Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,802 / Courtier

Posted by C G Rishikesh on June 24th, 2008

C G Rishikesh.

Two surprises. The puzzle was uploaded much earlier than usual. The setter appears to be new, for I have not encountered the person before. The setter’s psudonym does not figure in the list somewhere on this site.

I have solved most of the puzzle but I must admit that the two 15-letter acrosses are still eluding me.  Both seem to be anagrams. I am resisting the use of scribble pad.

In the first foray, I got 9, 12, 25, 13, 17, 24 in the Across set. For further progress I had to switch to the Down set where I solved  2, 4, 13, 22, 18, 15, 20, 1 (both in that order). A couple of others were obtained later.

Let me see if I am able to get past the roadblocks.     

* * *

PS1: I have since solved the two long anagrams – not with any anagram solver, electronic or paper, but by resort to paper and pen, writing down knowns and unknowns and marking the word divisions. Well we may expect these from a “courtier”. Solving the top one helped in getting to the finish in the lower one.

* * *

PS2: And it turns out that most of the clues that I did not get in the early stages are those relating to the theme of the puzzle. I got all except two which I am not able to recall. 


7 CENTRE COURT ROOF – anagram of ‘for concert route’
10 DEDUCE – container/contained – de(d)uce
16 LENDL – ref. to the defeat of Lendl by Cash – ‘racketeer’ is a facetious term for tennis player
19 BLUE PETER – charade – blue (sad), Peter (disciple [of Jesus]) – solved from wordplay – ‘Blue Peter’ is a blue flag with a white recangle in it; it is hoisted when a ship is about to sail
21 Not solved – (On edit: For solution, see comment below)
24 IGUANA  – charade – I, g, u (being the first letters of ‘go up’), Ana [Ivanovich, Russian tennis player] (On edit: Serbian)
25 REINDEER – hom. of ‘rain dear’ – Not too elegant a surface reading.
26 FOUR MATCH POINTS – anag. of ‘important of such’


1 RETRIEVE – c/c – re(tri[-p])eve
2 STUDIO -charade w/ anag. – stud (anag. of ‘dust’)I,o 
3 HELOT – charade – he, lot
4 CONFIDENCE TRICK – cryptic def.
5 BRADFIELD – anag. of ‘bid Alfred’ – it is a tennis academy
6 ROSCOE – c/c – ros(Co)e (On edit: Answer revised in the light of a comment below.)
8 RODDICK – c/c – r(odd)ick – U.S. tennis player Andy Roddick
13 ALDEBARAN – anag. of ‘Lana bared’ – It is “the brightest star in the constellation Taurus and one of the brightest stars in the nighttime sky”. I had to look up! I have to look up!
15 OPEN AIR – charade, open,air (v.)
18 TOILETTE – c/c – to(I let)te
20 LEGION – charade – leg,I,on
22 ORDAIN – charade – or,dain (hom. of Dane)
23 Not solved –  (On edit: For solution, see comment below)


4 Responses to “Financial Times 12,802 / Courtier”

  1. Magpie says:

    6 down – Roscoe (co within rose) – Roscoe Tanner was a top class American tennis player a few years back
    21 across – Boris (Becker the tennis player, and Johnson the London mayor
    23 down – nippy. Many years ago (before my time) there were Lyons teashops in various parts of London, whose waitresses were known as nippys – presumably because of the speed of service!

  2. Geoff Moss says:

    Sorry, but I think you have 6d wrong. The answer is surely ‘Roscoe’, the first name of R Tanner the former tennis player. This is obtained from ‘co’ (company) inside ‘rose’ (flower). According to Chambers a ‘rotche’ is ‘the little auk’ which has no relationship to the clue.

  3. Pogel says:

    Roscoe, definitely.

    And Ivanovic is a Serb.

    Shame there’s no Federer – must be quite cluable?

  4. Paul B says:

    Anything with Queens is good for me.

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