Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,055 by Redshank

Posted by Jed on July 13th, 2012


Struggled over 23 down having to summon troops for assistance





1 SACRED (devoted to deity) ACRE (area) in SD (South Dakota)

4 VINDALOO (food) V-1 (rocket) (AND)* LOO (convenience)

10 FLACCID (limp) F (female) CC (cricket club) in LAID (put)

11 LEDGERS (old spreadsheets) L (line) R (ruled) in EDGES (margins)

12 SUBS (reserves) hidden backwards in [Shepherd]S BUS[h]

13 BEANFEASTS (parties) BEA (British European Airways) (FASTEN S[eatbelts])*

16 ADROIT (clever) (ROAD)* IT (that’s it)

17 SEXISTS (are prejudiced) S (Sweden) EXISTS (is)

20 POLYGON (figure) (G[u]Y[s] LOP)<  ON (acceptable)

24 LONELY (isolated) ONE for I in lily

24 YESTERYEAR (in the past) YES (ok) [chels]EA in (TERRY)*

27 BEEF TEA (drink) BEE (flier) (FATE)*

29 GROUNDS (dregs) ROUND (18 holes) in GS (golf society)

30 ENFEEBLE (make weak) BEEF< (gripe about) in [h]ENLE[y]

31 ADORNS (decks) RN (navy) in A DOS (disk operating system)


1 SOFT-SOAP (butter) FT (we) in SOS (emergency call) OAP (pensioner)

2 CHAMBER POTS (WCs) POT (pocket) in CHAMBERS (big red book)

3 ETCH (chase) ETC (others) H (husband)

5 ISLANDER (man from Isle of Man)

6 DIDGERIDOO (instrument) DID GERI (Haliwell) DO O

7 LIE (false claim) [c]L[a]I[m]E[d]

8 OBSESS (brood) (BOSSES)*

9 UDDER (milk supplier) (HUNDREDS)* minus NHS

14 SET DESIGNER (flats – scenery in theatre) (INT[o] EG DES RES)*

15 CITY CENTRE (Birmingham) IT is centre of city

18 PONYTAIL (hairstyle) (POTENTIALLY)* minus LET

19 HYPNOSIS (relaxation technique) (PONYS)* in HIS

22 BYE-BYE (last word) BYE (extra cricket)

23 TAIGA (golfer Tiger uttered) taiga is a subarctic forest so ‘woods in the tundra’

26 ROAD SIGN (stop) R (king) (DOING AS)*

28 ELF first letters E[nigmatic] L[ittle] F[ellow]

( ) * = anagram    < = reverse    [ ] = omit

24 Responses to “Financial Times 14,055 by Redshank”

  1. JollySwagman says:

    Thanks Jed – 23 got me.

    Great puzzle – rather tougher than he is usually on the G I’d say. Nice use of original indicators well hidden.

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Jed, for the blog.

    What a super puzzle! I always enjoy Redshank’s offerings but this was something special, I think – full of wit and ingenuity, providing lots of ‘ahas’ and smiles.

    I have ticks all over the place but the ones that particularly amused were VINDALOO and DIDGERIDOO; lots of others produced a sigh of appreciation at the cleverness.

    Huge thanks, Redshank, for all the fun.

  3. Ernie says:

    Thanks, Jed
    re 16A I had the ‘it’ part of adroit coming from (w)it(h) ie ignoring the first and last letters of with.

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, agree, a great crossword.
    Even if I must admit that I couldn’t finish it.
    The North Western duo ETCH (for some reason too much focused on ‘echo’) and FLACCID eluded me.

    And the third one that I didn’t get (ROAD SIGN) I hereby declare to be my Clue of the Day.
    But it could just as well have been 13ac (brilliant surface), 17ac, 24ac (on the day that Terry … etc), 8d or plus plus.

    There is a really good feeling that surrounds this crossword.
    Lightness, variety in cluing devices, references to today’s world, even cricket & golf too!

    Chapeau, Redshank, this was one of the very best so far in your FT-history! [which is quite a feat, because they’re always good]

  5. JollySwagman says:

    9d and 18d are subtractive anagrams with the sub-fodder out of order and no jumblicator applied to them. Admittedly only three-letter words but I’ve only ever noticed them do that on the Indy with two letters up to now.

    Good to see the Indy moving in the right direction

    Xim-pedants claim that somehow a jumblicator on the sub-fodder makes it “fairer to the solver” – an argument I find hard to comprehend.

