Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,862 – Crux

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on December 8th, 2011

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/28 Nov

A Crux crossword that most certainly will not cause a storm of comments here. It’s a nice enough puzzle, but it is like Cincinnus recently said to me:  “You really are at one of the loneliest places @ Fifteensquared, aren’t you?”. Yes I am. And does it bother me? Not really.


1 BACK TO FRONT       In disorder, like soldiers returned from leave
    Double definition
7, 28   TEE OFF Rich man takes drugs to get started
    TOFF (rich man) around EE (two E’s, each meaning ‘drug’)
9 RERUN Insurer unable to cover race again
    Hidden solution: [insu] RER UN [able]
10 ON THE SPOT   Where cream may go straight away
    Cryptic definition plus, as PaulB says @1, a ‘normal’ definition
11 NEBULISER Blue rinse, restyle then spray
12 ABORT Jack or Tom’s first to pull the plug
    AB (Jack, a sailor) OR T[om]
13 SEABIRD A bride’s crazy one might follow a wake
    (A BRIDE’S)*
15 YARD Cart backs up a few feet
    Reversal of DRAY (cart)
    I am not very happy with the use of ‘up’ here, while I also think the clue is ambiguous and might lead to DRAY just as easily.
18 MOOT Low investment finally up for discussion
    MOO (low) + [investmen]T
20 CASCADE Scoundrel, boxed in, falls in the river
    CAD (scoundrel) in CASE – ‘in case’ being clued by ‘boxed in’
23 IDEAS Theories said to be mistaken about energy
    (SAID)* around E (energy)
24 ALL SQUARE Quits everything conservative
    ALL (everything) + SQUARE (conservative)
26 ALUMINIUM Alloy’s 40% metal
    40% of the word ‘alloy’ is AL, which represents ALUMINIUM, a metal
27 ISLET Scrabble tiles spelling “inch”
29 HEAVY ROLLER   One should ensure a level playingfield
    Cryptic definition
1 BARONESS One’s found in pubs, a proper lady!
    ONE’S inside BARS (pubs)
2 CEREBRAL Rice, for example, entertains British intellectual
    CEREAL (rice, for example) around BR (British)
3 TONAL Some put on a lesson of sound quality
    Hidden solution: [pu] T ON A L [esson]
4 FLOSSED Fluorine untraceable, it’s said, in treated teeth
    F (fluorine) + LOSSED (homophone of ‘lost’)
5 OUT-TRAY Finished work at the office, here
    Cryptic definition
6 THESAURUS The brontosaurus, half ruined, in old storehouse
    THE [bronto] SAURUS
    Initially I thought this had to be an anagram of ‘the+bronto’ or ‘the+saurus’, ruling out THESAURUS as something far too obvious.
7 TIPTOE Go carefully with advice to egghead
    TIP (advice) TO E (egghead, ie the first letter of ‘egg’)
8 ESTATE A car for the Italian summer
    ESTATE (a car) is the Italian word for ‘summer’
    Learned something today!
14 IRONSMITH Master forger identified in press: a well-known name
    IRON (press) + SMITH (a well-known name)
16 PARALLEL Rainbow’s colours are all seen in pearl, strangely
    ALL inside (PEARL)*
    So, the colours of the rainbow are parallel?? 
17   DESERTER Did he refuse to go 1 across?
    Someone who doesn’t want to go ‘back to front’ (1ac) – cryptic?
19 TSARINA Empress’s soldiers guarding nerve gas
    TA (soldiers, Territorial Army) around SARIN (nerve gas)
20 CALUMNY   Many pointless clues need editing – that’s insulting!
    (MANY CLU[es])*, E and S being the points (East and South) to be deleted
21   MIKADO Emperor Michael’s brief song and dance
    MIK[e] (Michael’s brief ) + ADO (song and dance)
    Actually it is ‘Michael’s brief, brief’, isn’t it?
22 REBUFF Turn away Polish – again!
    Double/cryptic definition
25 QUITO Leave nothing as capital
    QUIT (leave) + O (nothing)

3 Responses to “Financial Times 13,862 – Crux”

  1. Paul B says:

    Good blog and good puzzle with some great ideas, though agree 15A probably not the tightest. 6D, well, yeah all right then. Just one thing, ON THE SPOT is cd&d.

  2. Wolfie says:

    Hi Sil – thanks for the blog.

    I think 16d is ok – in a rainbow the colours are arranged in circles with a common centre. Though ‘parallel’ in geometry usually applies to straight lines, it is also used of curved lines with a common centre, so it is correct to describe the colours of the rainbow as parallel.

    cf. OED (on-line edition):

    [Parallel]In Geom. applied to straight lines in the same plane, or to planes, which never meet however far produced in either (or any) direction;[…] more rarely applied to curved lines or surfaces which are continuously equidistant, i.e. which have common normals at all points (e.g. concentric circles or spheres)…

  3. Bamberger says:

    Even with solvers couldn’t get the last word of 10a, 7d, 8d & 19d .
    Don’t think I would ever have got estate. I know French words and some German words are fair game but where does it all end?

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

− 3 = three