Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,191 by Loroso

Posted by PeeDee on December 19th, 2012


This is a really cracking themed puzzle and a good challenge, thouroughly recommended. If you have not had a go at this already you can get the PDF here.

All the across clues are types of tree.  I really enjoyed both solving and blogging this. Even having guessed the solution several clues still took a long  time to explain.   There were many varied and imaginative devices thoughout, too many to mention individually here.  A good mental workout completed with much use of the dictionary.  It was made all the more interesting for me by having to break off part way through to bring vomiting daughter home from school and then having various messy incidents throughout the rest of the solve.

Thank you Loroso.

Hold the mouse pointer over any clue number to read the clue.

1 COCONUT PALM CON (fraud) in (TO CLAM UP)* worried=anagram
7 ASH A (AN) StomacH (empty=no middle)
9 SALIX A L (lamb’s head) in SIX (6 down, place of mincemeat)
10 ASIAN PEAR PARAmNESIA* missing M (first of memory)
11 AILANTHUS A NAIL* bent=anagram THUS (like this)
12 ELDER fiELDER (one who is not in, cricket) missing (out) IF reversed (turned)
13 DAVIDIA DA (yes, Russian) contains (guards) AVID (keen) to get I (independence, abbrev.)
15 SHEA HE (His Excellency, ambassador) in SA (South Africa)
18 TUNG N (nitrogen) in TUG (water tower, a boat that tows)
20 NUT PINE PUT (positioned) NINE (halfway on a golf course) with the P and N (initial letters) exchanged
23 PEACH PE (physical excercise, training) A (area) CH (central heating)
24 ARAUCARIA AA (Automobile Association, drivers) srurrounding the head (first letter) of RUC (former Irish police) then As Roads In Antrim (are opened, first letters of)
26 LEYLANDII YELl (shout, mostly) reversed (about) then L AND II make 52 in Roman numerals
27 LOTUS LOT (random choice) and US (n America)
28 TEA part of whiTE Album
29 LEATHERWOOD THE R (right) WOO (to chase someone) in LEAD (front)
1 COSTARDS COST (the price you pay) AS (when) containing (eating) RanciD (extremes of) – a type of apple
2 CALF LOVE FALL* (anagram=rock) in COVE (cavern)
3 NIXON NIX ON (no appointments)
4 TRACHEA CAR reversed (raised) inside (limited by) THE (article) A (acceleration) – the throttle is an old name for the throat
5 ALIASES ALI (Cassius Clay) vASES (jars) missing first letter (unopened) – handles are names, could be a bit pretentious (affected) I suppose. I didn’t like ‘affected’, it seemed to be shoehorned in there to get the surface reading to work.
6 MINCEMEAT EME (uncle) in CA (circa, about) all inside MINT (forge) – ‘to make mincemeat of something’ is to find it no challenge at all
7 AGENDA A (adult) GENDA sounds like (as heard on the radio) gender (sex)
8 HARARE wHAt (centre of) has RARE (unusual) – the modern name for Salisbury, capital of Zimbabwe
14 DOUGHBALL UGH (taste awful!) in DO and BALL (parties)
16 LIBRETTO I (one) found inside BLOTTER* smudgd=anagram
17 RELAPSED LAPS (legs) in REED (grass)
19 GRANDMA GR (Greek) MA (scholar) goes round AND (with) – definition is relative
20 NEARISH glamorgANSHIRE* (half of) playing=anagram
21 APPLET APPLE (computer company) wth T (first letter of tiny) – a small application, piece of software
22 SATYRA some of goddeS A TYRAnnical – a female satyr
25 CALOR L (litre) Of (half of of) in CAR (vehicle)


11 Responses to “Financial Times 14,191 by Loroso”

  1. Rowland says:

    I guess people will worry that for a daily this had some pretty tough words, tho sitting at my desk I could use Google to check through. Good cluiing, but Very hard as well, so maybe a bit too much — for me!!


  2. Pelham Barton says:

    I was just going to do the Dac today but reading the preamble tempted me to this puzzle as well. An entertaining puzzle indeed so thanks PeeDee both for the encouragement to try the puzzle and for the blog. Last two in were 9ac and 6dn. When the penny dropped, I thought this was an excellent device to resolve any uncertainty about the obscure answer at 9ac – obscure to me anyway.

    13ac: I think this is DA containing (“guards”) AVID I.

    24ac: Of course, this had to be one of the answers. I had ARAUC the same way as PeeDee but then initial letters of “as roads in Antrim” for the ARIA.

    27ac: I think we can take “in America” as the indication for US.

