Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13927 Armonie

Posted by scchua on February 14th, 2012


Tuesday is the start of the week for FT crosswords, and hence usually a warm-up exercise for later in the week.  Thanks Armonie, for this one – some nice surfaces.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  Picture set at the bottom has an unidentified link to the crossword.


1 Is a lemon pie for dessert? (8)

SEMOLINAAnagram of(pie,a jumbled mixture, eg. of printer’s type, in the olden days of type printing) IS A LEMON.

Answer: An ingredient for puddings,dessert made of the hard coarse grains left after wheat flour has been sifted.  Not to be confused with similar but finer product of the same name used for making pasta.

5 The first Wiccan’s a jerk (6)

TWITCH :  T(the initial letter,first of “the”) + WITCH(Wiccan,a practitioner of wicca,witchcraft).

9 Plant encircles lake? No kidding! (8)

HONESTLY :  HONESTY(one of two types of plant) containing(encircles) L(abbrev. for lake). 

Answer: An exclamation to indicate that you’re not joking.

10 Pick up Eliot’s suit (6)

HEARTS :  HEAR(pick up) T.S.(initials of Eliot, English writer). 

Answer: One of four suits in a deck of playing cards.

12 On reflection, Russian leader eats old meat (5)

ROASTReversal of(on reflection) TSAR(Russian king,leader prior to the Revolution) containing(eats) O(old

Answer: A piece of roasted meat, of a shape and quantity to be sliced into smaller servings

13 Playing live together (2,7)

IN CONCERT :  Double defn: 1st: Performing,playing on stage before a live audience, as opposed to playing in a recording studio.

14 Crime makes relationship exciting (6)

PIRACY :  PI(here we go again – if you’re not new to this site: the ratio,relationship defined by dividing the circumference of any circle by its diameter, is a constant number, regardless of the size of the circle and it equals 3.141…..(with as many decimal places as suits your purpose).  Seeing that it is special, it has been specially named pi, after the Greek letter.  I think it can be argued that the “it” in the previous sentence applies to both the relationship and its value.) + RACY(exciting, sometimes suggestive of being improper or risqué)

16 Course of treatment for a group of soldiers that’s never-ending (7)

REGIMEN :  “Regiment”(a group of soldiers) minus its last letter(never-ending).

Answer: A course of treatment, such as diet, exercise, style of living to preserve or restore health.

19 This sly eccentric is fashionable (7)

STYLISHAnagram of(eccentric) THIS SLY

21 Division loses leader in skirmish (6)

ACTION :  “Faction”(strife,dissension,division within a group) minus its initial letter(loses leader)

23 Risk coming by river (9)

ADVENTURE :  ADVENT(noun, the coming of an event) plus(by) URE(a river in N.Yorkshire, England)

25 Earl follows players into station (5)

CASTE :  E(abbrev. for earl) placed after(follows) CAST(of actors and actresses,players for a play or film)

Answer: One of the divisions in the system that determines, by birth or some predetermination, one’s station in life, seen with the social insects, and some human societies/cultures.

26 Fellow holds the Italian tenor culpable (6)

GUILTY :  GUY(fellow,fella) containing(holds) [IL(the definite article, “the”, in Italian) + T(abbrev. for tenor)]

27 Small mattress cover is 29 (8)

STICKING :  S(abbrev. for small, as in clothing sizes) + TICKING(fabric used as mattress cover)

Answer: Synonym for the answer to 29across.

28 Attempt to keep close in (6)

TRENDY :  TRY(attempt) containing(to keep) END(close,finish).

Answer: That which is in,in fashion,the in-thing)

29 He daren’t upset supporter (8)

ADHERENTAnagram of(upset) HE DAREN’T


1 Spanish leaders present in province (6)

SPHERE :  SP(the first 2 letter,leaders of “Spanish”) + HERE(present and accounted for). 

Answer: A particular kind of activity, or field, eg. of influence, expertise.

2 Rectify a municipality’s dishonesty (9)

MENDACITY :  MEND(to rectify,make good) + A + CITY(a municipality). 

Answer: What liars are guilty of.

3 Composer’s final letter found in inventory (5)

LISZT :  Z(final letter in the English alphabet) contained in(found in) LIST(an inventory of items)

4 Cancel initial urge to fill up in American city (7)

NULLIFY :  [U(initial letter of “urge”) plus(to) reversal of(up, in a down clue) of FILL] contained in(in) NY(abbrev. for New York, American city)

6 Featherweight champion appears between working days (9)

WEEKNIGHT :  WEE(featherweight,little) + KNIGHT(champion, especially if you’re a damsel in distress).

Answer: What happens,appears between days during the week, which are the normal working days.

7 Compact found in Battersea (5)

TERSEHidden in(found in) batTERSEa

Answer: Neatly and effectively concise,compact, though “terse” has another meaning of being shortly abrupt and rude.

8 The Saint becomes irresolute (8)

HESITANTAnagram of(becomes) THE SAINT

11 Cliff’s trauma (4)

SCAR :  Double defn: 1st: a rocky steep, trench-like, slope, often exposing bedrock; and 2nd: A lasting after-effect, physical as well as psychological of injury, trauma or suffering.

15 Daniel ate out being disaffected (9)


17 Mountain dew produces rot (9)

MOONSHINE :  Double defn: 1st: Smuggled or illicitly-distilled liquor chiefly in the rural areas of the U.S.A.; and 2nd: Empty or foolish talk,ideas, ie. nonsense,rot

18 Is in Paris holding shipment of French delicacy (8)

ESCARGOT :  EST(the verb “to be”,is as is spoken in French in Paris) containing(holding) CARGO(that which is shipped in a carrier). 

Answer: French word for “snail”, which has become a delicacy, as a starter, cooked in garlic butter, chicken stock or wine.  Yummy!

20 Drag prince round university (4)

HAUL :  HAL(name given to Prince Henry – who later became King Henry V – in Shakespeare’s play Henry IV) containing(round) U(abbrev. for university)

21 Maintain man’s turned away (7)

AVERTED :  AVER(maintain,swear by) + TED(a name for a man)

22 Pressure on Welsh rowing team (6)

WEIGHT :  W(abbrev. for Welsh) + EIGHT(a rowing team consisting of 8 oarsmen, or women)

Answer: Common expression for pressure, though incorrect in scientific terms, where pressure=weight(or any force) perpendicular to the surface on which it acts, per unit area on which it acts.  Tutorial over.

24 Failing to conceal Oscar’s express opinion (5)

VOICE :  VICE(something to which one succumbs, and hence a failing) containing(to conceal) O(signified by Oscar in the phonetic alphabet)

Answer: To express an opinion.  I thought the nounal phrase “expressed opinion” would have suited the clue surface and answer (also a noun) better.

25 Hiding-place for money, they say (5)

CACHEHomophone of(they say) of “cash”(money).  A WIWD (wordplay intertwined with definition), as money is often hidden thus.




One Response to “Financial Times 13927 Armonie”

  1. Ferret says:

    Thanks scchua. I had 14A as BIGAMY, but I prefer your explanation. Possibly a deliberate trap from the setter?

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