Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,962 – Crux

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on April 5th, 2012

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Mar 26

Always satisfying to blog a puzzle by Crux.  On the easier side of the FT spectrum, but with enough little twists and turns to make this an enjoyable ride.

Definitions are underlined and/or referred to in the blog.


1 ON THE SLY      Under the table, honestly drunk
    Very nice anagram. And so nice that it must have been done before, but if it really did spring out of Crux’s own mind then full credits to him!
5 THANKS TA’s military vehicles carry a type of bomb
    TANKS (military vehicles) around H (bomb, H-bomb)
    Fine definition, misleadingly capitalised to serve the military surface as Territorial Army.  BTW, crosswords without soldiers in it, do they actually exist?
9 DEADLINE Late joining queue? Here’s the closing date
    DEAD (late) + LINE (queue)
10    OPTION Choice of operation that sheds years
12 ARSON Crime of war, so Napoleon said
    Hidden solution: [w]AR SO N[apoleon said]
13 ICELANDER     In speech, I spread lies about the northerner
    Homophone of I SLANDER (I spread lies about)
14 GASBAG Hot-air balloon that goes on and on
    Double definition
16 SPATULA A chef uses it cooking at Paul’s
    (AT PAUL’S)*
19    CENTRAL Position held by soldier in legion
    GI (soldier) is holding the CENTRAL position in the word ‘legion’
    My last one in. Having C?N?R?L, it could either have been CENTRAL or CONTROL. It took me ages to justify the former, but when the penny dropped it became one of my favourites of  this puzzle.
21 HIDING Keeping secret a severe defeat
    Double definition
23    MARGARINE     Fat horse stuffed with special grain
    MARE (horse) around (GRAIN)*
    No fish in the sea this time to clue MARGARINE (GAR inside MARINE), but another neatly written animalistic clue.
25 PETAL Floral segment going round in plate patterns
    Hidden solution, backwards: [p]LATE P[atterns]
    It is also an anagram of ‘plate’, and with ‘going round’ as anagrind the clue could have done without ‘patterns’, although it would have been much easier. I prefer it as it is (a hidden).
26    EMPLOY Use only half of them – a cunning plan
    [th]EM (only half of them) + PLOY (a cunning plan)
27 WORLD CUP     Tournament in which everyone gets caught up
    WORLD (everyone) + C (caught) + UP
28 SOLVER What you aspire to be (not me!)
    Cryptic definition
    One of three cryptic definitions (the other two being 21d and 22d) that are not really my cup of tea.
29    ENGENDER Father gives directions before sex
    E,N (directions, East and North) + GENDER (sex)
    Thát kind of sex.
1 ORDEAL Nightmare or business transaction
    OR + DEAL (business transaction)
2 TEARSTAIN Rip satin apart, with eye-watering result
    TEAR (rip) + (SATIN)*
    I first entered here, rather carelessly, ‘transpire’, which held me up finding 14ac and 19ac. Can’t find the word in Chambers (it does have ‘tear-stained’), not sure about Collins either, but it gets a mention in the Free Dictionary Online.
3 ELLEN In Paris she’s given new name
    ELLE (in Paris, she – French for ‘she’) + N (new)
4 LENDING Council finally closing such libraries
    [counci]L + ENDING (closing)
6 HAPHAZARD     Careless fellow loses head over wager
    [c]HAP (fellow loses head, ie the first letter)
7 NAIAD An aid designed for a water nymph
    (AN AID)*
    Initially I went for ‘Diana’ – anyone else?
8 SUNCREAM Outcry about UN providing cover in hot-spots
    SCREAM (outcry) around UN
11 SEAS Red and Black are appropriate, we hear
    Homophone of SEIZE (appropriate)
    ‘Red and Black’ is the definition here, one by example(s) which Crux didn’t tell us! Could also have been Yellow, or the deep blue ….
15    BARCAROLE     Girl in nude composing boating song
    CAROL (girl) in BARE (nude)
17 UNNOTICED Model continued to be ignored
18 SCAMPERS Dashes with racket for each shot, initially
    SCAM (racket) + PER (for each) + S[hot]
20 LAID Put down face up
    Reversal of DIAL (face)
21 HOEDOWN Hops in the barn?
    Cryptic definition
22    ELOPER One planning to form a breakaway union
    Cryptic definition
24 REPEL Outcast turns up to give you the creeps
    Reversal of LEPER (outcast)
25 PULSE Beat runner, possibly
    Double definition
    The ‘runner’ being a ‘runner bean’.

2 Responses to “Financial Times 13,962 – Crux”

  1. Pete Maclean says:

    Thanks, Sil. I did not get SEAS.

  2. Rishi says:

    When we aspire to be someone, we desire eagerly to be someone or we aim at being someone or we strive for being someone. Not always is our desire fulfilled, our aim achieved or our striving rewarded.

    So I am wondering whether the SOLVER (at 28a) could not have been put in a better light.

    Would “Not me!” in itself have fetched the required answer?

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

9 + six =