Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13963 Neo

Posted by scchua on March 28th, 2012


The FT Tuesday gremlin struck yesterday, and the puzzle appeared only today, at the same time as today’s puzzle.  I have liked Neo’s puzzles, and this was no exception, it was perhaps a little bit easier than usual.  Hopefully there are those, like me who waited to solve the puzzle when it finally appeared.  Making the best of a bad situation, this posting is late (just like the puzzle), but better (1 day) late than never?  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  Each picture at the bottom has its own unidentified link to the crossword.


1 College writer banks money (6)

CAMPUS :  CAMUS(French writer) containing(banks) P(abbrev. for pence, money)

5 One is to take some money round for this noblewoman (8)

BARONESS :  I think there’s either an edit or a typo in the online version.  Neo in his comment earlier, uses “silver” and not “money”.  An edit to “money” would not make sense, so it’s probably a typo repeating “money” from the clue above it.  BARS(solid pieces/ingots of,some silver) containing(take…round) ONE’S(“one is” contracted).  Surface of a hard-up gentry?

9 Festival beauty with her wings unfurled (8)

BAYREUTHAnagram of(unfurled) [BEAUTY plus(with) H,R(outer letters,wings of “her”). 

Answer: The annual music festival held at Bayreuth, Germany, when Wagner’s operas are performed.  The idea was conceived by – guess who? – Wagner himself.

10 Situation causing hardship for lot of crows (6)

MURDER :  Double defn: 1st:  Understatement of hardship, especially for the victim; and 2nd: Collective noun for a lot of crows.  An edit this time, of Neo’s original clue (….for crows)

11 Prefer 4 over very good 5 (6)

FAVOUR :  FOUR(the number 4) containing(over) [A(the grade A,very good) + V(Roman numeral for 5).

12 Complete defeat where service engineer admits car tampered with (8)

MASSACRE :  [MASS(church service) + E(abbrev. for engineer)] containing(admits) anagram of(tampered with) CAR.  Nice misdirecting surface with “service engineer” and “car”.

14 In Clubman I soon lost safe driving dividend (2,5,5)


Answer: A discount off your car insurance premium after you haven’t made a claim during the year.  Doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve been driving safe, only that you haven’t made a claim.  Nice surface with the Clubman being a model of the Morris Mini-Minor.

18 Thing worked out after musical interval determines what you will play! (7,5)

TWELFTH NIGHTAnagram of(worked out) THING placed after(after) TWELFTH(in music, an interval of one octave plus a fifth). 

Answer: The Shakespearean comedic play, aka What You Will, believed to have been written as entertainment for the 12th night, close of the Christmas season. Clever use of the play’s alternative title.

22 Easier to produce three tragedies for Aeschylus (8)

ORESTEIAAnagram of(produce) EASIER TO

Answer: The trilogy,three tragedic plays by Aeschylus, ancient Greek playwright.

25 Room for movement in Spooner’s little song (6)

LEEWAYSpoonerism of “WEE LAY”(little song)

26 No time to talk with boxer in compound (6)

ALKALI :  ALK{“talkminus(no) “t”(time)) plus(with) ALI(Muhammad, “I am the greatest” boxer)

27 FTSE in collapse all about, so working at once (8)

EFTSOONSAnagram of(collapse) FTSE containing(all about) [SO + ON(working, as with an appliance that’s switched on). 

Answer: Archaic and arcane word, new to me, meaning soon after, or, at a stretch, at once.

28, 16 Googled this with FT after struggle to find work from 21 that 9 would produce (8,2,3,4)


Answer: Work,opera by Wagner,answer to 21, performed at Bayreuth,answer to 9, best known as  Die Götterdämmerung.

29 Canaanite commander to emphasise racial content (6)

SISERAHidden in(content) emphaSISE Racial

Answer:  Military commander of the Canaanites mentioned in the Hebrew Bible.  He was murdered by a woman driving a tent peg through his temple, pinning his head to the ground.  All very gruesome and extreme hardship per 10 across 


2 God’s appearance in Cameron’s film (6)

AVATAR :  Double defn: 1st:  In Hindu mythology, a manifestation,appearance of a god in a form such as a human, animal, or superhuman; and 2nd:  Title of James Cameron’s (he of Titanic fame) film, the title refering to hybrids controlled by genetically-matched humans interacting with aliens.

