Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,189 – Crux

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on December 29th, 2012

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Dec 17

An overall enjoyable Crux crossword to end another year of blogging.  So,  A Very Happy New Year to everyone out there!  At this place, I would like to thank Dante and Crux for providing the lion’s share of the FT’s Monday puzzles, but others like Armonie, Falcon, Mudd or Gaff were equally appreciated.  I am really looking forward to my first blog in 2013.  Am I?  Seen last Monday’s crossword?  Is this Dante/Rufus’s Revenge on his criticasters?  Not sure whether I will survive this outrageous ‘crossword’ – but more about that next week (I hope …. :) ).

Definitions are underlined wherever possible and/or appropriate.


1 CAPITAL P What prisoners need starting sentence (7,1)
    Kind of cryptic definition
    A highly original start to this crossword. When the word ‘prisoners’ is at the start of a sentence, it needs a ‘capital P’. In John Newman’s eyes (@4) the word ‘need’ is not right when it comes to cryptic grammar, it should be ‘needs’ (which means that the surface has to be changed). I fear that John’s view is correct (from a cryptic POV).
5 FLUTES Loud instruments? Hardly! (6)
    F (loud, forte) + LUTES (instruments)
    The thing is, I usually find a flute quite loud ….
10 ALONG A pine showing lengthwise (5)
    A + LONG (pine)
11   CAESARIAN Asian race resettled in tricky operation (9)
12 COUNTLESS Legion left in protection of noble lady (9)
    L (left) inside COUNTESS (noble lady)
13 EGRET Deplore losing river bird (5)
    REGRET (deplore) minus R (river)
14 FIENDS Fanatics found among Quakers, mostly (6)
    FRIENDS (Quakers), mostly
    A Quaker is a member of the Religious Society of Friends, a movement found by George Fox in the mid-17th century. Indeed, FIENDS is “Friends, mostly”, but a bit unusual to delete a letter that’s not the first or the last.
15 PAWPAWS Exotic fruit looks like animal’s foot (feet) (7)
    PAW (animal’s foot) + PAWS (animal’s feet)
18 INNINGS Limitless prize money cricketers must have (7)
    WINNINGS (prize money) minus its starting letter
20 POLICE Plan to replace yen with euros, primarily, becomes the law (6)
    POLICY (plan) with the Y (yen) replaced by E[uros]
    I do not think ‘primarily’ is needed here.
22 JULES A Frenchman’s work units, nothing less (5)
    JOULES (work units) minus O (nothing)
24 EGOMANIAC    I am my favourite subject, pathologically so (9)
    Cryptic definition
    Not my favourite clue, but then, Crux isn ‘t my favourite CD artist …..
25 DESPERATE Wrong speed measure could be critical (9)
    (SPEED)* + RATE (measure)
26 OVERT Lover tries to show what’s obvious (5)
    Hidden solution:   [l]OVER T[ries]
27 ERRATA Mistakes made by a sailor about to retire (6)
    Reversal of {A + TAR (sailor) + RE (about)}
28 ABSENTEE Pupil who doesn’t appear to be educated (8)
    Cryptic definition
    Not very cryptic, I thought.
1 CHANCE Chancellor’s fortune (6)
    Hidden solution:   CHANCE[llor]
    Very un-well-hidden. So, initially I thought ‘this can’t be true’. But it was!
2 PROFUSION Large number in favour of union (9)
    PRO (in favour of) + FUSION (union)
3 TIGHTEN ONE’S BELT    Reduce expenses – and the waistline,  simultaneously! (7,4,4)
    Double definition
4 LACKEYS Want stupid yes-men who bow and scrape? (7)
    LACK (want) + (YES)*
LEAVES WELL ALONE     Doesn’t interfere at all, so remains thirsty, maybe (6,4,5)
    Straightforward definition plus a cryptic one
7 TRIER One has a crack in this German city (5)
    Double definition
    Same spelling, (very) different pronunciation.
8 SANITISE It is kept in stable to disinfect (8)
    IT IS inside SANE (stable)
9 MESS-UP Cat returns to me with a dog’s dinner (4-2)
    ME + reversal of PUSS (cat)
16 ARCHITECT Their act, bizarrely, needs conservative designer (9)
    (THEIR ACT)* plus C (conservative) somewhere inside
17 MISJUDGE Get wrong girl, say, to act as umpire (8)
    MIS (homophone of MISS (girl)) + JUDGE (to act as an umpire)
19 SEESAW Alternate witness, present and past (6)
    SEE (witness, in present tense) + SAW (witness, in past tense)
20 PROVERB Saw dog get tangled in lead (7)
    ROVER (dog) inside PB (lead, plumbum)
    Very nice clue!
21 SCYTHE Instrument of Death (6)
    Cryptic definition
    One more cryptic definition that is wasted on me (as a cryptic clue).
23    LOSER Unusual roles one plays without success (5)

