Never knowingly undersolved.

FT 12,913/Alberich

Posted by smiffy on October 31st, 2008


With apologies for the tardy posting. Especially as I thought this was a really well-balanced and cohesive puzzle that merits plaudits or discussion. The surface readings in particular were what caught my eye. With just a quick glance at the page now, I can see 4A, 28A and 17D as examples of such. Here’s hoping Alberich becomes a more regular fixture in the FT firmament; he’s definitely more of a craftsman and more deserving than one or two of the incumbents.

10 T[-h]ANKFUL – not tricky, but admirably constructed.
12 ROAD – “One for the….”
13 ANNE BOL,EYN – (Lebanon)* + (yen)*. A laugh out loud definition for this solver.
16 CO(LONE)L – another great surface.
21 RELIEF – double def’n
24 CHARI(TA)BLE – Unusually, the self-referential item (Alberich) is anagram fodder, rather than a pronoun indicator.
26 EURO – a bit hoary
30 GRAN,DEST – alternate letters from “adversity”.
31 BREEZE – homophone of “brie’s”

1 M,OTORIST – (risotto)* – probably the clunkiest (or most surreal) clue of the bunch.
2 LA(N,CAST)ER – another well-rounded surface.
3 C,U,FF
5 BACHELOR – cryptic def’n.
6 ASTRONOMER – (moon, star, er)*. Sprinkling in some &lit, to boot.
7 I’M,AGE – a humdrum grid-filling word, but handled decently.
8 ESSEN,E – a word familiar to anyone who’s ever attempted more than a couple of barred puzzles.
9 BLUNT – double def’n.
14 JURY RIGGED – double def’n.
17 ETIQU,ETTE – (quite)*. “Content of letter” to indicate the second part is a nifty device.
18 CO,RAC(L)ES -This time (unlike 16A), “company” reverts to its more traditional wordplay role.
19 OF COURSE – (ferocious)* – i.
22 I [-t]CHING
23 PLUSH – i.e if “penniless”, it’d still be lush.
25 ALLOA – hidden
27 TEAR – double def’n

3 Responses to “FT 12,913/Alberich”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Excellent puzzle – some very good surfaces as you say and a nice variety of clue treatments.

  2. Alberich says:

    Many thanks for the kind words, Smiffy. Particularly pleasing as my debut puzzle in September was not received so well here – some thought it too easy. I think surface is very important and strive to produce clues that read as believable English sentences, and I’m glad this has been appreciated. No doubt my puzzles will become a bit more difficult as time goes on but as a new setter I’ve played reasonably safe for the first few crosswords. Again, many thanks – nice to know I’m doing something right!

  3. Jake says:

    I think this is an excellent puzzle also and agree with Smiffy.
    I’ve only started it today plus I’m new to cryptics, but well done Alberich, smart crossword.

    You must’ve put some tough work in, staying up late, or early to get the puzzles completed.

    Thank you Sir.


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