Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,271 / Cinephile

Posted by Gaufrid on December 30th, 2009


A themed puzzle in which we were told that all asterisked clues had something in common. As it turned out, none of these clues had a definition, only wordplay.

The commonality was that the answers to the asterisked clues were all surnames of American presidents. My entry into the theme was 6dn after which the puzzle became much easier than it at first appeared though I needed the assistance of Wikipedia to confirm the names of a couple of people of whom I’d never heard (29ac, 1dn & 14dn).

Unfortunately Wikipedia proved no help when trying to resolve 27ac and 18dn. In the former I assume that ‘Grant’ is the name of a removal or transport company and the latter a reference to Harrison Ford (though I don’t see how the ‘a possible solution’ fits in) but I am open to alternative suggestions.

Some tricky clues and some obscurities so I would rate this on the hard side of the FT spectrum, though there were some good surfaces in places.

1* CARTER dd – Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) and John Carter, American artist
4 ABSENTEE SENT (dispatched) in A BEE (an insect)
10 OF ONE MIND O (love) EMIN (artist) in FOND (loving) -Tracy Emin, British artist
11 STORM hidden in ‘paSTOR May’
12 ITEM [h]IT [th]EM (strike the people (common))
13 WASHINGTON WAS (used to be) G (good) in HINT (little bit) ON (extra)
15 GRENADE [m]EN in GRADE (rank)
16 WHOOPS dd
19 ITALIC dd
21 AMERICA ERIC (boy) in A MA (a mother)
23 ECONOMISTS ECO (green subject) NO MISTS (without obscurities)
25 SCAR SCAR[e] (less than frighten)
27* GRANT dd – Ulysses S Grant (1869-1877) and Grant Transport Company or Ron Grant Removals or …..?
28 TOURNEDOS *(DONE) in TOURS (French city) – interesting anagram indicator, ‘not well’, which gives a good surface
29 NO AMOUNT NOAM (Chompsky) N (new) in OUT – Avram Noam Chomsky, American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, political activist, author, and lecturer
30 TRUMAN RUM (funny) in TAN (beat) – Harry S Truman (1945-1953)

1* COOLIDGE COOL (excellent) ID (instincts) GE[t] – Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
2* ROOSEVELT [l]EVEL (even topless) in ROOST (dormitory) – Franklin D Roosevelt (1933-1945)
3 EDEN [conduciv]E DEN (study)
5 BAD SHOW BAD (German spa) SHOW (exhibition)
6* EISENHOWER E (point) EN (points) in I SHOWER (I perform my ablutions) – Dwight D Eisenhower (1953-1961)
7 TROUT T (time) U (turn) in ROT (decay)
8 ERMINE ER MINE (I seem reluctant to claim)
9 PIRATE PI (good) RATE (speed)
14 CAGLIOSTRO *(LIAR GOT COS) – Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, the alias of Giuseppe Balsamo
18* HARRISON dd – Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) and Harrison Ford?
20* CLINTON LINT (dressing) in CON (read) – Bill Clinton (1993-2001)
21* ARTHUR dd – Chester A Arthur (1881-1885) and King Arthur
22* REAGAN RE (again) AGA[i]N – Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)
24* OBAMA OB (died) A MA (one who gave birth) – Barrack Obama (2009- )
26 ONER [lond]ONER (capital fellow’s second half)

10 Responses to “Financial Times 13,271 / Cinephile”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid – yes, quite tough-going.

    18dn is a clue to the theme: {Gerald] Ford is a possible solution.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Eileen. I had forgotten all about Nixon’s successor.

  3. Andrew says:

    Thanks Gaufrid. I thought the “drawer” in 1ac was just one who draws (i.e. pulls) a cart. I was about to say “like you I’m baffled by GRANT”, but I’ve just realised it’s MIGRANT less M1. Phew!

  4. Andrew says:

    Incidentally, shouldn’t 13ac have had an asterisk too?

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Andrew
    I considered the same option as you for 1ac but Chambers give ‘carter’ as “a person who drives a cart” rather than one who pulls or draws it. I therefore looked for an alternative.

    Thanks for the explanation of 27ac. It’s obvious when you see the answer!

    13ac didn’t have an asterisk (though it could have done) because the clue included a definition. I assume Cinephile chose not to make this one thematic so that he could use ‘fellow’s workplace’ both here and in 21ac.

  6. jetdoc says:

    27a had me baffled, too, so thanks for that. I assumed that ‘carter’ was someone who draws a cart, but now see from Chambers that the drawer of the cart is the animal or motorised device that pulls it; so maybe Gaufrid’s explanation is the correct one.

    I spotted the theme once I got WASHINGTON and EISENHOWER, but found this pretty tough by FT standards. I had to ‘cheat’ to get 14d, as I had never heard of Cagliostro, though I had all the letters for the anagram.

  7. Benington says:

    Just a question regarding 13,270 by Dante – is the blog on this going to be published?

  8. Gaufrid says:

    The post was published just after 8am yesterday:

  9. Benington says:

    Thanks Gaufrid.

  10. Benington says:

    Finally got round to doing this – found it excellent.

    14d was the only clue I didn’t get – never heard of Count Alessandro di Cagliostro or Giuseppe Balsamo!

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