Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,295 by Monk

Posted by PeeDee on April 24th, 2013


An easier than usual puzzle from Monk, he has taken pity on us this week.  Having said that there is still one I cannot explain, so any help appreciated.  Enjoyable to solve as always, thank you Monk.

Down the sides of the puzzle we have KENT MEN.  My guess is that this is about Superman and there are comic book references hidden in here.  Possibly OODCSOT is a word in some bizarre fictional language too, from previous experience I no longer discount anything I see around the edge of a Monk puzzle.  If anyone can shed any light please leave a comment below.

Hidden down the middle of the grid is MEDWAY, a river in Kent.  People from one side of this river are known as Kentish Men, from the other they are Men of Kent.  Many thanks to Thomas99 for this gem of obscure information.

8 KVETCH Complain against being put in boat (6)
V (versus, against) put in KETCH (boat)
9 LIPOGRAM One has letters missing in returned post, only half of programs distributed (8)
anagram (distributed) of PROGrams (half of) in MAIL (post) reversed (returned) – a peice of writing in which all words containing a certain letter have been omitted
10 ERGONOMICS Most of gross income shaped bioengineering (10)
anagram (shaped) of GROSs (most of) and INCOME
11 NOTE Folded back type of collar to reveal mark (4)
ETON (type of collar) reversed (folded back)
12 NEGATIVE Natural to accept, say, veto (8)
NATIVE (natural) including (accepting) EG (say)
14 OREGON State’s no-go area essentially rebuilt (6)
anagram (rebuilt) of NO GO and aREa (essentially=core of)
15 TROTTER Ultimately malevolent scoundrel, a bit of a swine (7)
malevolenT (ultimate letter of) ROTTER (scoundrel) – a pig’s foot
17 NYNORSK Regularly used only North or South Korea’s first language (7)
oNlY (using every other letter) N (north) OR S (south) K (first letter of Korea) – a Norwegian language
20 MONROE Extra without name interrupted by old film star (6)
MORE (extra) going outside (without) N (name) including (interrupted by) O (old) – Marylin Monroe
22 ABRASIVE One wears lingerie, one with average clothing (8)
BRAS (lingerie) I (one, Roman numeral) inside (clothed by) AVE (average) – something that wears
24 EMIT Issue bond in recession, embracing the ultimate in infationism (4)
TIE (bond) reversed (in recession) containing (embracing) infantilisM (last letter of)
25 COLLECTION Left following depression, having worked notice to get whip-round (10)
L (left) following COL (depression) with NOTICE* (anagram=worked)
27 NARCISSI An iris starts to seed cultivated hybrid fowers (8)
anagram (hybrid) of AN IRIS with SC (starting letters of seed and cultivated)
28 EXPORT Partner once left strong brown beer (6)
EX (partner, once) PORT (left)
1 OVERHEAR Earwig is close to me, in my ear? (8)
sounds like (in my ear) “over here” (close to me)
2 OTTO Exposed bum that smells quite nice (4)
bOTTOm (bum) exposed=outer layer removed – a fragrant oil
3 DHOOTI In which Gandhi’s lower half’s also wrapped up? (6)
ganDHI (lower half of) includes (wraps) TOO (also) reversed (up) – definition is &lit, a loin cloth
4 CLAIMED Called for medical to be reviewed (7)
MEDICAL* (reviewed=anagram)
5 SPY STORY Notice suppressing source of smutty blue literary genre (3,5)
SPY (notice) S (source of smutty) TORY (Conservative, blue). I can’t figure out how ‘suppressing’ fits in. It could just mean ‘sits on top of’, but the clue would make sense without it, so it seems odd to include a redundant word just for the sake of it.
6 OGEN MELONS These are green lemons, having gone off (4,6)
anagram (off) of LEMONS and GONE – a variety of melon with green skin
7 TATTOO Make lace and, in addition, hide design? (6)
TAT (lace) with TOO (in addition) – a design on the skin (hide)
13 ANTARCTICA Social worker caught in lorry north of a cold place (10)
ANT (social worker, lives in colonies) and C (caught) in ARTIC (lorry) above (north of, on a map) A – definition is ‘cold place’
16 EXCERCISE Wield drill (8)
double definition
18 SAVIOURS They protect one, stopping smells (8)
I (one) inside (stopping, like a cork) SAVOURS (smells)
19 WAYLAID “Ambushed” means one grabbed by youth (7)
WAY (means) and I (one) inside (grabbed by) LAD (youth)
21 OOMPAH Enthusiasm about a particular version of “Sound of Music”? (6)
OOMPH (enthusiasm) going round (about) A – an onomatopoeic description of a variety of music
23 REEFER Joint courses may be reduced by one (6)
double/cryptic definition – a course sail a type of sail that can be partly rolled up or ‘reefed’, so a reefer is a person performing this action.  The definition is ‘joint’.   Thanks to paulweaver for this.
26 TYPO Literal Teletubby disheartened one of them? (4)
TeletubbY (disheartened=no middle) and PO (a Teletubby) – definition is ‘literal’, in printing


