Never knowingly undersolved.


Posted by Gaufrid on July 23rd, 2008


After yesterday’s breeze, I found this the hardest FT for many weeks, not helped by the fact that musicals are my least favourite form of entertainment. At least they were all well-known ones. Having said that, it was an enjoyable challenge with some good clues and not an anagram anywhere to be seen!

It is typical that this, for me, harder than usual crossword should appear on the day of my first ‘live’ (same day) blog, with the situation being aggravated by having to complete yesterday’s offering immediately beforehand due to its belated posting on the FT website.


1 OLIVER  O (round) LIVER (organ) – musical

5 DILATIVE  I L (left) in DATIVE (case)

9 CANDIDLY  CAN (abbreviation of Canadian) D (died) IDLY (in vain) – it took me a long time to work out the wordplay in this one

10 GREASE  dd – musical

11 PAVLOV  PAV[e] (lay down flags) LOV[e] (affection), the removal of the ‘Es’ being indicated by the homophone ‘ease off’ – Pavlov was a Russian scientist who investigated the reaction of dogs to various stimuli

12 OKLAHOMA  HO (house) in LAMA (priest) after OK (authority or go ahead) – musical

14 CALAMITY JANE  A LAM (strike or hit) in CITY (town) JANE (the originator of a series of books about warships) – musical

18 SOUTH PACIFIC  OUT (striking or on strike) in SH (quiet) PACIFIC (peaceful) – musical

22 SHOW BOAT  W (with) BOA (snake) in SHOT (try as in give it a try) – musical

25 ABSURD  ABS (sailors) URD[u]

26 JURIST  RI (Regina et Imperatrix) in JUST – a jurist is a person versed in the science of law. My thanks to Duggie for giving me the correct interpretation of ‘RI’

27 PRIORITY  RIO (Spanish for river) R (river) in PITY (shame)

28 HEDGEROW  HEDGE (cover outlay as in hedge fund) ROW (quarrel) – I like the addition of ‘living’ to ‘barrier’

29 SETTER  dd CINEPHILE and a breed of dog – though how we are expected to know which breed of dog he owns is beyond me! :-)


2 LEAP AT  LEA (field) PAT (a cow’s droppings, evidence that it has been in the field)

3 VIDELICET  DELIC[acy] in VIET (SE Asian) – videlicet means namely of specifically

4 REDEVELOP  RED (colour) EVE (day before) LOP (cut)

5 DAY ROOM  AYR (Scots town) in DOOM (fate)

6 LEGAL  LEG (member) AL[l]

7 TEETH  hidden word in subordinaTE ETHical considerations – teeth equates to ‘ effective powers’

8 VESTMENT  ‘outlay’ is investment which is this ‘apparel’ following ‘in’

13 AMY  [big]AMY – ‘having two mates’ is bigamy, ‘reduced in size’ means remove big

15 TIFFANIES  – tiffany is a silk-like gauze and it is also a breed of cat (alternative name ‘chantilly’). Then we have the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s with ‘say?’ indicating both the location and the homophone. I would prefer the clue to have been ‘fine fabrics’ rather than ‘fine fabric’ to indicate the plural nature of the answer

16 JACK SPRAT  JACK (a fish) SPRAT (another fish) – from the rhyme “Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean …..”

17 COW HOUSE  CO (company) WHO (that) USE (avail themselves)

19 HOB  dd – a hob is a fairy or goblin and also a surface beside a fireplace on which things may be placed to keep warm

20 CATS-PAW  CATS (musical) PAW (hand) – a person who is used by another (from the fable of the monkey who used the paws of a cat to draw chestnuts out of the fire)

21 WRITHE  WRIT (a summons) HE (man)

23 WRING  R (river) in WING (side) – Thanks Rishi for putting me right on this one

24 OTTER  [h]OTTER – I wouldn’t normally describe an otter as a ‘beast’ but Chambers does include ‘a four-footed animal’ in its list of definitions for beast

11 Responses to “FINANCIAL TIMES 12,827 by CINEPHILE”

  1. C G Rishikesh says:

    In 23d I see no error: it’s R (river) in WING (side), reading ‘inside’ as ‘in side’.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    You are of course right? I missed the obvious having struggled with the wordplay for a couple of other clues.

    Thanks, I’ll amend the blog accordingly.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Sorry, that should have been ‘You are of course right!’ The ‘?’ was a typo and I was not doubting the validity of your comment.

  4. C G Rishikesh says:

    No problem! I understood it perfectly well. I know how we do these small mistakes while typing out the blogs (or comments) amidst multifarious tasks that we have in our everyday life. Guess how many little fixes I do after I post a message. Thank Goodness the blog proper has the “edit” facility.

    I am also well aware of how we cannot see some wordplay even when it is staring us in the face. That’s because at that hazy moment we have not got out of the mindset that we started with. Once we abandon the original line of thinking and re-examine the clue, we see light and the intended parsing dawns on us.

    – Rishi (as friends call me)

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Rishi. You have just made me revisit last Saturday’s FT in which I initially thought there was a misprint. All will be revealed a week tomorrow when the blog is posted.

  6. Octofem says:

    I am still trying to see any connection to ‘cats’ in tiffanies.
    Does anyone think it is not a misprint?

  7. Duggie says:

    26A: Does the RI not refer to (Queen) Victoria’s title of Regina Imperatrix? (The other ‘Victorian’ name in Dac’s puzzle below is a new one on me – are we supposed to bone up on Strine slang?) I agree that a surfeit of anagrams can make a puzzle much easier, so the opposite is true I suppose.

  8. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Duggie. I had a feeling it was something like this from a past crossword but Chambers doesn’t list this abbreviation. I was never happy with ‘Royal Institution’ which is why I included the question-mark.

    I have just checked my old COD and what do I find – ‘RI’ Regina et Imperatrix.

    I will have to try and remember that not all crosswords are set around Chambers entries.

  9. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Octofem

    Having had more time for research, I have corrected the analysis of 15d.

    Three errors in my first blog is not very good! I put it down to time constraints, having had to complete two FTs after the Times this morning. Perhaps if I hadn’t spent so much time determining the wordplay for 9d it might have been different.

  10. Duggie says:

    Gaufrid: my Chambers (2003) lists RI, as does Collins.
    Don’t feel bad. Your blog is first class: concise and well laid out. Bully for you taking the job on. I wouldn’t. Not only do you need time but you’ve got to solve every puzzle – and fast! A tall order. By the way, where does your name come from? A pun on ‘go for it’?

  11. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Duggie

    Thanks for your kind words.

    My Chambers is of 1998 vintage. I don’t have the 2003 version (a sin, I know :-) but am waiting for the 2008 edition to come out next month.

    My blog name? The derivation of my Christian name (as given in Chambers).

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