Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times no.14,120 by FLIMSY

Posted by Ringo on September 27th, 2012


A fairly rare Thursday outing for Flimsy, and a solid, well-rounded puzzle. There are some fantastic surfaces and quite a few &lits and quasi-&lits (usually involving a word doing double duty), which always adds to the fun. One or two synonyms seemed to me to be stretched rather close to breaking point, but, other than that, good stuff.


1. MALEFACTOR  Anagram of meal + factor [intermediary]

7. SAFE  Hidden in valuableS A FEw

9. LENT  Lento [slow, in musical notation] minus O [Oxygen] – lent is as in loaned, advanced

10. EAR TRUMPET  Anagram of mutterer pa

11. OODLES  (N)oodles [Chinese food]

12. WILDLIFE  Wild [passionate] + f [female] within lie [story]

13. SEND DOWN  Send [project] + down [sad]

15. NILE  Even letters from oN hIlL hE (i.e. odd letters removed) – ‘flower’ is, of course, used in the classic cryptic sense of ‘something that flows’

17. CODA  Final letters from musiC tO enD sonatA – another classy &lit

19.  HOUSEFLY  House [hold] + fly [cunning]

22. STALWART  Anagram of law within start [opening]

23. VACANT  Can [toilet] within vat [tank]

25. PASSAGEWAY  Odd letters from GlEe within pass away [die, join the majority]

26. ARID  R [run] within raid [air attack] minus (ai)r(craft)

27. SKIN  K [king] within sin [wrong]

28. PILGRIMAGE  L(ong) within anagram of magi gripe


2. AWESOME  Anagram of see woma(n)

3. EXTOL  Hidden in sEX TO Lovers

4. AVERSION  Aver [state] + pension minus pen [writer]

5. THROW IN THE TOWEL  Anagram of tent worthwhil(e) to

6. RARELY  RA [Royal Academy, artist] + rely [bank]

7. SEMBLANCE  (Crisi)s + anagram of cable men

8. FRETFUL  Fr [father] + anagram of flute

14. DEADLY SIN  Anagram of d(isease) delays in

16. SURVEYOR  Anagram of very sour

18. ON TRACK  Double definition

20. LANDING  And within ling [fish]

21. HANG UP  Double definition

24. CHASM  C [caught] + s [shilling] within ham [actor]

8 Responses to “Financial Times no.14,120 by FLIMSY”

  1. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Flimsy for an enjoyable crossword and Ringo for the blog. Favourite clues 7dn and 16dn – such lovely surfaces. I did not notice any synonyms close to breaking point when solving.

    My only small grumble is with 3dn, where “of” may be doing double duty, and “married” appears to be redundant. My preference – and it is no more than that – regarding double duty is that it should be kept for cases where the whole clue can be read as at least one of definition or cryptic indication. Here I think you need “of” as the last word of the definition, but I would be very happy to be persuaded otherwise. Certainly “of” is the first word of the cryptic indication. It is technically correct to allow redundant words in hidden clues, but still in my view undesirable. Here the clue would still make sense without the word “married”, although the surface sense would be somewhat differen. Finally, I should stress that the length of this paragraph does not indicate serious dissatisfaction with the clue – it is at worst a minor blemish on a very good crossword.

  2. Ilippu says:

    19 ac I thought ‘sly’ is cunning …not sure if ‘fly’ is cunning too though I guessed the answer.

  3. Pelham Barton says:

    Ilippu@2 re 19ac: Chambers 2008 gives “fly adj (sl) knowing; surreptitious or sly; stylish, fashionable (N Am)”. That is easily good enough for me.

  4. Ilippu says:

    Thank you, Pelham Barton.

  5. flimsy says:

    Thanks for the blog and the comments everyone. Re 3dn, the “of” was intended to be part of the definition, and “married” was intended to mean “joined” – i.e. the hidden indicator. Not sure how successful it was, but that was the intent!

  6. POS says:

    I thought 3D was fine although I was disappointed with the answer as I was expecting a witty homophone on the virtues or otherwise of married sex. Thanks Flimsy and Ringo

  7. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Flimsy for dropping in. So the one thing I said was certain about 3dn proves not to be true – I should know better. I like the intention, but do not think either “married” or “joined” really works as a hidden indicator. Mind you, I cannot think of anything better that fits without ruining the surface reading.

  8. mike04 says:

    Many thanks Flimsy and Ringo.

    I’m rather late to the party, but I notice that THROW IN THE TOWEL requires two Es.
    I think 5dn must be an anagram of ‘ten(t) worthwhile to’ where ‘tent-almost’ means
    drop the last letter of tent.

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