7 Responses to “Financial Times 14,189 – Crux”

  1. Bamberger says:

    I didn’t get 1d.I thought a hidden word had to be embedded in the clue and not at the start.
    Also didn’t get 2d & 12a though looking at the answers I don’t know why.
    Thanks for the blog over the year and good luck to all with 14195 (and 14194). I took one look and thought no way.

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Interesting thought about what ‘hidden’ means or perhaps should mean, Bamberger.
    I can’t remember having come across a thing like 1d before.
    Maybe, we should read “Chancellor’s fortune” as “Fortune from Chancellor”, then taking just a part of that word.

    “I took a look and thought no way”?
    Well, that’s what I would have thought if I weren’t to blog this ‘puzzle’ (14195). Lucky me …..

  3. fearsome says:

    thanks Crux and Sil
    I struggled to get Fiends to finish this crossword, and was unsure of chance but what else?

  4. John Newman says:

    Many thanks for this Sil. I failed to get 14A which is very bad because I have life insurance with a company called Friend’s Provident which used to be a Quaker company. Could you explain 20D to me a bit more. PROVERB was the only answer which fitted my letters but I didn’t see ROVER, and I still can’t see why “saw” = “proverb”. I would quibble about “tangled”. Rover is in fact untangled.

    I agree with you about 1D. I kept thinking there must be something else, like the Chance cards in Monopoly. Wondered whether there is a game called Fortune with the same cards.

    I loved 1A. And related it to others. But then when I was doing that one time I suddently realised that the clue is faulty. Seeing the answer requires “prisoners” to be the word and not the people, the verb should be third person singular. i.e. “needs”. Crux should have written “Needed by prisoners when starting sentence.”

    I had the same thought as Bamberger when I saw 14194 and 14195. After Gozo’s very faulty Bastille day puzzle I decided immediately that I wasn’t going to try. Felt the same way about 14195 and emailed to Pete “oh no! Dante is at it now”. But with nothing else offering I started to have a go and it turned out to be fairly gentle. There is an oversight on the page which dissapointingly no doubt for Dante kept grabbing one’s attention.

    Happy New year to you!

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    In 20d, SAW is a noun (meaning “a saying”). Chambers gives us as the second definition “A proverb” as does the Oxford Dictionary of English. I think that ‘tangled’ is OK as an anagram indicator. It can be similar to words like entangled, knotted, twisted, confused, mixed up, complex (to cite dicitonaries and the Chambers Thesuarus).

    And John, I have already posted the blog for 14,195 which wasn’t that bad after all but only because ….. :)

    All the best for 2013.

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Oops, please (John and perhaps others), forget about what I said re ‘tangled’ @5. There is of course no anagram going on – looks like I wrote something using the automatic pilot. Having said that, I do think ‘tangled’ is a valid indicator here. One of the meanings of ‘to tangle’ is ‘to entangle’ which can mean ‘to ensnare’. For me, an OK container indicator. Moreover Chambers gives as definition no 3: ‘to trap’ (informal).

    And now, let’s see whether my autmatic pilot can deal with a basic calculation …. :)

  7. Musca says:

    Much belated comments on this puzzle.
    First, the only change needed in 1 ac. is to leave the final ‘S’ off Prisoners!
    21d Death, personified, is always portrayed carrying a scythe; it’s his ‘instrument’ i.e. “tool’, as it were. Crux carefully indicates the idea with a capital ‘D’ for Death.

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