Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,131 / Alberich

Posted by shuchi on July 17th, 2009

shuchi.

Alberich is such a delight to solve. Many great clues here, my favourites were USURY, UNHINGE, INANE.

Almost no specialist knowledge needed in this puzzle, the difficulty comes from clever wordplay. I found this comparitively easier for Alberich overall though I’ve not worked out 13A and 26A convincingly yet, help is welcome.

Across

1 PERTURB P (penny) + R in BRUTE (beast) reversed
5 UNHINGE G (last letter of ‘doG’) in (-s)UN(-s)HINE. ‘make barking’ is to drive mad :) ‘barking dog’ is ingeniously deceptive.
9 ONSET ON SET
10 STUTTERER cd
11 PURGATORY GR(-o)UP (party) reversed A TORY (politician)
12 INANE IN AN E (the way ‘episodE’ ends)
13 FOUR? braces = twos, so four = a pair of twos?
15 ROAD KILL (A KID)* in ROLL (list). Creative definition (‘one who didn’t make the crossing’)!
18 PREFECTS PC around (FREE)* T S. A lovely clue. The indicators ‘packages’ and ‘subject to ordering’ blend very well with the surface.
19 TAUT sounds like ‘taught’
22 REBUT RE (engineer) BUT (objection)
24 HALITOSIS cd. ‘humming’ is slang for having a foul smell.
26 GARIBALDI BALD (without much up top) in …GARI + I?
27 BLASE BLAISE (of Modesty Blaise) – I
29 GARLAND (L RAG) reversed + AN (article) D (end of ‘RicharD’). Judy Garland is best remembered for her role in The Wizard Of Oz.

Down

1 PROMPT cd
2 RESERVOIR RESERV(-e) (keep) (-l)OIR(-e) (loire = French administrative department)
3 ULTRA U (‘Unction’ initially) LT (officer) RA (soldiers)
4 BISHOPRIC BRIC(-k) (decent sort) around I (independent) + SHOP (retail outlet). ‘see’ is the jurisdiction of a bishop.
5 USURY US (American) (-f)URY (outrage with F removed)
6 HOT TICKET TICK (credit) in (TO THE)*
7 NORMA hidden in ‘religioN OR MAdonna’
8 EARNER R (war’s last letter) in (NEAR E)*. Nice misdirection given by ‘waged war’.
14 REFUTABLE RE(-p+f)UTABLE
16 ABSOLVING AB (Jack) SOLVING
17 LOUISIANA I in (A SOUL IN A)*
20 ORIGIN GIRO (cheque) reversed + IN
21 OSTEND OSTEN(-sible) D
23 BYRON &lit. NOB (noble) around RY (railway i.e. lines), all reversed.
24 HOLLY L (left) in HOLY (religious). ‘the present time’ = the gift-giving season, Christmas.
25 TIBER TIER (row) around B

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,131 / Alberich”

  1. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    13ac: your interpretation is correct, Shuchi. A brace is ‘two’ and a pair of it makes FOUR.
    In the cryptic element, ‘braces’ might be glancing at ‘straps worn over the shoulders for supporting the trousers’.
    26ac: I think it’s homophone of ‘Gary baldie’.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Excellent puzzle, hard. Some very well-concealed definitions with seamless merging with wordplay. Agree with explanationS of FOUR and GARIBALDI. Favourite clues, PREFECTS, EARNER, ABSOLVING, BYRON, HOLLY.

  3. Jake says:

    Brilliant puzzle this. Thanks for explaining 5ac. I struggled on that particular clue.

    I’m not too sure about the toughness of this xwd, I’d managed to solve it this morning bit by bit in a casual manner instead of full tilt, which I found rather more enjoyable taking time over the clues.

    I liked 15ac, having only 17dn with the letter L to work the clue out, kid I thought eventually of young sheep and the answer slotted into place as ROAD KILL. Cool stuff.

  4. ACP says:

    Agree that it was a really good puzzle.
    Why does a good FT puzzle get 3 comments, while some average Guardian stuff gets 40 ?

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