Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12521/Falcon – Good for the ego…

Posted by neildubya on July 27th, 2007


The easiest crossword I’ve done in quite some time leading to my first ever “clean-sweep” (I think this is a technical term meaning that you solve every clue in a puzzle in order, across then down). I didn’t time myself but I started when then bus-stop indicator was telling me my bus was 7 minutes away and I finished before it arrived.

5 C in I ALSO – C for “clubs” is a bit puzzling, although I’m sure this isn’t the first time I’ve seen it. It’s not in the Chambers online or the Concise OED; is it a reference to playing card suit and if so, does that mean that H,D and S are fair game for the other suits?
9 T in (HARE)*
15 TAILOR – cryptic definition. “Suit” isn’t a verb in either of the two dictionaries I have access to so I wonder if a question-mark at the end of the clue would be appropriate?
19 DOGE,A RED – I can’t help thinking that “communist” for RED is starting to look a little bit tired these days, like something out of the Cold War era.
23 ANGLE – “fish for fish with a line” seems a bit OTT as a definition but I guess it goes well with the “and line” bit of the clue.
24 RE in GEN
26 A,PATH,Y – nicely worded clue.
4 A,L in CAB,ASH – I think I knew the word but didn’t know it was a tree (I thought it was a shrub). Easy clue though, so it was a confident guess.
7 A,”RRIVAL” – a homophone clue seems an odd choice here given that the word being homophone-d (if that’s a word) is actually in the answer – in this case, RIVAL. I mean, RRIVAL only sounds like RIVAL because RR is pronounced the same as R.
14 BRAND in (TERM)* – good clue but I’m a bit unsure about “describe”. It’s used to indicate that (TERM)* is a container for BRAND and it can mean “to draw or form something” but it seems to be stretching things a bit to say that (TERM)* gives “form” to BRAND. I’m happy to be persuaded on this though.
20 TIM in RAGE
21 FE,L,ON,Y – nice clue.

One Response to “Financial Times 12521/Falcon – Good for the ego…”

  1. petebiddlecombe says:

    Card suits – yes, this is the source for C=clubs, and the other suits are used. For some reason dictionaries quite often don’t have card-suit abbrevs, and for a while Chambers listed three of the four.

    Clean sweep: what you did certainly counts. Tony Sever, who’s been doing the Times champs even longer than me, seems to attempt a “clean sweep” on every Times cryptic puzzle outside championship competition. He allows himself to tackle the clues in any order, and counts a clean sweep if every one is solved on the first attempt. This version is easier than solving all the clues in printed order, as you can take advantage of checking letters much earlier.

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