Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,892 by Monk

Posted by PeeDee on January 4th, 2012


A good crossword with quite a wide variation in the difficulty of the clues.  Thank you Monk.

I got most of the solutions quite easily, but then took a long time to get to solve the remaining clues.  One could view this as inconsistency in setting, or one could see it as offering something for everyone.   Take your pick, I enjoyed it either way.

There were a lot of ‘first letters of’ devices, which seemd a bit repetative, ‘circa’ was repeated too.

Pelham Barton points out this is puzzle is a triple pangram (every letter of the alphabet used three times).  Very impressive!  I am normally somewhat underwhelmed by the idea of pangrams, but a triple pangram is really something else.

CLUE OF THE DAY – my favoutite was 6 down, click the ‘vote’ link to vote for your clue of the day. See the results so far here

Hold mouse over a clue number to read the clue.

1 JACKANAPES vote JAPES (jokes) around A King in CAN (prison) – definition is ‘cheeky sort’
7 QUIZ vote QU I (Qu. 1 – first question) Z (unknown, in mathematical equations) – not knowing the first question is a bad start in a quiz
9 WHAT NEXT vote W (wife) H (husband) and E (note, musical scale) inside A TEXT (passage) – definition is ‘question about future’
10 AVATAR vote two three-letter portions of AVAlsiTARb (Bratislava reversed)
11 LEGACY vote EG (for example, say) with LACY (frilly) around the edges – definition is ‘hand-me-down’
12 HOLDFAST vote D F A (three notes of the scale) inside (penned by) Gustav HOLST (composer) – definition is catch, as a noun
13 JAWS vote Double definition – ‘chat’ and the 1975 film about a rubber shark
14 FLOPPY DISK vote FLOPPY (limp) with anagram (out) of Strategic Defense Initiative and K (beginning of kick) – definition is ‘redundant hardware’
16 HIGHJACKED vote HIGH (on drugs) JACK ED (two men’s names)
18 CRUX vote C (circa, about) RUX sounds like “rucks” (ungainly piles of sweaty bodies, rugby union)
19 FU MANCH vote A inside (MUCH FUN)* – character in Sherlock Holmes novel
21 GHARRY vote G (grand) and King HARRY (King Henry V) – Indian carriage
22 BUYERS vote Sounds like ‘byres’
23 LIBERACE vote LIBERAl (party member, almost all the letters) with CE (Chuch of England) – former flamboyant and celebrated pianist
24 PAXO vote Double definition –‘Simon Mayo (BBC radio presenter) and Mayonaise (stuffing, sandwich filling)  Nickname for Jeremy Paxman, BBC presenter and Paxo, brand of sttuffing mix for chicken dishes etc. Thanks to Pelham Barton.  I would not consider ‘Paxo’ to be well known enough to count without further definition except that this completes a triple pangram (I take that on Pelhams word, I have not checked myself!), so it could hardly be anything else.
25 AUSTERLITZ vote Left in AUSTERe (severe, most of) RITZ (luxury hotel) – site of battle
2 ASHKENAZI vote ASH (remains) KeEn (odd letters of) on NAZI (persecutor of Jews) – a Rhineland Jew
4 NEEDY vote DoYEnNE* (anagram=bum) – definition is ‘poor’
5 PATCHWORK QUILTS vote PATCH (an update to a computer program, software repair) WORK (function) and faiLure (middle letter, heart of) in QUITS (even) – definition is ‘covers’
6 SCALLOPED vote SPED (rushed) around ALL (everything) in COt (bed, unfinished) – definition is ‘with ornamental borders’
7 QUAFFED vote coFFEe (some=some of the letters) in QUAD (part of a college, for example)
8 IMAMS vote heads (first lettters) of Israelis Met At Mount Sinai
14 FRANCESCA vote FRANCE (country) CA (circa, about) caontaining (imprisoning) Southern
15 SQUARE CUT vote SQUARE (boring person) with CUT (blow, punch) – well defined facial features
17 HEAVE HO vote Double definition – ‘give someone the heave-ho’ and ‘sailors call to work’
18 CHABROL vote A BRO (little brother) in Cool Hand Luke (opening letters of) – prolific French director
20 UVULA vote vUVUzeLA with three letters removed – part of the mouth
21 GABLE vote Buckle (beggining of) in GALE (strong wind) – definition is ‘part of wall’


7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,892 by Monk”

  1. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Monk for an excellent crossword and PeeDee for the blog.

    Working from top to bottom, I had almost completed a double pangram before entering my first B.

    Completing the triple pangram helped me with 18ac, and the expectation of it helped with 15dn.

    21ac and 18dn were new to me, but clear from the wordplay.

    10ac: “two trios from” means two blocks of three successive letters.

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Further to 1: I had PAXO not MAYO at 24ac – otherwise you “only” get a double pangram.

  3. crypticsue says:

    Great fun. As you say a mix of easy and difficult. I am with Pelham re PAXO. Mayo isn’t a stuffing in my view.

  4. PeeDee says:

    Thanks very much Pelham. You are quite right about PAXO. I don’t have a TV, so I’m a little out of touch with TV presenters nicknames.

  5. MikeC says:

    Thanks PeeDee and Monk. As others have said, a very impressive puzzle. For once I noticed the pangram(s) coming on, all three of them, which helped me with PAXO. I hadn’t seen this spelling of hijack before but Chambers says it’s OK. Good variety of clueing, sometimes ingenious.

  6. Paul B says:

    Triple pangrams are done by good blokes, I say.

  7. Monk says:

    To PB @ 6 OK, to give credit where it’s due, you got there first! 😉 That “tripe” used a bespoke grid with an average word length (hereafter, “awl”) of ~6.2 This is a flipped-on-the-leading-diagonal version of an (MMC) “odd/even” Indy grid, from 2000, with an awl of ~7.3 and lots of helpful escape routes in the overhanging squares. I wonder if the “tripe” can be done, using acceptable vocab for a 15×15, on the more restrictive (?) “odd/odd” grid, with a larger (?) awl.

    Finally, many thanks for the smashing blog, PeeDee; much appreciated.

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