Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,002 by Cincinnus

Posted by Pete Maclean on May 24th, 2012

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of May 12, 2012

Cincinnus gives us another sterling puzzle with especially fine clues at 21A (FORMOSA), 1D (SPILLAGE) and 26D (JILL). I also like the brief and simple 27A (FERAL).

1. SUBDUE – SUB (replacement) + DUE (expected)
4. SPEARMAN – S (small) + PEARMA[i]N (apple one dropped)
10. IMMEDIATE – MEDIA (means of communication) in anagram of TIME
11. CHANT – CH (church) + A[dvocated] + NT (scripture, i.e. New Testament)
12. LEAD – double definition
13. ADMINISTER – AD (notice) + MINISTER (senior politician)
15. GUMSHOE – SMUG (complacent) reversed + HOE (earth mover)
16. ETHANE – hidden word
19. EXPORT – EX (old) + PORT (wine)
21. FORMOSA – FOR (in favour of) + anagram of MAOS. After solving this clue, it might be easy to think that, well, any clever person could come up with it, that MOSA is just there for the taking. But the reality is that Cincinnus comes up with such gems more than most.
23. WELL I NEVER – N (noon) in REVEILLE + W (wife) both backwards
25. SHED – double definition
27. FERAL – ERA (time) in FL (Florida)
28. BADMINTON – DAB (fish) backwards + MINTON (China)
29. SIDESTEP – anagram of SPEED ITS
30. CLOSER – C (Conservative) + LOSER (failure)

1. SPILLAGE – S[ink] + PILLAGE (sack)
2. BOMBAY MIX – anagram of BIMBO MAY + X (kiss)
3. UNDO – D (died) in UNO (one in Naples)
5. PRECISE – anagram of RECIPES
6. ARCTIC HARE – I[nuit] in anagram of CHARACTER
7. MEANT – MEAN (average) + T (temperature)
8. NATURE – double definition
9. HANDLE – HANDEL (composer) with last two letters switched (turning tail)
14. CHRONICLES – CHRONIC (very bad) + LES (boy)
17. NEOPHYTES – anagram of PO[l]YTHENES
18. PARDONER – PARDON (what) + ER (queen), with the definition (tale-teller) referring to The Canterbury Tales
20. TREMBLE – M[ilk] in TREBLE (chorister)
21. FIENDS – FRIENDS (Quakers) with R (right) removed
22. SWIFTS – double definition
24. LURID – anagram of [o]IL DRU[m]
26. JILL – J (Jack) + ILL (misfortune)

5 Responses to “Financial Times 14,002 by Cincinnus”

  1. scchua says:

    Thank you Pete and Cincinnus.
    Like you I found this an enjoyable prize puzzle, the 2 descriptions not always coming together.
    Favourites were WELL I NEVER, FORMOSA and JILL, all with gems (to borrow your word) of a surface, with the last two being superbly &lit/&littish (or wordplay intertwined with definition).

  2. Bob Cumbow says:


    In your original post–which appears to have been amended above–you ssaid that in 21a the “once” seemed extraneous.It isn’t, because Formosa was once the name of the island we now call Taiwan. Maybe you figured that out and that’s why the archived post above contains a different comment for 21a. But I thought I’d check in just in case. Thanks for all you do!

  3. Pete Maclean says:

    Yes, Bob, after writing the initial blog in which I wondered aloud about ‘once’, it occurred to me what role that played and I amended the entry. Earlier I had thought that Formosa was the name of the island while Taiwan was the name of the country but then I came to suspect I was wrong. I looked it up on Wikipedia which confirmed that Formosa is an obsolete name for Taiwan. (Given that I have visited Taiwan, I perhaps should have known anyway!)

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    >> with the last two being superbly &lit/&littish (or wordplay intertwined with definition).

    “&littish” I like that! Must remember it. I have heard clues of this type referred to as semi-&lits but there seems to be much disagreement about the term.

  5. scchua says:

    I must confess I’m not the first to use &littish, having seen it somewhere on 15sq though I can’t recall where. You’re right, &lit and semi-&lit very often trigger discussion, though personally I feel it doesn’t really matter how one categorises a clue; just appreciate the ingenuity of the setter. And that’s why also I’ve used WIWD to avoid further debate whether a clue is 100% &lit or only part.

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