Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13797 Jason

Posted by scchua on September 13th, 2011


The last Jason I blogged, I commented that I had enjoyed all his puzzles to date.  Today’s carries on the trend.  I did find it a bit harder at first, as I could only find scattered answers.  Part of the problem was my first one in, 13A was incorrect.  In the end, it was definitely an enjoyable experience, with some excellent surfaces and misdirections. Definitions are underlined in the clues.  Hidden connections are in 2 of the picture sets.


1 A quartet in speech with a model prediction (8)

FORECAST :  FORE{homophone of(in speech) quartet,four} plus(with) CAST(after casting from a mould of an object, you would get a model)

5 Avoid cut after escape (6)

ESCHEW :  HEW(cut,chop) placed after(after) ESC(what’s stamped on the Escape button on your computer keyboard)

10 Boat on lake’s broad and slow (5)

LARGO :  ARGO(legendary boat,ship even, on which Jason, our setter’s namesake, and company sailed in search of the Golden Fleece) placed after(on) L(lake)

Defn:  A musical instruction to play the passage slow in a broad and dignified manner.


11 Pontificate on English test centre? It’s complicated (9)

ELABORATE :  ORATE(depending on how and what you say, could mean “pontificate”) placed after(on) [E(English) LAB(short for laboratory,test centre)]

12 An awkward subject breaking news before King Edward? (3,6)

HOT POTATO :  HOT(descriptive of up-to-the-minute,breaking news) placed before(before) POTATO(an example,?, of which is the King Edward)

13 European runs in anorak? (5)

GREEK :  R(runs, as in cricket) contained in(in) GEEK(“anorak” used metaphorically for “nerds”,”geeks”, because they wore such clothing in pursuit of their hobbies.  But now the anorak is associated with more dangerous elements of society).  Got stalled here by first entering CROAT, taking the literal meaning of “anorak”.

14 Popular loch also away from the coast (6)

INLAND :  IN(popular, as in the in-thing, the in-crowd) L(loch,Scottish lake) AND(also,too)

15 Guy’s securing correct pet with gent (4,3)

TENT PEGAnagram of(correct) [PET plus(with) GENT]

Defn:  What is securing the guy,rope to the ground when you put up your tent

18 Cartoonist’s bloomers? (7)

DRAWERS :  DRAWER(cartoonist)’S.  I think the singular form discounts it from being a double definition.

Defn:  An undergarment with legs covering the lower part of the body.  The word “bloomers” is more interesting etymologically than I thought – originated with a women’s costume advocated, not created, by American Amelia Jenks Bloomer, a female activist in her time.  The clothing consisted of short skirt, loose trousers gathered and buttoned at the ankles, and a coat and wide hat.  Now the term covers loose trousers gathered at the knees, as sportswear; drawers; just the trousers of the original Bloomer costume; or any women’s garment with legs gathered at the bottom edge.  Thought you might like to know!


20 A jungle with diamonds gets knocked for six (6)

AMAZEDA MAZE(jungle,confusion,haphazard arrangement of eg. streets) plus(with) D(abbrev. notation in eg. bridge for diamonds, the playing cards suit)

22 A whiff inside to ban (5) 

TABOOA BO(abbrev. for body odour,a smell,whiff) contained in(inside) TO

24 Please go in home following thanks (9)

ENTERTAIN :  ENTER(go in) {IN(at home,not out) placed after(following) TA(short for thanks)}

25 Colleague locates counters (9)

OPPOSITES :  OPPO(colleague,associate) SITES(the singular verb of to place,locate)

26 A cold ram is to malfunction (3,2)

ACT UPA C(­cold) TUP(ram)

27 I ignored the aforementioned dive to get down (6)

SADDEN :  “Said Den”,aforementioned dive,a disreputable club,den, perhaps, of iniquity minus(ignored) I

Defn:  To become sad,get down in the dumps

28 Erotic dances with me first getting spectacular (8)

METEORICAnagram of(dances) EROTIC plus(with) ME placed before(first)


1 Endless record on your old foul (6)

FILTHY :  FILE(record,file without its last letter,endless) placed before(on, in a down clue) THY(former word for your,possessive case of thee)

2 Land of Hope? I ruin a rat on the run (9)

RURITANIAAnagram of(on the run) I RUIN A RAT

Defn:  A fictional country,land which was the setting for novels by Anthony Hope  (Hawkins).  The term is now used to represent a hypothetical country in academic discussions.  A passing reference to Land of Hope and Glory?


3 Reddy-brown deer reported in oily sea foam (9,6)

CHOCOLATE MOUSSECHOCOLATE(the colour,reddish brown) MOUSSE{homophone of(reported) “moose”, North American mammal of the deer family, occuring in north Europe and Asia as the “elk”}

Defn:  Having worked in the oil industry, this jargon was familiar to me, having touched, smelled, but definitely not tasted, it.  An apt description otherwise for an emulsion,foam that is formed when crude or fuel oil mixes with water and air especially after an oil spill at sea, and then gets washed ashore.  Nasty stuff.  The meaning doesn’t appear to have entered the traditional references?


