Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14288 Crux

Posted by scchua on April 16th, 2013


In the last Crux I blogged I made the comment that there were some very nice surfaces.  The same comment applies today.  Thanks to Crux.  Definitions are underlined in the clues. [[The pictures at the bottom between them have 3 unidentified links to the puzzle.  There’s a setter’s device involved in one of the pictures. Please enclose any comments on them in double brackets. Thank you.]]


1 A visionary project, like the superfortress was? (6,2,3,3)

CASTLE IN THE AIR : Cryptic defn: Reference to the B-29 Superfortress bomber that was used, among other missions, to carry out the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – with its name, spelt with a lower case initial, and its usage taken literally.

Answer: A daydream, quite unlike the plane.

10 Praise for former tax cut (5)

EXTOL : EX-(the prefix to mean former;once) + “toll”(a tax) minus its last letter(cut).

11 Do their workers set the standard for industry? (9)

APIARISTS : Cryptic defn: Reference to those who keep bees, amongst which is the caste of workers, and to the saying “as busy as bees”, the standard for being hardworking.

12 Somehow a loser with nothing can, probably (7)

AEROSOL : Anagram of(Somehow) [ A LOSER plus(with) O(the letter that looks like zero;nothing) ].

Answer: A substance under pressure dispensed as a spray and its container, which is commonly;probably a metal can.

13 Where piece goes by composer with Queen (7)

HOLSTER : HOLST(Gustav, English composer) plus(with) ER(abbrev. for Elizabeth Regina, the Queen).

Answer: Where a piece;a gun goes. And of course, a piece is also a musical composition, and Queen was a former rock band.

14 In battle Lancaster’s first to leave squadron (5)

FIGHT : Initial letter of ( …’s first) “Lancaster” deleted from(to leave) “flight”(two or more military aircraft, two or more of which in turn make up a squadron). And of course, the Lancaster was a British bomber.

16 Detain drunk, then vanish, say – a colourful treatment! (3-3-3)

TIE-AND-DYE : Anagram of(drunk) DETAIN plus(then) homophone of(say) “die”(vanish;cease to exist).

Answer: Usually given as “tie-dye”.

19 A good man rests in bed? Most harmful! (9)

COSTLIEST : ST(abbrev. for a saint;a good man) LIES(rests;in a resting position) contained in(in) COT(a small bed).

Answer: Most damaging to, say, your finances, or any of your resources.

20 Lean  over (5)

SPARE : Double defn: 1st: Thin;lean as of a person; and 2nd: Additional;extra.

22 Carriage supplied by Air Traffic Control (7)

BEARING : Cryptic defn: Reference to the direction a plane should head for, as given by Air Traffic Control.

Answer: The manner in which one conducts or carries oneself socially, including posture and dress.

25 Loan commercial vehicle to the church (7)

ADVANCE : AD(short for “advertisement”;a commercial) + VAN(a vehicle, usually for commercial purposes) plus(to) CE(abbrev. for the Church of England).

27 Nasty parent runs wild brandishing fancy gun (9)

REPUGNANT : Anagram of(runs wild) PARENT containing(brandishing) anagram of(fancy) GUN. This gives brings up a ghastly picture of a gun-happy nasty parent threatening a teacher or a coach.

28 She‘s central to the Bishop’s staff (5)

ROSIE : The middle 5 letters of(central to) “crosier”(the staff carried by a bishop as a symbol of his office).

29 No city dust here; it disperses (3,11)

THE COUNTRYSIDE : Anagram of (it disperses) NO CITY DUST HERE.

Answer: And of course, you won’t find city dust here. A WIWD(wordplay intertwined with definition) clue.

2 Reform goes wrong for these intimate friends (5,4)

ALTER EGOS : ALTER(to reform;to change) + anagram of(wrong) GOES.

Answer: Very close and inseparable friends.

3 Bone that’s set in hospital, usually (5)

TALUS : Hidden in(set in) “hospital, usually”.

4 Englishwoman may hold badge of rank (9)

EPAULETTE : E(abbrev. for “English”) + PAULETTE(a woman’s name).

Answer:  From the diminutive for “epaule”, French for shoulder.

5 Negative expression heard on the farm (5)

NEIGH : Homophone of(heard) “nay”(olden term for “no”;a negative expression). I think “heard” is doing double duty.

6 School punishment (in Greek?) said to be bad luck! (4,5)

HARD LINES : Cryptic defn: Reference to punishment in school of writing the same line many times (do they still have this?), even harder when you have to do it in Greek, especially if you’re not studying Greek.

