Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times Monday Prize 13973 Crux

Posted by scchua on April 19th, 2012


An enjoyable prize crossword, neatly clued.  Thanks to Crux.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.


1 Basic floor design requires a ruler (8)

PLANKING :  PLAN(design,blueprint) plus(requires) KING(a ruler). 

Answer: A basic floor would consist of wooden planking.

5 Socialist author unhappy with Blair? (6)

ORWELL :  Cryptic defn: George, was the pen name of socialist author Eric Arthur Blair – was he perhaps unhappy with his name as indicated by the question mark?  The surface misdirects us to another Blair, who perhaps made many socialists, authors included, unhappy.  

9 Like Shakespeare’s genius it rarely goes amiss (8)

LITERARYAnagram of(goes amiss) IT RARELY.

10 One cell with a ring fixed in a beam, perhaps (6)

AMOEBA :  O(looks like a ring) contained in(fixed in) anagram of(perhaps) [A BEAM].

12 Valiant nil-nil replay is futile . . . . (2,2,5)

TO NO AVAILAnagram of(replay) [VALIANT + O-O(looks like 0-0,nil-nil)]

13 . . . . in return, City beat Brazilian port (5)

NATALReversal of(in return) [LA(Los Angeles,city) + TAN(to beat)]. 

Answer: A city-port in Brazil.  A popular name to name cities.

14 Sensible patients wouldn’t be in it (4)

COMA :  Cryptic defn: If you’re sensible,have all your senses working, you wouldn’t be in a coma, and vice versa.

16 River in swollen condition – sound the alarm! (4,3)

RING OUT :  R(river) + IN + GOUT(a medical condition due to excess uric acid in the blood depositing in certain joints, and making them inflamed,swollen).

19 Deleted word for “glove” in dictionary (7)

OMITTED :  MITT(a word forglove”) contained in(in) OED(abbrev. for the Oxford English Dictionary).

21 Airline’s eastern centre of operations (4)

BASE :  BA(abbrev. for British Airways, whose motto was once “worlds’ favourite airline”, but sometimes “Bloody Awful”) + E(eastern).

24 Set free of charges yet bound over (5)

CLEAR :  Double defn: 1st: Of legal charges; and 2nd: bound,jump over a specified height.

25 Garden features using stones around lake (9)

ROCKERIES :  ROCKS(stones) containing(around) ERIE(one of the Great Lakes in North America).

27 One cold March back in the Antarctic eg (6)

ICECAP :  I(Roman numeral for “one”) + C(cold) + reversal of(back) of PACE(to march)

28 Upholder of standards (8)

FLAGPOLE :  Cryptic defn: On which flags,standards are flown,upheld.

29 Tasteless ingredient of vinegar is harmful (6)

GARISHHidden in(ingredient of) vineGAR IS Harmful.

30 Wrongly diagnose, thus suffered a lot (8)

AGONISEDAnagram of(wrongly) DIAGNOSE.


1 Brigand swaps sides to be Roman governor (6)

PILATE :  “pirate”(brigand) with its letter “r”(right) replaced by “l”(left),swaps sides.

2 A nurse takes time to be there (6)

ATTENDA + TEND(to nurse) containing(takes) T(time).

3 A country’s livelihood, you could say (5)

KOREAHomophone of(you could say) of “career”(one’s livelihood,occupation).

4 Frontline caught in seething rain – such bliss! (7)

NIRVANA :  VAN(frontline,forefront of eg. army, movement, progress) contained in(caught in) anagram of(seething) RAIN.

Answer: In some eastern religions, including Buddhism and Hinduism, the state of being free from suffering,being in such bliss.  The word in Sanskrit literally means “blowing out” – of the fires of greed, hatred and delusion.

6 Strange insects biting in cattle (9)

RUMINANTS :  [RUM(strange,odd) + ANTS(insects)] containing(biting) IN

Answer: Animals, including cattle, and camels, and giraffes, which have even-toed hooves, chew cud, and have 4 stomach compartments to digest their food.

7 Start off being miserable and you’ll get the sack (8)

EJECTION :  “dejection”(state of being miserable) minus its initial letter(start off).

8 Flyers from sale left scattered around (8)

LEAFLETSAnagram of(scattered around) SALE LEFT

Answer: The, mostly, junk mail that you get though your letterbox or distributed by hand at shopping malls, train stations, etc.  Nice, true surface.

11 Obscure leaders in battle located under ruins (4)

BLUR :  Initial letters,leaders inbattle”,”located”, “under”, “ruins”.

15 Tubs are OK to contain explosions (9)

OUTBREAKSAnagram of(to contain) TUBS ARE OK.

17 Pathetic feeling (8)

TOUCHING :  Double defn:  1st: That which pulls your heart strings and 2nd: The sense of feeling,touching via the nerve endings in your skin.

18 Any issue he raised couldn’t succeed (4,4)

LIFE PEER :  Cryptic defn: A child,issue of a life peer cannot inherit,couldn’t succeed to his title, as opposed to a hereditary peer.  Nice, if pessimistic, surface of a peer in the House of Lords.

20 Frank’s caught out with ominous results (4)

DIRE :  “direct”(frank,straightforward) minus(out) “ct”(in cricket notation, abbrev. for “caught”).

21 Support needed on journal, work piling up (7)

BACKLOG :  BACK(support, as verb or noun) placed above(on, in a down clue) LOG(a journal)

22 Hard workers, we’re told, who can’t vote? (6)

MINORSHomophone of(we’re told) “miners”(those hard workers underground). 

Answer: Those below voting age.

23 Soar aloft, like Chelsea’s first goal (6)

ASCEND :  AS(like, as in “hard as nails”) + C(“Chelsea”’s initial letter,first) + END(goal one strives to)

26 Prod to which toast’s often attached (3,2)

EGG ON :  Cryptic defn: “toastis often attached to make “egg on toast”.

One Response to “Financial Times Monday Prize 13973 Crux”

  1. Bamberger says:

    I couldn’t get 17d and for 18d I had ?i?? ?e?r. I know nothing about Shakespeare apart from his works appear in crosswords so I thought that there must be something about KING LEAR’s children being unable to rule. Way off!
    That left me 24a and with ??g?r it was never going to happen.Oh the irony of cLEAR.

    Had no idea was 5a was Orwell -now I know.

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