Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14211 Armonie

Posted by scchua on January 15th, 2013


A very slightly harder Armonie today, but good.  Thanks Armonie.  I noted the number of repeated words in the clues: “beer”(1a/12a), “girl”(14a/21a), “speed”(11a/22a), “knight”(2d/4d), “number”(7d/8d), “nothing”(11a/28a), and wondered if it was deliberate?  If so, I can’t see the significance of it, though.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  [[The pictures at the bottom share 2 unidentified links to the puzzle.]]

1 One is unable to tuck into beer in Spain (8)

ALICANTE : [I(Roman numeral for one) + CAN'T (contraction of cannot;is unable to)] contained in(tuck into) ALE(beer).

Answer: A Mediterranean seaport in S.E. Spain.

6 Note about the lowest possible degrees (6)

MINIMA : Reversal of(about) [A MINIM](a half-note;a musical note whose duration is half that of a semibreve).

Answer: Plural of minimum, the lowest possible quantity.

9 Speculate about northern composer (6)

WAGNER : WAGER(to lay a bet;to speculate) containing(about) N(abbrev. for “northern”).

10 Winger trots towards strumpet (8)

REDSTART : REDS(Communists;a faction of whom were the Trotskyites, shortened to “Trots”) plus(towards) TART(a strumpet;a loose woman).

Answer: The bird below. Well misdirected/misled by the definition, and the noun disguised as a verb, though I thought convention calls for a capital T. Of course, that would have ruined the clue, and convention can always be set aside for effect.

11 Think nothing of revealing speed (4)

KNOT : Hidden in(revealing) “Think nothing “.

12 Revulsion to constituents of Anchor beer (10)

ABHORRENCE : Anagram of(constituents of) ANCHOR BEER. And there is an Anchor beer (and probably more).

14 Girl had partner turning round in porch (8)

VERANDAH : VERA(a girl’s name) + reversal of(turning round) [HAD + N(notation in the game of bridge for "North", S's partner)].

16 Financial restriction accepted – many affected (4)

CAMP : CAP(a limit;a restriction, perhaps, financial) containing(accepted) M(Roman numeral for 1000;many).

Answer: To exhibit artificial, theatrical, or even effeminate, mannerisms, dress, etc.

18 Frank gives a lovebird? (4)

OPEN : O(the letter that looks like zero, “love” in tennis scoring) + PEN(a female swan).

19 Youth brewed green tea (8)

TEENAGER : Anagram of(brewed) GREEN TEA.

21 Girl has control on the Thames (10)

MAIDENHEAD : MAIDEN(a young unmarried girl, or a euphemism for a virgin) plus(has) HEAD(to control, say, an organisation or a group of people).

Answer: A town on the River Thames, whose name has nothing to do with a maiden’s condition nor anatomy, but apparently from Maiden Hythe (New wharf).

22 Drop  speed (4)

TEAR : Double defn: 1st: A drop of liquid from the eyes; and 2nd: To go at great speed.

24 Former meat producer to start to import beef (8)

PASTRAMI : PAST(former;once) + RAM(a male mature sheep, producer of mutton, and perhaps, what goes into haggis) plus(to) initial letter of(start to) “import”.

Answer: Raw beef that has been salted, dried, seasoned, smoked and steamed, in other words thoroughly preserved. It and its name originated from Turkey (the country, though there is similarly treated turkey called pastrama).

26 See about hole cut in regular fashion (6)

EVENLY : ELY(a diocese;see in Cambridgeshire England, whose Bishop sits at the Cathedral in the city of Ely) containing(about) “vent”(a hole to let gases out) minus
its last letter(cut).

27 Soldier advanced? Give in! (6)

RELENT : RE(abbrev. for the Royal Engineers, the engineering support corps of the British Army) + LENT(advanced some money as a loan).

28 Stop at nothing and hit it off when entertaining Yank (2,2,4)

GO TO TOWN : [GOT ON](hit it off;got along very well with someone;established a congenial relationship) containing(when entertaining) TOW(to pull;to yank). Nicely misdirected by the capital Y, which does not break convention this time.

