Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,294 / Cinephile

Posted by Gaufrid on January 27th, 2010


An enjoyable solve today. We were told that the answers to asterisked clues had something in common. Fortunately I had come across 13dn in a previous puzzle otherwise I might have had a problem with this particular asterisked clue.

The answers to the eight asterisked clues were four crime writers and the name of one of their creations. For some reason that I am unable to explain three of the four creations had two asterisks.  It perhaps has something to do with the fact that the sleuths with two asterisks are amateurs whereas the one with a single asterisk is a fictional Detective Inspector.

A few pleasing surfaces (eg 7dn & 8dn) and some interesting anagram indicators – ‘not soundly’, ‘pushover’ and ‘camouflage’ – though Cinephile has taken his use of parts of words to the (outlandish?) limit in 23ac.

1,5 SHERLOCK HOLMES  homophone of Cher  SHER (actor) homophone of ‘lock homes’ (provide domestic security) – created by 4dn  Edit: Thanks ChrisM for the correction
9 YEARNING  Y[ou] EARNING (get money)
10 WIMSEY  WI (Caribbean) MS (writing) YE (you) reversed – Lord Peter Wimsey, created by 1dn
11 ROSALIND  SAL (other girl) IN (at home) in ROD (punishment)
12 LIQUOR  rhymes with ‘quicker’
14 MORGANATIC  MORGAN (Welsh Minister) A TIC[k] (lot of credit) – Rhodri Morgan, First Minister of Wales
18 CAFÉ AU LAIT  CAFÉ (eating place) homophone of ‘olé’ (sound of enthusiasm)
22 EMETIC  hidden in ‘makE ME TICk’
23 OMNIVORE  [t]OM[ato] [o]NI[on] [sa]VO[y] RE[dcurrant]
24,27 AGATHA CHRISTIE  AGA (commander) *(THATCHER IS I) – creator of 20dn
25 ARBITRAL  R (river) BIT (penetrated) in ARAL (sea)
26 ALLEYN  ALLEY (narrow way) N (north) – DI Roderick Alleyn, created by 13dn

1 SAYERS  cd – Dorothy L Sayers, creator of 10ac
3 LONELY  LON[don] (half capital) ELY (city)
4 CONAN DOYLE  CON (read) AND (with) homophone of ‘oil’ (fuel for lamp) – creator of 1ac
6 OPINIONS  O (love) PINIONS (restricts)
7 MOSQUITO  MOS (doctors) QUIT (leave) O (nothing)
8 SAY GRACE  SAY (for example) G (good) RACE (people)
13 NGAIO MARSH  *(GRAHAM IS NO) – creator of 26ac
15 SCHEMATA  *(MATCHES) A (first)
16 AFTER ALL  T (model) ER (queen) in A FALL (what follows pride)
19 BIKINI  BIKIN[g] (when on a cycle almost) I (one)
20 POIROT  I in TOR (hill) OP (work) reversed – created by 24,27ac
21 MEALIE  ME (setter) A LIE (what isn’t true)

11 Responses to “Financial Times 13,294 / Cinephile”

  1. ChrisM says:

    Hi Gaufrid

    I was also puzzled by the single asterisk in 26ac – just a misprint?
    I think the actor in 1ac is Anthony SHER

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi ChrisM
    You are probably right about the actor though I have never heard of him (film and stage are not my forte). My parsing was based on the fact that actresses are now often referred to as actors.

    I did wonder about 26ac being a misprint and that a single asterisk indicated the author and two asterisks the character.

  3. Tom_I says:

    Re 12ac, is there a sideways nod towards Ogden Nash’s poem Reflections on ice-breaking?

    Is dandy
    But liquor
    Is quicker.

  4. verbose says:

    Thanks Gaufrid. Re 24,27a: I don’t understand the anagrind. Why “not much for turning”? “Turning” could be the anagram indicator by itself. What does “not much for” signify in this instance?

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Hi verbose
    I think the anagram indicator is ‘for turning’ and the ‘that’s not much’ indicates the reduction of ‘one’ to 1. The additions were a way to allude to Maggie Thatcher and to make the anagram less obvious.

  6. JamesM says:


    Thanks for a meticulous (and I imagine difficult) blog. In regard to the asterisks, I think one is the author, two is the detective. Probably 26A should be two!

    Beat I can do. Regards


  7. Agentzero says:

    This was a slow start for me, but it picked up once I figured out the theme.

    23 across is the sort of clue that only this setter would try, or get away with!

    Tom, I thought 12 across was surely meant as a reference to the poem.

  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid, for the fine blog.
    Not a very hard crossword, and once the theme was spotted (via 1,5ac) the grid was quickly filled.
    Even though we had never heard of some of the names: Antony Sher (we thought “that must be one from the days of Cinephile”, but no it was a widely praised contemporary one), Nagio Marsh (and Alleyn), Wimsey.

    As you said, some rather nice surfaces this time.
    We did like 18ac, 19d (BIKINI) and, yes, even 23ac, of which Agentzero states that only Cinephile gets away with a clue like this – a thing that I could have said (and did say in the past), must I must admit: I did like it his time (maybe because of the surface).

    Some things that were on my/our list have already been said (the star of 26ac, the anagrind of 24,27ac).
    But we weren’t very pleased by seeing YEARNING clued as “I wish!”, but indeed, it is typical Cinephile (making himself frequently the subject of a definition), but it’s not quite right, we thought.
    The first answer we found (22ac, EMETIC) is the only one that’s still a bit unclear to us. The definition is there, and it is clearly a hidden answer, but where is (or what is) the ha-indicator in this strange clue (“For (?) … put …”) ?

  9. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Sil
    Regarding 22ac, I parsed the ‘for’ as ‘to the extent of’ with ‘extent’ meaning ‘amount’, therefore ‘an amount of’ or ‘some of’.

  10. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Well, Gaufrid, fine by me, but a bit stretched, isn’t it.
    And what about the combination for/put?
    Or is there no link (which is IMO rather unlikely)?
    Anyway, it is at it is (gosh, 5 two-letter words in a row … :) )

  11. Radler says:

    Sil, I think it’s the for/put combination that indicates the hidden answer. It’s rather like the more common construction “helps to make”. Cinephile is saying “in order to get (for) phrase include (put) definition

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