Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,141 / Cinephile

Posted by Gaufrid on July 29th, 2009


After last Wednesday’s romp, this week’s Cinephile, though easy in places, proved to be more of a challenge. One clue (24a) has defeated me completely so far and I have been unable to parse another (5d). I also have question marks against a few more clues (12a,18d & 20d).

Whilst writing this post a partial explanation for 24a has occurred to me, see below. Edit: now a full explanation for 24a.

1 WASTE OF SPACE  WAS (used to be) *(POETS CAFE)
9 ABSALOM  AB (sailor) SAL (lass) OM (high honour)
11 PIONEER  ONE in PIER (support)
12 DIAMOND  is this meant to be a dd? If so how does ‘cutting’ equate with ‘diamond’?
13 LIE IN  cd&d
14 AMSTERDAM  [h]AMSTER (burrower) DAM (mother)
16 GROUNDHOG  UND (and, in German) HO (house) in GROG (drink)
19 CACTI  C (more or less) ACT 1 (first part of play) – ‘more or less’ = about = C
21 TETANUS  TAN (sunburn) in SUET (fat) reversed
24 C_A_T_N  – the only word I can think of that will fit here is ‘chasten’ which could loosely mean ‘beat’. Charles X was a 19th century king of France and Sten (the Elder or Younger) was regent (not king) of Sweden in the 16th century (not 17th), but whether this is relevant to the clue I’ve no idea!
Charles X could be interpreted as CHAS TEN

24 CHASTEN  cd&d&cd – Charles X (CHAS TEN) of France, ‘beat’, Charles X (CHAS TEN) of Sweden.
25 INITIAL  hidden in ‘begIN IT I ALways’

1 WIMPOLE  WIMP (feeble person) OLE (cheer)
2 SHEBEEN  BE in SHEEN (glitter)
3 EASY REACH  AS in EYRE (Jane) A CH (a companion)
4 FRAUD  FRAU (German lady) D (Germany)
5 PASSAGE  – ‘bad’ in French is ‘mauvais’ or ‘grave’. Passé could, I suppose, be loosely described as ‘bad’ but this does not account for the AG so I am stumped.  Edit: see Eileen’s comment #1
6 COLLOID  LOI (law, in French) in COLD (at low temperature)
7 UNAPOLOGETIC  UNA (single girl) POLO (game) GET (attain) 1 (first) C (century)
10 MADEMOISELLE  MADE (compelled) MOI (me (surely not?)) SELL (deal) E (ecstasy)
15 SIGNORINA  SIGN (put her name on paper) OR IN A (article)
17 OUTRAGE  OU (where, in French) TRAGE[dies]
18 NONSTOP  NS (opponents) in NOT OP[ponents] – NS are partners in bridge (the usual crossword usage) so presumably ‘opponents’ is referring to something else. I initially thought about the opposite poles of a magnet but these attract rather than oppose.
19 CATMINT  cd
20 COURIER  COUR[t]IER (royal attendant with time off) – should this not be ‘time out’ rather than ‘time off’?

7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,141 / Cinephile”

  1. Eileen says:

    Hi Gaufrid

    24ac: I took this as CHAS TEN: Charles X King of Sweden 1654-1660. My worry was with ‘chasten’ = ‘beat’. I can’t find it anywhere [unlike ‘chastise’].

    5dn: ‘sage’ = ‘good’ in French, so ‘pas sage’ = ‘bad’.

    12ac: I took ‘diamond’ as ‘cutting one’.

  2. The trafites says:

    Ref. 24ac, there was also Charles X of Sweden: Charles X Gustav (Karl X Gustav) 1654–1660, so this could be, as you say, CHAS+TEN dd. with the definition stuck in the middle.


  3. Eileen says:

    Re 20dn: I think there was a similar discussion somewhere recently re ‘off’ = ‘less’ and I said I thought of it as being like ‘25% off’ in a sale.

  4. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Eileen and Nick.
    I was editing my post to correct 24a as you were writing your comments.

    Nice one, Eileen, re 5d though a bit of a stretch even by Cinephile’s standards.

  5. smiffy says:

    G’day all.

    Some real jiggery-pokery in today’s puzzle – and I’m glad that you folks had deconstructed 24A before I arrived here seeking confirmation/enlightenment.

    Re: 18D – might “opponents” be tentatively justified in the context of the US Civil War (North vs South and all that…)?

  6. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Smiffy
    Re 18d, I had similar thoughts regarding N and S Korea but this would be rather obscure even for Cinephile.

    I think this might be another case of ‘we’ll just never know’.

  7. tonyp17 says:

    For many years I have looked at Cinephile crosswords with dismay as I could rarely make any progress and often failed to understand the solutions.

    A blog like this helps to bring the word play alive and shows how obscure some clues can be.

    I dabbled with today’s crossword earlier and easily saw the answer to 18d but could not understand why.

    Having read the thoughts above the question seems to be the significance of ‘before they start’. I suggest it is actually ‘not before they start’ or NOT OP ie not working with the NS bridge opponents entering. What do you think?

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