Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,204 – Crux

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on January 17th, 2013

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Jan 7

A Crux puzzle which – rather unusual for this setter – had quite a few cross references. An overall enjoyable solve, but not one of Crux’s very best. Ah well, just blame it on me – had a bad day :) .

Definitions are underlines wherever appropriate and/or possible.


1 INNISFREE     Everything on the house in Yeats’s paradise? (9)
    INN IS FREE (everything on the house)
    Nice starter.
6 BUDGE Endless spending allowance causes stir (5)
    BUDGET (spending allowance) minus the T at the end
9 ERWIN Rommel’s central Algerian victory (5)
    [alg]ER[ian] + WIN (victory)
10   ANTENATAL    Describes the time before Labour? (9)
    Cryptic definition
    I first entered ‘pregnancy’ here, messing up the NE.
11 TOPIARISTS Landscape artists in sunhats, wearing sort of 23 (10)
    (SITAR)* (‘sitar’, being the answer to 23d) inside TOPIS (sunhats)
12 BRAG Card game, popular with 15, no doubt (4)
    Triple definition: a card game, something popular to an EGOTIST (15) ie ‘show-off’ and ‘no doubt’ in the sense of “excellent, first-rate” which is in Chambers
    I do not feel very confident about my explanation of this clue. Perhaps my explanation is over-complicated. Musca @1 thinks “Crux is simply saying that Brag would, no doubt, be a game that should appeal to an Egotist”. That may be true, but in that case is there a real need for “no doubt”?
14 BLIGHTY By carrying torch we find home for soldiers (7)
    BY around LIGHT (torch)
15 EGOTIST It goes before time, unfortunately, for show-off (7)
    (IT GOES)*  before T (time)
17 PIT PROP A supporter of mine (3,4)
    Cryptic definition, one might say – PIT = mine, PROP = supporter
19 DRESDEN Doctors around the Orient study in China (7)
    {DRS (Doctors, plural of DR) around E (the Orient, East)} + DEN (study)
    The definition here is ‘China’ – porcelain which ‘Dresden’ is too.
20 OUCH Lose tip of finger – sounds painful (4)
    TOUCH (finger) minus the first letter (its tip)
22 BOBBY SOCKS   They hold two feet of copper hose (5,5)
    BOBBY (copper) + SOCKS (hose)
    Wasn’t this a band from Norway winning the Eurovision Song Contest?
25    UFOLOGIST One whose interests start usually from outer space (9)
    Cryptic definition This person’s interests are UFOS, indicated by U[sually] F[rom] O[uter] S[pace]. Thanks , once more, Musca @1
26 IDIOT A fool finds it out at regular intervals (5)
    [f]I[n]D[s] I[t] O[u]T
27   TWEED A bit of tough unwanted plant material (5)
    T[ough] (a bit of ‘tough’) + WEED (unwanted plant)
28 MARKETEER Stall-holder who’s illegal if black! (9)
    Doublish definition, with the second one cryptic referring to ‘black market’
1 INERT It’s lifeless in the Queen’s before term starts (5)
    IN + ER (the Queen) + T[erm]
2 NEWSPRINT Latest race needed for the papers (9)
    NEW (latest) + SPRINT (race)
3 SUNBATHERS    They possibly burn with heat in seconds (10)
    (BURN + HEAT)* inside SS (second, second) – possibly my CoD
4 REALITY Sort of TV we’d be mad to lose touch with! (7)
    Cryptic definition, I guess?
5 ENTITLE Give right name (7)
    Double definition
6 BAND Pop group, perhaps censored on the radio (4)
    Homophone of  BANNED (censored)
7 DETER Put off cleaner – not a nice man (5)
    DETERGENT (cleaner) minus GENT (a nice man)
8 ENLIGHTEN Convert in the glen is free from superstition (9)
13       HOTEL SUITE    Luxury accommodation seen in silhouette (5,5)
    This anagram must have been done before, but if not, hats off to Crux!
14 BY-PRODUCT Manufacturer’s extra, or his plea to customers, say (2-7)
    Homophone of  BUY PRODUCT (manufacturer’s plea to customers)
16 IN DECLINE Dying, I refuse to admit parson, finally (2,7)
    I DECLINE (I refuse) around [parso]N
18    PHOTISM Vision of light burning is seen during afternoon (7)
    {HOT (burning) + IS} inside PM (afternoon)
19 DEBATER Awarded a degree 7 becomes speaker at Oxford Union (7)
    BA (a degree) inside DETER (7, the answer to 7d)
    Had to think about ‘awarded’ as the insertion indicator, but it’s all right (I think). If being awarded, you win something. So you take possession of it.
21 CRONE Extremely clever single old woman (5)
    C[leve]R + ONE (single)
23 SITAR Top performer takes one instrument out east (5)
    STAR (top performer) around I (one)
24 MOOD Low-key humour (4)
    MOO (low) + D ((musical) key)

4 Responses to “Financial Times 14,204 – Crux”

  1. Musca says:

    Thanks Sil for your(as usual) careful analysis.
    Just a couple of comments: 12 ac.I don’t think is a triple definition; Crux is simply saying that Brag would, no doubt, be a game that should appeal to an Egotist.
    25 ac.surely isn’t just a straightforward cryptic definition; the “starts” of ‘usually from outer space’ give UFOs, which then supplies the solution!

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks Musca, for your vision on 12ac (although I am still not sure).
    And 25ac? Shame on me!
    I did the puzzle on the day itself and remember that I parsed like you did. But when I wrote the blog yesterday evening just before midnight, in a hurry, I had forgotten about it. Now corrected.

  3. John Newman says:

    Thanks Sil. Like you I had put pregnancy in to.

  4. Tony says:

    As per what Musca said, thanks for the informative analysis Sil.

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