Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,095 by Monk

Posted by PeeDee on August 29th, 2012


I am always pleased to get Monk to blog, this one a little easier than some of his recent Wednesday offereings but still no pushover.  Clever clues as always, thank you Monk.

I am clearly getting better as spotting ninas as I can see MM OO NN KK in symetrically placed double letters in the grid.

I think there may be a mistake in 1 across, can anyone confirm this?

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

1 GUBBINSES (BIG BUsiNESS)* IS removed (sacked) – definition is ‘fool’. I don’t think this works as ‘fool’ is singular and ‘gubbinses’ is plural. It is not a misprint, since fools would require ‘are’ not ‘is’, and I can’t see how gubbinses could be anything other than a noun.
9 UKULELE cryptic definition
10 AMBIENT I (one) in BENT (tendency) following (succeeding) AM (in the morning) – definition is ‘air’
11 NUDGE EG (say) DUN (a brown horse) reversed (viewed from behind)
12 SUBSTANCE SUB (loan) with STANCE (attitude)
13 REACTOR RE (regarding, on) ACTOR (someone cast in a role) – definition is ‘one taking bait’, someone who reacts to a barbed comment
15 FOCUS FO (Foreigh Office) C (contacted, initial letter) US (American)
17 TOMMY MM (yumm, sound of culinary appreciation) in TOY (trifle) – a bread roll
18 TOUGH ThOUH (admitting) missing H (horse)
19 AFTER rAFTER (Thor Heyerdahl) with R (river) crossed out – definition is ‘in honour of’
20 PURITAN cAPTURINg* essentially=middle, criminal=anagram
23 ULULATION TA (thank you, cheers) in NO I (number one, top) LULU (60s singer) reversed (making a comeback)
25 WAGER AGE (a generation) in W (with) R (republican)
27 CHUNNEL cryptic definition – the channel tunnel joins England and France. I think that ‘fleet’ probably refers to speed of travel rather than shipping.
28 REPLICA P (page) in RELIC (souvenir) and A
29 HOTHEADED H (hot) then LOADED (rich) missing L (its top) about THE (article)
1 GRASSY wRASSe (fish, insides of) in GY (gallery) with insides removed
2 BABY BOOMER cryptic definition – plays on the double meaning of ‘labour’, political party and childbirth
3 IDENTIFY I (one) having DENT (depression) IF (though) Y (variable, maths equations)
4 SATIN definition and cryptic definition – a car (for example) used as a demonstrator will have been sat in
5 SUMMERSET ExuberenT (extremes of) after SUMMER’S (season’s) – an alternative spelling of somersault, an acrobatic turnover
6 DUENNA DUE (expected) ANN (girl) reversed (turned up)
7 WELD WELD and WED (missing L=left) both mean join.
8 RESEARCH anagram of E (end of the) and ARCHERS, anagram=broadcast
14 TRUNNIONED (END ON I TURN)* wheels=anagram – definition is ‘with pivots’
16 CHANUKKAH UK K (British King) inside (stopping, like a cork) HAN (Chinese people) reversed all following CHA (tea) – Jewish festival
17 TAPEWORM T (time) APE (copy) WORM (work secretly)
18 TREASURE REASsURE (half-hearted = with one of the middle to letters missing) follwing T (heading taken from/off trouble) – definition is ‘valued friend’. I am not totally convinced about ‘heading off’ here, it implies ROUBLE rather than T to me, but I will give Monk the benefit of the doubt!
21 TURGID GIt (contemptible person, almost) in TURD (contemptible person) – definition is ‘pompous’
22 ANGLED ANGLE (old German) D (duke) – biased means ‘on a slant’
24 UNCUT CU (coppper) in place of (standing in for) I (one) in UNIT (a section) – definition is ‘rough’, like a diamond
26 GAPE GrApPlEr (regular cancellations = every other letter removed) – definition is ‘failure to meet’


17 Responses to “Financial Times 14,095 by Monk”

  1. crypticsue says:

    Thanks PeeDee – I agree with you about 1a, Chambers definitely has this as the plural of a gubbins. I didn’t know you could spell 5d like that either but the wordplay is very clear.

    I came to this one last of all today’s cryptics and for me, it was definitely the most difficult. Never heard of TRUNNIONED but will file it away in case it ever turns up in a crossword again.

