Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,272 / Alberich

Posted by Gaufrid on December 31st, 2009


It’s me again, sorry! Apologies for the late appearance of this analysis but the scheduled blogger resides on the other side of the pond and I wanted to give him time to get up.

Another enjoyable puzzle from Alberich to see out the year. Many good clues and not too many anagrams. Unless I have parsed it incorrectly (I cannot see an alternative), I am a little surprised at the use of the unfamiliar ‘tarre’ as part of the wordplay in 10dn. However, this didn’t impede solving the clue, only the subsequent parsing.

1 ASSIST [b]ASSIST (musician doesn’t want first)
4 UP TO DATE UP (before magistrate) TO DATE (see)
9 CURIE I (one) in CURE (treatment)
10 BEAUTEOUS U (university) in *(SEE ABOUT)
12 NOMINAL *(I[n] NAM[e] ONL[y])
13 KILO KIL[l] (mostly suppress) O (love) – phonetic alphabet, Juliet Kilo Lima etc
14 ABNORMAL NORMA (opera) in *(LAB[our])
17 BEEFCAKE BEEF (meat) CAKE (loaf)
19 BASH dd
22 RICOTTA R (recipe) I (one) COTTA[ge] (say turning out another {cheese})
24 ABANDON A BAND ON (live music playing)
25 STONEWALL O (nothing) NEW (recent) in STALL (delay progress) &lit
26 DODGE dd
27 STRETCHY RETCH (gag) in STY (unpleasant place)
28 BROODY DOOR reversed in BY

1 ARCHDUKE UK (country) in *(C HEARD) – Beethoven’s Piano Trio No. 7
3 SHELLS HELL (havoc) in SS (on board)
5 PRAWN COCKTAIL R (right) in PAWN (piece of game) COCK (bird) TAIL (follow)
6 OPTIMUM I (Italy) in OPT (plump) MUM (old lady)
7 ACORN A CORN (cereal, homophone of ‘serial’)
8 EASILY *(YES IL [trov]A[tore])
10 BERT BACHARACH BACH (himself) in *(TARRE) (original pitch) in BACH (composer)
15 LLANDUDNO N (new) DUD (failure) in ALL (everyone) reversed NO (refusal)
16 CHANCERY CHANCER (unscrupulous dealer) Y (year)
18 ENTREAT [l]EN[t] TREAT (indulgence)
20 CRISIS CR (credit) IS (island(s)) IS (lives)
21 GANDER dd – butcher’s = look = gander, from Cockney rhyming slang butcher’s hook – look
23 CHOIR homophone of ‘quire’ (sheets)

6 Responses to “Financial Times 13,272 / Alberich”

  1. anax says:

    Another great one from Alberich and I too had some trouble with 10d even though I got the answer very quickly – the parsing, though, is different as the name is BURT – it uses UR- (Greek suffix meaning “original” + TAR (pitch) with those two uses of BACH as you’ve mentioned).

    I thought the observation at 12a was particularly good and the &Lit at 25a also noteworthy. The run-together of “backdoor” at 28a might ruffle the feathers of Ximenean purists but it didn’t worry me.

    Great stuff Alberich, and a Happy New Year to you!

  2. Jake says:

    Thanks for posting the answers Gaufrid.

    Anax, I agree. Alberich pulls out the good ‘uns.

    I’m never disappointed with his work.

    Thank you Alberich.

    Good New Year to you all.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks for the correction. I should have checked the spelling when I was having trouble with the parsing but I took ‘original’ as an anagram indicator and tarre is a variant spelling of tar according to Chambers.

  4. nmsindy says:

    Yes, I’ve done most of Alberich’s puzzles in the FT and this was one of the best yet. Everything read so well and it showed puzzles don’t have to be hard to be good. Thanks for explaining ARCHDUKE, I got it straightaway from the wordplay but had no idea why, but then if the setter’s pseudonym is Alberich…

    Favourite clues, GANDER, CHOIR (the latter just shading it) but a lot more to admire. Saw BURT all right, but that just happened to be the music I was a little more familiar with…

    Thanks, Alberich

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    I did three croswords today … (nothing else to do?)
    This one came between yesterday’s Cinephile and today’s Paul, but I must wholeheartedly say Alberich has clearly the edge over the other two.

    This setter is so inventive, very precise and keeps an eye on the surface reading as well (like in the ARCHDUKE of 1d).
    Well, talking of very precise, ‘backdoor’ for ‘rood’ is what I would call more Guardianesque – and I like it.
    Like some others BURT BACHARACH got me puzzled for a while (although I saw the answer rightaway).
    But I see it now, as Anax explained: B (UR T(BACH)AR) ACH.

    As to 20d (CRISIS), I think the blog should read IS1 and IS2 the other way around, so IS (lives) IS (islands).
    Not sure why Alberich put brackets around the ‘s’, because I’ve seen ‘island’ abbreviated to ‘is’ before.

    But, Gaufrid, no negative comments on your blog whatsoever.
    It is not really nice to be more or less forced to do this on a day like this.

    Happy New Year to you all.
    (when maybe some more solvers will discover the great Alberich)

  6. Alberich says:

    Thanks for the nice comments and Happy New Year to you all.

    Sil, re 20d – the clue I submitted had “independent means finally” to provide the second IS – so perhaps the editor felt that I/independent was too obscure. I think “island” makes for a good if not better surface but I too would have omitted the S in brackets.

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