Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,956 – Cinephile

Posted by Uncle Yap on January 1st, 2009

Uncle Yap.

From Christmas Crossword on Saturday 20th December 2008

What a tour de force by the good Reverend John Graham. A jumbo with an in-built alphabet soup of capital cities (indicated by C before the clue number and answer) I am ever so glad that I was requested to blog this (Pete will be back next week ). I had so much fun solving this with a good friend, Dr Gurmukh who made sure I was not parched from this thirsty work. My other helper, a walking encyclopaedia aka Geoff Moss added further erudite and learned comments. Having said that, any omissions, short-comings and mistakes are strictly mine.


11 TURN UPS Turnips with U for I. I have been waiting for this moment to tell a story of how the early explorers of the New World first came upon a mighty river which the natives called Mussussuppu. An order went back to the plate-maker to make a sign which was put up. When the surveyor saw “Mississippi”, he went berserk and demanded an explanation. Wait for it. The reply was “I only have I’s for U” :-) Happy New Year

13 PEACOCK Ins of Co (company) + C (first letter of company) in PEAK (summit)

14 OVARY Cha of O (nothing) Vary (change)

15 AVERT A vert (green)

C16 XANTHUS Cha of X (unknown) Ant (insect) Hus (Jan 1372-1415, a Czech religious thinker, philosopher, reformer, and master at Charles University in Prague

17 PLEURAL Sounds like Plural (more than one)

18 ANON double definition

C19 LONDON London Pride is a hardy perennial saxifrage (Saxifraga umbrosa)and also the name of a beer

C20 ISLAMABAD ISL (Isle of Man minus E) A MA (a degree) BAD (evil)

22 CONTACT Cha of CON (prefix denoting: together, with; similar; used as intensive as in consolidate, constant.) Tact (discretion)

23 PETER Perhaps after Blue Peter Boy, a BBC series or Blue Peter (another Children’s tv programme named after the flag with a white rectangle, hoisted when a ship is about to sail

25 TANT PIS *(pints at) Another way to describe a drunk (French for “so much” – “Tant pis pour ça” –> “So much for that!” – used as a derogatory comment

27 ALDER KITTEN *(let drink tea)

C30 EDINBURGH This Scottish capital has often been referred to as the Athens of the north

34 BROAD BEAN B-Road (far from motorway) + ins of A in Ben (hill)

35 FLEET PRISON Cha of Fleet (swift) PR (image-making) is on (is possible)

C36 JAKARTA Ins of A Kart (vehicle) in JA (initials of Jane Austen)

39 STUNG Stun (sort of gun) G (first letter of Gun)

C41 NAIROBI Simple cha of N (northern) A I (one) ROB (to take from) I (one)

C43 ULAN BATOR Ins of Alan Bates (actor) minus front and back 2 letters (still a major part) in U (university) OR (alternative)

C46 DUBLIN Cha of DU (German for you, the solver) BLIND minus D (Deutsch)

C47 KIEV I venture to suggest this is meant to be a homophone clue; Key F

50 EXHORTS Ex (former) Horts (short for horticulturists, leaders of gardening society)

51 COTERIE Cha of Cot (bed) Erie (lake)

52 AISLE Sounds like Isle (of Man)

C53 SANA’A Ins of ANA (a collection of someone’s table talk or of gossip) in SA (South Africa)

C54 RANGOON Cha of Ran (managed) Go On (to continue) Yangon (also known as Rangoon) is the largest city and a former capital of Burma. The military government has officially relocated the capital to Naypyidaw since March 2006

C55 YEREVAN Ins of ERE (before) in YVAN (rev of navy, ships)


C1 OTTAWA OTT (over the top or too much) Awa (Scottish for away or abroad)

C2 FREETOWN Ins of eet (rev of tee, starter at gold round) in Frown (expression of disapproval)

C3 QUITO Quit nothing I suppose we can parse the clue as double negative. Don’t leave (leave or quit) A thing (nothing) The good Reverend is not categorised as libertarian for nothing.