    3dn: I originally had OBAMA here, parsed as O (no) BA MA (appointments to degrees). The correct answer is much smoother, and I am not going to claim an ambiguous clue here.

    5dn: I think the word “affected” belongs properly in the clue as a way of telling us that aliases are assumed names.

    24ac/3dn: I am not sure whether the word “former” is necessary before “Irish police” and “president” respectively. It would be interesting to see what others think.

  3. MikeC says:

    Thanks Loroso and PeeDee. Fine crossword and blog. There were several of these where I was pretty sure of the answer but could not quite explain why. An exception (!) is 1d, which I think is COST then AS surrounding R(anci)D. I also had to make extensive use of the dictionary, for example, for 20a, where I thought first of NIN PINE (Pin Nine) – Put Nine is much more precise. “Initial exchange” answers the question put a day or two back of how to avoid the Rev Spooner . . .

  4. PeeDee says:

    Thanks for the corrections, fixed now.

    Re 24ac: I added ‘former’ to the blog to aid any internationl solvers who are not particilarly familair with NI. The name RUC changed to the Police Sevice of Northern Ireland in 2001.

  5. Pelham Barton says:

    PeeDee @4: Thanks for coming back in. To clarify my last remark at 2, I agree with you in adding “former” to the explanation at 24ac. I am interested in views on whether the word (or something similar) is necessary in the clue. My first thought was that it should have been in the clue at 24ac, but I was not at all bothered by its absence in 3dn. I can give no logical justification for why I feel differently in the two cases.

  6. PeeDee says:

    I get the same mixed feelings as you re 3/24 Pelham. In the context of this crossword I think it is OK to omit ‘former’ as it is in keeping with the level of difficulty of the puzzle as a whole.

  7. JollySwagman says:

    Nice – thanks both.

    Didn’t twig how mincemeat worked even having the right answers in.

    Re presidents – PMs too – I never feel the need for a “former”. Were that an accepted convention clues without it would be too easy (allowing for the possibilty of PMs and presidents from other lands). Of course American presidents retain their honorific beyond their term of office.

  8. Eileen says:

    Thanks, PeeDee, for the blog.

    My apologies, Loroso, for being too busy making mince pies, etc, etc, to finish – or even start doing the necessary research for the acrosses for this [too good for a weekday, at this time of year!] puzzle but I just want to put in my twopenn’orth re 3dn: on Monday, ‘nix’ appeared in the Rufus puzzle I blogged and it occurred to me then that NIX ON offered a cluing opportunity that Paul [Mudd] might have exploited. It was interesting to see it in the same week in a more modest guise – and from you! [I certainly don’t see the need for ‘former’.]

    Huge thanks, as always [from a 19dn ;-)] for those parts of the puzzle that I did have time to complete.

  9. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Whoa, this was some puzzle.

    Saw 7ac (ASH) straightaway and spotted the theme (after just three letters!).
    But it wasn’t plain sailing at all.
    I got there in the end, but couldn’t explain ALIASES, MINCEMEAT (had to be it because of 9ac – linked in a quite an original way), ELDER and, of all clues, ARAUCARIA.
    So, many thanks PeeDee (and others) for explaining these.

    I liked the sneakiness of ‘Water tower’ in 18ac.
    Also the way Loroso avoided to use the word Spooner in 20ac. In this respect, I remember him saying a few years ago at this place that if he could he would.

    As I said I couldn’t parse ARAUCARIA, but “Drivers surrounding head of Irish police” for AA around R + the rest of RUC, did remind me of 14ac in today’s Guardian crossword by Arachne. “Of sound mind, ultimately buffered by stout” for E inside GUINNESS following the rest of SANE.
    I don’t think I have seen this before.
    And then all at once twice the same day.
    Great minds (who, by the way, in this case know each other very well) think alike!

    Terrific crossword.

  10. fearsome says:

    thanks PeeDee and Loroso
    This was tough but very enjoyable and I was left 2 short Mincemeat and aliases
    so particular thanks for explaining them – I had thought of mincemeat but had got nowhere near parsing it so left it blank.

  11. Thomas99 says:

    A remarkable puzzle – I certainly wasn’t expecting such a challenge when I finally got around to it a day late! There were lots of clues that looked like they couldn’t work and it was very satisfying to finally see the parsing. My last two in were 18a (Tung) – finally saw that “water tower” when I’d already picked up Chambers – and 12a (Elder), with its perfectly clear syntax that I’d been overcomplicating in my head long after realising what the answer had to be. I was very grateful for the extra help in 9a (Salix), without which I might never have got 6d (Mincemeat). “Eme” was new to me. Pretty stiff for a weekday, but then it is almost the holidays…

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