Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14229 Neo

Posted by scchua on February 5th, 2013



I thought this was going to be Neo shaking us out of our Tuesday complacency, on first pass.  However it turned out to be quite benign, helped in my case, by the anagrams present.  Thanks to Neo.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  [[The pictures at the bottom have unidentified links to the puzzle.]]

1 FT compilers sleeping around were cruel to partners! (6)

ABUSED : US(pronoun for the writer or speaker and others;Neo referring to himself and his fellow FT crossword compilers) contained in(… around) ABED(asleep in bed).

Answer: Ill-treated partners sexually, physically, mentally or verbally, or all four.

5 An idea if seal be broken (8)

FEASIBLE : Anagram of(broken) IF SEAL BE.

Answer: Descriptive of something that could be done;achievable, as in the phrase “That’s an idea!”.

9 Queen stops fuels being thrown over Muslim wives (8)

SERAGLIO : ER(abbrev. for Elizabeth Regina, the current Queen) contained in(stops) reversal of(being thrown over) [OIL + GAS](two types of fuel).

Answer: Strictly, the separate part of a traditional Muslim house in which wives, concubines, etc. live, also called a harem, which by extension, is used as term for the women living in it.

10 Bend to receive spank in Thai capital (6)

SATANG : SAG(to bend under a great weight) containing(to receive) TAN(to spank;to beat).

Answer: A unit of Thai currency;money;capital. 100 satangs make 1 baht, and 1 bath is about 0.02 pounds sterling. The median monthly disposal wage in Thailand is 15000 bahts, but, then, a half-litre of local beer costs 45 baht.

11 Roach cooked by new magistrate in Athens (6)

ARCHON : Anagram of(cooked) ROACH plus(by) N(abbrev. for “new”).

Answer: The name for the chief magistrate in city states like Athens in ancient Greece.

12 Monkey departs tree (8)

TAMARIND : TAMARIN(a small arboreal monkey of Central and South American forests) + D(abbrev for “departs”, as seen in airline schedules).

Answer: A tree that produces a fruit, whose pulp and extract is variously used in food and sauces, including Worcestershire sauce and HP Sauce.

14 Club bouncer is important in organisation that engages 50 (12)

TRAMPOLINIST : Anagram of(in organisation) IS IMPORTANT containing(that engages) L(Roman numeral for 50).

Defn: I presume if you were serious about bouncing, you’d join one of the many trampoline clubs. Nice misdirection, as “club bouncer” brings to mind a heavy guy bouncing other people out of an establishment.

18 Suspect price I probed is work of fiction (6,6)


Answer: A genre of the romance novel, usually on a historical theme, involving some sex, violence and violation – recognisable from its cover artwork and title.  A Wall St. Journal article in 1980 referred to them as “publishing’s answer to the Big Mac: They are juicy, cheap, predictable, and devoured in stupefying quantities by legions of loyal fans.” I wonder if those stories are titillating enough for readers to want to rip off their own bodices (or equivalents)? :-)

22 Land with everyone going after sentimental stuff (8)

CORNWALL : [W(abbrev. for “with”) + ALL(everyone)] placed after(going after) CORN(unduly sentimental stuff).

25 Prince Henry in Devonian river to send forth wind (6)

EXHALE : HAL(what Prince Henry, or Harry, was familiarly known as, in Shakespeare’s plays, later becoming King Henry V) contained in(in) EXE(the river in Devon, England).

26 Our planes, on time in south-east, use machine-guns (6)

STRAFE : [RAF(the aerial arm of the British military;”our” planes) placed after(on, in an across clue) T(abbrev. for “time”)] contained in(in) SE(abbrev. for “south-east”).

27 Doctor saves nothing on average (8)

MEDIOCRE : MEDIC(short for a doctor) containing(saves) O(the letter that looks like zero;nothing) + RE(about;on;with reference to).

Answer: A term often used derogatively to describe something ordinary;average, or even rather inferior.

28 City welcomes politician with role, one speaking firmly (8)

EMPHATIC : EC(abbrev. for Eastern Central, the group of postal areas including almost all of the Roman to Middle Ages City of London, as distinct from the larger city of London) containing(welcomes) [MP(Member of Parliament) plus(with) HAT(a role;a responsibility one takes on, as in “Neo wears two hats, one as a compiler, and one as a commenter”) + I(Roman numeral for “one”)]

29 Said to be spacious, but damp and unhealthy (6)

RHEUMY : Homophone of(Said to be) “roomy”(spacious).

