Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14265 Neo

Posted by scchua on March 19th, 2013


Today’s puzzle by Neo, who appears more often than not on a Tuesday, is a relatively easy one by his standards.  Lots of good story-telling surfaces.  Thanks to Neo.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  [[The pictures at the bottom have unidentified links to the puzzle.]]

1 Complaints: this old one, and another about parking (6)

GRIPPE : GRIPE(another type of complaint, of a different sort from the answer) containing(about) P(abbrev. for “parking”).

Answer: The old/former name for the flu.

4 Port Labrador sacked (8)

LARBOARD : Anagram of(sacked) LABRADOR.

Answer: A former word for “port”, as opposed to “starboard”.

9 Euro for example, second currency in recession (5)

MONEY : MO(short for “moment”;a second, as in “hang on a mo/sec”) + reversal of(in recession) YEN(the Japanese unit of currency). Nice surface.

10 Explosive star and moon unknown in relevant study (9)

ASTRONOMY : Anagram of(Explosive) [STAR plus(and) moon] + Y(symbol for an unkown quantitiy). A WIWD (wordplay intertwined with defn.) clue.

11 Entertaining person, one with two females in city (7)

CARDIFF : CARD(an entertaining, funny person) + I(Roman numeral for “one”) + F,F(2 x the abbrev. for “female”).

12 This might ultimately do leap after development! (7)

TADPOLE : Last letter of(ultimately) “might” + anagram of(after development) DO LEAP.

Answer: Which after development;on maturity becomes a leaping frog.  Another WIWD clue.

13 Theatrical Frenchman in beret (4)

CAMP : M(abbrev. for the term of address for a Frenchman, equivalent to Mr. in English) containing(in) CAP(of example of which is the French beret). An amusing surface image.

Answer: Theatrical;affected;artificial in manner, in order to amuse or to make an ostentatious display.

14 Conservative  belonging to the Eastern Church (8)

ORTHODOX : Double defn: 2nd: Of or belonging to the Eastern Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church, or commonly, the Orthodox Church.

17 Sunset Boulevard actress good in final performance (8)

SWANSONG : SWANSON(Gloria, the lead actress in the classic film “Sunset Boulevard”, not to be confused with the later stage musical adaptation) + G(abbrev. for “good”). Another telling surface, as the Ms. Swanson plays a fading actress trying to make a comeback.

19 Much printed material creates muddle (4)

BLUR : “blurb”(a promotional description, as found printed on the jackets of books) minus its last letter(Much).

22 Servant and social worker form procession (7)

PAGEANT : PAGE(a boy servant or attendant) plus(and) ANT(a member of the social insects, one of whose castes is the “worker”).

24 Dull at home, primitive desires appear after drink (7)

INSIPID : IN(at home, not out and about) + { ID(that part of the psyche, totally unconscious, that is the source of instinctive and primitive desires and impulses) placed after(appear after) SIP(a small quantity drunk a little at a time) }.

25 Answer murderous ruler beheaded by church in landing area (9)

AERODROME : A(abbrev. for “answer”, as in “Q and A”) + “Herod”(the murderous Biblical ruler) minus its first letter(beheaded) plus(by) ROME(a metonym for the Roman Catholic Church).

Answer: A former word for a landing area especially for private aircraft, usually smaller than an airport.

26 Faced with Aussie bouncers, opener in terror bats here (5)

ROOST : ROOS(short for kangaroos;Aussie bouncers) + the first letter of(opener) “terror”. Another amusing image with an opening batsman quaking at the prospect of a bumper from an Aussie bowler.

Answer: The general word for a place where a group of birds or flying animals, including bats (flying rodents), might sleep.

27 Most unsophisticated way to follow an author (8)

GREENEST : ST(abbrev. for “street”;a road;a way) placed after(to follow) GREENE(Graham, English author).

Answer: Most inexperienced, hence most unsophisticated.

28 Move up from shot curtailed in commercial (6)

ASCEND : “scene”(in films, a shot – or series of shots – making up a part of the action) minus its last letter(curtailed) contained in(in) AD(short for an advertisement;a commercial).

1 Joke with point made by featherweight fighter? (8)

GAMECOCK : GAME(joke;foolery, as in “I’ve had enough of your games”) plus(with) COCK(to point;to stand up or stick out conspicuously).

Answer: A rooster, feathered of course, bred and trained to fight with others, using fitted metal spurs – a blood sport.

2 Fool roaming around with compilers (9)

IGNORAMUS : Anagram of(around) ROAMING
plus(with) US(self-referencing collective pronoun for compilers;crossword setters). Good misdirection with 2 potential anagram indicators.

3 Science incomplete in healing art (6)

PHYSIC : “physics”(a science) minus its last letter(incomplete).

Answer: An archaic word for the art or profession of healing. What olden physicians practised. Is modern medicine still part art?

5 Sufficiently early repair saving money here? (1,6,2,4)

A STITCH IN TIME : Cryptic defn: Reference to the proverb “A stitch in time saves nine”, combined with the other adage, “Time is money”.  I think that’s what is intended.

