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Financial Times 14088 Phssthpok

Posted by scchua on August 22nd, 2012


Apologies for the very much later than usual posting.  The gremlin struck the FT crossword site again, and yesterday’s puzzle wasn’t available until this morning.  This is like reporting yesterday’s news, so this is a budget vanilla-flavoured blog, also because of the time constraint.   Thanks to those who made the effort and/or actually sent me the puzzle, but unfortunately to no avail….

which was a pity, as this was quite a challenging puzzle with, unusually for the FT, an undeclared theme.  It starts with 1A CARROLL, and includes (I’m not sure if I’ve got them all)  23A ALICE,  25A MAD HATTER, 26A WALRUS, 7D CROQUET (with flamingoes), 10D KNAVE OF HEARTS.  Thanks Phssthpok for the interesting challenge.

Definitions are underlined in the clues.

Across :

1 Writer of nonsense does somersault behind vehicle (7)

CARROLL :  ROLL(somersault) placed after(behind) CAR(vehicle).

Answer:  Lewis Carroll, writer of Alice in Wonderland, our mini-theme.

5 Liquor for occupants of garrison (6)

ARRACK :  Inner letters,occupants of “barracks”,garrison.

8 Not in for little bit of money with this organisation? (3-6)

NON-PROFITAnagram of(this organization) [NOT IN FOR + P(abbrev. for “penny”,little bit of money)].  A WIWD (wordplay intertwined with defn.) clue.

9 Corrupted last character in transfer for processing by agent (5)

SPOOK :  “spool”,in computing (I think) to transfer data to some device or programme for later processing with last letter changed,corrupted to “k”.

Answer:  Slang for a secret agent.

11 Instruments of love? “Fiddlesticks” we hear (5)

OBOES :  O(abbrev. of love,zero,nil) + BOES{hidden in(we hear) of “bows”,fiddle sticks}

12 Alpine sun disturbed the Balkans and Italy, for example (9)

PENINSULAAnagram of(disturbed) ALPINE SUN.

Answer:  The geographical feature of which the Balkans and Italy are examples.

13 In France, you grazed wearing loose clothing (8)

TUNICKED :  TU(“you” as said in France) + NICKED(grazed).

Answer:  Have on,wearing tunics,loose clothing.  Did Alice wear a tunic?

15 Without time, law is bust (6)

STATUE :  “statute”,law minus(without) “t”,abbrev. for “time”.

Answer:  A statue of the upper half of a person.

17 Neat crossing in city (6)

OXFORD :  OX(an example of neat,cattle) + FORD(a river crossing).

19 Autumnal decoration? (4-4)

GOLD LEAF :  Cryptic defn: What is put on surfaces as decoration.  Also what can be found on trees in autumn in temperate regions.

22 Is god or prophet grabbing the borders from inhabitant of Holy Land? (9)

ISRAELITE :  IS + RA(Egyptian sun god) + ELI(Biblical prophet) containing(grabbing) T,E(the outermost letters,borders of “the”).

23 Girl band (5)

ALICE :  Double defn: 1st:  Name of the girl from the theme; and 2nd: A band to put a girl’s hair in place.

24 Bound by proclamation of faith (5)

TRUSTHomophone of(by proclamation) of “trussed”,bound.

25 Eccentric setter of puzzles might clue “threat” (3,6)

MAD HATTER :  How a setter might set a clue to give “threat” as an anagram,mad of “hatter”.

Defn:  As a noun.

26 Mammal sheds tail in slow movement and fast movement (6)

WALRUS :  “walk”slow movement and “rush”,fast movement minus(sheds) their last letter,tail.  I thought it should have been “tails” (plural), but that would have spoilt the surface.  As a result of the singular, I was looking for a mammal less its tail.

27 Coats mirrored staff in small protected area (7)

ENAMELSReversal of(mirrored) [MAN(to staff) contained in(in) {S(abbrev. for small) + LEE(the side,area protected from the wind)}].

Down :

1 One shifts joints unpredictably in fraud, a civil wrong, then one is charged first (13)

CONTORTIONIST :  CON(a fraud) + TORT(a civil wrong in law) + ION(a particle,one that is electrically charged) + IST(looks like 1st,first).

2 Summary is under the weather (3-4)

RUN-DOWN :  Double defn:

3 Success therefore reared monsters (5)

OGRESReversal of(reared) S(abbrev. for “success”) + ERGO(therefore in Latin).

4 One legislates for convict to be given a letter (4,4)

LIFE PEER :  LIFER(a convict serving life) containing(to be given) PEE(the letter “p”).

5 When the news is on, deliver D notice (6)

ATTEND :  AT TEN(o’clock at night, when the news comes on TV in England) plus(deliver?) D.

Answer:  To listen to,to notice.

6 Rung before son ate deadly portion (9)

RESONATEDHidden in(portion) befoRE SON ATE Deadly.

7 What European crown is lifted before and after game? (7)

CROQUET :  QUE(“what” in French) + reversal of(is lifted) and contained in(before and after) TORC(which is more a necklace than a crown, so I’m probably wrong - help appreciated).

10 Have no fear, task is to shuffle a missing card (5,2,6)

KNAVE OF HEARTSAnagram of(to shuffle) “have no fear, task) minus(missing) “a”.

14 Craftsman is bound to be captivated by nurse (9)

CARPENTER :  PENT(bound,confined) contained in(captivated by) CARER(a nurse).

16 Ivory Coast is lazy (4-4)

BONE-IDLE :  BONE(ivory) + IDLE(to coast along, without effort).

18 Recipe for meal: underdone lamb and starters (7)

FORMULA :  FOR + initial letters,starters of “meal”, “underdone”, “lamb” and “and”.

20 Letter that is spelt wrongly (7)

EPISTLEAnagram of(wrongly) [IE(abbrev. for “that is” from Latin id est) + SPELT].

21 Suddenly turn back to get doctor’s flashy gadgets (6)

GIZMOSReversal of(back) ZIG(to turn suddenly,sharply) plus(to get) [MO(abbrev. for medical officer,doctor) + ‘S]

23 A squad beat odd characters in gulf (5)

AQABA :  Letters,characters in the odd-numbered positions in “A sQuAd BeAt”.

Answer:  The Gulf in the Red Sea between Saudi Arabia and Egypt.




One Response to “Financial Times 14088 Phssthpok”

  1. mike04 says:

    scchua: many thanks for such a fine blog after yesterday’s hassles!
    I didn’t spot the theme, but now I’d add the CARPENTER to your list.

    Thanks for your help in parsing SPOOK. L to K? Neighbours alphabetically?

    Some dictionaries give both of these definitions for CROWN:
    a wreath of leaves or flowers / an ornament shaped like a crown.
    Well that’s how I justified TORC!

    I took ‘Eccentric setter of puzzles’ as a good definition of the MAD HATTER.
    Then the solution might clue “threat”.

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