Never knowingly undersolved.


Posted by Gaufrid on July 30th, 2008


The on-line image was smaller than usual today and I couldn’t read some of the clues either on-screen or when printed out (normal size or enlarged) so I had to actually buy a copy of the paper!

A number of relevant definitions appear in COD but not in Chambers, and vice versa, at least in my rather old copies.

I would like to be able to say that I was ‘tickled pink’ by this crossword but sadly that was not the case.


9 CHAMPAGNE  homophone of ‘sham pain’

10 FLOYD  – Pink Floyd the rock group and Keith Floyd the chef who had a number of TV series and books in the ’80s and ’90s entitled ‘Floyd on …..’

11 DUBBING  dd – ‘to dub’ is to confer a knighthood upon

12 MORELLO  OR in MELLO[w] (nearly ripe)

12, 22 CAR NATION  ‘in this’ is ‘in carnation’ and an incarnation is a manifestation or ‘one manifested’ – my thanks to Agentzero for pointing me in the right direction (see comments)


17 CLARA  LAR (domestic god) in CA (accountant) – Clara Bow was a famous silent film actress

18 GIN  dd – a trap and pink gin commonly known as ‘mother’s ruin’

19 GLEAM  L[ik]E in GAM (school, particularly of whales)


23 EYE  dd – pink-eye is an acute contagious infection in horses

25 LITTLER  *(TITLE L R) – ‘sinistrodextral’ means moving or extending from left to right (from the Latin sinister and dexter, left and right)

27 PANTHER  P ANTHER (part of a flower) – de dum, de dum, de dum de dum de dum, de dum de dum …..

28 ALOUD  homophone of ‘allowed’

29 SONATINAS  *(NATION) in SAS (special forces)


1 ACIDIC  CID (detectives) in CIA (agents) reversed

2 CANBERRA  CAN BE (potentially) RR (two of the Three-Rs) A

3 SPRINT RACE  SPRIN[g] (well) TRACE (a little)

4 AGOG  [m]AGOG – as well as the Biblical nations associated with the Apocalypse, Gog and Magog were the last two survivors of a mythical race of giants inhabiting ancient Britain. I do not understand the inclusion of ‘(or two-headed?)’. EditDespite extensive searching, I can find no reference to Magog (or even Gogmagog) being two-headed

2nd edit  [m]AGOG and [tw]A GOG – ‘twa’ being ‘two’ in Scottish which is (be)headed. Normally only the fist letter would be removed in this type of wordplay, so there is still room for doubt, but I cannot come up with any other plausible explanation

5 PERMANENCE  *(R NAME) in PENCE (change as in ‘small change’)

6 AFAR  [s]AFAR[i]

7 COLLAR  dd –  ‘collar’ can mean ‘take’ (especially illegally) and ‘appropriate’ is defined as ‘take posession of’

8 IDEOGRAM  *(gored) in I AM


16 EIGHTH NOTE  EIGHTH (12.5%) NOT E (all the ‘e’s removed from ‘twelve point five per cent’)

17 CADILLAC  DILL in AC (bill) revesed AC (bill) – written and first recorded by Bruce Springsteen



26 LADY  hidden word in ‘gLAD You’re’

27 PINK  hidden word in ‘striP IN Klein’ – one definition of ‘pink’ is “to stab or pierce with a sword or rapier”, hence ‘run through’

17 Responses to “FINANCIAL TIMES 12,833 by IO”

  1. Fletch says:

    12,22 – What was the clue, Gaufrid?

  2. Gaufrid says:

    13, 22 “In this one’s manifested what could be 27 down in buttonhole”

  3. Fletch says:

    Thanks, I see what you mean.

  4. agentzero says:

    “In this one” is supposed to mean “In carnation” — and a thing is manifested in its incarnation.

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Agentzero. It is obvious now, why didn’t I see this before!

  6. Octofem says:

    Re: Gog and Magog. Their wicker effigies,did apparently,both head the Lord Mayor’s procession this year, but I don’t see how that makes them two-headed.

  7. Octofem says:

    Sorry – some comma misplacement there!

  8. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Octofem. Despite extensive searching, I can find no reference to Magog (or even Gogmagog) being two-headed so I am still at a loss. One of the first hits I got was about this year’s Lord Mayor’s procession and, like you, I don’t think this explains the (seemingly superfluous) words.

  9. smiffy says:

    When solving, I thought that 4D was simply alluding to the fact that you could get to the answer two ways (subtraction from Magog, or addition to Gog). However I now realise that wasn’t the case, so add me to ranks of the unenlightened on this wordplay.

    Surprised that nobody has commented further on 28A. Am I alone in reading this clue as some kind of rhetorical question about it’s own non-Ximenean status? If so, quite a sly (and clever) dig at the traditionalists.

  10. Gaufrid says:


    I think I have a possible explanation for 4d and will be amending the blog when I have finished this comment.

    I too wondered about 28a (the lack of a definition or homophone indicator) but decided not to comment as I couldn’t come up with a reasonable explanation. I do however like your possibility of it being a rhetorical question.

  11. agentzero says:

    Regarding 4a: there is a giant named Og in the Bible. Could “agog” be said to be not only Magog with a head removed, but also Og, with “two heads” added?

  12. Gaufrid says:

    That is a possible explanation and probably as good as, if not better than, mine. In normal circumstances I would have expected some indication of the letters to be added to ‘Og’ but there again FT crosswords are sometimes not ‘normal’, as demonstrated by 28a.

    There have been several unresolved quandaries recently (eg Azed 1886) and it would be good if we could get feedback from the setters as to their intentions.

  13. John H says:


    Happy to answer any queries, but like most setters, I generally read and inwardly digest comments rather than reply. I’ve seen what happens when one gets involved on the Guardian message boards.

  14. Gaufrid says:


    Thanks for your offer. For me a crossword is not complete until I have fully understood the wordplay in every clue as well as completing the grid.

    As you can see from my blog and the comments above, we don’t completely follow the wordplay in 4d leading to ‘agog’. Perhaps you could explain your thoughts behind this one.

  15. John H says:

    The idea was to do with two definitions of “head”, i.e. to head (take the head off MAGOG) and to head (put a head on GOG), both producing AGOG.

    Ah, well…

    Sorry for problems caused, but hope that sets you right.

  16. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks for the explanation, John. It appears that Smiffy’s initial thought (see comment 9) was correct after all!

  17. Newboy says:

    The setter seems to have missed an opportunity to have another link to 27D.
    The answer to 7D is collar and he could have had used pink-collar as in a pink-collar worker.

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