Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,360 / Alberich

Posted by smiffy on April 15th, 2010


A fairly quick solving time, at least relative to the previous Alberich vs Smiffy head-to-head  form-book.  As usual, plenty of hallmark precision engineering (or should that be precision artistry?) in evidence.  3D, 8D, 10A and 11A being the best of a high-class bunch

1 BROADBAND - broad + band
6 REBUS - {E}rebus. Fortunately I was vaguely aware of Det. John Rebus as ,many moons ago, a housemate of mine at the time developed something of an infatuation with Ian Rankin.
9 GOWNS - W in (snog)<.
10 INSTIGATE - in{ve}stigate.  Slicker than a Chinese oil tanker at the Great Barrier Reef.
11 MALINGERER - (re{a}l migra{i}ne)*.  &lit clever-cloggery.
12 ANTI – ant + I.
14 AVIDEST - (Diva)< + Est.
15 TALK BIG - (A{cker} Bilk)* in t{ryin}g.
17 CANDIDA – candid = {Sinatr}a. A swift musical segue across the pond, from Somerset to New Jersey.
19 SUMMARY - sum + Mary.
20 AMOK - am OK.
22 FREELOADER - niftily miselading use of “charge”.
25 GUERRILLA – {politica}l in (irregula)*.  Further &literation.
26 AWAIT – a wait.
27 LODGE - L + {D}odge (City).
28 CHARTWELL – Winston C’s private home.  Not familiar to me, but easy enough to deduce with confidence.

1 BY GUM – by = “times”,  in the multiplicative sense.
2 ORWELLIAN - ell in (in a row)*.  (Eric) “Blair” = George O.
3 DISINHERIT – d + I + (heir isn’t).  Clue of the day, in my book.
4 ALIMENT – ailment, with a roving i.
5 DESSERT – (tressed)<.
6 REIN - R + (n + i.e.)<.
7 BRAIN – bra + in.
8 SEEMINGLY - see + Ming + {tel}ly.  “Without let-up” indicating the reversed removal.
13 FLAMBOYANT – (boy in man) in flat.  I really wish that the combo of the surface and the construction hadn’t reminded me of erstwhile music industry creep Jonathan King.
14 ARCHANGEL – a {Pete}r + change + l. Our third (and second ‘lift and separate’) musical artiste of the day…
16 BOARD GAME – simple enough, but another deftly handled surface.
18 ACRYLIC – cry in Alic{e}.
19 SMETANA – n[ew] in (a team’s)*.  The smoothest surface I can recall seeing for this frequently grid-friendly composer.
21 OREAD – {K}orea + d[aughter].
23 RATEL – rate + l.  One of those ‘often clued, never seen’ critters in my solver’s menagerie.
24 ERSE – hidden.

7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,360 / Alberich”

  1. anax says:

    Yet another corker from Alberich. I printed it off at about 3am (don’t ask – it was a long night) and told myself I’d tackle it after a night’s sleep, but a quick glance through the clues resulted in what always happens when I see an Alberich puzzle; a generous handful of clues that were so tantalising I couldn’t go to bed without knowing what the answers were.

    I ticked too many clues to list, but the double and treble ticks went to 10a, 11a, 22a, 25a, 3d, 4d, 13d, 14d and 19d, all of them superb examples of intensely clever clue-writing.

    If there’s any justice in the world the Guardian and Indy should be begging Alberich to join them.

  2. nmsindy says:

    I enjoyed this puzzle too, which I found was not too difficult. Bottom half harder than top half and finished in SW corner. Favourites AMOK, FREELOADER, OREAD.

  3. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, Anax, so it should be!
    What a marvel.

    So many excellent clues that I find it impossible to decide which one should be my Clue of the Day.
    Let’s say: this was my Crossword of the Day.

    I particularly liked the thought put into these, as smiffy called them, ‘lift and separate’ ones, with (for me) 14d (ARCHANGEL) the leader of the pack.
    Agree with smiffy about the splendid ultra-smooth surface of 19d (SMETANA).
    Also smooth, the “Watch Dynasty on telly” word combination in 8d.
    It’s just a tip of the iceberg.
    There’s so much more to admire, great usage of devices all over the place.

    This was a treat which made my morning coffee taste better than usual.

    [smiffy, thank you for your impeccable blog]

  4. anax says:

    If we wanted to be really picky, Sil, we could say that 14d features definition by example – but really, who cares? It’s a beautifully crafted clue and, like you, I’d probably pick this as the best of an exceptional bunch.

  5. Eileen says:

    Thanks, smiffy.


    Re your first comment: you and Alberich both, as far as the Guardian’s concerned! [I’ve said this before. :-) ]

    I agree with all the ticks and have nothing to add, except to say what a good day this has been: three great puzzles from three great setters on top form. We have been very fortunate – many thanks.

  6. Jim says:

    Nice crossword indeed, didn’t get amok or 5d, and had risk for 6d which meant i didn’t get instigate either :) to be honest, I still don’t understand 6d (any help appreciated!)

    Thanks for the blog, I was stuck on the already mentioned three, and had some answers I really needed explained!


  7. nmsindy says:

    N is a abbrev for Knight (Chess) and R (Rex) is abbrev for King.

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