  6. Paul B says:

    You’re showing your panty line there old boy, or ‘ignorance’ as we call it in the trade. Consider this one, written by a full-on ‘Xim-pedant’, and have a little rethink:

    Fantastic warblers do it – sew leaves! Here’s one among them (6,4)

  7. JollySwagman says:

    I don’t care to be called ignorant by a habitually rude and conceited troll so I am reluctant to dignify his offering with further argument. There has been plenty of debate over time on this subject by by polite Ximenthusiasts. Those in the know will be well aware of that.

    Entries in clueing comps are no indication of the requirements of crossword editors.

    Actually (for others) I initially thought of BRIDAL TRIO – but do they sing? Googling it turns out to be TAILOR BIRD

  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Come on boys, you like each other, don’t you? :)

    The example Paul gives us is clear enough and has nothing to do with Ximeneans, in my opinion.

    It’s all about the order of things.

    Fantastic warblers do it = SEWTALORBIRD (or SEWTAILORBRD), for example.
    sew leaves = TALORBIRD , then of course around I.
    Nothing wrong with it.

    If the clue would have said: “Fantastic warblers do it – sew leaves first”, then I think it is a different matter.
    One has to remove ‘sew’ first and in that case the swap within ‘sew’ should ideally be indicated.

    Perhaps, JS is referring to a situation like the latter in which I think he means that we shouldn’t be bothered by the second anagram indicator. Am I right?

  9. JollySwagman says:

    @SvdH now I’m even more confused. The example clue there is fine for me.

    In the G you see it both ways so I presume the editor there is not interfering.

    Here’s Philistine 22d in puzzle 25,643

    View with disgust as most leave bathrooms in a mess (5) for ABHOR

    Some say it should be something like:

    View with disgust as most amazingly leave bathrooms in a mess (5)

    where amazingly acts as an anagrind.

    I don’t say it’s directly addressed by Ximenes (it may be) – I don’t say all self-styled ximeneans agree nor all non-ximenean pedants, but there is an area of the Venn diagram which represents those who regard that as a “rule” and there is a noticeable absence of examples like that certainly on The Times, and the simple point I was making was that this was the first time I personally had seen this run to more than two letters on the Indy. Ie that might represent a liberalising of the “rules” in that organ.

  10. Sil van den Hoek says:

    OK, one more reply then.

    I think there’s no need for ‘some’ to re-write Philstine’s clue, because the way I read the clue is:
    (MOST) leave (BATHROOMS)*
    meaning: (MOST) leaving (MOSTABHOR), for example
    The anagram of ‘bathroom’ comes first here, in this interpretation.

    However, if one reads the clue as (MOST leave BATHROOMS)*, which I don’t but ‘some’ might do, then for those ‘some’ an anagram indicator for MOST is needed.

    Another point for ‘some’ (and I fear, I have become one of them) is that the word ‘leave’ should be ‘leaves’, as MOST , which is just a thing or an object in a cryptic sense, leaves BATHROOMS.
    It’s the same discussion as we had a while ago, also triggered by a Philistine clue.
    “I am in love” (for Lovie) should cryptically speaking be “I is in love”, which isn’t right for the surface of course. Hence, the clue should be “I must be in love”, “I will be in love” or the like.

    Sorry for making you confused.

    Oh, and these subtraction anagrams, Crucible (Redshank’s alter ego) includes them nearly always in his crosswords (using >2 letter words). Maybe it’s different in The Indy or The Times, I don’t know (I don’t do The Times and only certain Indy puzzles like the ones by your big friend … :)).

  11. JollySwagman says:

    We are in exact agreement on subtraction anagrams – what confused me before was your addition of “first” to the earlier example – however there are others out there who disagree.

    OTOH the objection to “I’m in” is not to satisfy “cryptic grammar” – it is to satisfy one particular cryptic grammar (and it’s derivatives) – that of Ximenes.

    It passed unnoticed here but Radian’s excellent prize puzzle in the Indy a few Saturdays ago (a model of elegant cluing) contained a clue using “I’m in” to insert I into something else. I wondered if he was having a bit of fun there.

  12. Paul B says:

    The point Jolly Swagman makes is that while he’s quite happy to insult people who enjoy crosswords from a Ximenean POV (they’re ‘Xim-pedants’ in his spiteful lexicon), unfortunately he’s not all that knowledgable on the subject of crosswords as enjoyed from a Ximenean POV. He simpers after Sil’s helpful missive, but fails to understand the implications of it.

