Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13939 Neo

Posted by scchua on February 28th, 2012


I’ve enjoyed all of Neo’s puzzles, sometimes with a little doubt about being able to complete.  This is another fine example, and thanks Neo for the enjoyment, and the variety of subjects to be found.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  The picture set at the bottom has an unidentified link to the puzzle.


1 Coming into state of preparedness, rebellious are not long for this world (8)

READYING :  [Anagram of(rebellious) ARE] + DYING(not long for this world)

5 Close of play causes confusion (6)

STUMPS :  Double defn: 1st: In cricketing jargon, the end of the day’s,close of play, signified by the umpires removing the stumps (those pointed wooden rods that make a wicket), and, of course, also the (cricket) balls.  Don’t ask any more; and 2nd: to cause confusion to someone, as in “The riddle truly stumped him”.

10 Rodent for shy cat old lady abandoned (5)

COYPU :  COY(shy) + PU{(“puma”(a big mountain feline mammal,cat) minus(abandoned) “ma”(old lady)}

11, 12, 20 Men on Left here to appease do badly with some old Republicans (3,6,3,6,2,4)


Answer: Some of the stakeholders in the old republic that was Ancient Rome after about 508 BC when the monarchy was overthrown.  The Senate advised the Consuls who were elected by the people.

13 Oil family FT backs in Gulf (5)

EWINGReversal of(backs) WE(what the FT,Financial Times calls itself in the crosswords it provides) + IN + G(abbrev. for gulf, in a geographical sense, as in the G. of Carpentaria, the G. of Hauraki, or the Persian G. depending on whether you’re from Australia, New Zealand, or the rest of the world :-) ).

Answer:  The family whose fortune came from oil, in the TV soap opera “Dallas”.

14 Prize-winning author in forest (6)

ATWOOD :  {AT WOOD}(in the wood,forest, “at” as in “at home”)

Answer: Margeret, Canadian author, winner of many awards, one of which was for “The Handmaid’s Tale”, a social science fiction story, as distinct from mere science fiction, which according to her is about “talking squids in outer space” :-)

15 Coherent soldier going into pub (7)

LOGICAL :  GI(American soldier) contained in(going into) LOCAL(pub in one’s vicinity which is the pub of choice)

18, 23 Put another way I’m dot in place! (7,5)

DECIMAL POINTAnagram of(put another way) I’M DOT IN PLACE.  A clever WIWD(wordplay intertwined with definition) clue.

20 See 11

22 IT to install new power unit and data-feed (5)

INPUTIT containing(to install) + N(new) + P(power, especially in physics) + U(abbrev. for unit)

24 One travelling to Saturn? (9)

ASTRONAUT :  A(article to denote one in number) + Anagram of(travelling) [TO SATURN]. 

Answer: One who might be destined to get to Saturn, perhaps,? some day.  An even cleverer WIWD clue. 

25 Spruce trees to be chopped in three months (9)

TRIMESTER :  TRIM(spruce,make into a neat and orderly condition, not to be confused with the name of certain conifers) + anagram of(to be chopped) TREES.  Nice surface.

26 Boy given prescribed food endlessly (5)

EDDIE :  “fed(given) diet(prescribed food)” minus “f” and “t”,the front and back ends(endlessly) of the phrase

27 Over one article doctor shows indecision (6)

DITHER :  DR(doctor) containing(over) [I(Roman numeral for one) + THE(the definite article)]

Answer: As a noun

28 Wood with correct placement may score (8)

SYCAMOREAnagram of(with correct placement) MAY SCORE


1 Biblical figure about to enter dependency unit (6)

RECHAB :  C(circa,about) contained in(to enter) REHAB(short for rehabilitation centre,a unit you go to, to rid of your dependencies)

Answer: Name of not one but three biblical figures

2 Veni, vidi, vici so described in account about changing destiny (9)

ASYNDETIC :  AC(abbrev. for account) containing(about) anagram of(changing) DESTINY 

Answer: In linguistics, descriptive of a phrase omitting conjunctions (“and”, and such like) eg. veni, vidi, vici (or “I came, I saw, I conquered”).  New word for me, but gettable from the wordplay.

3 Solver 5 to emerge with the solution I don’t know? (5,3,2,5)

YOU’VE GOT ME THERE :  YOU(the solvers, as opposed to us,the setters in crosswordland convention) V(Roman numeral for 5) + anagram of(solution) [TO EMERGE plus(with) THE]

4 Poet and blundering scribbler (7)

NOTEPADAnagram of(blundering) POET AND

Answer: What you scribble on, or scribbler

6 George Best with a harp mysteriously appears in Gay musical (3,7,5)

THE BEGGAR’S OPERAAnagram of(mysteriously appears) [GEORGE BEST plus(with) A HARP]

Answer: A ballad opera,musical written by John Gay in 1728.  It has had many adaptations, including a German one.

7 City gets millions before 12 in 11 (5)

MIAMI :  M(abbrev. for millions) + {AM(ante meridiem, the time before 12 noon) contained in(in) II(exactly what it says, 2 x Roman numerals for 1)

8 Hypnotist close to tears, upset leaving (8)

SVENGALI :  S(last letter of,close totears”) + anagram of(upset) LEAVING

Answer:  Fictional hypnotist in George du Maurier’s novel, Trilby, the name of the hypnotised.


