Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,030 / Alberich

Posted by Gaufrid on March 20th, 2009


What can I say!? For me an almost perfect crossword with excellent surfaces for virtually all the clues, a pleasing degree of variety and a good balance between ‘starter’ clues and the more difficult ones. There are too many good clues for me to list them all here but I will mention 6a which, though it was easy to solve, reads so smoothly and 3d for the use of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. Though it took a little longer than usual, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience solving this puzzle.

6 OPAL  O (circle) P[agan] A[ncient] L[ore]
9 CHATTERBOX  C (about) HATTER (mad fellow) BOX (telly)
10 STEM  dd
17 ACRES  *([con]SECRA[ted])
18 PIXEL  [se]X in PIE (confused type) L[iverpool]
19 OUT WITH IT  OUTWIT (get the better of) HIT (winner)
24 OUSE  homophone of ‘ooze’
25 DIE WALKURE  DIE (long) WALK (prom) [s]URE (certainly, starting late) – ‘The Valkyrie’, the second of the four operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), by Richard Wagner.
26 SANE  hidden in ‘cutS AN Editor’s’
27 STARRY-EYED  STAR (celebrity) [d]RY-EYED (visibly not unhappy without daughter)

1 PACE  dd
2 SPAM  SPA (resort) M[ail]
3 MOTORCYCLIST  *(STRICTLY COM[e] O) – ‘Asian’ = East = E
4 SHRED  R (river) in SHED (slough) – nicely misleading capitalisation
5 EMOLLIENT  E (drug) MO (doctor) NEIL (man) reversed in LT (officer)
8 LUMINOSITY  L (student) U[nion] MINOrITY (small group) with S in place of [Ge]R[man])
13 AUSPICIOUS  sUSPICIOUS (dodgy) with the initial letter changed
14 EPOXY RESIN  POXY (rotten) in ERE (before) SIN (crime)
16 BIOLOGIST  BIO (life story) LOG (record) IST (first)
21 DOWER  W (wife) in DOER (one taking action)
22 LUCY  LUC[k]Y
23 LEWD  LEW (Grade) D (maybe a poor one ie ‘grade’)

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,030 / Alberich”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was excellent, a little hard by FT standards as you say. My own favourites were 19 ac and 11 dn.

  2. smiffy says:

    Hear, hear! I think I’ve developed a (cryptic) “man crush” on Alberich.

    As you say, spoiled for choice with regard to humdinging clues. My picks for the podium would be 11D, 15A and (as a long suffering-supporter) 1A.

  3. Anax says:

    I rarely comment here (spend most of my time on Times for The Times – go on; hate me) but I have to say I’m a huge fan of Alberich and this crossword ably demonstrates why. Entertaining, innovative, even occasionally risque; a deeply satisfying solve.

    Smiffy: I’ve got Alberich’s email address. Want me to get in touch, ask if he’s single? ;o)

  4. smiffy says:

    Hi Anax, good to see you here.I regularly enjoy your musings over at T4TT. Do feel free to pipe up more often in here (even if it’s only to highlight a hidden “One Across Rock” gem.

    Thanks for the matchmaking offer. I did develop a website of homage to Alberich ( Unfortunately it appears to have been highjacked by an enthusiast group of an altogether different persuasion…

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