    Thanks to Monk for really making me work hard and saving me from the chores.

  2. Conrad Cork says:

    Very bracing. But I’m with you both about the strange plural at 1 across.

  3. Ferret says:

    Found this quite tough, a few unknown words and initially entering FORTH for 19 across didn’t help……

    Little quibble with 11A, DUN is merely a colour rather than a horse? It can be applied equally to any animal of that colour, evidenced by a pub in Lincolnshire from my distant memory called The Dun Cow.

  4. rowland says:

    Glad I had the time to do this one today, as I rather like Monk’s clues. Sttrange things at one across though, as said. Maybe Monk will come along and clear it up.


  5. Thomas99 says:


    From Collins:

    dun (2)
    1. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Colours) a brownish-grey colour
    2. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Colours) a horse of this colour

    It’s quite common in crosswords, which is probably the reason I know it means both the colour and the horse. People often seem to argue along those lines – “It can mean other things so it can’t mean X” – but it’s illogical.

  6. PeeDee says:

    Thinking more about 27 across CHUNNEL being “for the benefit of the fleet”, I don’t think this really works that well.

    It is clearly not for the benefit of the ships (fleet) as they lose business to the chunnel. For the passengers, it makes no difference how fleet (fast) they are, everyone on the train goes throught at the exactly same speed regardless.

  7. duncanshiell says:

    … but it might benefit the owner of a fleet of lorries who can get his/her lorries across the Channel quicker (and at less cost)?

  8. Thomas99 says:

    …and it makes people who use it the “fleet”…

    Not sure where you were heading with the relative speed of people, PeeDee. It doesn’t seem to be relevant. And (not that it’s particularly important to the clue), the tunnel presumably does benefit the fleet (of ships) as it reduces the congestion in a famously busy shipping lane.

  9. Andyb says:

    I found much to dislike about this. So much seemed overly contrived and lacked elegance.

    Being a Baby Boomer myself, I was surprised to it referenced to the 1950s, as the ‘Boom’ was immediately Post-WW2 (starting, I am led to believe, 9 months after VE night!).

  10. PeeDee says:

    The channel tunnel benefits anyone who needs to cross the channel quickly. Whether those people are themselves fleet or not is irrelevant. It benefits all equally, a granny in a hurry gets across at exactly the same speed as Mo Farah (both sit on the same train).

  11. jmac says:

    Thanks for the blog PeeDee,and to Monk for the puzzle. I found this far from easy, but fair as ever from Monk. 2 small typos in the blog; 6 down, the girl is ANN; and in 29 across, the article is THE.

  12. Norman L in France says:

    I recall my Meccano sets having both trunnions and bent trunnions. It was always a mystery, and I’m not sure they really fit with the definition in Chambers.

  13. Thomas99 says:

    PeeDee (10)-
    Yes – the people on the train in the tunnel are all going quickly. They are all “fleet”, regardless of their speed before they got on the train. I think that is the intended meaning (although the others given above are possible too). The subtlety or obscurity, which is not excessive, is that they don’t become “fleet” until they get on the train. I took that to be the reason for the question mark, but there’s nothing actually wrong with the clue or the usage. Compare “A tournament is designed to reward only the winning side” – the side is not “winning” at the time of the designing. Another way of looking at it is that people who habitually travel quickly could be called “the fleet”, and they of course benefit from anything that goes fast.

  14. PeeDee says:

    You are right Thomas99, I can’t argue with your reasoning. It just does not sit quite happlily in my imagination for some reason.

  15. MikeC says:

    Thanks PeeDee and Monk. I was less happy with this than I usually am with Monk’s puzzles. Some of the reasons have already been elaborated. It was also a long time before I was prepared to enter HOTHEADED, because HOT was in the clue. Anybody else have BEND for 7d? (BEND = knot, BLEND = mix). Some nice stuff elsewhere, though.

  16. Molly says:

    This one floored me good and proper, though some now seem obvious, others not.

    5 words I’d never heard of; a mistake at 19A (FORTH). Bah.

    The Chunnel is for people who might to cross the channel quickly.

    Keep persevering. Can’t be alone.

  17. logistes athens says:

    I do accept as true with all of the ideas you’ve offered for your post. They are really convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are too short for beginners. May you please prolong them a little from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

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