Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13821 Neo

Posted by scchua on October 11th, 2011


Neo’s puzzles can sometimes be quite fiendish, and the first runthrough of the across clues yielded nothing.  Panic was about to set in, unitl I got a foothold after a couple of down clues in the SW corner.  An enjoyable puzzle with a financial flavour, as befits the FT, with some clever surfaces and misdirections.  Thanks Neo.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  Hidden connections in 2 of the picture sets.


1, 12 Forlorn dig at restructuring in bank area (7,5)

TRADING FLOORAnagram of(restructuring) FORLORN DIG AT

5 See 9

9, 5 During bombardment sort out required for risk-tolerant practice in 1 across (5,7)

SHORT SELLING :  SHELLING(bombardment) containing(during) anagram of(out) SORT

Defn:  The practice of selling shares, commodities, currencies, and other financial instruments that you don’t have/own at that moment.  More risk-taking than risk-tolerant I (an almost illiterate in financial matters) would have thought.

10 Make provision where member has died (9)

LEGISLATE :  LEG(one’s limb,member – not your MP, which is the other usual crossword reference) IS LATE(euphemism for “is dead”,”has died”).  Nice surface of Parliament in action.

11 Financial specialist in e-business backed on film (9)

ECONOMIST :  E-CO(e-company,e-business) plus reversal(backed) of ON plus MIST(something that causes haziness, which would be like a film over your eyes)

12 See 1 

13 Invention inspired by an extraterrestrial (5)

ALIEN :  LIE(a fabrication,invention) contained in(inhaled,inspired by) AN

15 Ted with guitar shredding wins appreciation (9)

GRATITUDEAnagram of(shredding) [TED plus(with) GUITAR]

18 Solution in tub for women kept by vampire-slayer? (9)

BATHWATER :  W(women) contained in(kept by) BAT HATER{whimsical description of a vampire(bat)-slayer}

Defn:  I guess it’s not just (tap)water in the bath tub, but a solution of added salts, and what else.

19 Muslim man has unsalted fish (5)

HABIB :  HA(“has” without,un-…-ed “s”,salt – look no further than the salt and pepper shakers on your dining table) BIB(aka pouting, pout, pout whitling, a food fish of the cod family)

Defn:  An Arabic,Muslim name for a man, meaning “beloved”.

  The Bill

21 Go over main points for military policeman lacking in depth (5)

RECAP :  “Redcap”(military policeman, named after his headwear) minus(lacking in) “d”(depth, as seen in eg. measurements of furniture items – refer the IKEA catalogue)

23 Swapping of partners in group involves drugs and is severe (9)

SWINGEING :  SWINGING(euphemism for wife-swapping,partner swapping – “in a group” seems superfluous, since such activity must involve 2 or more pairs, or am I missing something?) containing(involves) E(abbrev. for the drug ­Ecstasy – I guess the plural “drugs” and not the singular is for the surface)

Defn:  British dialect for punishing,severe derived from Old/Middle English word for shake,smite,swing,blow

25 Part for Sean Astin essential in Malevolence (9)

NASTINESSHidden in(part) seaN ASTIN ESSential

26 Daughter to Frederick and first to Charles Lamb (5)

CELIA :  C(initial letter of,first to Charles) ELIA(pen name used by Charles Lamb)

Defn:  Daughter of,to Duke Frederick in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”

27 Hesitant relative is out with disreputable lawyer (7)

SHYSTER :  SHY(hesitant,reserved) STER{“sister”,a relative minus(out) “is”}

Defn:  An Americanism for a lawyer who uses unscrupulous,unethical,questionable methods.  Probably derived from the German “scheiss”, equivalent to the English “s**t”.  Kin of the ambulance chaser.

28 Commotion during offence hard to understand (7)

SHINDIG :  SIN(wrongdoing,offence) containing(during) H(hard) plus DIG(to understand,appreciate as in “I dig modern art” – “Really?”)


1 Die long time after the Hardy girl (7)

TESSERA :  ERA(a long time period) placed after(after) TESS(the girl, heroine, in English writer, Thomas Hardy’s novel, Tess of the d’Urbervilles)

Defn:  A die (singular),a small piece of bone or wood used in classical times as a token, or counter.


2 Defender god denied one of two students essential meaning (9)

APOLOGIST :  APOLO{the god “Apollo” minus(denied) “l”,one of two students,learners} GIST(essential meaning as in “the gist of his message can be summarised in 2 words”)

3 Some mountain troops opening passage (5)

INTROHidden in(some) mountaIN TROops

4 Writer with books seen in expensive bar (4,5)

GOLD INGOT :  GOLDING(William, 1911-1993, Nobel laureate and writer best known for “The Lord of the Flies”, and was the theme of a recent crossword) OT(the Old Testament,the collection of books making up the first part of the Bible).  A nice misdirection in the definition.

5 Looking for a great deal (5)

SIGHT :  Double defn.  1st: The noun; and 2nd: A lot,by far,a great deal – Sydney Carton might have said (or Dickens might have written), less poetically, “It’s a darn sight better thing that I do …”

6 See less reason to trust of late his creation (4,5)

LOSE FAITHAnagram of(creation) OF LATE HIS

7 Old school one for regression and subconscious view (5)

IMAGOReversal of(for regression) O(old) GAM(a school,herd of whales) I(one=1=I)

Defn:  In psychoanalytical jargon, the idealised concept,view of a loved one formed in childhood and carried unaltered in the subconscious mind into adult life

8 Happiness all around for Ron dancing in Clare’s town (7)

GLENROE :  GLEE(happiness) containing(all around for) anagram of(dancing) RON

Defn:  Town in Clare County, Ireland

14 FT for example on this recent run (9)

NEWSPRINT :  NEW(recent) SPRINT(a fast run)

Defn:  This specialty material on which the dead tree version of newspapers, for example, the Financial Times appears.  A matter of time before it becomes obsolete like parchment?

