Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,111 – Crux

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on September 27th, 2012

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/ Sep 17

Although this Crux crossword (which can be found here) was full of very familiar devices and less ‘devious’ than this excellent setter potentially can be, I did have quite some trouble with it. As ever I presume, it was just me. What else can one conclude when perhaps the chestnut of all chestnuts was my very last entry?  :)

Definitions are underlined wherever possible and/or appropriate.


1 INFRA DIG     Awfully daring if unbecoming (5,3)
    (DARING IF)*
5 UPSHOT Consequence of aiming too high? (6)
    Double definition
    ‘Consequence’ is, of course, one of the definitions. The other, UPSHOT as a ‘shot that’s going up’, might be the ‘consequence’ (doing double duty, a thing I do not like very much) of ‘aiming too high’.
10    AMOUR Would it deprive the French of vision? (5)
    Cryptic definition
    Yes, love (in French: AMOUR) makes you blind.
11 SCARECROW     Cause of fright, supposedly, following broadcast (9)
    Cryptic definition, the word ‘broadcast’ (here meaning: to sow) doing the trick
12 ANTIPODES Does a pint look different down under? (9)
    (DOES A PINT)*
13 STYES Street OK for such gatherings (5)
    ST (street) + YES (OK)
    Simple construction, but a very nice surface, making good use of the word ‘gatherings’. A gathering can be a swelling.
14 SINNER One in error gets second ring on target (6)
    S (second) + INNER (ring on target, think: darts)
15 MARTINI     Swallow one obtained from a bottle (7)
    MARTIN (swallow, the bird) + I (one)
    Two days in a row the ‘word’ MARTINI as Pete Maclean’s Cincinnus blog will confirm. Two completely different clues (I think I prefer the Cincinnus one), but were this the World of the Guardian the editor would perhaps have asked one of the two to rewrite his clue. After reading Cincinnus’ very own comment in Pete’s blog, it surely wouldn’t have been him.
18 SEETHED Understand, the Duke was fuming (7)
    SEE (understand) + THE D (Duke)
20 RACIST Bigot is taken by cart to be punished (6)
    IS inside (CART)*
    I don’t think that I have ever seen ‘(to be) punished’ as an anagram indicator before.
22 AMIGO Foreign friend on leave finds another (5)
    AMI (foreign friend, French for ‘friend’) + GO (leave) – the definition is a ‘friend’ from the Spanish speaking world
24 MISGOVERN Steer badly – motorway sign damaged bearing left (9)
    M (motorway) + {(SIGN)* around OVER (left)}
25    IMPLEMENT Device used by simple men, typically (9)
    Hidden solution:   [s]IMPLE MEN T[ypically]
26 ENTER Record gives pleasure? Not half! (5)
    ENTER/TAINS (gives pleasure) half deleted
27 TALONS Odd appearance of trail-hound’s claws (6)
    Odd letters:   T[r]A[I]L [h]O[u]N[d] S
28 DESSERTS Very worried about final courses (8)
    Reversal of STRESSED (very worried)
    This must have been done 141,693 times before, but it was my last entry (thanks to my PinC) ……
1 IN A JAM Having difficulties where fruit’s concerned (2,1,3)
    Double definition
2 FROSTBITE Cold symptom? Best for it to be treated (9)
    (BEST FOR IT)*
3 A DROP IN THE OCEAN     Like the fall of Icarus, means almost nothing (1,4,2,3,5)
    Double/Cryptic definition
    Icarus didn’t fall into an ocean, but watery it was. A very nice clue, in my opinion.
4 INSIDER Illegal sort of dealing in drink reported (7)
    IN + SIDER (homophone of CIDER (drink))
6 PRESSURE COOKERS     Strain some apples into airtight containers (8,7)
    PRESSURE (strain) + COOKERS (some (kind of) apples)
7 HARRY Male badger (5)
    Double definition – a possible name of a male person, and a verb meaning ‘to badger’
8 TOWNSHIP Urban area won’t compromise on transport (8)
    (WONT)* + SHIP (transport)
    Another anagram indicator that crossed my path for the first time: ‘compromise’.
9 RANSOM Get out of captivity, but not free! (6)
    Cryptic definition – although the first part is a straightforward definition (RANSOM as a verb), the second part puns on ‘not free’ as being ‘not for free’
16 INSPECTOR     Bluebottle for example eating quietly, or another bluebottle! (9)
    {INSECT (bluebottle, for example) around P (quietly)} + OR – the definition is a slang word for a policeman 
17 ESCAPIST Kind of literature suitable for POWs? (8)
    Cryptic/Double definition
    Is ‘escapist literature’ really some kind of genre? And aren’t there any other people who want to escape? I know what Crux means, still perhaps one of the weaker clues.
19 DIMMER Clever switch? Doesn’t sound like it (6)
    Double definition with the a cryptic element
    When you’re not so clever, you might be DIMMER, but is the solution really given in the right part of speech?
20 ROSETTE Dog, last now first, given duck as a prize (7)
    R/SETTE (SETTER (dog) with the last letter going to the front) around O (duck, ie nothing)
    Initially, I wasn’t sure about ‘given’ as a container/insertion indicator, but it’s OK, I guess.
21    SNARES Unlikely reasons to reject love’s entanglements (6)
    (REAS[o]NS)*, the deleted O being ‘love’
23 IMPEL Politician caught in outrageous lie by press (5)
    MP (politician) inside (LIE)*
    There is an interesting article on ‘link words’ on Alberich’s website instigated by Monk. I had to think of it when I saw that little word ‘by’ in this clue.

One Response to “Financial Times 14,111 – Crux”

  1. flashling says:

    Doubt I’d have ever got amour without crossing letters, thanks Sil

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eight + = 13