Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14070 Neo

Posted by scchua on July 31st, 2012


One can depend on Neo to provide a (not overly) challenging and enjoyable puzzle.  A few uncommon words/meanings, but not ungettable, with confirmation from the referrences.  Thanks Neo.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  [[Each picture at the bottom has an unidentified link to the puzzle.]]


1, 6 Incipient failure in a new climate is to transform these, tough for the moment (9,5)

FINANCIAL TIMES : F{initial letter of(incipient) “failure“} + IN + A + N(abbrev. for new) + anagram of(to transform) CLIMATE IS.

Answer:  The “these” in the defn.  Current,for the moment financially tough times for the EU, in a new climate of financial/monetary failures.  A clever WIWD (wordplay intertwined with defn.).  First of “financial” clues.

9 Chancellor steals to get return one pockets (7)

OSBORNE : ONE containing(pockets) reversal of(to get return) ROBS(steals).

Answer:  George, currently Chancellor of the Exchequer of the UK.

10 Roaming freely in a big way! (2,5)

AT LARGE : Double defn. I think.  2nd: In a big way,to a considerable extent, as in “the subject was treated at large”.

11 Husband in posh food shop generates capital (5)

DELHI : H(abbrev. for husband) contained in(in) DELI(short for delicatessen, a shop selling various foods, already cooked or prepared, especially ones imported or unusual,posh?)

12 Bishop to grieve once more’s not English one! (9)

SUFFRAGAN : [SUFFR  AGAN]{“suffer again”(grieve once more) minus(not) “E”(English) I(Roman numeral for one)}.

Answer:  A bishop assisting a higher placed bishop.

14 Some colliers are buried (3)

LIE : Hidden in(some) colLIErs.

Answer:  As in “lie six feet under”.

15 Revolutionary nut case lost in confusion (11)

SANSCULOTTE : Anagram of(in confusion) NUT CASE LOST.

Answer:  An extreme revolutionary, from the time of the French Revolution, literally “without knee breeches” applied derogatively by the aristocracy to the peasant revolutionaries, but later proudly adopted by the latter.

17 Very talented author dies (4-7)

WELL-SKILLED : [WELLS KILLED](possible headline if H.G.Wells, English author dies at someone else’s hand).  Nice surface.

19 Short life one lost in Slough (3)

BOG : “biog”(an alternative to “bio”, short for an account of one’s life) minus(lost) I(Roman numeral for one).

Defn.:  With a lower case initial, a swamp,mire; and perhaps even figuratively synonymous with that much-maligned town of the same name.

20 Swimmer’s ginger hairstyle (3,6)

RED MULLET :  RED(colour of a ginger-haired person, not quite flaming red) MULLET(a hairstyle).

Answer:  A food fish,swimmer.


22 Passage has changed 1a 6a (5)

SHAFT : Anagram of(changed) HAS + FT(abbrev. for newspaper, the Financial Times, answer to 1across 6across)

24 Letter from the front? (7)

INITIAL : Cryptic defn.

26 Disreputable woman, fat, wearing blouse (7)

TROLLOP : ROLL(what body fat looks like from the outside, and described as) contained in(wearing) TOP(in a woman’s dressing, what the blouse, the garment above the skirt,  is called).

27, 28 British want time in week for withdrawal from ERM (5,9)

BLACK WEDNESDAY : B(abbrev. for British) + LACK(absence of,want) WEDNESDAY(day,time in week).

Answer:  What many called 16 September 1992, the day the British Conservative government was forced to withdraw the pound sterling from the ERM(European Exchange Rate Mechanism).  Some others called it Golden Wednesday.  A WIWD clue.


1 Sea inlet where Jack goes in for diamonds (5)

FJORD : J(abbrev. for Jack, as in card games) contained in(goes in) FOR + D(abbrev. for the diamonds suit in card games).

2 Clouds from high blue area gathered in north-east (7)

NEBULAE : [Anagram of(high) BLUE + A(abbrev. for area)] contained in(gathered in) NE(abbrev. for north-east).

Answer:  Diffuse clouds of gases and particles in outer space.

3 Who saw himself as winning girl over is pursuing church to become involved (9)

NARCISSUS : [IS placed after(pursuing) RC(pertaining to the Roman Catholic church)] contained in(to become involved)  reversal of(over, in a down clue) SUSAN(girl’s name).

Answer:  Greek mythological hunter who saw himself,his reflection in a pool, and got won over by,fell in love with it, not realising it was only an image.

4 Unnecessary one in 24 making way for German city (11)

INESSENTIAL : Answer to 24,”initial” with I(Roman numeral for one) replaced by(making way for) ESSEN(German city).

5 Gain knowledge having evicted sailors in meadow (3)

LEA : “learn”(gain knowledge) minus(having evicted) RN(abbrev. for the Royal Navy,collectively sailors).

