Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,768 by Monk

Posted by PeeDee on August 31st, 2011


This is a good but tough crossword from Monk, I think he is one of the harder FT setters.

Luckily I noticed the symmetrical placing of the ‘FT’ entries in the grid, which gave some extra help to crack the remaining clues.  Monk seems to specialise in misdirection, definitions are disguised as seemingly innocuous words and the meanings he chooses are not the most obvious uses of the words.  Very enjoyable, but hard going!

Hold mouse over clue number to see the clue.

1 FOREIGN DRAFT REIGN (rule) inside DO (party) reversed and RAF (fliers) all inside FT (us=the Financial Times) – a bill of exchange
9 FITMENT IT MEN (computer techies) inside FT (us=Financial Times) – definition is ‘furniture’
10 MENDOZA Millions then Died in A ZONE (a region) reversed (around) – city in Argentina
11 OBESITY OBES (Order of the British Empire, honour) and cITY (city, such as Leeds, missing first letter) – definition ‘bulk’
12 SASHIMI ASH (remains) I (1 Roman numeral) inside Small MeuslI (empty=no middle letter) – definition is ‘dish’. Sashimi is thinly sliced raw meat and fish.
13 TROUSSEAU Time and ROUSSEAU (artist) – a bundle, e.g. of clothes collected by a bride for her wedding
15 YUMMY YoUr MuMmY (odd letters only) – definition ‘attractive’
16 NAWAB AWAy (gone off, briefly=not finished) inside NB (no-ball, extra in cricket) – an Indian governor
19 PUBLIC BAR P (quiet) with anagram of  CUBA and LIBRe (mostly)
22 DELOUSE DocilE (heartless=missing middle) LOUiSE (girl, with I removed) – definition is to remove a landmine
23 EFFACED ABCDEF are the usual exam grades, so EFFACED is a random collection of these (but not B) – definition is ‘erased’
24 BRONCHI BRitish ON (working) with CHinese and Industry (captain=leader of, first letter of) – definition is ‘tubes’
25 FADE OUT AD (publicity) with English OU (Open University) in FT (this=the Financial Times) – definition is ‘disappearance’
26 FIREMANS LIFT (RIFLEMAN IS)* (shot=anagram) inside FT (this=the Financial Times)
2 ON THE GO EGO (self-confidence) after mONTHs (interminable=without any ends) – definition is ‘busy’
3 EMETICS Small CITE and ME reversed (making a comeback) – definition is ‘we bring up’, medicine to make one vomit
4 GET BY Paul GETTY with Billion replacing the second T (t=time) – definition is ‘deal with’
5 DAMP SQUIB DAMPS (checks, as in ‘holds back’) QUIz (start of exam) on Book – a damp firework (squib) is expected to fail Stuart @6 suggests that QUI is ‘Question 1′, the start of exam – I like this explanation better.
6 AMNESTY (MY NATES)* – definition ‘pardon’
7 TROPISM TROPIcS (hot place without C=cold) and Maiden (cricket) – definition is ‘response’, tropism is movement in reponse to an external stimulus
8 FAMILY CREDIT anagram (indicator=free) of kIlRoY (regulary=every other letter) and CLAIMED inside FT (us=the Financial Times) – form of income support in the UK, withdrawn in 1999
9 FLOATING DEBT (DEALING TO Be)* (almost=not finished, resolved=anagram) inside FT (us=the Financial Times) – definition is ‘short-term loan’
14 EUPHEMISM HE (man) inside (MUM’S PIE)* (carved=anagram) – a ‘number two’ is an example of a euphemism, for the childless amongst you a number 1 is a pee and a number 2 is a poo
17 WALK OFF Following and OK inside (stopping, like a cork) FLAW (crack) all reversed (around) – definition is ‘split’
18 BOUNCER Cryptic definition
20 INFIDEL IN and ID (fish) inside (being caught by) Fine EL (line=eleveated railway, US)
21 BACK OFF BA (graduate) and the remainder CKOFF sounds like “cough” (hack) – definition is ‘pull out’
23 ELFIN part of SpaiN I FLEw reversed – definition is ‘small’


9 Responses to “Financial Times 13,768 by Monk”

  1. Conrad Cork says:

    Thanks PeeDee and especially Monk. Lots to chew on here, and very satisfying.

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Monk for a tough crossword and PeeDee for sorting it out. I had NABOB (which I could not justify) at 16ac and so could not get 17dn. Both of these clues were perfectly fair now that I have seen the answers.

    As you say, a nice device with the six symmetrically placed answers starting in F and ending in T.


    24ac: I think “captain of” = “leader of” = “first letter of” is too much of a stretch.

    5dn: Is “start of” really a fair indication for three out of four letters?

    9dn: I

  3. Pelham Barton says:

    Sorry I accidentally hit “Submit Comment” before finishing typing.

    9dn: Presumably “between us” = “between FT” = “between F and T”: again, I think this is stretching the language too far.

  4. Pelham Barton says:

    Having finished the incomplete comment on 9dn, can I add that I thought 14dn was an especially delightful clue?

    19ac: I would not count the P = “quiet” as part of the anagram. It can be read either way, but see Neo’s comment (number 3) on yesterday’s puzzle.

    23ac: You need to include F in the list of exam grades. I initially had DEFACED. The correct answer is better.

  5. Lenny says:

    Thanks PeeDee. This was a very tough offering from Monk. I was slow today to pick up on the substitution of FT for Us even though I have seen it loads of times before in the FT crossword. Foreign Draft and Floating Debt were both new to me and had to be pieced together from the wordplay. Other new words were Tropism and the specialist meaning of Delouse. Last in was Mendoza. I had almost given up on it but many years of reading the labels on wine bottles finally came good. I had always thought of Mendoza as a wine-growing region and did not realise that it was a city as well.

    As PeeDee mentions, there are some particularly good misdirections here in the definitions of Obesity, Trousseau, Emetics and Euphemism.

    Glad you are OK Pelham, I was worried that you had keeled over in mid-blog.

  6. Stuart says:

    Re 5d – I had it in mind that it was “qu[estion] 1″ (qui) for “start of exam”?

    Enjoyable puzzle & blog, thank you

  7. Pelham Barton says:

    Stuart @6 re 5dn: I agree with PeeDee – that is a much better explanation. I may say that I am all for setters trying out new devices, especially in a context where the answer is obvious. If a device is generally regarded as fair, it can then be used in more obscure settings, but otherwise no harm is done.

    PeeDee: thank you for amending your explanations of 19ac and 23ac in line with my comment @4.

    Lenny @5: thank you for your concern. The reason my previous comment is in three parts is that, having accidentally submitted an incomplete comment, I thought I had better get my remark on 9dn up as quickly as possible. Then I could add the other things I wanted to say without the same urgency.

  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Extremely difficult puzzle which eventually I didn’t finish.
    Reason? Simply lack of time.

    Thanks PeeDee, for cracking this crossword and for your blog.
    Oh, and btw, INFIDEL (20d) = IN and IDE (fish) inside F(ine) L(ine).

  9. PeeDee says:

    Hi Sil,

    ID and IDE are both fishes, L and EL are both lines, take your pick I think!

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