Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13773 Armonie

Posted by scchua on August 16th, 2011


An enjoyable, not too taxing puzzle and some nice surfaces.  Thanks Armonie.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  P.S. Two of the picture sets have a hidden connection within each respective set, which I hope you’ll enjoy teasing out.


1 College to offer additional weapon (8)

CLAYMORE :  C(college) LAY(to offer,treat, as in “lay on a grand dinner”) MORE(extra,additional)

Defn:  From Scottish Gaelic “great sword”, a long two-handed sword

5 Outlaw in favour of offer (6)

FORBID :  FOR(in favour of,pro) BID(offer,tender,quotation for a piece of business)

9 Wild USA rebel can be employed again (8)

REUSABLEAnagram of(wild) USA REBEL

10 FT staff promote retiring film director (6)

WELLES :  WE(what the staff of where this crossword is found, the Financial Times, use to refer to themselves) plus reversal of(retiring) SELL(verb, to promote,persuade)

 Defn:  Orson 1915-1985, director, actor, screenwriter, producer in radio, theatre, film, and television, and all-round genius in his field.  His first movie was the classic Citizen Kane.


12 Goddesses succeeded after fellow had a meal (5)

FATES :  S(succeeded) placed after {F(fellow, as in qualifications like FRCS, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons) ATE(had a meal)}

Defn:  The three goddesses in Greek mythology, and their Roman or Germanic equivalents, who determined the future of every mortal from birth to death. 

13 Picture requires light through doorway (9)

PORTRAYAL :  RAY(a beam of light) contained in(through) PORTAL(doorway, including figuratively, as used in the Internet)

14 Charlie leaves boat for shrine (6)

ORACLE :  c(C for Charlie in phonetic alphabet) deleted from(leaves) cORACLE(a small, round or very broad boat)

16 Help in making out with good girls (7)

GLASSES :  G(good) LASSES(girls)

Defn:  What you need to help you make out,discern,focus if you’re myopic.  If you look studious with them on, will “good” girls make out (a different meaning) with you?  Nice surface.

 19 Brawl interrupts fine play in football match (5-2)

THROW-IN :  ROW(brawl,punch-up) contained in(interrupts) THIN(fine, as in “a fine,thin layer of dust” or “cut it fine,thin”)

Defn:  For non-soccer fans, how the ball is put back into play after going beyond the sidelines – a two handed overhead throw into the field with both feet on the ground.

21 Unsettle the conductor (6)

RATTLE :  Double defn:  1st: Make someone uncomfortable,nervous; and 2nd: Sir Simon, British orchestral conductor, now conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic.


23 Requisition brotherhood’s criminal record (5,4)

ORDER FORM :  ORDER(brotherhood of a religious type,a monastic society or fraternity) FORM(British slang for criminal record)

Defn:  What you put your requisition details on.  Pre the electronic age, you used to have to fill it in multiplicate, with carbon paper and signatures galore.

 25 Club in which the password is courage (5)

DISCOHidden in passworD IS COurage

Defn:  Short for “discotheque”, a music and dance club in the 70s, with disco bands and music and that “mirror-ball”.  And there’s even a postage stamp.


26 It’s paradoxical that one club backs another (6)

IRONIC :  IC(1,one=I club, one of the 4 suits in a deck of playing cards) placed after(backs) IRON(another club, used by golfers, whose head is flat and made of steel, close enough to iron I guess)

27 Give a car overhaul in official residence (8)

VICARAGEAnagram of(overhaul) GIVE A CAR

Defn:  The official residence of the vicar, where you’d have tea with the vicar by invitation.

   Miss Marple (Joan Hickson) meets Poirot (David Suchet) for the first and only time beside the Orient Express in Torquay.

28 Rodney knocked about over there (6)

YONDERAnagram of(knocked about) RODNEY

29 Commented about evangelist to journalist (8)

REMARKED :  RE(about,referring to) MARK(the apostle,early evangelist) plus(to) ED(short for editor/editress, presumably he/she, at least used to be a journalist)


1 Vessel for a service in church (6)

CARAFE :  {A plus RAF(Royal Air Force, one of the services in the British military)} contained in(in) CE(Church of England)

2 Married man who later rued arrangement (9)

ADULTERERAnagram of(arrangement) LATER RUED.  Definition and wordplay deliciously intertwined.  My COD

3 Intends to make money (5)

MEANS :  Double defn:  1st: Verb, as in “say what you mean and mean what you say” ; and 2nd: What one has to spend,live on,etc. as in “woman of independent means”.

4 Unexpected deterioration makes Romeo slip away (7)

RELAPSE :  R(R for Romeo in phonetic alphabet) ELAPSE(referring to the passage of time,pass by,slip away)

Defn:  Just when you thought you were recovering and doing well (usually from an illness), this hits you by surprise.

6 Lose sense of proportion when soldiers tuck into ham (9)

OVERREACT :  RE(Royal Engineers,soldiers) contained in(tuck into) OVER-ACT(a bad actor,ham whose acting is obviously unnatural and too much)

7 Beef is excellent (5)

BULLY :  Double defn:  1st: Boiled beef, from the French for boiled, bouilli; and 2nd: Well done!,excellent! As in bully for you!

