Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,850 – Crux

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on November 24th, 2011

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Nov 14

Crux is one of those setters whose crosswords I am always looking forward to. Many lovely touches and thoughtful cluing along the way.

However, sometimes I seem to expect a bit more than Crux actually offers, therefore having the feeling that the Real Corker is yet to come.  Nevertheless, this was another good puzzle – no doubt about that – despite the fact that I am not on Crux’s wavelength when it comes to cryptic definitions: 11ac, 8d and also 2d [for some perhaps a fun clue] are just not my cup of tea. All in all, enjoyable stuff.  Thanks Crux!

1 BILLOWING Unpaid account affected by inflation
    BILL OWING (unpaid account)
6 LEGIT Escape may be allowed by law, shortly!
    LEG IT (escape) and LEGIT being short for ‘legitimate’ (allowed by law)
9 IAMBI Twice, I bring in a doctor for the feet
    A MB (doctor) inside I I (twice I)
10 GREYBEARD Terribly greedy Arab hasn’t a grandfather, perhaps
    (GREEDY AR[a]B)*
11 REPRIMANDS   Rockets aimed always at one’s inferiors
    Cryptic definition
12 TEEM Swarm heads off towards Europe every May
    Starting letters: T[owards] E[urope] E[very] M[ay]
14 SUSTAIN Soil surrounds us and gives support
    STAIN (soil) surrounding US
15   LUCIFER It was a match for Satan
    Double definition
17 NESTLED Curled up and listened without one being disturbed
    (L[i]STENED)*, the deleted I being ‘one’
19 COOKERS Sorts of apple cores OK for recycling
    (CORES OK)*
20 SPIN Children put it on top – some doctors, too!
    Children can put a SPIN on a spinning top, while SPIN can also be placed on top of ‘doctors’ to get ‘spin doctors’
22 ESPLANADES   Places to stroll, in English suit, around endless countryside
    E (nglish) SPADES (suit) around LAN[d] (countryside with the final letter missing)
    Having only one L:  ???L??????,  I was convinced this would lead to ‘Boulevards’ – but alas.  Although OK, I am not really happy with ‘land’ = ‘countryside’.
25   EASY TERMS   Ways to pay, popular with students, no doubt
    Straightforward definition (ways to pay) with a nice extra bit (no doubt), squeezing in a cryptic one
26 ABASE A foundation for what 11 are meant to do
    A BASE (foundation)
27   TREAD Walk-in centre – a disgrace
    Hidden solution: [cen]TRE A D[isgrace]
28 SWEET MEAT   Tasty food, suitable for vegetarians, oddly
    SWEET (tasty) MEAT (food)
1 BRIER It’s made for smoking cheese – Roquefort, primarily
    BRIE (cheese) + R[ocquefort]
2 LAMPPOSTS On which setters, say, must make their mark
    Cryptic definition
3 ORIGINALLY   One spirit taken in by mouth, at first
    {I (one) GIN (spirit)} inside ORALLY (by mouth)
4 INGRAIN To impress, Carol and coach go topless
    [s]ING (decapitalised ‘carol’ minus its first letter) + [t]RAIN (‘coach’ as a verb, also being topless)
5 GRENDEL Tear into upraised limb of sea-monster
    REND (tear) inside the reversal of LEG (limb)
6 LOBE 80% of world could be site of a 24
    LOBE being 80% of GLOBE (world)
    The solution of 24ac is ‘stud’, and one of its meanings is ‘an earring’ for which LOBE is the ‘site’.
7 GRAVE Dignified foreign accent
    Double definition, one of them referring to the ‘accent grave’ in the French language
8 TIDEMARKS Transient shorelines, you might say
    Cryptic definition
13   ACCOUNTANT   Professional who’s briefly representative of California
    A chief (or a chartered) ACCOUNTANT may be abbreviated as CA (California)
14   SONGSHEET She gets on unconventional music programme
    (SHE GETS ON)*
    Very nice anagram fodder, but a solution that I couldn’t find in Chambers et al.
16   FIELDFARE   Bird providing ploughman’s lunch?
    Straightforward definition (bird) plus a fine cryptic one
18 DESERTS Appropriate rewards in parts of Africa
    Double definition
    I think ‘parts of Africa’ is a bit loose as a definition.
19 CELESTE This French steel is used in keyboard instrument
    CE (this, in French) + (STEEL)*
21 ISSUE Problem child (female) is in the lead
    IS being positioned in front of by SUE (child (female))
    ISSUE can mean ‘children’(plural) as a mass noun, so in this clue ‘child’ probably isn’t a second definition and must be linked to ‘female’.   For me, just “Problem children” would have been a perfect clue.
23 SHEET Shelter without sides shaped like a leaf
    Initially, I wasn’t sure what ‘without sides’ meant. Could have been [s]HELTE[r], but here Crux wanted us to remove L (left) and R(ight) from ‘shelter’. Am I right that ‘like a’ is only there for the surface?
24 STUD Sexual athlete associated with Press
    Double definition
    A STUD can be a sexually potent or attractive man (or one who thinks is, according to Chambers), and STUD can also be short for ‘press stud’, which is a clothes-fastener.


One Response to “Financial Times 13,850 – Crux”

  1. Bamberger says:

    Huge gaps in the NW.Couldn’t get
    1a Very clever
    11a I don’t think this is very good. Without any checking letters I think this is almost impossible to get.
    26a I really don’t like it when one clue refers to another -if you haven’t solved that one you are stuck. Is it just showing off? You seldom see it in the Times.
    2d Very clever
    4d Very hard -having to spot carol =sing and coach= train.
    5d Never heard of it and didn’t have enough crossing letters to have a stab
    23d That the blogger found it hard said it all.

    Thanks for the blog -can’t say I enjoyed the puzzle.

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