Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,167 / Cincinnus

Posted by shuchi on August 28th, 2009


On the easy side today, though I did have to look up UZI and BERG. All the long clues were specially good.

Favourites: 10A, 12A, 3D and the little one at 25D.


6 SEURAT SEAT (car from the VW group) around UR (old city). It was only last night that I read about Georges-Pierre Seurat, in a tutorial for “pointillize” effect in an image processing tool. Wonder of wonders, he’s there in the crossword today. A painting of his using pointillism: Seurat’s La Parade de Cirque.
10 AT A PINCH A TAP (knock) INCH (move slowly)
11 TREK T[h]R[e]E K (thousand)
12 SCHOENBERG (CHOSEN)* BERG (Austrian composer Alban Berg)
14 PLANTAIN ANT (social worker) in PLAIN (simple). A multi-purpose plant, the plantain fruit and shoot are eaten and the leaf used as a plate in traditional south Indian meals.
16 IMAM I’M A M[uslims] &lit. This must be the most quoted example of &lit. It’s brilliant but seen so many times before.
18 ANNE hidden reversed in ‘ogdEN NAsh’
19 FORELAND FOR (in quest of) ELAND (antelope)
21 CONTROLLED CON (prisoner) TROLLED (went fishing). I had half-forgotten that ‘trolling’ literally meant fishing, the internet-related meaning comes to mind first.
22 NIGH (H GIN)<
24 ESPRESSO [w]ES[t] PRESS (journalists) O[hio]
26 TATTLE TALE (story) around TT (refusing alcohol, teetotalling)
27 KEEPER KEEP (last) ER (queen)
28 SUDANESE SUE around DANES. I like “entertaining” as c/c indicator.


2 OCCUR OUR (FT’s) around CC (cricket club)
4 LANDSMAN LANDS (alights) MAN (Isle)
7 UZI sounds like ‘oozy’
8 ASCERTAIN A S (small) CERTAIN (firm)
13 BRIDLINGTON BRIDLING (showing annoyance) (NOT)<
17 CREDITED CITED (quoted) around RED (revolutionary)
20 DOSSER DOSSIER (collection of documents) – I
23 GALAS G[erman] ALAS (unfortunately)
25 RIP dd

6 Responses to “Financial Times 13,167 / Cincinnus”

  1. JamesM says:

    This was a nice gentle stroll through the park following a gargantuan struggle with the Times crossword today.

    I will stick to the FT in future!

  2. Paul B says:

    … though Cincinnus may well be a Times compiler too! I don’t know for sure, but he’s certainly one (and very good) who gets around a bit.

    I would certainly encourage you to keep at it with The Times James, as – after a while – you get the hang of their style, which is quite idiosyncratic. It’s high-quality stuff, mind you, and you will eventually receive a badge to sew onto your solving jersey.

  3. JamesM says:

    Thank you, Paul, for your advice.

    I will take it!

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Sometimes it is not just about the difficulty of crosswords.
    Cincinnus (aka Orlando, in the Guardian) is indeed not the hardest of setters, but – in my opinion – one whose clues are usually very stylish.
    For instance, 12ac, 14ac and 28 ac all read beautifully.
    There is a certain lightness in his way of clueing that I like very much.

    Having said that, I didn’t like 20dn that much, because the clue suggests that you leave out the ‘I’ from a word describing ‘vagrant’ given you the documents. But it was just the other way around. Maybe defendable, but not as I would like to see it.

    Coming back to FT vs The Times, FT is no match to the latter.
    Just as FT crosswords are of good but lesser quality than the Guardian ones.
    Paul, Araucaria and Orlando beat their alter egos (Mudd, Cinephile and Cincinnus) by miles (and sometimes by just yards).
    One to watch in FT, though, is Alberich.

  5. Paul B says:

    I can see your point Sil, but the FT has a very different – and international – audience to other Brit dailies including The Times and The Guardian, to which its compilers are required to cater.

    I agree with your remarks about Alberich however – he’s very good.

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, Paul B, you must be right.
    Until today I was just looking at the quality/level of crosswords, not being aware of these different kind of audiences.
    But don’t get me wrong, I do like Cinephile, Mudd, Cincinnus et al.
    And to be honest, for me – as a foreigner myself – these setters helped me a lot to enrich my English vocabulary.
    I feel very satisfied after solving one of their puzzles without using dictionaries or the Internet (which I mostly can’t with the Guardian ones when I do them on my own,
    I must admit).
    For the world after FT you need to know a bit of ‘slang’ and Shakespeare.

    But to be positive about another of Cincinnus’ clues, 3dn is also very well constructed –
    I like that one very much.
    And, also a plus, not too many anagrams.
    And the anagrams that he used were not – as seen so often – easy & pointles.
    With the fantastic ‘eat no slug’ for LANGOUSTE easily hitting the Number One spot.
    This is, I think, the difference between a good and a very good setter.
    Cincinnus/Orlando is one of the best, in my opinion.
    But still, keep an eye on Alberich, you all.

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