Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times no.13,994 by NEO

Posted by Ringo on May 3rd, 2012


This was one of those rare puzzles that was both a doddle and a complete pleasure to complete.


1. ACUMEN  Cu [copper] within A [area] + men [team]

4. STOCKING  Double definition; I seem to remember a very similar clue appearing in last Thursday’s puzzle

10. TITANIC  Anagram of attic in

11. AMNIOTE  I [one] within anagram of on meat [‘supply’ here being an adverb]

12. BEAT  B [black] + anagram of tea

13. GENERATION  G [good] + anagram of trainee + on

16. HEALTH  L [large] within Heath [former Tory leader Ted]

17. VISITOR  V [5] + is it [could it be?] + or

20. AIRPORT  Air [express, as in ‘air one’s views’] + port [left]

21. BEACON  Be a con [conservative, Tory]

24. PRESENTING  Present [here] + in [at work] + G [musical key]

25. ARMS  RM [Royal Marines] within as

27. CHELSEA  Double definition, alluding to the football side and the daughter of the former President

29. ELEVATE  Double definition

30. ENOUNCED  Ounce [snow leopard, cat] within end [conclusion]

31. RENNET  Reversal of tenner [£10]


1. AUTOBAHN  Anagram of about + alternate letters of aAcHeN

2. ULTRAMARINE  Anagram of Renault I ram

3. ERNE  Hidden in hER NEst; like the ounce (30ac.), the erne is a creature that these days mainly makes its home in crossword puzzles

5. TRADES IN  Des [boy’s name] within train [choo-choo]

6. CANAANITES  An a an [indefinite articles] within cites [quotes] to give the Biblical tribe

7. IDO  Initial letters of Is Developed Orally to give the artificial language

8. GREENS  Double definition, with a golfing allusion

9. SCREW  S [south] + crew [oarsmen]

14. IRON CURTAIN  I(talian) + anagram of Croat run-in

15. STEPHENSON  Hen [female] within stepson [former union lad, i.e. son from a previous marriage] to give the famous railway engineer George

18. PROTEASE  Pro [sportsman] + tease [worry]

19. IN A SWEAT  I [first person] + anagram of as a newt

22. APACHE  Pa [old man] within ache [pain]

23. ANDES  Danes [Scandinavians] with the ‘D’ transposed

26. MERE  Double definition

28. ECO  The author Umberto (another old crossword-setter’s chestnut) is hidden in divinE COmedy

9 Responses to “Financial Times no.13,994 by NEO”

  1. crypticsue says:

    I second Ringo’s comments – thank you to him and Neo

  2. Wanderer says:

    Thanks Ringo, I’m with you and crypticsue. Lovely stuff.

    As a bonus, Neo has run the central four rows together, giving us


  3. Bamberger says:

    Failed on canaanites, amniote protease and stephenson -not a doddle for me sadly.

  4. Lynette says:

    I’m with you Bamberger. I didn’t get IDO, PROTEASE or ENOUNCE. I do think that people who say it was a doddle sound like strutting peacocks…

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Neo’s precise [because he wants to be precise] and Neo’s also less adventurous than Tees [because it’s the FT and not the Independent].
    So, Neo is perhaps Tees Lite, but still Great Stuff (in propertion, that is).

    Most of the grid was filled rather quickly, with some really easy ones (10ac, 28d).
    But there were some gems too – every single one, perhaps, for a different reason.
    13ac (GENERATION), 17ac (VISITOR), 1d (AUTOBAHN), 2d (ULTRAMARINE) and 9d (SCREW) all brilliant – I think, Neo can surely read my mind (when it comes to asking himself: why?).

    Only (minor) point of criticism: the lack of the little word “of” preceding “Peak District” in 23d.

    Tees Lite?
    Perhaps, yes, but a satisfying solve it was!!

  6. Ringo says:

    Thanks, all, for the comments. Many apologies if it sounded like braggartry on my part! First time I’ve ever been described as a strutting peacock… I suppose it was one of those mornings where everything just fell into place. Regular readers (Sid and Doris Bonkers) will know that I’ve had enough tough mornings with the pink ‘un to justify the odd ‘doddle’…

    @Wanderer: well spotted! A nice touch, as you say.

    @Sil: yes, all great, those. I think “former union lad” for “stepson” was my favourite device.

  7. Neo says:

    Many thanks to the peacock (excellent work) and to the other peacocks for their displays. Commiserations to the turkeys, which sounds pejorative and, indeed, is! But I know it’s a drag when you can’t damn well get one. As I found out in today’s Grauniad.

    Re difficulty FT vs Indy, I do take the handbrake off when I know the audience is going to be 95% British, and up to speed with some of the cultural refs from, say, footie and soaps. But I still like to do good stuff for the FT mob, which seems to be a worldwide community of fantastically rich folk with whom one should keep in.

    Thanks to Wanderer for spotting the linked lights: this was meant as an antidote to the somewhat fractured nature of the grid, with its nine-square diagonal barrier. As for 23D Sil, I don’t think ‘of’ or ‘in’ is strictly necessary, since ‘Peak District’ is the definition. It just runs on from the wordplay, in which the D moves down in DANES.

  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    I want to emphasise that the FT/Indy Neo/Tees thing is not at all meant to be some kind of criticism.
    I also like to confess that Neo/Tees – and this is no flattery – has become one of my favourite setters through the years.
    While, at times, he is critical about the output of some of his fellow compilers, this criticism is most of the time quite valid – in his own puzzles he is always true to his own principles.
    There must be a pseudonym that suits The Guardian …. :)

  9. Neo says:

    Not that you’re a stirrer, Sil: but how about SPOON?

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