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Financial Times 14136 Phssthpok

Posted by scchua on October 16th, 2012


The NE corner took me longer than usual for a Phssthpok.  Thanks for the challenge, Phssthpok.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  [[The pictures at the bottom have unidentified links with the puzzle.]]

1 Primates heard sombre recordings (5,4)

GREAT APESHomophone of(heard) “grey”(sombre) “tapes”(audio recordings on tape).

6 Hunts for king in Lincoln or Chester, perhaps (5)

SEEKS:  K(abbrev. for “king“, as in chess notation) contained in(in) SEES(dioceses, of which Lincoln and Chester are examples, perhaps).

9 Snatch of bright sun amid stormy sea (7)

TSUNAMI:  Hidden in(snatch of) bright sun amid.

Answer: A gigantic destructive sea wave caused by an earthquake. First of 3 words derived from Japanese.

10 Sitting room has mean, dirty look (7)

PARLOUR:  PAR(mean; average, as in “par for the course”) + LOUR(alternatively spelled as “lower”, a scowl; a dirty look).

11 Assassin nearly injured numerous judges and leaders (5)

NINJA:  Initial letters(leaders) of “nearly injured numerous judges and“.

12 Inside canvas shelter, cook avoids using black kindling (9)

AWAKENING:  AWNING(a canvas shelter stretching out over a door, window, balcony or pavement) containing(inside) AKE{“bake”(to cook) minus(avoids using) “b”(abbrev. for “black“)}. Defn: An arousal; a kindling (of).

14 Power steer causes disease (3)

POX : P(abbrev. for “power“, especially in physics) + OX(a steer).

15 It could be these provide protection for campers (11)

GROUNDSHEET:  A reverse wordplay from the answer: anagram of(ground) “sheet” gives(it could be) “these“.

17 Like a cloudless day at the beginning of summer and dry? (3-8)

SUN-DRENCHED:  Initial letter of(beginning of) “summer plus(and) UN-DRENCHED(not wet; dry). Nice surface.

19 Pitch  was guarded (3)

SHY:  Double defn: 1st: A quick throw; pitch; and 2nd: To be reserved; was guarded.

20 Engineer gilds gray tree, according to legend (9)

YGGDRASIL:  Anagram of(to engineer) GILDS GRAY.

Answer: In Norse mythology, the ash tree that was thought to overshadow the whole world, binding together earth, heaven, and hell with its roots and branches.

22 Function of company secretary (5)

COSEC:  CO(abbrev. for “company“) + SEC(short for “secretary“).

Answer: In trigonometry, short for “cosecant”, the ratio of the hypotenuse of a right angled triangle to the side opposite a given angle.

24 Barbarity and torture initially permitted in modern times (7)

OUTRAGE:  Initial letter of(initially) “torturecontained in(permitted in) OUR AGE(the modern times we are currently living in).

26 Sixth sense is lacking in practice (7)

TUITION:  ”intuition(sixth sense) minus(is lacking) “in“.

27 Hair tie is missing but . . . . (5)

TRESS:  ”buttress”(a brace; a strengthener; a tie, eg. a rod or beam. Both are structural members, though a buttress has compressive strength, whereas a tie has tensile strength, if I remember my physics) minus(is missing) “but”.

28 . . . . oil might be organic (9)

ESSENTIAL:  Descriptive of an oil from plants and trees, ie. organic. Hope I’ve got this right, as it’s not very cryptic.

1 Were friends boarded? (3,2)

GOT ON:  Double defn: 1st: A pre-requisite for being friends; and 2nd: Getting on board a means of transportation.

2 Horse nearly mated with buffalo on particular day, twice a year (7)

EQUINOX:  ”equine”(a horse) minus
its last letter(nearly) plus(mated with) OX(of which the buffalo is a large wild one).

Answer: The times (about March 21 and September 22) when night and day are approximately of equal length all over the earth.

3 Sailor captured air force with a long, empty battle (9)

TRAFALGAR:  TAR(term for a sailor) containing(captured) [RAF(abbrev. for the Royal Air Force) + A + LG{" long " minus its inner letters(empty)}].

Answer: The naval battle between the English, and the French and Spanish fleets.

4 In the first half, Prince and Madonna achieve success as divas (5,6)

PRIMA DONNAS:  PRI{first 3 letters of(in the first half) “Prince“} + MADONNA plus(achieve) S(abbrev. for “success “).

Answer: Perhaps what Prince and Madonna are/were.

5 Blood sucker (3)

SAP:  Double defn: 1st: Any vital body fluid, including blood; and 2nd: Like “sucker“, “sap” is slang for a gullible fool.

6 Rock film doesn’t end (5)

SCREE:  ”screen”(something which conceals, perhaps a film; a sheet of opaque material) minus
its last letter(doesn’t end).

7 Destruction of the natural environment by melting ice cowed world at first – was ignored (7)

ECOCIDE:  Anagram of(melting) [ICE COED]{“ ice” + “cowedminus(was ignored) “w”( first letter of “world“)}.

Answer: Destruction (killing; -cide) of “eco”(short for the ecology; the natural environment).

8 Correctly following spelling of “vivacious” (9)

SPRIGHTLY:  RIGHTLY(correctly) placed after(following) SP(abbrev. for “spelling“).

13 Obliterates this alien with an explosion (11)

ANNIHILATES:  Anagram of(explosion) [THIS ALIEN plus(with) AN].

14 Catspaw has to be timid (9)

PUSSYFOOT:  A cat’s paw.

16 Allure of French department on the periphery (9)

SEDUCTION:  DU(French for “of“, I think) contained in(… on the periphery) SECTION(a department in an organisation).

18 Does evening wear almost match? (7)

NIGHTIE:  NIGH(almost; nearly) + TIE(a match; a competitive fixture)

19 Soldiers take him one piece of raw fish (7)

SASHIMI:  SAS(abbrev. for the Special Air Service, a corps in the British Army; soldiers) plus(take) HIM + I(Roman numeral for “one“).

21 Quite a few turn from left to right in streets (5)

ROADS:  ”loads”(quite a few, “quite” in the sense of “totally”) with its “l”(abbrev. for “left“) replaced by(turn from … to) “r”(abbrev. for “right“).

23 Aqueduct made from tin and aluminium (5)

CANAL:  CAN(a metal container; a tin) plus(and) AL(chemical symbol for aluminium).

25 First person to state view (3)

EYE:  Homophone of(to state) “I”(first person, in grammar). Defn: As a verb.



Answers to pics #1 and 5 here.


3 Responses to “Financial Times 14136 Phssthpok”

  1. mike04 says:

    Many thanks for your helpful blog, scchua. For me, the SW corner was the trickiest!

    28ac: ‘organic’ and ‘essential’ can both mean ‘fundamental’ according to the dictionaries.
    They give ‘organic law’ as an example of the usage.

  2. Wanderer says:

    Thanks Phssthpok for a very enjoyable crossword, and scchua for the blog.

    For once, I have got at least some of your picture quiz. Teenage mutant NINJA turtles is the theme, namely Leonardo (picture 2), Donatello (4), Michelangelo (6) and, I suspect, Raphael (3). I would guess picture 1, from Good Morning Vietnam, gives us AWAKENING. Stumped by 5.

  3. scchua says:

    Thanks mike04 and Wanderer resp.
    Re 28a you may be right that’s what setter intended, making it a double defn.
    [[You're right about the NINJAs. I'm adding a link below the pics for the anwers to #1 and 5, though your answer is another possibility I had not thought of.]]

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