Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,153 – Crux

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on November 15th, 2012

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Nov 5

Monday a week ago,  I found Dante’s prize puzzle one of his more difficult crosswords. This time Crux made me work very hard. But let’s face it, what is hard after yesterday’s IO (and Boatman)?

Definitions are underlined wherever possible and/or appropriate.


1 DOG-COLLAR    What churchmen assume will take the lead (3-6)
  Double definition
6 TO WIT Namely, how to move a trailer (2,3)
  TOW IT (how to move a trailer)
  Very nice.
9 APART A short celebration on one’s own (5)
  A + PART[y] (celebration, shortened)
10 ELABORATE     Fancy detail (9)
  Double definition
11 HOSPITABLE Friendly sort of shop, one with food (10)
  (SHOP)* + I (one) + TABLE (food)
  Good clue, excellent surface.
12 SKUA Seabirds return to find another (4)
  Reversal of AUKS (seabirds)
14 STALLED Not running, like horses in the stable (7)
  Double definition
  I would guess, both definitions here have the same origin. If so, not my CoD.
15 TWINGED Part of chicken swallowed by boy caused slight pain (7)
  WING (part of chicken) inside TED (boy)
17 OPENERS Two bats in demand at picnics (7)
  Double/Cryptic definition
  My last entry. Although I was very sure about the solution, I couldn’t fully parse it. Now I can. ‘Bats’ are batsmen, openers in cricket of which there are two (am I right?).And when picnicking one needs bottle-openers as well as tin-openers.
19 CARAFES Transport may be safe with these glass bottles (7)
  CAR (transport) + (SAFE)*
20 EROS God who’s angry when rejected (4)
  Reversal of SORE (angry)
22 PICTURE HAT   Imagine that! Going topless in fancy headgear (7,3)
  PICTURE (imagine) + [t]HAT
25 ALTIMETER Pilot’s instrument change takes time (9)
  ALTER (change) around TIME
26 AGREE Not quite a colour match (5)
  A + GREE[n] (colour, not quite)
27 LASSO Western cowcatcher, possibly (5)
  Cryptic definition
  A poor cd, or is just me?
28 UNEASIEST    A foreign asset maybe gets one extremely nervous (9)
  UNE (a, in French ie foreign) + {(ASSET)* around I (one)}
1 DEATH Curtains in short supply, lacking rayon primarily (5)
  DEARTH (short supply) minus R[ayon]
2 GLASS CASE     Good girl on trial that’s just for show (5,4)
  G (good) + LASS (girl) + CASE (trial)
3 OUTFIELDER     Man on boundary with rifle, due to get replacement (10)
4 LEEWARD General hospital area away from the weather (7)
  LEE (General) + WARD (hospital area)
5 REALLOT Absolute fortune to share out again (7)
  REAL (absolute) + LOT (fortune)
6 THOU Subject once paired with art (4)
  Cryptic definition
  ‘Thou’ is the subject in a sentence containing ‘Thou art’. It took me a while to find the answer, but I think it is a very nice clue.
7 WHACK Wife cut one’s share (5)
  W (wife) + HACK (cut)
8 THEM AND US   Tribal divisions, basically (4,3,2)
  Cryptic definition, perhaps
  Another cd that I think is poor – or is there more to it?
13 LIBRARIANS Blair clashes with Iran’s bookkeepers (10)
  Nice surface.
14 STONEWALL Stand firm, partly thanks to new alliance (9)
  Hidden solution:   [thank]S TO NEW ALL[iance]
  It took me some time to discover that this was a hidden. Quite a good clue.
16 GIFT HORSE     Inadvisable subject for oral examination (4,5)
  Cryptic definition
  See  Eileen’s comment @1 for an explanation.
18 SHIATSU It has us squirming, this massage (7)
  (IT HAS US)*
19 COTERIE Esoteric organisation? Certainly, second left (7)
  Anagram of ESOTERIC minus S (seconds)
  Bit strange that ‘Certainly’ which emphasises the definition, is placed before a part of the construction.
21 OATHS Promises of loyalty host makes at regular intervals (5)
  [l]O[y]A[l]T[y] H[o]S[t]
  I found this a bit strange too. I think the clue should without “of” from a cryptic POV. And if you want to keep it (for the surface) “makes” is a bit odd, isn’t it?
23 THEFT Newspaper article leads with crime (5)
  FT (newspaper) with THE (article) coming first
24 AMMO Abridged contents of magazine (4)
Cryptic definition
Ammo is short for ammunition which may be found in the magazine of a gun.

4 Responses to “Financial Times 14,153 – Crux”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Sil, and Crux for the puzzle.

    16dn is a reference to the saying, ‘Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth’, explained here:

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks you, Eileen.
    Now you mention it, that’s how I parsed it ten days ago (after some research, I must admit, as I didn’t know the expression).
    But I had completely forgotten about it when I wrote the blog yesterday evening (under time pressure).
    Now tweaked.

  3. Radler says:

    Sil – regarding the “gift horse”, I vaguely recall a similar phrase from the little Dutch I learned many years ago – or is my memory playing tricks?
    Een gegeben paard moet man niet in de bek zien
    (or in German – Einem geschenkten Gaul schaut man nicht ins Maul)

  4. Bamberger says:

    I had 19a as carboys simply because I couldn’t think of any other glass bottles that would fit in.
    That made gift impossible in 16d and not having 26a, I only had h???e for the second word of 16d.
    Even with ?a?e, I couldn’t get case in 2d. Very obvious now.

    Thanks for the blog.

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