2 Nonsensical writer in Times with tired eyes (6)

BLEARY : LEAR(Edward, writer renowned for his literary nonsense in poetry and prose, especially his limericks) contained in(in) BY(times, as in “2 times/by 2 are 4″).

3 Pigs at the dance seeking meal (9)

SPAGHETTI : Anagram of(dance) PIGS AT THE.

Answer: It could constitute a meal.

4 Sketch has detainee in row over Pound (9)

DELINEATE : Anagram of(in row) DETAINEE containing(over) L(£;symbol for the pound sterling).

5, 17 As this answer will be written throughout? (4,3,2,6)

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM : Cryptic defn: The answer to 5 down & 17 down will be entered into the grid starting from the top row to the bottom row.

6 An Indian part in playing Casablancan pianist? (5)

ASSAM : AS(playing;taking the role of, as in “… Laurence Olivier playing/as Hamlet”) + SAM(the pianist in the classic film, Casablanca, who’s told “Play it, Sam. Play “As Time Goes By” – and not “Play it again, Sam”).

Answer: The north-eastern state of India.

7 Bury  Football Club seen in Milan (5)

INTER : Double defn: 2nd: One of the two top football clubs in Milan, the other being A.C.

8 Revolutionary – as 9 is in schedule! (8)

LENINIST : Reversal of(Revolutionary) NINE(plain 9, not the clue number) contained in(is in) LIST(a schedule;a roster).

Answer: A revolutionary supporting the theories of V.I. Lenin, “revolutionary” doing double duty.

13 Left cuts excellent boxer (3)

ALI : L(abbrev. for “left”) contained in(cuts) AI(letters which look like A-One;excellent quality;first class).

Answer: Muhammad, former boxing champion, an excellent boxer, born Cassius Clay Jr.

15 Terrible rip in chair? I see what you’re saying! (3-6)

LIP-READER : Anagram of(Terrible) RIP contained in(in) LEADER(the chair;the leader;chairman of a board or committee).

Answer: The “I” in the defn.

16 Given after breakdown, important point’s made (5,4)

NORTH POLE : Anagram of(after breakdown) HELP (OR NOT).

Answer: Important geographical point.

17 See 5

19 Disagreeable woman  to frighten as with threats (3)

COW : Double defn.

20 Muslim claim is falsely made (7)

ISLAMIC : Anagram of(falsely made) CLAIM IS.

21 A wall painting put up causes conflict (6)

ALARUM : A + reversal of(put up, in a down clue) MURAL(a painting not just hung on a wall, but painted directly on it).

Answer: As a stage direction, meaning a loud disturbance or conflict, especially in Elizabethan, eg. Shakespearean drama.

23 Cleverly simple opener from Huddersfield Town (5)

NEATH : NEAT(cleverly simple, or even simply clever, as in “a neat trick” + initial letter of(opener from) “Huddersfield”.

Answer: Another town, in Wales.

24 Books to get on earlier vehicle (5)

AGENT : NT(abbrev. for the New Testament, consisting of a collection of books) placed below(… earlier, in a down clue) AGE(to get on in years).

Answer: A vehicle;agency/agent for the transmission, expression or achievement of ideas, information, authority, etc.



5 Responses to “Financial Times 14229 Neo”

  1. Rowland says:

    Extremely neat clues by Neo. Can’t find a quibble here, so another excellent one in the FT series. Some funny ones inc SATANG and ABUSED, but CoD for me the visual gag in FROM TOP TO BOTTOM.

    ‘Throughout’ I see as a definition in that one, scchua, but a great blog!!

    Cheers Rowly.

  2. mike04 says:

    Many thanks, Neo: an abundance of fine clues today.

    I like the well-concealed (for this solver!) anagram for SPAGHETTI in 3dn and I agree with
    Rowland @1 about FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. I would categorise 5,17 as a Double definition clue.

    Thanks for the blog, scchua.
    I noticed a missing letter in the blog: ‘with’ = w in 22ac.

  3. scchua says:

    Thanks mike04, correction made. And agree with you and Rowland about the quality of the puzzle (I’m not one to associate quality and enjoyment with difficulty).

  4. mike04 says:


    Purchasing power parity (PPP)
    Having spent many a satang on Singha Beer in Southern Thailand, I was quite delighted to see
    your choice of comparison indicator in 10across! Mike.

  5. Neo says:

    Sounds yummy.

    Many thanks to scchua for another brilliant blog, and to all who have piped up.


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