Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14100 Neo

Posted by scchua on September 4th, 2012


I always approach a Neo with trepidation, because sometimes he can be fiendish – in a good way of course.  This one showed signs of being so (starting to sweat), until I got off to a start in the SE corner, and proceeded quite smoothly, until the SW corner, when I started toiling (sweat again).  Thanks Neo, lovely puzzle….

with, as befitting the FT, a financial mini-theme, based on Barclays’ problems (a euphemism, by the way).  Nice topical theme, but in a few more months or years, it’s a safe bet it would have died down, and things gone back to “normal”, none any wiser.  And there are 3 “-ING”s in the SW corner, so perhaps a reference to the Barclays – ING tie up?  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  [[The pictures at the bottom of the blog have unidetified links to the puzzle.]]


9 Current suggestion to take occasional income from shillings and rand as cover (9)

INSURANCE : I(in physics, the symbol for Current) + NUANCE(a subtle suggestion) containing(to take … income from) separately(occasional) [S(abbrev. for shillings) and R(likewise for rand)].

Answer: The cover you take against calamities happening to you.

10 Husband to writer from the religious community (5)

AMISH : H(abbrev. for Husband) placed after(to) AMIS(Kingsley or son Martin, English writers, take your pick).

Answer: One from the strictly religious community.

11 Barclays thought him such a geezer – for a time (7)

DIAMOND : Cryptic defn: Robert Diamond was the CEO of Barclays, which company thought he was such a “diamond geezer “,a precious chap for a time, until he, and Barclays, got into trouble.

12 An ancient European, I live right next door to Scotsman (7)

IBERIAN : I + BE(exist,live) + R(abbrev. for right) plus(next door to) IAN(crosswordland’s archetypical Scotsman).

Answer: One of one of the ancient peoples that inhabited the Iberian peninsula.

13 For Inquisition, the One Priest (3)

ELI : EL(the definite article “the” in the language, presumably, used by,For the Spanish Inquisition) + I(Roman numeral for One).

14 Man who wouldn’t be left on the shelf? (6,5)

MISTER RIGHT : Cryptic defn: The Man whom everyone woman wants, and therefore who wouldn’t be left on the shelf.

17 Material from tomb at Ikatan (5)

BATIK : Hidden in(from) tomb at Ikatan.


18 Military commander finds range (3)

AGA : Double defn: 1st: An old Turkish Military commander; and 2nd: The trademarked cooker range.

19 Cameron in South of France to return in melancholic state (5)

DUMPS : Reversal of(to return) [PM(which is what David Cameron currently is) + containing(in) SUD(“South ” in France).

21 Rude writer is to the point (11)

IMPERTINENT : I’M(contraction of I am,the writer is) + PERTINENT(relevant,to the point).

23 Government, Republican, mirrored German affirmation (3)

RAJ : R(abbrev. for Republican) + reversal of(mirrored) JA(German for yes,affirmation).

Answer: From Sanskrit for rule,Government.  As used with “The” and a capitalised initial, it stood for the British government in India before partition in 1947.

25 Resolution on pound 6 Barclays were 7 (7)

LENDING : ENDING(how a matter is finally resolved,the Resolution) plus(on) L(£,the symbol for pound sterling).

Answer: The type of rate(answer to 6down), specifically the interbank lending rates that, together with other banks, Barclays were fixing(answer to 7down).

27 Rich old girl to make bet (7)

DOWAGER : [DO WAGER](to make bet).

Answer: An elderly woman with title and/or property, especially the widow of a king, duke, emperor, etc.

28 Rand given back to French for the antelope (5)

NYALA : Reversal of(back) AYN(Rand, author and philosopher) plus(given … to) LA(French for the “, the definite article).

29 Oddly able to enter one country or another (9)

AUSTRALIA : A,L(odd letters,Oddly of “able “) contained in(to enter) AUSTRIA(one country).

Answer: another country, a bit further south.


1 Theologian in box in play (6)

FIDDLE : DD(abbrev. for a Doctor of Divinity,a Theologian) contained in(in) FILE(a box in which documents are kept, could be called a file).

2 Betrayer Mark takes out dunce’s daughter (8)

ISCARIOT : SCAR(a , of a healed wound, literally or figuratively) ci( ) IIOT(“idiot”, minus( ) “d”,abbrev. for ” “).

Answer: Additional name to Judas, Betrayer of Jesus.

3 Fletcher shows resistance in an argument with (5,5)

ARROW MAKER : R(in physics, the symbol for electrical “resistance “) contained in(in) [A ROW]( an argument) plus(with) MAKER(The, another epithet for God).

Answer: A common noun – the capital letter was a good misdirection.

4 Arthurian wife to have food sent over (4)

ENID : Reversal of(sent over) DINE(to have food).

Answer: The wife of Sir Geraint, one of the the Arthurian Knights of the Round Table.

5 It’s prudent to consider carefully (10)

DELIBERATE : Double defn: 1st: Slowly, not done quickly or rashly,prudently, I suppose as a result of the 2nd defn.; and 2nd: What committees do, or, usually, overdo, or don’t do.