4 OPENED UP *(nude pope)

C5 WASHINGTON Washington Irving & Irving Berlin (B or 32Down)

6 BONSAI Bons (good’s French) AI (first rate)

7 SKY PILOT Sky (Rupert Murdoch’s business) PI (pious or religious) Lot (group) slang for clergyman

8 BOGEYMAN *(go n maybe)

C9 ZAGREB ZA (Zuid Afrika or South Africa) Grebe minus the tail

10 CYCLADES Ins of Clad (dressed) in C (Conservative) YES (agreement)

12 SIX FOOT FIVE V (see) IF TV when ‘re-boxed’ becomes VI FT V which when ‘amplified’ (or expanded gives SIX FOOT FIVE This is a brilliant clue whose solution was first spotted by Geoff Moss

C21 MADRID Mad (crazy) Ride minus e (indicated by Horse experienc)

22 CRABB Crab (crustacean) B (born) Lionel Crabb, a Royal Navy Frogman, became (in)famous after an incident allegedly involving espionage and resulting in his disappearance

24 REEVE dd

C26 PARIS Par (standard) Is (exists)

28 DROUK Dr (debtor or one with obligation) O (love) UK, United Kingdom, the union

C29 TUNIS ha

31 INTENSIVELY In ten’s (decimally organised) Lively (animated) without L

C32 BERLIN Ins of ERL (The Erl-King,  a poem by Goethe set to music by Schubert) in BIN (rubbish)

C33 HANOI ha

35 FOUNDATION Found (discovered) AT IONA (island) minus a

36 JEUNESSE Je (I) UN (one) Esse (being)

37 REBURIAL Ins of BUR (sticker) I (one) in REAL (genuine)

38 ARTISTRY Artis *(stair) Try (attempt)

C40 GABORONE Gab (gift of the gab) Or (gold) One

42 OMISSIVE 0 (love) Missive (letter)

C44 ATHENS Heathens (irreligious folk) minus He (man)

45 RECENT Ins of CE (Church of England) in Rent (payment for building)

C48 VIENNA Rev of Anne (Queen) IV (fourth)

C49 CAIRO Ins of Air in Co – just another cheeky and clever clue

2 Responses to “Financial Times 12,956 – Cinephile”

  1. paul8hours says:

    Can’t believe my luck – my first posting ever & it is the first one on this puzzle. Many thanks for drawing attention to it on the Guardian blog, I would never have found it otherwise ! I hope to get round to looking at it in between the Guardian puzzles I have in my pockets. Thanks also Uncle Yap for the rather good joke which I will try out on my children later. And lastly of course my thanks to all at 15squared for providing such an entertaining & useful resource.

  2. smutchin says:

    As promised, Uncle Yap, here are my thoughts on this excellent puzzle…

    First, thanks for mentioning it in the Guardian blog – it was a real treat that I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. I knew from your comment in that discussion that the theme was capital cities, which made it easier to get started but it was no less enjoyable for that. I think I would have got the theme reasonably quickly anyway – RANGOON, CAIRO, LONDON, PARIS and QUITO were all fairly obvious. Though I got slightly stuck on G because I thought it was spelt Gabarone.

    There were some brilliantly outrageous clues, just as we expect from Araucaria/Cinephile – 12d SIX FOOT FIVE made me chuckle (and I felt very smug for being able to work it out as quickly as I did!). 7d SKY PILOT, 44 ATHENS and 21 MADRID also raised a smile.

    I agree 47 KIEV is intended to be a homophone – that’s how I read it, anyway.

    43 ULAN BATOR came readily to me – oddly enough, I learnt that Ulan Bator is the capital of Outer Mongolia from a Bash Street Kids strip in the Beano when I was much younger than I am now. In fact, it must have been nearly 30 years ago but for some reason, the information has stuck. Shame I can never remember any useful stuff, like where I hid my passport.

    Being a fluent French speaker, I’m annoyed with myself that I didn’t get 25a TANT PIS – I knew it was an anagram but couldn’t solve it!

    Finally, thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap – entertaining and informative as usual, with all solutions that eluded me explained with perfect clarity. Your efforts are always appreciated even if the comments are scarce!

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