14 Responses to “Financial Times 14,295 by Monk”

  1. paulwaver says:

    Thanks PeeDee and Monk. 23d Joint = marijuana cigarette (in Chambers) doobie, spliff, toke, it fair makes your head spin. Course = type of sail which can be reefed.

  2. paulwaver says:

    Sorry, left out reefer!

  3. Thoma99 says:

    In Kent (male) inhabitants on one side of the Medway (which appears down the middle of the grid, as of Kent I imagine – it’s a river) are “Men of Kent”. On the other side they’re called “Kentish Men”. A piece of information I never expected to find a use for.

  4. paulwaver says:

    Well s(pot)ted Thoma99. I am also pleased that PeeDee didn’t mind me enc(roach)ing on his blog.

  5. Dave says:

    ‘Social Worker’ = ANT is one of those awful contrived crossword compiler’s cliches that makes me cringe every time I see it.

  6. Andrea says:

    My first attempt at a Monk. He appears more interested in showing how clever he is than in entertaining his solvers. Thank you for your blog which put me out of my misery with the many clues I was unable to solve.

  7. PeeDee says:

    Andrea, I know what you mean about the cleverness for its own sake from Monk, it is something I have thought before. Personally I don’t find it offputting and enjoy the solving, but I can understand why it would not be to everyone’s tatse.

  8. Ilippu says:

    3 down, Dhoti is spelt Dhoti and not Dhooti! I don’t care if some dictionary offers this alternative spelling. It is such a common Indian word almost never spelt other than Dhoti

  9. Keeper says:

    Thanks for the blog, PeeDee. I was hoping you (or someone else here) could help a Yank out.

    25a: whip-round = collection?
    28a: strong brown beer = export?
    13d: lorry = Arctic?

    Perhaps those are clear to folks from the British Isles, but they’re lost on me.

    Ilippu @8: I agree with you; I’ve only ever seen it spelled dhooti. But dhooti appears in Chambers, which (alas) is all that matters for most FT compilers (and, it seems, quite a few solvers). On that note, I once objected to Emmies as the plural of Emmy (the TV award), to which someone replied, “But Emmies is in Chambers.” Fine, but that doesn’t make it correct. The plurals of proper nouns like Emmy, Grammy, Tony, etc. are all formed by adding an s. I’m willing to accept there may be exceptions to that rule, but Emmy is a registered trademark, and the official website is even Chambers is (gasp!) wrong.

  10. Keeper says:

    Of course, I meant “I’ve only ever seen it spelled dhoti.” (Guess that’s what “Preview Comment” is for.)

  11. PeeDee says:

    Keeper – my apologies, there was typo in my blog, 13dn should have been ARTIC (abbr for articulated lorry, semi-trailer truck)

    I was surprised top see EXPORT defined as brown beer, I always understood export to be a name for any strong beer (from the old Scottish tax classification light, heavy, export, wee heavy)

  12. Monk says:

    To Ilippu, Keeper & PeeDee: a 15×15 compiler aims to entertain solvers subject to the constraint that less-well-known entries can be confirmed using readily accessible sources such as Chambers, COED, SOED, Collins etc. The primary question is therefore whether or not solvers will know that they have got the right answer; if affirmative, the compiler has done his/her job fairly. The secondary debate regarding the accuracy of the source itself is one to conduct with the source publishers! This, of course, is all part of the much wider organic debate on rules, standards and consistency.

  13. PeeDee says:

    Thanks for dropping in Monk, I agree completely with you summary @12. I took Ilippu and Keeper’s comments to be expessing a personal frustration with the spelling in general rather than the validity of the crossword, but I may be wrong.

  14. ilippu says:

    thanks, Monk & Peedee….it was a personal frustration and online look-ups did not offer the alternative spelling..wordplay was clear to the answer of much so i had to abandon some of top left clues. i do enjoy Monk’s puzzles.

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