6 Working man invests pound in bank (5)

TILER : L(symbol for pound,British currency, as in £) contained in(invests…in)  TIER(a bank, an arrangement of things in a row,tier, as in “a bank of floodlights”)

7 Perfect partner for the Tories? (2,5)

MR RIGHT : Cryptic defn:  The perfect partner for a female is “Mr. Right”.  Cryptically, Mr. Right,the side where the Conservative party,the Tories, are deemed to position themselves politically, could also be the perfect partner for them.

8 Film director, back in boat, on downer for the Titanic! (9)

STERNBERG : STERN(what the back of the boat is called) placed above(on, in a down clue) BERG(what caused the Titanic to go down,the downer).

Answer:  Josef von, Austrian-American film director.

13 Made easier by Miliband to support info about Homeric work, these days irrelevant (11)

FACILITATED : Edit. note. (Thanks Eileen@1) [AT(by, as in “he was standing by/at the door”) + ED(Miliband, currently Labour Party and Opposition leader)] placed under(to support, in a down clue) [FACT(actual info) containing(about) ILI{the Iliad(classic epic poem,work by Ancient Greek, Homer) minus(irrelevant) AD{abbrev. for Anno Domini, attached to the calendar years after the birth of Christ, including the present(these days)}].

14 Cloud over mischievous child showing leg (5,4)

LOWER LIMB : LOWER(to darken,cloud with a frown or scowl) placed above(over, in a down clue) LIMB(slang for a mischievous child).

16 First couple turned up with most elderly individual, an attractive person (9)

LODESTONE : LODEST ONE{“oldest one”(most elderly individual) with the first couple of letters, “o” and “l” interchanged(turned up, in a down clue)}.

Answer:  In addition to a piece of magnetic mineral, also a person who is regarded as the centre of attraction.

18 Czech saint is lord over unnamed Italian city (7)

LUDMILA : LUD(lord, as in “my lud”, “m’lud” used when addressing the judge in a court of law) placed above(over, in a down clue) MILA{“Milan”(north Italian city) minus “n”(abbrev. for name) (unnamed)}.

Answer:  Of Bohemia, Czech saint and martyr.

19 Fought Green, getting into bed with Liberal (7)

BRAWLED : RAW(green,new) contained in(getting into) BED plus(with) L(abbrev. for a member of the Liberal Party).  A nice surface.

21 Look to head north in UK boat (5)

UMIAK : Reversal of(to head north, in a down clue) AIM(to look in a certain direction) contained in(in) UK.

Answer:  Variously spelled as umialak, umiaq, umiac, oomiac or oomiak.

23 Best year for character in Stowe (5)

TOPSY : TOPS(the best,the cream) + Y(abbrev. for year).

Answer:  Character in American author Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, from which is derived the phrase “growed like Topsy” or “grew like Topsy”.

25 According to Sarkozy the wife makes the rules (3)

LAW : LA(the definite article “the” as would be said,according to Sarkozy former President of France) W(abbrev. for wife).





9 Responses to “Financial Times 14070 Neo”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, scchua, and Neo for an entertaining puzzle.

    In the parsing of 13dn, the final AT is missing from the wordplay. I puzzled over this myself and then remembered, I think, having seen AT clued by ‘by’ in a puzzle some time ago, which would give AT ED – by Milliband. I struggled rather to equate the two but Collins gives the example of ‘shocked at his behaviour’, where ‘by’ could be substituted and have the same sense.

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks Eileen, blog corrected. I had AT=”by” when I solved it, but, with all the bits in the parsing of this clue, completely forgot about it. My interpretation at that time was as a positional preposition – “he was standing by/at the door”.

  3. Eileen says:

    Hi scchua

    Yes, of course, that works, too – I just couldn’t see it! I had only looked in Collins and Chambers but I see now that my old SOED has ‘at = by’.

  4. Richard says:

    Thanks for the blog, scchua. I didn’t do very well with this on my own in my 40 min lunch break in the pub.

  5. rowland says:

    Thanks Scchua, and Eileen too, for an excellent commentary on a very nice piece by Neo. This felt like an Indy or Guardian puzzle to me, quite tough, but with clues that parsed economically and well. I found the definition for FINANCIAL TIMES clever in avoiding while NOT avoiding PR for the paper!


  6. flashling says:

    I’ll try again as first attempt somehow ended up in Big Dave’s quiptic for yesterday, wierd.

    Fine stuff Neo, raced through most of this before hitting a dead stop, then crawled to the end.

    As ever some clever stuff even if a political bias does creep in, not that I mind.

    Thanks SC one of these days I’ll recognise some of your images.

  7. rowland says:

    It looks above as if I’d meant that Guardian and Indy puzzles do not have clues that parse well! I did not mean that at all, so apologies.


  8. Neo says:

    Political bias? Moi? Mais non Flash: c’est all to do with the way the word breaks down, honest. And anyway, the City boyz ‘n’ girlz probably hate Gideon at least as much as anyone else does. I love him though. He’s cuddly. And richer than a slab of brownie cheesecake.

    Many thanks to scchua for his usual amazing, colourful and witty blog, and to all commenters.

  9. jmac says:

    Effervescent brilliance from Neo – When I see that he is the setter I always look forward to my train journey! I thought that this was a little on the tough side but very rewarding.

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