Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,981 by Monk

Posted by PeeDee on April 18th, 2012


A very enjoyable crossword, a lot easier to write the answers than to explain why they are are correct.

Crosswords from Monk usually have some clever theme worked into the grid, hidden words, pangrams etc (which usually go over my head).  I can’t see anything going on here, but if anyone else can spot something then please let us know.

Thank you Monk.

1 RENOWN NOW (the present) in RE (note of the musical scale) and N (note, abbreviation)
4 SWIFTEST Jonathon SWIFt (satirist, unfinished) TEST (exam) – removing then replacing the same letter T feels a bit odd here (though quite allowable)
9 AQUILA A QUILl (large feather, almost) by A – the Eagle constellation
10 INNER EAR INN E (key, music) REAR (placed behind, e.g. rear seats)
12 OBESE Or BeEr SeEn (alternately=every other letter)
13 NANOMETRE symbol for nanometres is nm, first letters (signs) of ‘near’ and ‘miss’ – definition is ‘distance’
14 INLET ISLET (small island) with South changed to North – definition is ‘bay’
16 ARCHSTONE Hard in ANCESTOR* – a voussoir is a wedge shaped stone in an arch
17 ASCERTAIN A Subject (origin=first letter) on CERTAIN (confident)
18 NAAFI Northern AA (alchoholics anonymous, drinkers) Fade (begining of) and I (1, one o’clock, lunchtime) – the Navy Army Air Force Institutes, caterers to the armed services
19 IRIDACEAE IE (that is) housing (ARCADE I)* – the Iris family (flags are flowers)
20 PANDA P AND A make PA (dad)
21 CLIMATIC CLIMA (climber, mountaineer) TIC (tick, credit) both spelled badly
22 GROTTO GROOm (horseman, short) with TT (races) inside – the word ‘with’ is implied rather than explicitly written in this type of clue. I have never found this construction completely satisfactory, though I suppose it does extend the ways if saying ‘one thing is inside another’.
23 EVENTUAL EVEN (just) and puncTUAL (on time) missing the first letter.
24 FAUCET mUsClE (regularly) in FAT
1 REASON IN A CIRCLE REASON (justification) IN A CIRCLE (part of a theatre)
3 WILDE Line in WIDE (morally lax)
6 FREEMASON FREE (frank) MA (parent) SON (child) – one in a masonic order
7 ELECTROMAGNETIC (IN RACE MEETING COLT)* – of the electric and magnetic fields
8 THREE MEN IN A BOAT THREE MEN (quartet, 1 down, one missing) IN A BOAT (on board) – book by Jerome K Jerome.  Excellent misdirection here!
11 ANNA KARENINA ANNA (girl) on top of (dominating) KAREN (another girl) IN A (adult) – book by Leo Tolstoy
15 TERMAGANT TERM (call) a GiANT (huge person) missing I (one) – a scolding woman
20 PARKA P (piano, soft) tARKA The Otter (missing first letter)


10 Responses to “Financial Times 13,981 by Monk”

  1. crypticsue says:

    don’t ask me to spot a Nina – I usually miss them even when I remember that I ought to be looking for one. Very enjoyable the LH side took ages but I got there in the end. Thanks to setter and blogger.

  2. Pandean says:

    Thanks for the blog PeeDee.

    After a while contemplating the completed grid, I have now spotted the four hidden NINAs.

  3. PeeDee says:

    Thanks for letting us know Pandean. I’m glad somebody can.

  4. Pandean says:

    I thought I wouldn’t be more specific, in case anyone else wanted to find them for themselves. They are however NINAs rather than Ninas, and are hidden within symmetrically placed solutions.

  5. Pandean says:

    There are also some hidden NINA anagrams, presumably deliberate.

  6. PeeDee says:

    I see them now, there are four NINAs in here. This explains why Monk didn’t use “win at a canter” which seemed a much more natural choice. I thought it seemed funny at the time.

    Personally I would rather have the cleaner word choices and do without the Ninas etc, but I know many people really like them.

  7. Tony Welsh says:

    Can someone please explain why TARKA is an otter? Kind find that word anywhere.

  8. PeeDee says:

    Tarka The Otter is a novel by Henry Williamson. It has spawned various spin-offs, though as a character Tarka is now a bit dated I think.

  9. Monk says:

    Many thanks for blog , PeeDee, but just to point out re comment at #6 that the phrase “win in a canter” — but not “win at a canter” — is in both (my electronic version of) Chambers, Tea[2.10] and Sympathy[3.3]. As for your 2nd point at #6, apologies for the obscure 19ac, which was indeed forced in by the Nina(s!).

  10. PeeDee says:

    Monk, thank you very much for dropping in, it is always always nice to hear back from setters. No problems with 19ac, I knew Irides so IRIDACEAE was an easy guess from there. A rather pleasing word I think.

    I see that ‘win at a canter’ is not listed in my hardback Chambers either, so you are absolutely corect there. My apologies. Odd, as I have never heard ‘winning in a canter’ spoken. One lives and learns!

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