Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,528 by Cinephile — Fiendishly Easy

Posted by Pete Maclean on August 16th, 2007

Pete Maclean.

Actually for me the difficulty of this puzzle was fairly average, leavened a bit by a typical kind of Cinephile theme, fiends.

I have enjoyed puzzles by John Graham (Cinephile/Araucaria) for many years because they present a challenge at a good level for me. Recently however my liking for his compositions has diminished a little as I find some of his clues a little inelegant or even faulty.


1. DECKCHAIR – DECK (adorn) + CHAIR (professor’s post). Here is a clue I am inclined to quibble about: “with wood and canvas” would seem to be the definition part but, while it may suffice to lead one to the answer, it does not directly define deckchair. Perhaps the intended definition is “chair with wood and canvas” which is fine as a definition but faulty in other ways.
6. BINGO – BIN (where’s the rubbish) + GO
9. VITAL – V (five) + ITAL[y]
10. VIDELICET – DELI (place to buy food) in VICE (what’s wrong) + T (tea). At the point where I was faced with V_D_L____, I was sure this was a word I did not know. Fortunately that pattern was enough to let me quickly find it in my dictionary. The term means namely and is where the much more commonly used abbreviation “viz” comes from.
11. LUCIFEROUS – anagram of OUR CLUES IF
12. BEAM – double definition
15. HAIRCUT – AIR (atmosphere) + C[old] in HUT (building)
17. RIMLESS – anagram of SMILERS
20. HUMP – double definition
22. STERILISED – RI (right one) + LIS (left ones) in STEED (mount)
25. SALAMANCA – S (Spain’s capital) + A LA MAN + CA[pital]. Needed my atlas for this one!
26. CLAIM – CL (numbers) + AIM (goal)
27. SUSAN – USA (land) in SN (poles)
28. CANDLEPIN – CANDLE (light) + PIN (sort of number). Another word I did not know; it means a slender bowling pin.


1. DEVIL MAY CARE – EVIL (wicked) + MA[n] + YC (young conservation) all in DARE (be bold)
2. CATACLYSM – anagram of MY LAST ACC
3. COLD FRAMES – D (lord) + FRA (brother) in COMES (arrives)
4. ADVERSE – AD (poster) + VERSE (poetry)
5. REDRUTH – RED (danger) + RUTH (girl)
6. BULL – cryptic definition
7. NICHE – NIC[k] (old fiend) + HE. I do know how (or even for sure if) one gets HE for explosive.
8. OPTOMETRY – OP (work) + TOME (book) + TRY (essay)
13, 19. DIABOLICAL LIBERTY – cryptic definition (I guess).
14. MORPHOSIS – PROM (concert) reversed + HOS (small houses) + IS
16. CARDSHARP – CARDS (sack) + HARP (musical item)
18, 21. SATANIC MILLS – a fine reference to William Blake’s glorious poem, Jerusalem.
19. LORRAIN – L (student) + OR (gold) + RAIN (water). I had not heard of this French artist. For those who may not know, L stands for learner, hence student.
23. DEMON – DEMO (show) + N. I am unsure how “needs straight report” works in the wordplay here.
24. AMEN – A (first) + MEN (people)

One Response to “Financial Times 12,528 by Cinephile — Fiendishly Easy”

  1. Wil Ransome says:

    Very late, but I’ve only just done this. 23D seems to be demonstrate minus strate (straight report). Quite how the subtraction is indicated I’m not certain – perhaps it’s the word “from”.

    I agree, some of this doesn’t seem quite satisfactory (with wood and canvas, v = fifth [6D], to be bowled at, Claude painted, A = the first [24D], and one or two definitions of the form “is X” rather than “this is X”).

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