Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13903 Jason

Posted by scchua on January 17th, 2012


Another good one from Jason, so thanks Jason.  A bit of concern when I stalled for some time after getting the 2 long ones early on.  However, it finally yielded.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  The picture set at the bottom has an unidentified link with the crossword.


1 Whose mobile includes mostly moulded display? (8)

SHOWCASEAnagram of(mobile) WHOSE containing(includes) CAS{”cast”(moulded) minus its last letter(mostly)}

5 Far from lavish king enters resorts with wife finally (6)

SPARSE :  R(Latin Rex,king) contained in(enters) SPAS(resorts with springs and baths) plus(with) E(last letter,finally of “wife”)

10 Dash after old paper over and over again (5)

OFTEN :  EN(the endash – half the width of an emdash — which in turn is 1/6 of an inch wide – so there you have it) placed after(after) O(old) FT(the newspaper the Financial Times)

11 Adequate fare enhanced by new role (9)

TOLERABLE :  TABLE(figuratively, the food and drinks served at meals,fare) contained in(enhanced by) anagram of(new) of ROLE

Defn: To an adequate,acceptable level

12 In speech, conclude Madonna provides a hospital (9)

INFIRMARY :  INFIR{homophone of(in speech) of “infer”(conclude)} + MARY(Madonna,the Virgin Mary, definitely not the Material Girl)

13 Good to leave happy – like times gone by (5)

OLDEN :  “Golden”(happy, as in “the golden days”) minus(to leave) G(good)

14 Colour’s return bound to keep street on board (6)

PASTELReversal of(return) LEAP(bound,jump) containing(to keep … on board) ST(street)

15 What causes change concerning a refined sort? (7)

REAGENT :  RE(concerning,about) + A + GENT(short for gentleman,a presumed refined sort of chap)

18 This is bound to happen, therefore lads alter wicket (4,3)

SOD’S LAW :  SO(therefore,hence,thus) + anagram of(alter) LADS + W(abbrev. for wicket in cricket notation). 

Defn: Aka Murphy’s Law, whose central premise is “If anything can go wrong, it WILL go wrong”, and its corollaries.

20 Dig in small and untidy dump (6)

SHOVEL :  S(small) plus(and) HOVEL(untidy dump,disorganized, cramped and messy dwelling place)

22 Maiden entering opening is let in (5)

ADMIT :  M(abbrev. for “maiden” in cricket notation) contained in(entering) ADIT(an opening into a mine)

24 Maiden with no ugly day for a change? (5,4)

YOUNG LADYAnagram of(for a change) NO UGLY DAY

25 Safe haven in large northern city (9)

ANCHORAGE :  Double defn: 2nd: Largest city in the northern state of Alaska

26 The best team’s comment to the audience (5)

ASIDE :  A-SIDE(the best,first class,Class A team,side)

27 In Madrid the church’s recess is to slip away (6)

ELAPSE :  EL(the definite article “the” in the local language in Madrid) APSE(a church’s recess)

28 Roughly prune an alyssum’s trailer yearly (3,5)

PER ANNUMAnagram of(roughly) [PRUNE AN] + M(last letter,trailer of “alyssum”)


1 Phlegmatic son near top (6)

STOLID :  S(son) [TO LID](near,in the direction of – didn’t we previously discuss whether near=to was kosher? – top,lid of a vessel and such)   

Defn:  Of an unemotional, sluggish and dull temperament – supposedly the character of one having an overabundance of phlegm.

2 Uncontrolled at once, like a green juggler’s ball? (3,2,4)

OUT OF HAND :  Triple defn: 1st: Like a classroom without a teacher present; and 2nd: Like an answer from the top of one’s head, without hesitation or thought; and 3rd: Like a ball (of any colour) of an inexperienced,green juggler (of any colour) which is missed being caught

3 Well done! Saluting cartoon Goofy (15)


4 Leave groups to worry (3,4)

SET SAIL :  SETS(groups) + AIL(to worry,sicken)

6 He’s blackballed Roman chap, soon good grass gets answer (7,3,5)

PERSONA NON GRATA :  PERSON(chap) ANON(soon) G(good) RAT(to tell on,betray,grass, especially to the law) plus(gets) A(answer, as in “Q and A”). 

Defn: In Latin, the old Roman language, for someone who is not welcome,explicitly excluded.  “Blackball” is derived from the traditional anonymous voting process by placing a white ball (accepting) or a black ball(rejecting) into the ballot box to decide the fate of would-be members.