  The electronic e-reader

16 High-level clashes avoided where song does not make chart (3-6)

AIR-MISSES :  AIR(song) MISSES(descriptive of a song that does not enter,make the popularity charts, or it’s a hit, according to the jury – )

Defn:  When aircraft nearly collide – anything closer than a quarter-mile apart is a near-miss.

17 Fully and freely expressed in Dublin with Red Rum (9)

UNBRIDLEDAnagram of(rum) [DUBLIN plus(with) RED]

18 Graduate calls bank that failed (7)

BARINGS :  BA(Bachelor of Arts graduate) RINGS(calls on the phone)

Defn:  Oldest merchant bank in London, bankrupted in 1995 through the dealings of its Rogue Trader Nick Leeson.

20 Universal beginning and end for 1 across 12 (3,4)

BIG BANG :  Double defn:  1st: Start,beginning of the universe about 14 billion years ago; and 2nd: End of a lot of regulations (ie. deregulation) in the London financial industry, symbolised by 1 across 12 “trading floor” a mere 25 years ago, a Thatcherite reform

22 Comfortable with such nonsense, the end for Lansley (5)

CUSHYAnagram of(nonsense) SUCH placed before Y(last letter of,the end forLansley” – a reference to the current UK Health Secretary)

23 Fine cut for the commentator (5)

SHEERHomophone of(for the commentator) “shear”,cut,clip.  A cricketing commentary?

24 Giving us classic couture, innovator leads as designer (5)

GUCCI :  Initial letters,leads of Giving Us Classic Couture Innovator.  Nice &lit


8 Responses to “Financial Times 13821 Neo”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, scchua.

    Like you, I didn’t get into this immediately but, after the dependable Hardy girl rode to the rescue, things started to fall steadily and it became an enjoyable solve.

    Having said that, I didn’t quite finish, as I foolishly had DELIA at 26ac [don’t ask – it made sense at the time!] which gave me G?D?I for 24, which meant I missed ‘leads’ – annoying, because I thought I’d become wise to that type of clue.

    I thought 25ac was clever, when I discovered that Sean Astin is a real actor [should I be ashamed for not knowing?] and I really liked the misdirection and the surface in 4dn. 18ac made me smile.

    I thought the surface in 15ac was rather odd, until I discovered this:

    [not in Collins or Chambers] and realised it’s another clever one.

    Many thanks, Neo, for the entertainment and enlightenment.

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Neo for a pleasant crossword and scchua for the blog.

    I had to guess both 23s, so thank you for the explanations.

    27ac: Chambers (1998) suggested a less colourful derivation for shyster as “Appar from shy[1] in sense of ‘of doubtful repute'”. Collins (2000) has “probably based on Scheuster, name of a disreputable 19th-century New York lawyer”. I had never really thought about this before, but had vaguely assumed it was linked to shy[2] from Chambers, in the sense of a fraudulent coconut shy stall at a fair. My general view on this sort of thing is that the very fact that multiple origins are possible contributes to the likelihood of a term gaining popularity.

    Picture quiz at 19ac: I can see the link from the first picture to the answer and the generic link between the two pictures. Is the second picture specifically linked to the clue, or have I got the full answer intended?

  3. Thomas99 says:

    I also recognise the connected constable in the first of the 19a pictures but like Pelham I’m not sure about the other one; and the hardy girls in 1d were easy of course… Presumably 14d is the pair that doesn’t have a hidden link?

  4. Joe says:

    Hi, could someone please explain 19A? ‘Unsalted’ to remove S? Any reason why S=salt, if at all?

  5. Pelham Barton says:

    Joe @4: As suggested by scchua in the blog, some salt and pepper pots are distinguished by the labels S and P.

  6. scchua says:

    Hi Pelham and Thomas99, re 19A: there is a not so obvious link (following from the link between crossword answer and the first picture) between the first and second pictures, other than the generic link that Pelham mentioned. I hope to be back later tonight to reveal all :-) And yes, the 14D pictures are different views of the future “newsprint”.

    Hi Joe, S=salt is from the salt and pepper shakers where holes forming the letters S and P distinguish one from the other.

  7. Neo says:

    Many thanks to scchua for his entertaining blog, and to all who gave opinions. All angles covered with aplomb, so cheers!

  8. scchua says:

    Hi all, in particular Pelham and Thomas99. The picture connections:
    19A HABIB.  In addition to being a male name, I deliberately omitted to mention that it’s also a surname.  In the BBC TV comedy series “The Thin Blue Line” (cast shown), the female Police Constable character’s name was Maggie Habib.  She was played by Mina Anwar, who also had a recurring, not so prominent part (Dr. Sandra Malik) in the 2003 season of “The Bill”, a not so comedic police series.

    1D TESSERA.  Film adaptations of Thomas Hardy novels have featured, as “Hardy girls”:

    Nastassja Kinski – Tess in the Roman Polanski movie “Tess” based on “Tess of the d’Urbervilles”
    Julie Christie –  Bathsheba in the John Schlesinger movie “Far from the Madding Crowd”
    Kate Winslet – Sue Bridehead in the Michael Winterbottom movie “Jude” based on “Jude the Obscure”.

    Nice to have you dropping by, Neo.

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