4 Official to worry over a road (7)

STEWARD :  STEW(to worry,fret inside) placed before(over, in a down clue) A RD(abbrev. for road)

6 Imminent issue forced union (7,8)

SHOTGUN MARRIAGE :  Cryptic defn:  Scenario where your future father-in-law is behind you and your pregnant bride with a shotgun, literally or figuratively, to force you into a union, so that the results of sowing your wild oats,imminent issue, are legit.  Nice surface.

7 Tug’s energy in hold (5)

HEAVE :  E(­notation for energy, especially in physics) contained in(in) HAVE(to hold in your possession)

8 Specially arranged rag week around clubs remains (8)

WRECKAGEAnagram of(specially arranged) RAG WEEK containing(around) C(abbrev. for ­clubs in playing cards)

9 Do Morse? A policeman initially involved with spiv (3,3)

TAP OUTA P(first letter,initially of policeman) contained in(involved with) TOUT(spiv,eg. a racetrack tout,also a petty criminal)

Defn:  What one needs to do on the telegraph key in order to send out a message in Morse code.  Nice surface, intertwining the fictional Inspector Morse, a cryptic enthusiast, with the criminal element.

16 Operetta’s spoiled by my libretto? (9)

POETASTERAnagram of(spoiled) OPERETTAS

Defn:  A poetaster,poor poet would surely spoil an operetta if he/she were to write the libretti for it.  My COD.  Clever intertwining of definition and wordplay.

17 Repros inside to get refurbed (8)

EDITIONSAnagram of(get refurbed) INSIDE TO

19 Covering where ships finally moor (6)

SHEATH :  S(last letter,finally of ships) HEATH(moor)

Defn:  The noun, a close-fitting “covering”, eg. a dagger’s scabbard, or something that might have prevented a 6D.

20 Trouper in part is terrific (7)

ARTISTEHidden in(in) pART IS TErrific

21 The sort of hopeful punt nonspecialist includes (2,4)

ON SPECHidden in(includes) nONSPECialist

Defn:  Short for “on speculation”,descriptive of eg. a bet,punt, with little or maybe no basis, except hope.  A question of degree I would think, as all bets are, to some degree or other, hopeful.

23 Two-legged beast’s tender boxing exercises? (5)

BIPED :  BID(tender,an offer,a quotation) containing(boxing) PE(physical exercises)

Defn:  An animal,beast with two feet, but I guess two legs qualifies as well.



9 Responses to “Financial Times 13797 Jason”

  1. Jan says:

    Thanks, sschua, particularly for the explanation of SADDEN (I couldn’t explain that at all) and the ‘oily sea foam’.

    With 20a, at first I thought the jungle must be the Amazon and wondered how the ON became ED.

    I also first entered CROAT at 13a.

    Pics … I don’t know the first face for 10a and I can’t remember the names of the other 2 although I recognise them – film actors. Has Key Largo something to do with them? No probs with the second set.

    Your bipeds are hiding.

  2. Jan says:

    10a – I’ve just done a bit of firkling – James Bond not John Huston.

  3. scchua says:

    Hi Jan, I’ve opened the blog repeatedly, and the illustrations for “biped” are showing each time. I can’t say why it’s 26A-ing in your case.

  4. Richard says:

    Surely the expression is “Shotgun Wedding” not Marriage. Once the wedding is over the shotgun can be put away.

  5. Abu Amaal says:

    Another CROAT here, which I held on to for a while against mounting evidence.

  6. Rishi says:

    I am so glad to see Richard’s comment above on SHOTGUN WEDDING/MARRIAGE.

    I am not a native speaker of English and, though this language is widely used in India, I don’t think there is any chance of my using the matrimonial phrase in conversation with someone. One might come across it in society magazines.

    I have always thought that it should be SHOTGUN WEDDING. Marriage is something that man and woman have to work on.

    In India, the invitation to a holy union is often labelled ‘marriage invitation’. I have always wondered whether it was quite correct.

  7. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks scchua. I’ll take a stab at 10ac LARGO. Ian Fleming was author of Thunderball which includes Adolfo Celli as the villain Emilio Largo and Never Say Never Again which includes Klaus Maria Brandauer as the villain Maximilian Largo.


  8. scchua says:

    You’re right grandpuzzler, and so was Jan, I believe.

    Only after publication did I realise I had 2 authors and 4 actors of 4 nationalities. Did you get Anthony Hope, Ronald Colman (American), and Stewart Granger (English) who acted as the hero in 2 movie versions of Hope’s Prisoner of Zenda?

  9. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks, scchua, for the confirmation. I did know Colman and Granger but I didn’t know Anthony Hope by name or picture.


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