7 Sally goes about book burning (5)

RABID :  RAID(a sally,raid especially into enemy-held territory) containing(goes about) B(­book)

Defn: Extremely keen about

8 A ring with timelessness (8)

ETERNITY :  Cryptic defn(?): A type of ring as a token of lasting affection.  In case you’re not aware, and in case your dear wife says she’d like one, the picture shows what you’re in for (hopefully not lasting debt :-) ).  The continuous, never-ending band of stones is meant to symbolise timelessness – not hard to see who’s promoting that!

Or it could be a double defn.(?)

9 Soft chicken, perhaps, is a competitor (6)

PLAYER :  P(piano, musical notation to play softly) LAYER(an example,perhaps of a chicken,hen kept for laying eggs)

16 Leave it rolling around on high ground (9)

ELEVATIONAnagram of(rolling around) [LEAVE IT] + ON

17 Magnify computer key area and left upset (8)

ESCALATE :  ESC( the Escape key on the left top corner of your computer keyboard) A(area) plus(and) L(left) ATE(worried,upset, as in “His financial problems ate at him”)

Defn:  To increase in intensity or magnitude,swell,magnify

19 Wide? By a yard – length, yes – catch! (6)

WAYLAY :  W(a ball bowled wide of the batter, in cricket notation) + A + Y(yard) + L(length) AY(another form of “aye”,yes)  

Defn: To catch,pounce on from an ambush

20 No boxer enjoys this rest (4-3)

SHUT-EYE :  Cryptic defn: An eye can be so heavily and repeatedly punched in a boxing match that it cannot be opened,will remain shut, usually leading to the referee stopping the fight and awarding the match to the inflictor – something obviously that the loser won’t enjoy – perhaps more so the losing than the pain.

21 Me and Lucy travel for school (6)

LYCEUMAnagram of(travel) [ME & LUCY]

Defn: A French school for students between elementary school and university

23 Coffee gizmo chairman conceals (5)

MOCHAHidden in(conceals) gizMO CHAirman




7 Responses to “Financial Times 13903 Jason”

  1. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Jason for a pleasant crossword and scchua for the clear blog.

    18ac: A recurrent grumble here on the grammar of “lads alter” for “anagram of LADS”. I would prefer to insert “will” or “must” to allow the verb to be plural in the surface meaning and singular in the cryptic meaning (since it is the word LADS that will or must alter to form DSLA in the answer).

  2. crypticsue says:

    An enjoyable review of an enjoyable puzzle, thanks to Jason and scchua. 8d always reminds me of my granny who when over 75 announced she would like a ‘maternity’ ring. Grandpa promptly replied that she had better look for someone younger than him to provide it :)

  3. Paul B says:

    Or, using ‘this WAS bound to happen’ (still synonymous AFAIK), ‘therefore lads altered wicket’.

    Or ‘therefore lads mistreated wife’. Depends on your tense, and your mood.

  4. Bamberger says:

    I got most of the bottom half out but not much of the top half.
    1a I guessed it was an anagram of whose -but it was a leap too far within one clue to also have to get moulded=cast and then have to knock off the t.
    10a I decided it must be rerun as dash=run and over and over again was rerun. Couldn’t see where the re came in but usually it’s just me missing something. Not this time of course.
    11a I assumed conclude Madonna simply meant the end of the word ie “a”-wrong.
    22a Sadly didn’t know adit.
    17d For computer key I was looking for password, encryption etc

    Got the two long words down early on so hoped for a better result but there we are.

  5. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Jason and scchua. Enjoyed this puzzle. Regarding the picture set: 12ac – INFIRMARY. The song is St James Infirmary (picture 1?). Artists, in order, are Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Tom Jones (with someone I can’t place), Hugh Laurie?, and a band unknown to me – I stopped listening to popular music in the 80’s.


  6. scchua says:

    Well done, grandpuzzler! First picture (big clue) is St James’s Palace, London, on which site ages ago stood St James Hospital, which gave the title to the folk song which Is the basis for the blues song, since made famous by Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway and more recently recorded by Tom Jones and Jools Holland, and Hugh Laurie. The last picture was Lily Tomlin and the Saturday Night Live Band performing it while dressed in nurses’ uniforms (picked the pic because it gave another big clue).

  7. crosser says:

    Thanks Jason and scchua.
    No wonder I couldn’t understand 17d: I didn’t know ESC because I live in France and your escape key is “Echap” here. Rather incongruous when you think how much English is normally used in computer parlance over here.

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