    So, if I were Jolly Swagman, I’d keep my big trap shut until I know enough to open it. If he wants to know why both the clue I gave and the clues from the Redshank puzzle pass the Xim-pedant test, he can e-mail me. I’m buggered if I’m going to let him off the hook here.

  13. JollySwagman says:

    Oh dear – now I’m simpering and ignorant.

    Offensiveness, ad hominem – usual fare.

    “fails to understand” – pure conceit

    Full marks for consistency at least.

    Ximpedant suddenly “spiteful – a simple portmanteau of ximenean and pedant.

    Many would be proud to sail under that banner – some of them even have good manners.

  14. Paul B says:

    If you’re thinking that since, in your continuing arrogance, you’ve shown yourself to be a crosswording clown and I’m filling my boots, you’re absolutely right. But I won’t labour the point. Well, just this one last time maybe.

    Pride comes before a fall as even I’ve managed to learn, so perhaps, just perhaps, in future you’ll think twice before offering your sage assessment of the relative merits of, for example, subtractive anagramming techniques and cryptic grammar. Good day to you sir.

  15. JollySwagman says:

    Wow – what a nasty man. It’s great sometimes to give people the opportunity to show their true colours. Enough rope and all that. Seems that he was chewing at the bit to have a crack at me.

    It seemed such an innocuous thing to say. A bit like driving quietly along a country lane when some road-rager comes roaring up behind – lights flashing, fist shaking.

    Another Indy setter once wrote (not that long ago) in a competition setting:

    “The Independent (and, I suspect, The Times) doesn’t allow subtraction anagrams at all if the subtracted fodder doesn’t appear as an unbroken string.”

    Actually I could have disagreed with that at the time (re the Indy) as there was a counter-example of that on the Indy not much earlier but as I (think I) recall it only ran to two letters – so the general point that at that time the Indy seemed in general to discourage subtraction anagrams would match my casual observation – The Times even more so although there my visits are even less frequent.

    So in a nutshell I was welcoming that apparent liberalisation.

    As far as whether jumbling of the subtraction fodder is needed – for me never – but I have definitely come across folk saying always – now two people say sometimes – depends on the order of presentation, and even that you can fudge the order of evaluation with words like “first”. I’m really not interested in how the numbers divide on that. Never is good enough for me – and if one’s thrown in to help the surface – no harm done.

    Unless my comment at #5 should have more precisely read “Xim-pedants claim …” as “Some Xim-pedants claim …” I cannot fault it and the former is a perfectly commonplace usage when the latter is intended.

    So the simple message was:

    1: there seems to be evidence in that puzzle that the Indy is liberalising it’s attitude to subtraction anagrams.

    2: I welcome that.

  16. star-system says:

    An interesting debate!

    Some fellow I met many years ago had cause to set me straight on something or other with the following, wine-assisted analogy. ‘In the jungle pathways of Crossword Island are set many traps, frequently sprung, and much to the delight of the tribal elders’.

    What’s Ximenean and what’s not is a can of worms someone very foolishly has opened, and there is no going back. I tend to exercise restraint wherever possible, unless I’m right on the money.

  17. JollySwagman says:

    The trick with a good puppet show is to not let the audience see the strings.

  18. Ferret says:

    If only I was clever enough to devise a subtraction anagram clue that involved throwing TOYS out of A PRAM……….

  19. Paul B says:

    An excellent sentiment!

  20. JollySwagman says:

    Nice idea ferret – toys in my pram all present and correct – only problem is I don’t have any puppets.

    I was advised not to get any cos it makes folks think you’re an obsessive weirdo.

  21. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Furthermore to subtraction anagrams: JS, what do you think of 29ac in last Monday’s FT Prize Crossword by Dante?
    As it’s a prize puzzle, you’re not allowed to say anything about it now and here, but perhaps we can give our discussion a follow-up in my blog of that puzzle next Thursday?
    So, stay in tune!

  22. Paul B says:

    Let us wait by the painted porch …

  23. Keeper says:

    Pedant alert: I have a nit with 23d. Tundra and taiga are two distinct biomes. In fact, tundra is characterized by a lack of tree growth. So “woods in the tundra” doesn’t make sense (and certainly doesn’t equate to taiga). But as the taiga and tundra are adjacent, this could have been fixed with “next to the tundra” or “below (south of) the tundra”.

  24. Jeffery@Brother Sewing Machines says:

    Excellent and wonderful post!Cool puzzle!

    Know The Best Sewing Available on .

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

6 − = two