Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,087 – Crux

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on August 30th, 2012

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Aug 20

Another fine crossword by Crux.  As regulars at this place may know by now, I really like this setter: good surfaces, nice spread of devices and always something to think about.

I remember reading somewhere (and not so very long ago, but where? I’m sure it was a setter who said it) that one should at least have three great clues in a puzzle. And the inimitable Anax/Loroso told me a similar thing a while ago. Well, no problem to find them today: 6d, 16d, 24d.  Well done (again), Crux!

Definitions are underlined wherever possible and/or appropriate.


1 WITHDRAWN Rather shy so taken out
    Double definition
6 GOWNS Leader of group has formal attire
    G[roup] + OWNS (has)
9 GUESS Rashly suggest doing without G&T? It may get you shot!
    (SUGGEST)* minus GT
10    PIMPERNEL Baroness’s flowery creation, much sought after in France
    Double definition
    A pimpernel is a plant of the primrose family with, perhaps, scarlet flowers. Hence a flowery creation. And, of course, there is the Scarlet Pimpernel (created by Baroness Orczy) who some may also know as Le Comte de Frou Frou.
11 RESTAURANT     Truants are out of place in McDonald’s, say
    McDonald’s as an example of a restaurant? Thanks Crux :)
12    VERA Average woman is taken in by it
    Hidden solution:  [a]VERA[ge]
    Rather unusually, the definition is not at one of the ends of the clue.
14 FOREIGN Reverse of rule would appear strange
    FO (reversal of OF) + REIGN (rule)
15 LAMBADA Greek character wants a dance
    LAMBDA (Greek character) around A
    I had to think about the use of “wants” here, but it’s OK.
17 RUSTLER One making illicit stock acquisitions
    Cryptic definition
    Punning on different meanings of “stock” – the definition refers to someone stealing cattle.
19 MIRACLE Motoring club enters track race – result is extraordinary
    RAC (motoring club) inside MILE (track race, in athletics)
20 TWEE Precious little time to start
    WEE (little) with T (time) placed in front of it
22 EDWIN DROOD Died down or became a man of mystery
    “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”, Charles Dickens (1870). Not sure whether I like “became” (past tense) as anagram indicator, but as I said in the preamble “there’s always something to think about”.
25    LEGISLATE For what governments do support is overdue
    LEG (support) + IS + LATE (overdue)
26 NIMBY Selfish citizen who’s quickly left out
    NIMBLY (quickly) minus L (left) – NIMBY is an acronym: Not In My BackYard!
27 PIETY It’s a shame about English religion
    PITY (a shame) around E (English)
28 EASTERNER     Oriental emperor leaves ring after festival
    EASTER (festival) + {NERO (emperor) minus O (ring)}
1 WAGER Put on a bit of weight with beer a pound off
    W[eight] + {LAGER (beer) minus L (a pound)}
2 TREASURES     Theatre a sure success with fortunes invested
    Hidden solution:  [thea]TRE A SURE S[uccess] – as in the other hidden (12ac), the definition is somewhere in the middle
3 DISHABILLE     Good-looker, liable to change into revealing dress
    DISH (good-looker) + (LIABLE)*
4 ASPIRIN Endlessly ambitious in number
    ASPIRING (ambitious) minus its final letter (G)
5 NOMINAL So-called lion-man adopting disguise
    (LION MAN)*
    I don’t think I have seen “So-called” as an anagram indicator before. See deke’s comment @3.
6 GLEN Ben might well dominate him
    Double/Cryptic definition
    This is by far my favourite clue. Ben (as a Scottish ‘mountain’) may overlook (therefore, dominate) a valley (‘Glen’) . Both Ben and Glen are proper nouns. Very clever!
7 WINCE Start to gain on crew, oddly
    WIN (gain) + C[r]E[w]
8     SULTANATE     Fruit Lawrence discovered in Brunei?
    SULTANA (fruit) + TE (Lawrence, T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia)
13 IMPRUDENCE     Prime dunce unlikely to display such foolishness
14 FIRST SLIP Initial mistake could catch you out
    FIRST (initial) + SLIP (mistake)
    Where would we be without cricket?
16 ANCHORMAN     He’s last in race but first in studio
    Double definition
18    RADIATE Spread out tax to absorb rise in benefit
    RATE (tax) around DIA (reversal of AID (benefit))
19 MAIDENS You won’t get the runs from these, girls!
    Double definition
    Where would we be without cricket?
21 EAGLE Rare bird of course
    Double definition, more or less (therefore a bit hard to underline properly)
    Or without golf?
23 DRYER Doctor takes whiskey in a tumbler, perhaps
    DR (doctor) around RYE (whiskey)
24 ESPY Detect first signs of economic slump? Prepare yourself!
    Starting letters:  E[conomic] S[lump] P[repare] Y[ourself]



4 Responses to “Financial Times 14,087 – Crux”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Sil & Crux for a great puzzle.

    However, I was very surprised by your comment ‘Where would we be without cricket?’

    Haven’t you heard? The South Africans humiliated us in the Tests and, so far, the ODIs have also not been going well.

  2. Bamberger says:

    I couldn’t get 6d even with g?e?.
    I’m afraid I don’t understand your explanation. A glen (as in valley) is neuter so how can ben as in mountain dominate him rather than it?
    Needed a solver for 22a- or would never have got it.

    Off topic -the Alberich of 30th Aug seems to be missing from 225 and I’m stuck.

  3. deke says:

    Fine blog for a fine puzzle, but in 5D I think you have it reversed: “so-called” is the definition and “adopting disguise” the anagram indicator.

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    I don’t know anything about cricket, sorry.

    Strictly speaking you’re right. But as both Ben and Glen are boys’ names, I can easily accept ‘him’. This plus the fact that they are both related to each in a Scottish landscape worked very well for me, so therefore my CoD.
    And, yes, there’s no Alberich blog.
    Shall I write a short one?

    Yep, you’re absolutely right. I will tweak my post. Thanx.

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