Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,029 by Loroso

Posted by PeeDee on June 13th, 2012


My apologies for the late posting, by some strange human/computer malfunction that I have still not fathomed I managed to delete the entire blog just before posting and had to start again from scratch.

Loroso has delivered an excellent crossword here, many great clues to go at.  If I had to pick a favourite it would have to be 25 across, though many others run it close.  I have two misgivings: 10 across and 14 down.  These could be a little dodgy, or could just it be me who lacks understanding?   It would not be the first time.

Hold the mouse pointer over any clue number to read the clue.

1 PECCADILLO PECCA sounds like (reportedly) pecker (bird’s bill) and ILL (sick) in DO (party)
7, 9 SOFT SPOT SOFT (easy, 15 across) SPOT (see)
10 NANOSECOND cryptic definition, a small (minute) time unit. I didn’t like this since one can not solve the clue without the crossing letters – picosecond, attosecond and decisecond also fit the clue.
11 BRAHMS BRAsH (crude) S=soprano missing and MS (manuscript)
13 ARCHAISMS ARCH (chief) and Son in AIM (end)
15, 17 EASY MEAT ME (the setter) in (YET AS A)* cryptic=anagram
19 FIGHT OFF TOFF (aristocrat) following (behind) FIG (damn!) Hard
22 PUSHIEST SHIES (throws) in PUT (position)
23 MUTTON MUTT (dog) ON (being cooked) – Chambers gives ‘on the table’, ‘on the fire’ and ‘on the menu’ as possible definitions for ‘on’
25 STRING BEAN anagram (beating) of roGer (heart of) and BANNISTER – a runner bean
26, 27 RING TRUE Runs with I (one, Roman numeral) and URGENT* – definition is ‘adds up’
28 DISHARMONY ARM ON (keep supplying weapons) in DISHY (fit, attractive)
2 EMPEROR EM (typographical measure) PER (a, two-a-penny) OR (gold)
3 CATCH double definition – contract a disease
4 DYNASTIC ITS ANY (some) reversed in in Washington DC
6 OYSTER stitched into (run into) bOYS TERrorising
7 SACRAMENT A CRAM (crowd) caught (arrested) by SENT (dispatched) – holy orders
8 FANCIES FAN (cool) ChIsElS (oldd letters) – definition is ‘would have’
14 HITCHHIKE H (hours) HIKE (travel) outside ITCH (longing) – definition is ‘get a lift’. To me ‘travel’ and ‘hours’ are the wrong way round here. I would have expected “Hours travel outside…”. This clue has an &lit flavour, possibly there is another explanation I have missed; ‘hike’ can also mean ‘lift’, ‘travel for hours’ and ‘travel outside’.  ITCH (longing) could be ‘getting a lift’ inside H HIKE (travel hours outside).
16 EGOMANIA IN A MO (soon) in AGE (effect of growing up) reversed
18 EQUATOR EAT (worry) about QU (question) over OR (alternative)
20 FROWN ON OWN (private) in FRONt (battle zone) shortened
21 WEDGED W (with) EDGE (creep) on D (date)
24 THRUM THRU (through, by) M (amile) – definition is ‘beat’, a low frequency sound


12 Responses to “Financial Times 14,029 by Loroso”

  1. crypticsue says:

    4d is surely DOMESTIC – its some reversed (set up) in DC, thus making the unit of time a MINISECOND.

    Mr Mayer in fine form with this one. I did enjoy myself so thank you to him and PeeDee too.

  2. PeeDee says:

    MINISECOND is not in Chambers, though it may still be a word, I don’t know for sure. Does domestic really mean ‘of regime’?

    This highlights the problem with clues that depend on knowing the crossing the letters I think!

  3. anax says:

    Hi both!

    Just a note on 10a/4d. No, it couldn’t be DOMESTIC because SOME< would result in DEMOSTIC, which I suppose is beautiful in its own way but, sadly, not real.
    The choice for 10a was the one likely to be familiar to most – PICOSECOND perhaps, but the other examples I think would be too far out there for yer average solver. In any case, it's one of those where, if a choice is available, the only attack is to capture the cross-checkers – just part of the wicked game we play.

  4. crypticsue says:

    I knew I was wrong as soon as I pressed ‘post comment’ Memo to self, double check before submitting.

  5. PeeDee says:

    DOMESTIC wasn’t so bad, IT has SOME (set up=anagram) in DC does give DOMESTIC, and one does talk about a ‘domestic regime’. Using it’s for ‘it has’ would be a bit iffy, though I have seen diliberate misuse of apostrophies in cryptics may times before.

    DEMOSTIC was actually my first guess and I got as far as looking it up in the dictionary. I was expecting it to be a variation on DEMOTIC meaning something like ‘of rule by the people’ from the Greek demos.

  6. shuchi says:

    Very enjoyable puzzle, loved 25a and 28d. Thanks for the blog PeeDee, I needed your help to understand 23a. ON = ‘being cooked’ is new to me.

    I had the same question as you about 14d. H((ITCH)H)IKE was another possibility I considered, that too doesn’t fit 100%.

  7. Wanderer says:

    Thanks PeeDee (and especially for going to the trouble of doing your blog twice). I agree with your assessment, this was excellent. The south-east held me up for a long time; when I finally got ‘in a mo’ for ‘soon’ in EGOMANIA, and ‘arm on’ for ‘keep supplying weapons’ in DISHARMONY, I thought them both inspired. Also big ticks for STRING BEAN, ARCHAISM and the simple but beautiful EMPEROR.

    Many thanks to Anax/Loroso.

  8. Bhavan says:

    I see 14D as:

    Travel = defn
    Hours = H H
    Outside = c/c indicator
    Longing = ITCH
    to get = link
    lift = HIKE

  9. PeeDee says:

    I had not thought of ‘travel’ as the definition, that could have possibilities. Your explanation above gives too may H’s in the solution though, it would give HITCHHHIKE.

  10. PeeDee says:

    anax, if you are still reading this, what was the intended parsing for 14D?

  11. anax says:

    Harrrumph! It was what we call in the trade ‘an error’. The HITCHHIKE clue had started with ‘almost’ or ‘mostly’ to remove the H from ITC[h] but the surface became clumsy (also wasn’t keen on H being the next letter in the answer) so I deleted the indicator, then got distracted by something, most likely a phone call. Returning to the clue, some odd bit of my brain said “Right, that one’s done”…

    …amazing! I’ve just had the flashback moment. It was a phone call – while talking I was looking at another answer and formulating a clue idea. I shut off the unfinished HITCHHIKE clue and forgot to return to it.

    A bit embarrassing.

  12. PeeDee says:

    It was that person from Porlock calling again.

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