Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12856 / Quark

Posted by C G Rishikesh on August 26th, 2008

C G Rishikesh.

I completed left top corner first and then the right top. At the end of the allotted time, some gaps existed in the left bottom corner (22a, 29a, 18d). 26d was also yet to yield itself. I minimised the crossword grid on my machine and started writing the first segment of my blog. When I returned to the grid, three more fell one after the other. 


1 CAREFREE - charade – care,free

5 OFFEND – two def – for first def, read: ‘off end’

9 ROLL CALL – CD? – I think the clue-writer intends “present” in the sense of ‘gift’ to be a red herring – when a list of names is called out, attendees say “Present” (or “Here”). The clue does not readily suggest that a noun is required, for which we have to understand “that is” between ‘list’ and ‘put out’. This word is also hyphenated. In the online version of the crossword, there is an unnecessary space between the last word and the question mark. But then, in olden times wasn’t that a style ?

10 BELONG – I was able to get this only at later stages and I have just worked out the wordplay – charade – LON(don) (“half city”) in BEG (“appeal”, v.)

12 IDEALISED – Another clue that I don’t like very much –  anag. of “Deliaside” after deleting ‘a’ from “Delia’s idea” – But ‘idea’ itself suggests the answer quickly

13 DEMOB - anag. of “ombed” after deleting ‘B’ from ‘Bombed’

14 IRIS – deletion of ‘h’ from “Irish” (“of the country”)

16 EXACTED- charade of exact, Ed.

19 MINICAB – anag. of “I’m in c b” – The abbr. c.b. for ‘County Borough’ is in the dictionaries – But “I’m in” itself suggests tha answer quickly

21 PREY – homophone of “pray”

24 ABETS – charade of a, bets

25 TASTELESS – two def – for first def, read “taste less” (On edit: The correct answer is THANKLESS; see comment below)

27 RIVALS – As the title of the R. B. Sheridan play is “The Rivals”, the clue writer is careful to write”Following article, an English comedy” – the second def in this two def clue is “is in competition” (rivals, v.)

28 STEERAGE – anag. of “Set eager” – The use of the anag. fodder ‘at sea’ is apposite because ‘steerage’ is the cheapest accommodation in a passenger ship

29 DELUDE – two def. – “take in”/ “kid” (v.)

30 BEETROOT – ‘boot’ around ‘eetr’ (anag. of ‘tree’) – container/contained


1 CORGIS - c, orgi(-e)s – charade with deletion in one component – nice definition to go along smoothly with the surface reading of the entire clue

2 ROLLER – two def – the first is “kind of bird”; the second one is “a cylindrical body for rolling over something to be levelled”, which is used at the end of each innings in a Test match to level the pitch 

3 FOCAL – elliptical – A focal point is a centre of activity

4 ENLISTS – anag. of “silent”, s – charade with an anagram component

6 FIELDFARE – The second bird in our crossword today – For “food from the open country” read ‘field fare’

7 ENORMITY – ‘enmity’ around ‘or’ – c/c

8 DOGSBODY – two def – one is ‘servant’ (Chambers has the def. “someone who does menial, monotonous work for others”, hence the clue-writer’s ‘doormat’). The other is prob. a kennel club (dogs’ body), for I learn that Crufts is the world’s greatest dog show – my UK friends will have to tell me whether it’s Crufts or Cruft’s (as in the crossword)

11 EDGE – two def – boundary / superiority

15 ROCK SOLID – anag. of “dor lock is” after deleting an ‘o’

17 IMPAIRED – the wordplay is ‘I’m paired'; the def. is “I’m spoiled” where “I’m” = ‘the light is’ 

18 INTERVAL – seems to be a straightforward clue – a musical term meaning “the difference in pitch between two notes”

20 BATS – CD – ‘bats’ are ‘batsmen’ and the nocturnal creatures

21 PIASTRE – pias(t)re* -‘t’ in anag. of “paris, E” – c/c with an anagram component

22 PEDALO – another straightforward clue – a ‘pedalo’ is a pedal operated pleasure boat – I have seen this in lakes in India but I am not sure what they call it here

23 ASPECT - anag. of ‘cap set’

26 KNELT – K, ne(L)t – I got this after Geoff put me right at 25a

2 Responses to “Financial Times 12856 / Quark”

  1. Geoff Moss says:


    25a is ‘thankless’ not ‘tasteless’

  2. Geoff Moss says:

    8d It’s Crufts without the apostrophe

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