Never knowingly undersolved.

F.T. No. 12,918. Set by Orense, 6 November, 2008

Posted by Octofem on November 6th, 2008


WATCH THE BIRDIE!   An ingenious puzzle , made comparatively simple once the bird and insect
theme was discerned.  Naomi makes her appearance again – she is in this month’s Guardian
Genius puzzle as part of a clue.  N.B. A link may be noted between 9a and 24d!


1.    WOODCOCK – ( wood [golf club]-cock [to prepare gun] ;a bird related to the snipe)
5.    GANNET- (Anne within GT ‘Grand Tourer’ car.  A large white seabird, and a person of large appetite)
9.    GREAT TIT – (  great-t-it – small songbird in spite of its name)
10.  ORIOLE  – ( o-rile to include oLD – the Baltimore variety is also known as ‘fire bird’, see 27a)
12.  EIDER – ( d.d. the duck from which we take down for our quilts)
13.  RAZOR BILL – ( c.d.)
14.  MADE UP- ( homophon of maid with ‘up’ for ‘at university’
16.  REDWING – ( c.d. ‘red; for communist, ‘wing’ for ‘faction'; thrush type bird with red below the wing).
19.  OSTRICH – ( o-st-rich – the largest living bird)
21.  PEEWIT – ( <weep-it; the lapwing with a distinctive cry)
23.  FISH EAGLE – ( *feel a sigh – a large bird, the female of the African variety has an eight-foot wing span.)
25.  CRAKE –  (‘ r’ within ‘cake'; bird such as crow or raven.  Ref: Oryx and Crake, book by Margaret Atwood)
26.  INSECT – ( i-n-sect)
27.  FIRE-BIRD – (*fried rib – see 10a).
28.  TSETSE -( <test-sHe – the dreaded bearer of sleeping sickness in Africa.  I always have to think hard about spelling this one – clue makes it easier!)
29.  WHEATEAR  -( w-heat-ear-  ear as in ‘give me your ear – be my audience'; songbird having a   white rump- apparently may be corruption of ‘white arse – Chambers. )


1.   WAGNER – ( wag- neVEr – VE day, victory in Europe. Wagner, rather obviously, the German composer)
2.   OVERDRAFT – (over-draft)
3.   CATER – ( cat – [a female is known as a queen]-er)
4.   CHIRRUP -(ch-irr-up – one Right Rev. in chURCH and up, as in ‘up on someone -leading them’)
6.   AIR BRIDGE -( *brigadier – a route or means of supplying  material by an airlift, usually over enemy territory-  perhaps the best known  is the Allied Berlin Airlift from June 1948 to May 1949)
7.   NAOMI – (<moan-i – see heading)
8.   THEOLOGY – ( *Hoyle got – probably cosmologist Sir Fred Hoyle)
11.  CZAR – (c-z-ar)
15.  EVIDENCES -( * vices need)
17.  IMITATIVE – ( i-m-i-*a vet it)
18.  CONFLICT – ( con-f-lict (homophone of ‘licked’)
20.  HIGH – ( dd.  High Commision and intoxicated by drugs)
21.  PEEVISH – ( * sheep around ‘vi’ for ‘six’)
22.  TENDER – (dd)
24.  SUSIE – (‘sue’ around s-i)
25.  CHELA- ( ch-<ale – the claw of an arthropod, such as lobster.  New word to me)

7 Responses to “F.T. No. 12,918. Set by Orense, 6 November, 2008”

  1. Geoff Moss says:

    Hi Octofem
    I’m afraid your suggested link between 9a and 24d has eluded me. Would you care to point me in the right direction?

  2. Octofem says:

    Perhaps too indelicate for you, Geoff. Think of the purpose of a silicone implant.

  3. Geoff Moss says:

    I had been thinking along those lines (amongst other definitions for ‘tit’) but could still not link 24d. There again, I am totally out of touch with modern culture since my only source of information for many years has been the headlines on the news page at the BBC’s website.

  4. Octofem says:

    One can only presume then that you eschew all contact with television, not to mention page 3 of the more popular newspapers.
    A purist indeed.

  5. Geoff Moss says:

    I do watch the occasional drama or documentary (and some RU when it’s on) but I avoid all of the so called ‘popular’ programs.

    As for the salacious tabloids to which you refer, I have never opened one in my life, let alone read it.

  6. C G Rishikesh says:

    For one year in the mid-1950s I was rusticating some 100 miles from Calcutta. During that period as a young lad of some 15 years I read all of Sherlock Holmes stories. I also used to take a peek at Titbits which, subscribed for by my dad, arrived every week from London by post (but let me add I also used to peruse the lottery-type crossword and the limerick competitions at the back of issue).

  7. Octofem says:

    Rishi, I am sure you benefited greatly from your dip into murky waters! You obviously increased your puzzle skills as well as
    broadening your mind, and in those days I doubt whether the
    naughtiness was particularly evil. If I ever have questions on Sherlock Holmes I will know where to apply, too.

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