anagram(disaster) of PUNK MET

16 I get so agitated no one should ignore me (6)

EGOIST :  Anagram(agitated) of I GET SO

Defn:  The “me” who declares “no one should ignore me”.

19 Sound batting requires perception (6)

INTACT :  IN(what the team is who is batting in cricket) +(requires) TACT(sensitivity,a perception of what is appropriate, tasteful)

Defn:  Whole, unbroken.

21 Drinks punch – it’ll save a couple of joints (7)

HASSOCK :  HAS(drinks as a verb, as in “have one on me”) SOCK(punch,the blow with a fist, not the drink)

Defn:  A thick firm cushion used when kneeling, thus saving that couple of (knee)-joints from hurting or worse.

   A little good humour

23 Nevertheless everyone’s identical (3,3,4)

ALL THE SAME :  ALL(everyone’s) THE SAME(identical)

25 Cover small vessel (4)

SPAN :  S(small) PAN(vessel)

Defn:  To spread over,cover time or space, as in “span decades” or “span the country”

27 Catch deer for the table (5)

CHART :  C(“caught” past tense of catch, shortened to “c”, as in cricket) HART(a male deer)

Defn:  There’s been discussion before about the distinction between “table” and “chart”.  Both are sources of information, but in the former, the format is columns (and rows), eg. multiplication tables, and the Periodic Table, while in the latter, there’s no fixed format, eg. navigation or weather charts.


28 Wrongly elect any European leader? That’s inflammatory (9)

ACETYLENE :  Anagram(wrongly) of ELECT ANY E(initial letter,leader of European)

Defn:  Another one for the scientists.  C2H2 burns with a bright and high temperature flame.  Before electricity, it was burned in street lamps; now it is mainly for cutting and welding metal, and as a starting compound for polyethylene plastics.


29 Edward returned hurt and isolated (8)

DETACHED :  Reversal(returned) of TED(shorter version of the name Edward) ACHED(hurt)

30 Half-hearted deities taste scandal (6)

GOSSIP :  GOS(deities,“gods” without “d”, the one half of its inner letters “od”, ie. half-hearted) SIP(taste a bit of drink)


1 Rat guano affected legendary sailor (8)

ARGONAUT :  Anagram(affected) of RAT GUANO

Defn:  One of the heroic crew in Greek mythology who sailed with Jason on the ship, the Argo, in search of the Golden Fleece.

2 Swindler’s relatives make cloth (9)

SHARKSKIN :  SHARK(swindler)’S + KIN(relatives)

Defn:  A lightweight fabric,cloth that has a smooth, soft texture, and a two-toned shimmer and sheen appearance.  First introduced in the 50s, it became popular in the early 60s.


3 Pour out when match is over (4)

TEEM :  Reversal(over, in a down clue) of MEET(match,satisfy, as in “meet one’s requirements”).  Last on in, trying to fit “match”=”game”=”tie”.

5 Maintain senility is common (7)

AVERAGE :  AVER(assert,maintain a statement is true) AGE(advanced years,old age,senility.  As used here, “senility” merely means the state of old age, as distinct from the “infirmity” or “weakness” associated with old age.  A substitute word, more unambiguous, would have been “senescence”.)

6 Battered hake falls into girl’s top? That’s novel! (5,5)

BLEAK HOUSE :  Anagram(battered) of HAKE in(falls into) BLOUSE(a girl’s garment for the upper,top half of the body, worn with a skirt)

7 Forced rebel leader to be accepted by peacemaker (5)

DROVE :  R(initial letter,leader of “rebel” in (accepted by) DOVE(one who would like to make peace, as opposed to a hawk)

8 Sleep in Elsie’s tavern (6)

SIESTA :  Hidden(in) in elSIE’S TAvern

9 Destiny of sovereign is fulfilled (6)

KISMET :  K(king,sovereign) IS MET(fulfilled,satisfied)

14 Understanding it makes one sick when going round course (10)

EMPATHETIC :  EMETIC(medicine to make one sick,throw up) going round PATH(course that something or one takes, as in the “path of the hurricane”)

Defn:  Being able to understand how someone else feels, to put oneself in someone else’s shoes.

17 Latest news of St Harry (4,5)

STOP PRESSST + OPPRESS(harry,bully,intimidate)

Defn:  The phrase presumably comes from having to temporarily stop the printing presses,machines in order to insert the latest news.

18 Weep about class being superficial (4-4)

SKIN-DEEP :  SEEP(slow passage of liquid through a porous film, making it look as if it is weeping) about KIND(class,sort,type)

20 Italian opera the French see in proportion (2,5)

TO SCALE :  TOSCA(Italian opera by Puccini) LE(the article the in French)


21 Hold up basket (6)

HAMPER :  Double defn.

22 Drove detectives off (6)

RANCID :  RAN(drove, as in “he ran his car off the road) CID(British Criminal Investigation Department of Scotland Yard)

Defn:  To go off,spoil.

24 One breaking fast time rested (5)

LEANT :  A(one) in(breaking) LENT(a period,time of fasting before Easter)

26 Novice in Alpine region? Not quite! (4)

TYRO :  TYRO(“Tyrol”, a region in West Austria, near the Alps without its last letter,not quite)

3 Responses to “Financial Times 13755 Armonie”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Scchua & Armoni

    This was very enjoyable. For 20d I first opted for LA SCALA until the intersecting letters showed me it was wrong.

  2. Jezza says:

    I thought this was straightforward, but good fun, and a few that made me smile. My last one in was 19a.
    Thanks to Armonie, and to Scchua for the notes.

  3. Richard C says:

    Thanks for an excellent blog, Scchua.

    I thought this was a good solve apart from drinks = has in 21ac.

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