Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,810 by IO

Posted by PeeDee on September 28th, 2011


A very fine crossword from IO.  I started of easily thinking I was going to romp though in no time, then slowly ground to a halt towards the end.  “Harder then it looks” would be my summary.

I thought there were some good misleading definitions here, for example I spent ages trying to think of soldiers for 28,29 only to realise that I should be looking for ‘soldier on’, a complely different meaning altogether.  The short definition ‘do’ is nicely disguised at the start of 22 down.

Hold mouse over clue number to see clue.

1, 7 COMFORTABLY OFF CO (company=business) M (money) FOR TAB (bill) LaY OFF (suspension) missing A (one) – definition is ‘with enough’
9, 12 BRENT GOOSE OS (out size, very large) inside (BONG TREE)*
11 CHOPSTICK Spoonerism of ‘stop chick’ (block young female) – not sure about the definition, maybe a cryptic reference to ‘member’ being ‘one of a set’ and ‘consumer’ being ‘one who eats’?
12 See 9
13 UNITARD DRAT (curses!) IN University all reversed – dancer’s garment, like a leotard but with longer legs and sleeves
20 STEPHEN HEN (chicken) following PETS (eg cats) reversed – Stephen Fry, English actor, broadcaster and national treasure.
23, 27 FLOOR SHOWS Cryptic definition
24 GORE VIDAL A DIVER (pearl seeker) inside LOG (part of raft) reversed – fearsomely intelligent and controversial American writer
26 HOI POLLOI I with POLL (a vote) in OHIO (anagram= ‘a state of’) – definition is ‘the masses’
27 See 23
28, 29 NIL DESPERANDUM (UNDERLINED MAPS)* (anagram=manoeuvres) – definition is ‘soldier on’
1 CUB SCOUT Cambridge University BSC (science degree Cantab) and OUT (openly) – ‘be prepared’ is the motto of the Scout Association
2 MNEMONIC NOMEN (name, latin) reversed insice MIC (mike, microphone) – definition is ‘aidememoir’
3 OATES Occupy (first letter of) A SET (group of students) reversed – Captain Lawrence Oates, arctic explorer
5, 20 BREAK OF SERVICE Cryptic definition – affects outcome of tennis match
6 YOUNG LOVE LONG* inside YOU’VE (one has) – definition is ‘object of first snog’
7 OMIGOD abbreviation for ‘oh my god’ used in email, shorted to omg (half the size) when used in text messaging – I can’t see why ‘omigod’ is any more pertinent to email than other types of communication but I liked the clue anyway.
8 FENCER hidden inside stifFEN CERtain (limit=encloses, puts boundaries to) – a fencer encloses things.
14 AFTERWORD AFTER (in quest for, looking for) WORD (promise)
16 SHEDLOAD Items fallen of a lorry are a ‘shed load’, definition is ‘myriad’ meaning ‘a very large number’
17 UNCLE SAM anagram of North American and MUSCLE
19 See 4
20 See 5
21 AFGHAN HG Wells inside A FAN (supporter) – definition is ‘of Kabul’
22 SOCIAL SO ans LAIC (like the laity, non clergy) reversed (viewed from the bottom end, the south) – definition is ‘do’, a social gathering
25 VISTA hidden inside recidiVIST Activity – definition is ‘prospect’


12 Responses to “Financial Times 13,810 by IO”

  1. crypticsue says:

    I never assume that one can romp through an Io – asking for trouble! For me it was a steady plod, with a few penny dropping moments and a bit of a fight in the NW corner. I too spent ages looking for a soldier in 28/29. Thanks to Io for the crossword of the day (I have done all 6 cryptics today – really must get a life!) and to PeeDee for the explanations.

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Io for a very nice crossword and PeeDee for the blog. Favourite clue 28, 29 with 22dn a close second among many other good clues. I did not get 13ac, but PeeDee’s answer and explanation make perfect sense.