6 John died while asleep, apparently, cheeks smeared with gore (7)

BLOODED : { LOO(slang for the toilet, as is the “john”) + D(abbrev. for “died”) } contained in BED(while asleep;in bed).

Answer: The custom, in hunting, of smearing the cheeks of a person with the blood of the kill as an initiation.

7 See through portholes sailor going aloft from the start (2,3)

AB OVO : { V(abbrev. for the Latin “vide”;to see;to refer to) contained in(through) O,O(a couple of letters looking like portholes) } placed after(… going aloft, in a down clue) AB(abbrev. for “able-bodied seaman”;a sailor).

Answer: Latin for “from the start”;from the egg literally.

8 Mac Flecknoe was his laconic study (6)

DRYDEN : DRY(unadorned;brief;of few words;laconic) + DEN(a room for study and other quiet activities).

Answer: The “his” in the defn. John, English poet and writer of “Mac Flecknoe” a mock-heroic satire in verse.

10 In wild sea, Argo is fast up to a point (2,3,2,2,4)

AS FAR AS IT GOES : Anagram of(wild) SEA, ARGO IS FAST.

15 Instrument to chop – sharpen axes first (9)

XYLOPHONE : { LOP(to chop;to cut parts, eg. a tree, body, etc) + HONE(to sharpen eg. a knife blade) } placed after(… first) X,Y(the horizontal and vertical axes of a graph).

16 Acknowledged as writer of formal statement about daughter with that certain something (8)

CREDITED : CREED(a formal statement of beliefs or principles, specifically, of Christian belief, such as the Apostles’ Creed) containing(about) { D(abbrev. for “daughter”) plus(with) IT(that certain something;that indefinable, attractive quality) }.

18 Musicians performing in desert (7)

ABANDON : [A BAND](a group of musicians) + ON(performing, as on stage, eg. “I’m on in five minutes”).

20 Pair held in South Africa, no good, released from prison (6)

SPRANG : { PR(abbrev. for “pair”) contained in(held in) SA(abbrev. for South Africa) } + NG(abbrev. for “no good”).

21 Old man respected is one Egyptians worshipped (6)

OSIRIS : O(abbrev. for “old”) + SIR(a respectful term of address for a man, eg. “Please sir, I want some more”) + IS.

Answer: An ancient Egyptian god, ruler of the underworld and judge of the dead.

23 Stuff in canyon (5)

GORGE : Double defn: 1st: As a verb, eg. to stuff/gorge oneself with food; and 2nd: The geographical feature.


For the answer to pic#3 please click here cf. Paragraph 3.


9 Responses to “Financial Times 14265 Neo”

  1. Rowland says:

    Think the joke on 5 down is that MONEy is number 9 in the grid, so ‘stich in time saves nine’.

    Very good FT puzzle with very tight clues. Liked 1 across best for slightly strange constrrcution.


  2. scchua says:

    Yes, of course! Doh!

  3. Steve says:

    Thanks Neo and scchua for an excellent puzzle and blog. As for the bonus pictures, the first one is a kind of neolithic fish hook also known as a gorge (23d). The second is a hat made with a technique called sprang (20d) an early sort of knitting. The third appears to be a Campagna T-Rex 3-wheeler motorbike/vehicle but I don’t see the connection to the puzzle unless it’s something to do with 25a which has Rome as part of the solution (Campagna being the low-lying plain surrounding Rome).

  4. scchua says:

    [[Well done, Steve. Later on, I’ll add a link to the answer to pic#3.]]

  5. Bamberger says:

    Streuth -if that was an easy Neo I’d hate to see a hard one. Never come across grippe, larboard or ab ovo.May have come across osiris.
    Unimpressed by 8d -if you know it , it is a write in, if you use the services of Mr Google, it is a write in. If oyu have never heard of Mac Flecnoe then I reckon it is nigh on ungettable from the cryptic.
    About 40% solved.

  6. jmac says:

    Great fun. Thanks Neo & Scchua. Come on Bamberger, I’m a very average solver and had never heard of Mac Flecnoe but DRY + DEN is not really that difficult especially if you have a crossing letter or two, and then you just have to take a confident leap …

  7. Bamberger says:

    8d Well I had ??y?e? but didn’t know what laconic meant and study had to be know=ken.

  8. Neo says:

    Dryken then. Who’s to say that’s not all right? Or John Milkon. Or Alexander Poke. I’ve read ’em all.

    Thanks to all who contributed to the thread, and to scchua for his customary exzcellent blog (I’ll leave that extra Z in – I like it) which today has some very amusing pictures. Cluewise, I think between you you’ve nailed the lot, as you pretty much always do.

    Back now to Rokin Hook, or some bastardised version of it. They all look like they need a bath.

  9. jmac says:

    Bamberger: in my limited experience STUDY = DEN is often the case with crosswords. You had “Y” so you were looking at –yden. 4ac was obviously an anagram and not too difficult, so D-yden was surely not too much of a leap into the unknown.

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