Answer: An expression of empathy for someone who’s having bad luck.

7 Girl by strength (5)

ASSET : Reversal of(upset, in a down clue) TESSA(a girl’s name).

8 Keep back  some distance (7)

RESERVE : Double defn: 1st: To keep;set aside something for the future; and 2nd: An absence of warmth;distance in a relationship. I thought the clue didn’t need “back”, the omission of which makes for a better surface.

9 Live on 50% benefit (6)

BEHALF : BE(to live;to exist) placed above(on, in a down clue) HALF(50%).

Answer: As in the phrase “on someone’s behalf”;for that someone’s benefit.

15 Top royal in total disorder gets reprimand (7-2)

TALKING-TO : KING(the royal at the top) contained in(in) anagram of(disorder) TOTAL.

17 Fan of old farm vehicle (9)

EXTRACTOR : EX-(prefix for old;former) TRACTOR(a farm vehicle).

18 Identified disease daughter agonised about (9)

DIAGNOSED : D(abbrev. for “daughter”) + anagram of(about) AGONISED.

19 Musical in which Tom entertains naked! (7)

CABARET : CAT(the male of which is a tom) containing(entertains) BARE(naked;uncovered).

Answer: The stage and, later, film musical. Strangely the same answer, and almost the same clue construction appeared in yesterday’s Guardian Cryptic. And of course, CATS was another musical in which the character of a tom might appear (or appear to be) naked.

21 Team in boxing display (6)

ELEVEN : “XI”(Roman numerals for “eleven”) hidden in(in … display) “boxing”. A nicely tricky clue – my last one in, after looking at it for some time.

23 Quite enough try to go topless! (5)

AMPLE : “sample”(to try;to taste a bit) minus its last letter(to go topless). The surface, nice as it is, could be improved, I thought, by adding “to” before “try”. If you had ample 7downs, you’d be justified to go topless (only women need apply).

24 Good water essential as a basis for whisky (5)

GRAIN : G(abbrev. for “good”) + RAIN(water coming down).

Answer: In addition to good pure water, an essential ingredient, when fermented, in the making of whisky.

26 Electronic threat from Russian rocket, primarily (5)

VIRUS : RUS(abbrev. for “Russian”) placed below(…, primarily, in a down clue)VI(letters that look like V-1, the German flying bomb;rocket used in WWII).



7 Responses to “Financial Times 14288 Crux”

  1. peterj says:

    Grrr! 21d
    I now know far more about boxing than I did when I woke up this morning.
    Thanks scchua and Crux…

  2. mike04 says:

    Thanks Crux and scchua.

    I don’t think ‘Lines’ are given out here as a punishment nowadays.
    (in Greek?) may refer to the phrase “All Greek to me”.

  3. Muffyword says:

    Thanks scchua and Crux, this was a good crossword and I like the pictures of the bombers in the blog.

    I was hampered initially because my castle was in the sky, not the air. Perhaps as a result, TESSA and APIARISTS were last to be solved.

    [[Could picture 1 relate to ‘Cider with ROSIE’ ? The people in picture 3 could be collecting willow (osier, an anagram of ROSIE), but that is a bit indirect. Picture 6 could be from The Matrix – a type of computer virus. Picture 7 looks like ‘To the Manor Born’, but I can’t connect that to the crossword, nor to the mysterious setter’s device, unless the setter’s device was the anagram of osier…]]

  4. scchua says:

    [[Yes, Muffyword, pic1 is “Shaking Down Cider Apples” as in “Cider With Rosie”, and pic3’s subject is cutting and collecting willow or osier (an anagram of “rosie”, as you pointd out). That leaves 2 more links to come.]]

  5. Rowland says:

    Best puzzle of the day. Nice ansd tight.


  6. flashling says:

    Thanks SC for eleven which I failed to understand, as for the [[pics]] I never get them!

    Quite easy, suspect a Monk tomorrow to make up for it.

  7. Sil van den Hoek says:

    This puzzle is worth the price of the FT alone for 29ac.
    “No city dust here” for THE COUNTRYSIDE is brill.
    That said, I wouldn’t have gone for this anagram indicator.
    It is too late in the day now to think about an alternative, but still.

    As ever a nice crossword by Crux, whose 20ac (SPARE) is another example of today’s fine clues.

    Not sure though whether I agree with Rowland @5.
    I am a great Crux fan, but Qaos was just every bit as inspiring.

    Thanks, sschua.

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