6, 7 Cross into Nigeria with FT as arranged for Barclays 1 (4,6)

RATE FIXING : X(a Cross) contained in(into) anagram of(as arranged) [Nigeria plus(with) FT].

Answer: The “fiddle”(answer to 1across) that Barclays did on inter-bank interest, or lending, rates.

8 Hot Satan perhaps brings death to Greeks (8)

THANATOS : Anagram of(perhaps) Hot Satan.

Answer: In Greek mythology,to Greeks the spirit personifying “death “.

15 Heather in famous commercial battle (10)

STALINGRAD : LING(the Heather) contained in(in) STAR(famous, as in “a star performer”) + AD(short for advertisement,a commercial).

Answer: Now Volgograd, scene of a decisive WWII battle between Nazi Germany and its allies against the Soviets.

16 Singer sticks on wet tar – that’s messy (3,7)

ROD STEWART : RODS(sticks) placed above(on, in a down clue) anagram of(that’s messy) wet tar.

17 There’s no time for standing up Norwegian swimmer (8)

BRISLING : “bristling”(standing up, stiffly like the bristles on an animal) minus(There’s no … for) “t”(abbrev. for “time“).

Answer:  A small marine food fish of the herring family.

20 Flower from French husband so proverbially good (8)

MARIGOLD : MARI(“husband ” in French) + GOLD(as is traditionally,proverbially considered the epitome of goodness in “as good as gold”).

22 State needs humour injection (6)

PUNJAB : PUN(linguistic humour) + JAB(an injection).

Answer: The state in NW India, and also the neighbouring province of Pakistan, a result of the division of the former Punjab province of British India. The name is derived from Sanskrit for “five” and “water”.

24 Katie Price in river (6)

JORDAN : Double defn: 1st: Pseudonym of the former The Sun’s Page Three girl.

26 I was leader in bombless state (4)

IRAN : [I RAN]( I was leader, as in “I ran the country”).

Answer: The state with a nuclear programme, and which no one else can tell if it is or is not without a bomb,”bombless

27 Many a Welsh runner in the gloaming (4)

DUSK : D(Roman numeral for 500,Many) + USK(Welsh river,runner).



7 Responses to “Financial Times 14100 Neo”

  1. malc95 says:

    Thanks Neo & scchua.

    15d I think it’s now Volgograd, not Volvograd – that would be Gothenburg.

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks malc95, typo now corrected. Didn’t mean to promote those chunky vehicles.

  3. flashling says:

    Well this was extra hard for me as my copy was badly printed and had to guess what the clues were let alone the answers.

    Liked the misdirection in NYALA of Rand (I think! my copy says “R??d given back to ??ench ??r the a???lope). The other clues were equally as bad for me :-(

    Somehow got there in the end, felt more like an Inquistor than than the FT today.

    Thanks Neo and scchua

  4. Neo says:

    Solving a puzzle with no clues: now that is going to be a hard, or at least very zen-like experience.

    Many thanks S. C. Chua for your excellent bloggingness, and to commenters. At 14ac I wouldn’t like to say whether or not you spotted the dread pun on ‘left’.

    Kind regards,

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    We decided (or was it me? :)) to tackle Neo today and leave Bonxie (who is generally not on my wavelength, or the other way around of course)) on a shelf.
    But was I Mister Right?
    Don’t know, haven’t solved the Bonxie yet.

    We thought this was an OK puzzle, but certainly not the best of Neos. The Amis/Amish combination is a bit chestnutty, the Jordan clue was a bit cheapish and Austria/Australia has been done many times before. And we weren’t that enthusiastic about 5d, in which both definitions were too close.

    On the other side of it all, there were the elegant 3d (ARROW MAKER), our friend (??) Cameron enjoying Le Côte d’Azur and its wonders, the playful Barclays references and the neat 22d (PUNJAB). The first of the across clues is very well constructed too.

    In our favourite Cambridge café, far away from resources, we failed on NYALA (although I was almost sure that it had to be answer – never heard of Ayn Rand, clever nonetheless) and our swimming Norwegian at 17d. Btw, here, in finding the explanation afterwards, I was wrongfooted by seeing the Scandinavian name NILS going upward.

    Many thanks, scchua, for the blog.
    Only your parsing of 2d does not make much sense, am I right?
    I/We think it is: SCAR (mark) taking the place of D (daughter) in IDIOT (dunce).

  6. verbose says:

    Thanks for the excellent blog, scchua. One small correction to the information provided for 22d: the name Punjab is Persian, not Sanskrit, in origin. (“panch” is the Sanskrit word for five, but then “punj” is the Persian; “ab” is Persian and definitely not Sanskrit for water.) Not that it makes the slightest difference to a wonderful clue.

  7. rowland says:

    Best of yesterday’s three non-Times puzzles for me. I don’t do DT at the moment, apart from the occasional Toughie.

    Got the joke about Mr Left, while my CoDs were the AYN Rand one and the clever Iscariot with the SCAR dropped in. I tittered at JORDAN too, so I must be far less mature than Sil above!

    Thanks all,

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