    I am not sure whether 1dn is valid as it stands, given that Cambridge University does not currently award a Bachelor of Science degree. See Schedule L at this link:

    There would clearly be no problem if the clue had started with “Cantab. science degree”, because one could then separate the CU from the BSC. As it stands, one really has to take the phrase together, as there is no independent indication that allows the CU to be placed before the BSC.

    I think Cambridge used to have a BSc as a postgraduate degree, but changed it to MSc. Assuming that is right, would that be enough to make the clue sound, or does the clue need some indication of this? Writing something like

    Science degree (Cantab.) once openly prepared lad

    would make the clue impeccably sound, but spoil the surface. I would be interested in others’ thoughts on this.

  3. PeeDee says:

    Well spotted Pelham! I think this is an oversight by the setter. It must be a tough job.

  4. Lenny says:

    Thanks PeeDee and thanks to Io for a more than usually accessible puzzle. There was quite a bit of Latin and Greek required for this. I finished with the intersecting Mnemonic and Chopstick. I was very tentative about Mnemonic because I could not get the Latin Nomen for name. This made the cryptically defined Chopstick more difficult. Just to expand on PeeDee’s explanation: the implied quirky definition of Chopsticks is “consumer association” so Chopstick is one member.

  5. Thomas99 says:

    I agree about 28,29 and 22 – star turns in a very satisfying crossword.

    Re 1d (Pelham & PeeDee)
    I know I tend to take the libertarian side, but I see that fact that one can intelligibly say “there is no Cambridge University BSc” as a pretty good defence of 1d. I wouldn’t have a problem with “The monarch of the attorneys’ association is mad” for “Barking”, although the Bar obviously doesn’t have a king (I’ve put attorneys to make it the American Bar – who definitely don’t have a monarch). I see the other point of view, but I think it’s ultimately a matter of taste whether you see the clue as a bit fanciful or a bit inaccurate – and I go with fanciful. I have a feeling Azed probably would have stuck in a reference to the degree being defunct, but that’s Azed…

  6. PeeDee says:

    Thomas99, you are right of course about it being defnsible, but there is a certain elegance in the pedantry of Pelham’s obsevation. I’d be surprised if Io chose this deliberately.

  7. Wanderer says:

    I was admirably misled by several startlingly good definitions. ‘With enough’, ‘prepared lad’, ‘Fry’, ‘Soldier on’, ‘Do’ and (especially) ‘member of consumer association’ all stood out.

    Hard but extremely enjoyable. Thanks to PeeDee and Io.

  8. Ferret says:

    How does the fact that Cambridge U don’t currently issue a BSc make the clue invalid? They have issued such in the past hence the clue stands. You’ll be pointing out next that Gore Vidal hasn’t written anything recently therefore the tense in 24A is wrong?

  9. Pelham Barton says:

    Ferret @8: If I thought the clue at 1dn was definitely invalid I would have said so in more direct language. I asked a question and I can certainly accept your point of view on this. Thanks also to all others who have responded to my comment. The fact that it took some space to explain my thoughts about 1dn does not mean that I thought the possible blemish in the clue to be the most important thing about the crossword – quite the reverse is true.

    I should also point out a strength of 1dn and many other answers that has not been mentioned so far. The multiple word answers have been clued as a whole, or split at points other than the word breaks. To me, that is more satisfying than a clue which defines the whole phrase and then clues each word separately.

  10. Pelham Barton says:

    Correction to 9:

    Of course I meant a strength of many other clues, not “many other answers”.

  11. PeeDee says:

    Ferret@8 – the clue is valid, I don’t think anyone is suggesting otherwise. I just wonder if the BA/BSc thing occured to Io, and if it did would it have resulted in a slightly different clue?

  12. flashling says:

    Hmm I got a BA (and MA) in Mathematics not BSc from Cambridge, I don’t believe they’ve ever given BSc, still surely it’s a purely academic point :-)

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