3 Staff training run by Dicky Nelson (9)

PERSONNEL :  PE(abbrev. for “physical exercises”,training) + R(run/s as in cricket notation) plus(by) anagram of(Dicky) NELSON.

4 Boring person with share of loot is shot (6,3)

SQUARE CUT :  SQUARE(boring person,usually used by a generation of its older generation) plus(with) CUT(share of loot,gains, especially ill-gotten). 

Answer: A batting stroke,shot made by a cricketer to the off side.

5 Czechs seen here half-eaten by snake (7)

BOHEMIA :  BOA(constrictor,snake) containing(…eaten by) HEMI(prefix denoting half, as in hemisphere).

6 Royal birds for doomed wolfsuckling (5)

REMUS :  R(abbrev. for royal) + EMUS(flightless Aussie birds). 

Answer: In Roman mythology, one of the twins suckled by a wolf when young, and doomed to be killed by his twin in a dispute as to where to build a city.  The victor, Romulus named the city after himself, or was it the other way round?

7 Girl not entirely conventional (5)

NORMA :  “normal”(conventional) minus its last letter(not entirely).

8 Third from Massenet with Panurge to reveal some deep device (5,3)

SPEAR GUN :  S(third letter fromMassenet) plus(with) anagram of(to reveal) PANURGE(an opera by Jules Massenet).

Answer: An example,some of a device used in the sea,the deep.

13 Queen leaves grave to weep convulsively (3)

SOB :  “sober”(grave) minus(…leaves) ER(Elizabeth ­Regina,Queen

15 Structures that loom where Hamlet is closer to king in breakdown (9)

MEGALITHSAnagram of(breakdown) HAMLET IS + G(last letter of,closer toking”). 

Answer: Stone structures of great size and height.

16 See 28 Across

17 Military rule in world was disastrous (5-3)

SWORD-LAWAnagram of(disastrous) WORLD WAS.

19 As Bunter starts with fork and trifle (3)

FAT :  F,A,T(initial letters,starts of “fork”,”and”,”trifle”). 

Answer: Descriptive of,as Billy Bunter, fictional schoolboy who first appeared in a weekly paper for boys – long before PC mean “personal computer”, let alone the other one.

20 Most tidy take food into cosy place (7)

NEATEST :  EAT(take food) contained in(into) NEST(cosy place)

21 Noted German losing love vanished during hostilities (6)

WAGNER :  GNE{“gone”(vanished) minus(losing) O(looks like zero,love in tennis scores)} contained in(during) WAR(hostilities). 

Answer: Richard, noted German for the musical notes he put together.

23 Unimportant manuscript turned up in its entirety (5)

SMALLReversal of(turned up) MS(abbrev. for manuscript) + ALL(in its entirety).

24 Presidential quarters for the oil family? (5)

EWING :  E. WING(East Wing, part of the White House, quarters,office and residence, for the US President)

Answer: The fictional family with a fortune in oil in “Dallas”, an American TV soap opera with its famous season-end cliff-hanger “Who shot J.R.?”   Horrors!  There’s Dallas 2012 coming up!



5 Responses to “Financial Times 13963 Neo”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thank you, sschua.
    Another good puzzle by Neo.
    Not many visitors here, probably due to the delay in publishing.

    Although the Wagner link was clear enough in 9ac, I couldn’t find Bayreuth.
    Too much focused on an anagram of “her wings”.
    And guess what – it’s an anagram of Gershwin ….

    Thanks all (as RCW would say).

  2. anax says:

    Top stuff from the man on drums.

    Incidentally, while there may be a few problems with timely updates, it appears the website is holding an increased stock of puzzles now – about 2 months’ worth. Wasn’t it about half that until a few days ago?

  3. Neo says:

    Yay, there are more at the moment.

  4. Alberich says:

    It was well worth the wait! Not surprisingly I loved the Wagner references and like Sil I was misled by the Gershwin anagram. And a Czech reference thrown in too! Happy days.

    Thanks, Neo.

  5. Jan says:

    Thanks, sschua, I got to the crossword eventually. (I’m currently catching up on 9 blogs!)

    I failed on 22 and 27 although I did get Beyreuth – had to check the spelling, though.

    I haven’t had time to puzzle out the pictures and I know the actress so well but can’t remember her name. It’s enough that we’ve got the gorgeous, M. Depardieu in there.

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