Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,783 – Falcon

Posted by Uncle Yap on June 10th, 2008

Uncle Yap.

From FT Monday 2 June 2008
Common abbreviations used
dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
* = anagram

What a pity there was a slight mistake with the published grid. It foxed me for a while until I re-examined the enumeration and the clue numbers, found the two missing white squares and then everything fitted into place.

A challenging and entertaining puzzle, quite worthy of being a “prize crossword”. Please note that my descriptions and comments are very personal and very subjective. If I need to consult Chambers, Google, Wikipedia and One-Look, then a puzzle is challenging. If I laugh, chuckle or guffaw a few times when parsing the clue, then it is entertaining.

1 ASTONISHMENT *(mention stash)
10 ERSKINE Ins of KIN (clan) in ERSE (Gaelic) Erskine (Arasgain in Scottish Gaelic) is a commuter town in Renfrewshire, Scotland, located on the southern bank of the River Clyde
11 BONANZA Ins of A (adult) in BONN (German city) + Z (Mainz ultimately) A
12 KNAVE Cha of K (king) NAVE (rev of EVAN, Welshman)
13 LYNCH MOB Ins of CH M (child male) in LYN-O *(only) B (black)
What a skilfully crafted clue which I would even call &lit. You can almost imagine the white pointed hoods of the KKK members and hear the crackling sound from the burning cross.
15 NANCY ASTOR *(N for knight, as Tory can) Falcon is really superb, creating an image of Sir Winston Churchill way-laying Lady Astor in the foyer of Parliament House and all in this 7 words &lit clue. My favourite of their famous exchanges must be:
Lady Astor : If you were my husband, I would poison your drink
Sir WC : If you were my wife, I would gladly drink it
16 BURR dd
18 ACHE Ins of H (hospital) in ACE (one as in a pack of cards)
20 JESSE OWENS Cha of J (Jack) ESSE *(sees) O (circuit) WENS *(news)
23 BOSS EYED Ins of YE (ancient article aka the) in BOSS ED (Chief editor)
24 THERM Ins of H (husband) in TERM (word)
27 THEATRE *(threat) + E (last letter of the)
28 SING SING SING Another very amusing clue bordering on another &lit. Sing Sing Correctional Facility is a maximum security prison in New York. “Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)” is a 1936 song, written by Louis Prima, but most associated with Benny Goodman. More at,_Sing,_Sing

2 SUSTAIN Ins of US (American) in STAIN (spot)
3 OLIVE OYL homophone for olive oil (salad dressing)
Olive Oyl is a cartoon character created by E.C.Segar in 1919 for his comic strip Thimble Theater. While researching for this blog, I was surprised to find that the Popeye character was not introduced until 1929, after which he became so popular that the comic strip was renamed Popeye.
4 ITEM Cha of I and TEM (rev of met, came across)
5 HOBBY-HORSE Cha of HOBBY (a small specie of falcon) & HORSE (slang for heroin). I was nearly fooled here until Chambers came to the rescue. Clever attempt at misleading by using his nom de plume.
6 EUNICE Cha of E (English) U (as in rating for film) NICE (respectable)
8 PERKIN WARBECK Ins of IN (popular) in PERK (extra) WAR (campaign) plus BECK (German composer) I must confess I have absolutely no idea who this person is. However, there is a very useful tool called OneLook ( where I typed in ?E?K?N ???????:pretender and hey presto, the answer was revealed which I then cross-checked with Wikipedia to find that Perkin Warbeck (1474–1499) was a pretender to the English throne during the reign of King Henry VII of England.
9 LAMBERT SIMNEL Cha of LAMBERT (English composer) SIMNEL (a sweet fruitcake, usually covered with marzipan and traditionally eaten at Easter) I repeated the process above and found out that Lambert Simnel (c. 1477 – c. 1525) was a child pretender to the throne of England. He and Perkin Warbeck were two impostors who threatened the rule of King Henry VII (reigned 1485–1509) during the last part of the 15th century
Phew! Saved by OneLook. I already have difficulty remembering the monarchs of England, let alone the pretenders.
14 USHERETTES A brilliant cd that gave me a chuckle
17 BOOTLESS Cha of BOOTLE (Merseyside town) ‘S S (square)
19 HIS NIBS Ins of NIB (rev of BIN, rubbish container) in HISS (show disapproval)
21 EVERTON Cha of EVER (up till now) TON (rev of NOT) I was stopped in my track parsing this until someone asked ‘Have you ever completed an Azed crossword?
22 JERKIN Cha of JERK (yank, cleverly disguised as an American) IN (wearing)
25 STUN(t)

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