Never knowingly undersolved.

FINANCIAL TIMES NO. 12,936 set by ALBERICH, Nov27, 2008

Posted by Octofem on November 27th, 2008


An intriguing puzzle which proved less daunting than it seemed at first glance. Two short words in the top left hand corner stumped me most. I have included one or two probable answers without explanation in the hopes that the usual stalwarts will provide illumination. (Now provided by Geoff.  I amend with thanks.)



1.    SOMEBODY – ( d.d. ‘somebody’ as vague description , and ‘he is a somebody’ meaning a person of distinction)
5.    TMESIS  -( poet  TS Eliot – so TS enclosing me-is.  The interpolation of one or more words between parts of  a compound word, as instanced here)
10.  AMNESIA – ( *name is a)
11.  IVANHOE  – ( ivan-h-o-e – HE for his excellency.  The novel by Sir Walter Scott)
12.  STASI  – ( Russian secret police  – stasis – stoppage of bodily fluids etc -with last letter removed)
13.  TRANSLATE  – ( c.d.  -turning one language into another)
14.  FAIT ACCOMPLI – ( * if capital co. m – French phrase for something already completed)
18.  AGGLOMERATED – ( * mortgage deal)
21.  AFTERMOST – ( d.d. – after the majority, [but not all], and the last of all)
23.  IRISH – ( iris- h OISTED)
24.  HARMFUL – ( h EROIN – armful)
25.  MANDATE-  (man-date)
26.  NIPPER -( c.d.)
27.  ASTEROID -( a- steroid)


1.    SPARSE – ( I await explanation!.  Had considered’ scanty’ and ‘scarce’, but this fitted. – 

       Geoff explains – spar-sUPPLY-e)
2.    MANUAL – ( man-u-a-l – a is enclosed by u l)
3.    BASTINADO – ( * a- bandits- oLD  – torture whereby the feet are whipped, common in the East and especially Turkey)
4.    DEAD TO THE WORLD – ( *toddler who ate -FOOd))
6.    MEANS – ( m-eUROPEAN-ans – Isle of Man)
7.    SCHNAPPS – ( sch-napps ( sounds like ‘naps’.  The strong German liquor, usually 80 % proof, made from fermented fruit. Often used by workers in Europe  to start a day’s work in chilly weather)
8.    SHE-DEVIL – ( shed-evil)
9.    FINANCIAL TIMES – (fin- anci-al- times – ANC the African National Congress and i  within final.)
15.  OBEDIENCE -( o.b.e.-d-*niece)
16.  MARATHON – ( the race and the battle,- during the Greco/Persian war in 490 BC, one of the earliest recorded battles)
17.  AGITPROP – ( a-git-prop.   git -slang for fool. agitation and propaganda especially to suppport communism)
19.  FIGARO – (f-<rag i-ADAGIo  The Barber of Seville from opera by Rossini, the most famous of barbers, except perhaps Sweeney Todd)
20.  SHREWD – ( shrew-dIRECTOR. Kate was the heroine of Taming of the Shrew, by Shakespeare)
22.  RIFLE (d.d.)

13 Responses to “FINANCIAL TIMES NO. 12,936 set by ALBERICH, Nov27, 2008”

  1. Geoff Moss says:

    Hi Octofem

    12a STASI[s] – stasis = arrest

    1d SPARSE – I parsed this as S[upply] (supply at the outset) in SPARE (lean) with the definition also being ‘lean’

  2. Octofem says:

    Thanks Geoff. Dependable as ever! I shall amend accordingly. I had forgotten ‘stasis’.

  3. Geoff Moss says:

    Post Script
    A minor correction to 12a. The Stasi were the secret police in East Germany, not Russia.

  4. Octofem says:

    Touche. But established with Russian help I understand! Is there a way of typing accents in Notepad, by the way?

  5. Geoff Moss says:

    If you mean like this – Touché – then the answer is yes.

    I’ll contact you off line to let you know how.

  6. Eileen says:

    Good morning, Geoff

    Perhaps there may be others, like me, who would like to know, too!

  7. nmsindy says:

    Excellent puzzle with some very nice clues – 13 across was my favourite. I’d appreciate the info re the accents too – maybe it could be posted here. I’ve apologised a few times in the past for not including them in explanations.

  8. Geoff Moss says:

    Hi Eileen
    You have mail.

  9. Geoff Moss says:

    Provided you know the appropriate code number, it is relatively easy to insert accented letters in Notepad, emails or the 15^2 comment box etc.

    Firstly ensure that NumLock is on, then type the appropriate number whilst holding down the Alt key. For example, Alt+130 gives é.

    A list of symbols/numbers can be found here:,,sid9_gci847800,00.html

    This list is incomplete but gives the characters most likely to be needed.

  10. nmsindy says:

    That’s extremely helpful, Geoff, very many thanks.

  11. Eileen says:

    We’ll all be sprinkling accents around like confetti now. Many thanks, Geoff.

  12. Geoff Moss says:

    In my case, only if I can remember enough ‘O’ Level French from 45 years ago!

  13. Geoff Moss says:

    Post Script to comment #9:

    I have just remembered (from the dim and distant past) that, in the likes of Notepad etc, the most common accented letter é can be obtained by holding down Ctrl and Alt whilst typing e. This can be quicker than using Alt+130.

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