9 Much red meat to show (6)

REVEAL :  RE(2 letters out of 3 of,muchred”) + VEAL(meat from young cattle, and a controversial issue in animal welfare terms)

16 Arrive with enthusiasm for Beckett’s dramaticule (4,3,2)

COME AND GO :  COME(arrive) AND(with) GO(enthusiasm,drive)

Answer: Samuel Beckett’s very short play, between 121 and 127 words long, spoken by three characters, really deserving of the descriptive “dramaticule

17 Always up on horse for example? (8)

ADDICTED :  I think I’ve got the answer to this cryptic definition.  If you’re always up,high on heroin,horse in slang, an example of a drug, then it can only mean that you’re addicted.

19 Shed worker grabbed by lion (4-2)

LEAN-TO :  ANT(one of whose castes in a colony is the worker) contained in(grabbed by) LEO(the lion in the zodiac, from the Greek word)

20 The finished work to go here? (3-4)

OUT-TRAY :  Cryptic defn: Where finished work in the office goes.  Another potential relic with the advent of the electronic age.

21 Goddess with chicken ate sandwiches (6)

ATHENEATE containing(sandwiches) HEN(chicken

Answer: Ancient Greek goddess of wisdom, fertility, the useful arts and prudent warfare – ancient multi-tasking

23 See 18




10 Responses to “Financial Times 13939 Neo”

  1. Ferret says:

    Thanks for parsing 17d, I had it as addicted or admitted with no idea why.

    I had 10a as PUSS minus SS, an old ship and hence an old lady?

  2. Neo says:

    Hello Scchua (and Ferret). Thanks as ever for your wonderful bloggery, comprehensive to the last. I might not get another look-in today, so all the best to all.

  3. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Neo for an enjoyable crossword and scchua for the blog.

    18,23 / 24ac: Two very nice clues each of which I would describe as a complete “& lit” – the whole clue is necessary for the wordplay and relevant to the definition.

    2dn: Good use of an anagram for an obscure word – by the time I had got A-Y-D—C, there really was only one way to fit the remaining letters in to make a sensible word.

    17dn: The one that got away for me. That is the problem with cryptic definitions – they are great fun if you spot them, but there is no other way in if you do not. It must be admitted that there are not many other words that will fit the space, but my mind got stuck on the alternative I have just given.

  4. Tony Welsh says:

    17d puzzled me too. It _had_ to be addicted but why? I even googled “addicted horse” and found that there are such people as horse addicts. I am not totally convinced by scchua’s parsing.

  5. Wanderer says:

    Strikingly large number of anagrams, most of them excellent — especially DECIMAL POINT, ASTRONAUT, the long Roman one, the long operatic one (Gay musical – lovely misdirection), SYCAMORE, and the partial anagrams at ASYNDETIC and the wonderful YOU’VE GOT ME THERE. In fact, with NOTEPAD, SVENGALI, READYING, TRIMESTER and maybe more also being anagrams or part anagrams, I can’t remember when I last saw so many in one crossword. Not that this is a criticism — far from it, they were a fun solve. I also had ticks for MIAMI, EWING and ATHENE.

    Thoroughly enjoyable, many thanks to Neo and scchua (although I fear your picture puzzle has defeated me again…)

  6. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks to Neo and scchua. Enjoyed this puzzle very much. Asyndetic was a new word for me.
    Regarding the picture set: Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Darin, Louis Armstrong and Kevin Spacey (playing Bobby Darin in the biopic) all sang Mack The Knife which was from the Threepenny Opera which was based on The Beggar’s Opera (6d).

  7. scchua says:

    Thank you all for comments, and especially Neo for dropping by.

    Well done grandpuzzler (have to remind myself to make it harder next time).

  8. tim patterson says:

    Coming out of lurk today, just back from another day between the shafts at Barclays! Anyway, what a great puzzle. Neo’s stuff always amuses, usually by taking the mick out of us lot, though we were let off today. Great piece as always, and me and the boys and girls say thank you for keeping us informed and entertained at 15 Squared.

  9. Sil van den Hoek says:

    I agree with everyone who thought this was another fine puzzle by Neo – so, that’s probably ‘everyone’ :) ….

    My last ones in were STUMPS (couldn’t be anything else, but no cricket expert), ADDICTED (clear why, but just like 17d and 20d not a cd that was up my street) and RECHAB (sounded Hebrew, and, ah, dear Amy).

    I liked DECIMAL POINT, but I am sure that I saw the idea behind it somewhere before, but even so. BTW, for some reason I initially entered ‘medical point’ …..
    And 24ac (ASTRONAUT), also nice (and also one that rang a bell, but again, even so).
    And many more, like EWING or MIAMI.

    In 6d, writing Gay with a capital G is just how it should be – Neo living up to his reputation!

    A bit of a pity that ‘chicken’ couldn’t be directly linked to ‘sandwiches’ in 21d, but even so [hmm, that’s the third time I use that in this comment …. :)].

    Only one I did not understand (even after a deep sort of thinking) was EDDIE (26ac). ‘Die’ was clear enough, but ‘ed’. Chapeau, scchua, to parse that!
    I am not sure whether I like it or not, but eve … [oh no!].

    Many thanks, scchua, for your splendid blog.

    And Neo, of course, for another one that I really liked.

  10. Pelham Barton says:

    Sil @9: When I was solving 26ac, I took it as a partial “& lit” with “Boy” as the definition and the whole clue as the wordplay in the form ED (Boy) + (given) DIE[t] (prescribed food endlessly). That would have been highly unsatisfactory using two forms of the same boy’s name in the definition and wordplay, so I was delighted that I was wrong.

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6 × = forty eight