Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,119 / Bradman

Posted by shuchi on July 3rd, 2009


When I see a Bradman puzzle I brace myself for a toughie. This started off smoothly enough on the left but the right half was slow to fall. A few new words for me such as SANHEDRIN and COLUMBINE, which took some time to work out. The fair wordplay helped.

The clueing is top-class throughout. Bradman’s clue surfaces are admirable I think; they don’t just manage a semblance of meaning, they tell stories.


1 DECIMATES MICE (rodents) reversed, in DATES (fruit)
6 BUCKS dd. Short for Buckinghamshire, and an old-fashioned word for ‘fashionable’.
11 TRIPLE TIME TRIPLE (very large drink) TIME (final call). Great subterfuge with ‘bar’.
12 FATE FAT (big) E (last letter of ‘cheese’)
14 FOREIGN OF reversed REIGN (rule)
15 SPENCER cd? I took this to be a reference to Herbert Spencer the philosopher, and the fact that Churchill’s ancestors were Spencers.
17 CADENCE C (first letter of ‘Catholics’) A DEN (retreat) CE (Anglicans)
19 CATALAN C at Alan?
20 I SAY Is this really “Whisk YISLA ‘nd ditching L?”. Very inventive, if it is. I’ve been guilty of reading too much into the wordplay in the past, so will wait for comments to clarify/confirm :) .
25 NEWSAGENT NEW (latest) SAGE (guru) NT (books). One of my favourite clues today.
26 ONION ON (functioning) ION (something electrically charged). Happy to note that Bradman didn’t settle for ION = charge.
27 LARCH L (line) ARCH (bridge)
28 SCRAPHEAP SCRAP (fight) HE (the man) AP (Associated Press, NYC). Another very nice clue.


1 DEMIT D E (from ‘Dodgy Experiments’) MIT (US institute). ‘hints’ is an interesting indicator for picking letters.
2 CASHIERED CASH (money) IE (that is) RED (very hot)
3 MEDALLIONS D (last letter of ‘awarded’) in MEAL (feast, maybe) LIONS (heroeS)
4 TAUNTON AUNT in TON (fashion)
5 SALAMIS dd. An island near Greece, and cured sausages.
6 BRAG B (British) RAG (tabloid)
7 CASCA Hidden in ‘publiC A Scallywag’
8 SANHEDRIN (HAD SINNERS)*. An assembly of 23 judges in every city of Israel.
13 LENTIL SOUP (LOTS LINE UP)* For some reason I couldn’t see the anagram till the very end.
14 FACTIONAL ACTION (deed) in FAL (river)
16 COLUMBINE L (left) U (university) in COMBINE (marry), ‘part way through’ being the containment indicator. Columbina (or Colombine) is a fictional character in the Commedia dell’Arte.
19 CHEATER C (cold) HEATER (the answer to ‘cold’). Clever clue.
21 AT WAR RAW (inexperienced) TA (army), all reversed
23 TON-UP Reaching a speed of 100 mph, which may well be over the SPEED LIMIT (22a). I took this to be a cd at first, on closer look I see that it’s also NOT* UP (going well).
24 BASH B (first letter of ‘burn’) ASH (wood)

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,119 / Bradman”

  1. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    May I share an anecdote from the time when I was working with Indian Express.
    We had a colleague who, when caught for any minor traffic offence, used to look at the cop in the eye and say ‘Express’. He was let off.
    Owing to ill-health, he took early retirement. Still, if he found himself in a similar situation, he used the same ploy: ‘Ex-press’.
    No-one could say he was untruthful.

  2. Eileen says:

    Hi Shuchi

    Re 20ac: I loved your interpretation – but it’s ISLAY [Scottish island producing fine malt whisky] minus L – a great clue, I thought.

    [‘I say!’ was a favourite acknowledgment of a good shot by the late Dan Maskell, in the gentler days of Wimbledon commentating.]

  3. dr b says:

    For 19a, I assumed a “guy” was a “cat”, so “name established by guy” was cat+alan. I don’t know if “cat” as slang for a man is well known in the UK, so that may just be my US-centric take on the clue.

  4. Oldham says:

    15a–isn’t it Spencer because it was WC middle name?

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