Answer: To lose restraint or inhibition;to overindulge;to go all out.

2 Pick up king’s knight (5)

LEARN : LEAR(king in Shakespeare’s tragedy) + N(abbrev. for knight in chess notation).

3 Reticent prisoners studied (11)

CONSTRAINED : CONS(short for “convicts”;prisoners) + TRAINED(studied, as in “he studied/trained to be an engineer”).

Answer: Feel constrained;self-restrained from speaking freely.

4 Raymond foolishly supported knight in France (8)

NORMANDY : Anagram of(foolishly) RAYMOND placed below(supported, in a down clue) N(abbrev. for “knight” in chess notation).

Answer: A region in France, from whence the conquerors of England came, and on whose beaches the Allied Forces landed in WWII to liberate France.

5 Treating the rash wrongly is fateful (5-10)


6 Current in the way of the navy (6)

MODERN : MODE(a way;a method) + RN(abbrev. for the Royal Navy).

7 A number turned up in trap (3)

NET : Reversal of(turned up, in a down clue) TEN(a number).

8 A greater number showed up round British resort (9)

MORECAMBE : MORE(a greater number than) + [CAME(showed up;arrived) containing(round) B(abbrev. for British).

Answer: A seaside resort town in Lancashire, England.  And he did come from Morecambe.

13 Men cry first in hospital department in delight (11)

ENCHANTMENT : [MEN placed below(… first, in a down clue) CHANT(a cry, as in a slogan shouted by a crowd)] contained in(in) ENT(abbrev. for Ear, Nose and Throat as in the hospital department).

15 Pals need a change by the seaside (9)

ESPLANADE : Anagram of(change) PALS NEED A.

Answer: A long open level stretch of paved ground for walking along, especially by the seaside.

17 A draw is boring – hard to swallow (4,4)

DEAD HEAT : DEAD(boring;devoid of anything to interest you, in turn, boring you to death) + H(abbrev. for “hard”) + EAT(the last step of which is to swallow).

File:Triple dead-heat.jpg

20 A child in time embraces admirer (6)

INFANT : [IN + T(abbrev. for "time")] containing(embraces) FAN(an admirer of a person or thing).

23 German enters a flat that’s lit up (5)

AGLOW : G(abbrev. for Germany/German) contained in(enters) [A + LOW(if the whole of a surface is low, then it's also flat; or if a tyre is flat, it would be in a low position; or if something is laid flat, it's laid low; or if you're singing flat, then you're singing too low. The first example is not quite convincing as you can have a flat high surface, as with a plateau; and I hope the other examples satisfy].

25 11  17 (3)

TIE : Double defn: 1st: To knot(answer to 11across); and 2nd: A draw;with no single winner;a dead heat(answer to 17down).



5 Responses to “Financial Times 14211 Armonie”

  1. ernie says:

    I don’t quite see where the a comes from in your parsing of 5A.

    Is it not just minim (note) plus a for about?

    Thanks for the blog

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Scchua & Armonie.

    This was very enjoyable.

    [[I recognise Gene Kelly - who I met in 1984 - and Ann Miller. They were both in 'On the Town' (1949) which may be your allusion to 28a 'Go to Town'?]]

  3. scchua says:

    You’re right, ernie. I was too hasty rejecting “about” as an abbrev. in favour of it being an indicator.
    [[Bryan, you're right - if you're out "on the town" enjoying yourself, there's a chance you'd really "go to town" with it. I was struck by the 2 idioms, not synonymous in meaning, and sharing the same word- possibly sharing the same derivation? That must have been interesing, meeting Gene Kelly.]]

  4. scchua says:

    [[P.S. For the answer to Pic#1 please click here and here ]]

  5. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Scchua.

    It was certainly interesting meeting Gene but he was very much shorter than I had imagined.

    I now realise that most dancers are quite short with Tommy Tune being an obvious exception.

    Maybe that’s why I am a terrible dancer?

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