Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,958 by Monk

Posted by PeeDee on March 21st, 2012


I got off to a quick start but then found it pretty difficult to finish. I got there in the end (just!). Thank you Monk.

There were not many obscure words or meanings, so I can’t quite put my finger on why I found some of these clues hard. I’m not completely sure about 6 down, your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Pelham Barton points out that each solution begins and ends withthe same letter.  This went completely over my head.  Spotting this would certainly make solving the clues easier!

Hold the mouse pointer over any clue number to read the clue.

8 ALPACA AL PACINO (actor) missing IN O (love) and A – an animal known for its wool
9 RECEPTOR EP (record) inside RECTOR (clergyman) – in the body receptors are sensory organs
10 PAWNSHOP PAWNS (men, chess pieces) HOP (dance) – where one may find items left as security for loans
11 RATHER Height in RATER (one who makes estimates)
12 ESCRITOIRE anagram of SECRET and CODIFIERS (regularly=every other letter)
14 EPEE BEL PAESE (with every other letter removed) – definition is ‘foil’, type of sword
15 TARTLET definition and cryptic definition
17 NEWSMAN NEW (modern) S (society) MA (mum) N (note) – rags are newspapers
20 ASIA AS (since) I (one, Roman numeral) AD (missing D=died)
24 SALADS Son and Daughter inside (eaten by) ALAS (regrettably)
25 NITROGEN N is the symbol for nitrogen and is also an abbreviation for ‘new’- fourth fifths of the air is nitrogen, to we take a lot of it in. Very nice, but the construction seems a bit tricky for a normal weekday crossword, more suitable foran AZED or similar?
27 CHALDAIC Duke in A LA (in the syle of) all inside CHIC (elegant) – from the old region of Chaldea
1 ALL AT SEA definition and cryptic definition
2 RATNER RAT (serious pest) with (joined by) NERD (almost all of) – Gerald Ratner, British businessman famous for an off-the-cuff remark which turned into a PR disaster and destroyed his jewelry business
3 HASH BIRCH (last letter of) ASH (tree) – marijuana
4 CRYPTIC CRYPT (vault) DITCH (regularly=everyother letter) – this is the third time the every-other-letter device has been used
6 SPOTLESS  definition and cryptic definition – I’m not sure about “succeeded to get free of 3/HASH” it could mean free from any mistakes (hashes), but seems a bit wooly and doesn’t really make sense gramatically. S (suceeded) POTLESS (without pot, free of hash)  – thanks to gaufrid
7 EOCENE CE (Church, of England) inside European ONE (unity) – geological time period
13 THERMOSTAT (THAT’S MORE)* anagram=changing and Temperature – definition is &lit (the whole clue is the definition)
16 TO A FAULT definition and cryptic definition. Sparks could be either electricians or literal sparks. I think electricians fits better as it would be more natural to think of real sparks coming from a fault rather than being drawn towards one.
18 ACADEMIA ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant, financial qualification) and AIMED (intended) reversed – definition is University
19 KINNOCK IN (not out) inside (stops, like a cork stops a bottle) KNOCK (strike) – Neil Kinnock, former leader of the Labour Party
21 SWATHS WHAT* in SS (ship) – to be ‘on bord’ is to be in a ship, definition is ‘strips’
23 ROOFER cryptic definition
26 TACT sounds like “tacked”, altered course in a yacht


7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,958 by Monk”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks PeeDee
    6dn is S (succeeded) POT LESS (free of 3 {hash})

  2. PeeDee says:

    Thanks Gaufrid, mystery solved. I had not heard of S=Succeeded before, I guess it is used in the sense of a successor to a hereditory office.

  3. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Monk for a delightful crossword and PeeDee for the blog. Did you not notice that all the answers begin and end with the same letter? I guessed that aspect of the puzzle after my first two answers. (8ac and 1dn).

    25ac: I agree this is a bit of a stretch for a weekday newspaper crossword.

    13dn: A nicely constructed “& lit” clue, but I think it would be better with “fixing” instead of “changing”.

    18dn: Here I would prefer “raised” to “withdrawn” in a down clue – I think the surface would be equally good. As usual, I have no quarrel with those who think differently.

  4. Wanderer says:

    Terrific. A recent Monk crossword in the Indy, in which all across clues started A and all down clues D, alerted me to the possibility of a similar device, so I spotted the first/last letter element quite early. However, the first complete rows I filled in were the ESCRITOIRE/EPEE pair, followed by CHALDAIC/CLERIC. This misled me into thinking that not just every clue, but every pair of clues, would have the same first/last letter.

    25ac: Difficult (and my last in) but the fact that I knew it had to end in N made it less of a stretch than it might have been. My favourite clue.

    Many thanks to PeeDee and Monk.

  5. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, PeeDee and Monk. I noticed the first and last letters of all answers were the same, but, by no means as quickly as PB at #3.
    I was a little over half way through the puzzle. This made it easier to finish the puzzle, which I found not too difficult overall, and in particular to track down the more unusual answers which, I guess, the theme forced into the grid. No complaints about the NITROGEN clue. Yes, it was an unusual approach but I think N = nitrogen and N = new are pretty well-known.

  6. JollySwagman says:

    Late in – only just did it – but just had to say what an amazing achievement (the puzzle that is – not my having solved it).

    In fact only got the last few thanks to spotting PB’s italicised comment added later by PeeDee – so that only made the cheatometer needle quiver slightly.

    Thanks to all the abovementioned.

  7. Keeper says:

    I’m sure my late post will go largely ignored, but I wanted to voice a quibble with 14ac. While foil and epee are both fencing swords, they have enough differences that it seems inappropriate to use one as a definition for the other. I imagine Monk chose “foil” over “sword” so that it might make more sense following “bel paese.” Perhaps “blade” would have been an acceptable alternative?

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