8 Reveal record on waste (8)

DISCLOSE :  DISC(a disc,record made of plastic, as a means of recording sound, that you could reproduce on your record player.  An ancestor of the audio tape, compact disc, and hard disk) plus(on) LOSE(shed,waste, eg. kilograms of your body weight especially from illness)

11 Many poke fun at Yank (4)

DRAG :  D(Roman numeral for 500,many) RAG(tease,poke fun at, often reserved for newcomers joining school or college)

Defn:  The verb, not the American.

15 Fighting under officer, more than one die showing timidity (9)

COWARDICE :  WAR(combat,fighting) placed after(under, in a down clue) CO(Commanding Officer) plus DICE(plural,more than one of “die”, a small cube used in various games of chance)

17 Pitch where drinks are taken through a straw (5,4)

SALES TALK :  ALES(drinks,beers) contained in(taken through) STALK(a long, cylindrical slender part of a plant, commonly supporting a leaf, flower, that becomes straw when cut and dried, and that looks like, well, a straw).  I’ve sometimes seen players take drinks through a straw.  Makes this a nice surface.

18 Municipality supports change of rota leading to outrage (8)

ATROCITY :  CITY(a municipality,a definition of a densely populated area and its inhabitants for purposes of government) placed after(supports, in a down clue) anagram of(change of) ROTA

20 A number working for a time (4)

NOON :  NO.(with a period after it, short for number) ON(working, as in “you’re on tonight”)

21 Deer eat head of lettuce in the US (7)

ROMAINE :  ROE(the roe deer of Eurasia, the most famous of whom was Bambi) containing(eat) MAIN(head,the important bit,chief)

Defn:  Another word for the cos lettuce, given in some references as of US and Canadian usage, though my experience is that the word is used quite extensively around the world.


22 Be inclined to keep work of the highest quality (3-3)

TOP-END :  TEND(be inclined to,tend to,have a leaning towards) containing(keep) OP(opus,piece of work, usually musical)

24 Dutch king’s private sink (5)

DROWN :  D(Dutch) R(from Rex,king) OWN(one’s,private,not for others)

25 Shot a scene (5)

DRAMA :  DRAM(a small drink of liquor,a shot) plus A


6 Responses to “Financial Times 13773 Armonie”

  1. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Armonie and scchua.

    I was held up in the northeast corner by putting the inferior (but technically valid) answer DISCOVER instead of DISCLOSE at 8dn.

    I gave up without solving 21dn: a missed opportunity to indicate that the answer was an anagram of the setter’s monicker? (Maybe it has been used before.)

    In 25ac, the words “which the” appear to be redundant. My preference is that hidden clues should avoid redundant words altogether, but I have no quarrel with those whose tastes differ from mine.

  2. Lenny says:

    Thanks scchua. This was an enjoyable pre-dinner solve from Armonie. I particularly liked the clues for Glasses and Sales Talk. I thought Oracle was a bit tenuous for sanctuary. I originally had Drain at 24, which also fits the wordplay but, unfortunately, not the checking letters.

    My last in was Romaine. As scchua suggests, dictionaries regard this as a US usage but all UK supermarkets now use it because it sounds posher than cos. Maybe that was why Pelham and I struggled with the over-helpful definition.

  3. scchua says:

    Hi Pelham, I think that in 25A “which the” contributes largely to the surface. There are clubs at which in order to get in you’ll need some form of inside info (a “password”), a connection, or sometimes a fiver or a tenner.

    Hi Lenny, the dictionaries give “oracle” also as the shrine (the word in the pdf online version, not “sanctuary”), the place where the oracle makes its pronouncements.

  4. Pelham Barton says:

    scchua @3: I entirely agree with you about the excellent surface in 25ac. There is room for disagreement on how much a good surface should override principles of economy of construction.

    One could also comment on 11dn. I am fairly sure that the likes of Afrit, Ximenes, and (in the modern era) Azed would not accept the capital Y on yank. Here there is a possible remedy, which is to turn the clue round so that it reads

    Yank many poke fun at (4)

    To me this has only a slightly inferior surface and is preferable because is allows the word “yank” to have a natural capital. However I repeat that I have no quarrel with those whose preferences differ from mine. I even have no quarrel with those who regard misleading punctuation as a positive virtue in a clue, as long as they recognise that this is a matter of personal taste.

    Lenny @2: you are too kind to me. I had not heard of the word and failed to construct it from the subsidiary indication.

  5. Pelham Barton says:

    Correction to 4: “is preferable because it allows”

  6. Lenny says:

    Thanks scchua. Sorry my comment was a bit garbled since I looked up oracle and noted that one definition was the Jewish sanctuary. Chambers only has oracle, in this sense, as the place where revelations are given so hardly a shrine. However, you are quite right in pointing out that Collins, for example, specifically defines oracle as a shrine.

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