Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,161 / Alberich

Posted by shuchi on August 21st, 2009


A toughie today! Lots of clever wordplay, deliciously misleading definitions. A treat to solve.


1 SALMAN RUSHDIE &lit. Wonderful anagram to start the puzzle with.
9 MUSTARD STAR (the Sun) in MUD (slander), ‘in case of’ being the container indicator.
10 RESPITE RITE (traditional procedure) around ESP (sixth sense)
11 ROAST R (right) OAST (oven)
12 CONCEITED sounds like ‘con seated’
13 IMMOBILE This made me laugh. I’M on MOBILE (phone).
15 DAMPER MP (member) in (READ)<
18 CASTLE (TACKLES – K)* &lit. From the chess move which involves the king.
19 CARDAMOM CARD (diamond, maybe) A MOM (a relative in US). Amusing definition :) . I alternate between ginger and cardamom flavouring for my tea, and I never knew that both belong to the same family.
22 EXCHEQUER EX (examined) CHEQUER (sounds like ‘checker’). ‘auditor’s auditor’ – wow.
24 BOAST BOA’S (fur’s) T (start of ‘trouble’)
25 GRATING R (resistance) in GATING (punishment)
26 IGNEOUS LIGNEOUS (woody) – [rol]L
27 STAY THE COURSE (YOUTH AT CREASES – A)* Deviously crafted clue. ‘shot’ is the anagrind, ‘last out’ (i.e. persevere till the end) the definition.


1 SAMURAI (ASIA)* around (RUM)<
2 LAS PALMAS LASS (young girl) around PALMA (a Spanish city). Here’s more on Palma, and on Las Palmas.
3 ABAFT T (time) F (following) A BA (graduate), all reversed
4 RADICALS dd. ‘radical’ means root as in original, and in mathematics it is ‘not exactly a square’ but its opposite.
5 SARONG SIGNORA’S (Italian lady’s) – SI (‘yes’ in Italian), all reversed.
7 EVICT E (European) VICTOR – OR
8 FENDER hidden reversed in ‘uncoveRED NEFarious’
14 BALLERINA ALLER (‘to go’ in French) in BIN (trash) + A (start of ‘aubergine’). Refers to Anna Pavlova, the Russian Ballerina not the gymnast.
16 POMPADOUR POMP (ostentation) ADO (fuss) UR (prefix meaning ‘primitive’). Look here for illustrations of this ‘shock treatment’.
17 HAIRLINE H (drug i.e. heroin) AIRLINE (cryptic def. for ‘company whose assets are constantly soaring’). Note to self: Don’t automatically assume drug = E. Combining that with ‘soaring’ I was trying to parse this as a reversal clue and getting nowhere.
18 CLERGY ALLERGY (antipathy)  + C[abinet] – A L (student)
20 MATISSE MATE (ship’s officer) around I SS
21 BUDGET BUD (friend) GET (obtain)
23 CLASS LA (US city) + S[licker], in C.S.
24 BANJO OJ (Simpson) NAB (arrest), reversed. Incidentally, there’s another instrument SONAR hidden in ‘Simpson arrest’.

2 Responses to “Financial Times 13,161 / Alberich”

  1. anax says:

    Oh yes!

    I really do look forward to Alberich’s puzzles and this is yet another example of very clever – and at times very challenging – clue-writing. Lots of ticks next to clues; CASTLE, SAMURAI, HAIRLINE, CLASS and BANJO all stood out amongst an excellent set, but what really made it for me was superb work for long answers.

    I don’t know why, but I always have this odd expectation that the long ‘uns should offer “special” clues or, at least, that they shouldn’t fall a bit flat. But how often they do! Alberich has offered two masterpieces of observation that were difficult to unravel but extremely satisfying once the penny dropped.

    There were a few bits that left me puzzled thanks to my own ignorance – “gating” as a punishment (25A) and the “ur” prefix (16D) – but we solve crosswords to learn the (sometimes unexpected) meanings of words as well as be entertained.

    Great stuff as always from Alberich!

  2. Dave H says:

    I agree an excellent puzzle and as a fairly new solver of the FT having found it on line, I am a Guardian man, begining to appreciate Alberich. I also spotted the simpSONARrest, so much so that I wrote it straight in which made completing the right bottom segment very difficult until I got 27a. Also had pompadous (ado in pompous) which also did not help.Hate to admit but I think that this crossword was more enjoyable than today’s Araucaria

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