Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,379 / Falcon

Posted by shuchi on May 7th, 2010


Falcon is ideal for days when you want a smooth ride with the crossword without it getting dull. A pleasant puzzle with especially nice clue surfaces, and not much to hold one up for long.


1 COVER CHARGE cd&d. ‘Cover charge’ is a flat fee for entry, charged by bars and clubs. Clubs (the weapons) also COVER (defend against) CHARGE (attack). // Update: Eileen at comment#1 suggests C[lubs] + OVERCHARGE [‘do’].
7 ASH AS (for instance) H (hard)
9 TIRED TIED (even) around R (river)
11 DOWNRIGHT DOWN (depressed) RIGHT (correct)
12 RHINO dd. Both ‘rhino’ and ‘lolly’ are slang for cash.
13 SILICON SILI (sounds like ‘silly’) CON (study)
15 RITE hidden in ‘CapRI TElevised’
18 GRID G[rid] RID (free)
20 POSTAGE POST (after) AGE (a long time). I like the contrast between the philosophical surface and the literal answer.
23 ATLAS AT LAS[t] (finally losing tail). The clue looked familiar. It turns out to be a repeat of 6d Everyman 3298, which is also set by Falcon.
24 STROMBOLI A GK-based dd. Stromboli is the villain in the 1940 Disney film Pinocchio, and also a 1950 Rossellini film.
26 ACCORDION ACCORD (sounds like ‘A CHORD’ i.e. a combination of notes) I (one) ON (playing)
27 THEME THE (article) ME (extremely ‘mundane’)
28 RED RE (about) D[rama]
29 WORD-PERFECT PERFECT (tense, as in the perfect tense) WORD (oath). Note that in Across clues, A on B = BA, while in Down clues, A on B = AB.


1 CUT A DASH CUT[e] (mostly engaging) ADA’S (girl’) H (husband)
3 RIDER RID (clear) ER (the Queen). The second RID today, after 18a.
4 HANDGUN (HUNG AND)*. ‘Piece’ is slang for firearm.
5 ROTATOR A palindrome, so ‘swings up and down’.
6 EUPHRATES (UP THERE A)* S. The longest river of SW Asia, and one of the defining rivers of Mesopotamia.
7 AU PAIR A U (posh) PAIR (couple)
8 HARROW dd. I like how ‘ground-breaking’ of the first definition blends seamlessly with the second.
14 CORKSCREW CORK’S (county’s) TEAM (crew). Nice play on the word ‘opener’.
16 LA BOHEME LAME (feeble) around BO[o] (briefly express disgust) HE (the man). La bohème is an opera in by Puccini, of which the heroine Mimi is more popular with crossword setters than the opera itself.
17 PENITENT PEN (writer) I (one) TENT (Spanish wine)
19 DOSSIER DOSSER (idler) around I (one)
20 PARSNIP PARE (cut) – E, SNIP (cut)
21 BAZAAR dd, though both definitions are too close in meaning to qualify the clue as a proper double definition.
22 PLACID PLAID (tartan) around C (conservative)
25 MOTOR RO (run out) TO M (centre of ‘Tampa’), all reversed

10 Responses to “Financial Times 13,379 / Falcon”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Shuchi.

    As you say, nothing too taxing but some nice surfaces and wordplay.

    I read 1ac as C[lubs] + OVERCHARGE [‘do’].

  2. Rishi says:

    Thanks for the blog, Shuchi.

    In 22d, you have a typo. The word within brackets following PLAID must be ‘tartan’.

  3. Rishi says:

    Thanks for fixing it, Shuchi.

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks Shuchi.
    You say: ” Note that in Across clues, A on B = BA, while in Down clues, A on B = AB”.
    Is that completely watertight?
    A on B = BA (Across) must be read as: A attached to B.
    A on B = AB (Down) can be explained as: A put on top of A.
    The Down-explanation can’t be used for an Across clue, but the Across explanation may also be used for a Down clue, I guess?
    Therefore, for me it can work both ways in a Down clue, but not in an Across one.

    BTW, I went wrong in 26ac/19d, because I had ACCORDEON (which is the spelling in my native country) and I can even justify it: ACCORD + EON (one playing, being the anagrind).

  5. scarpia says:

    Thanks Shuchi,as you say nothing too taxing and and even an opera reference!
    I marvel at your memory,knowing that 23 across was a repeat of an Everyman clue – from about 3 months ago!

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    For those who were interested in the the “A on B” discussion (so far nobody): in #4 line 5 should (of course) read “A on B = AB (Down) can be explained as: A put on top of B”.

    Even so, nice friendly crossword.
    BTW, we saw CORKSCREW very recently in a Mudd (FT 13,362 – 17 Apr): “Opener for Irish team?”.

  7. shuchi says:

    Thanks for all your comments.

    @Eileen: That looks good and is possibly what the setter intended. I’ll add a note on 1ac to point to your comment.

    @Rishi: Fixed, thanks.

    @scarpia: Thank you, I had liked the wordplay and so it had stuck. If only my memory worked equally well at remembering where I put those bills and receipts.

    @Sil van den Hoek: Till some time ago I thought that in Down clues, “A on B” must be AB but in Across, “A on B” could be AB or BA. Recently came across this discussion on that talks about the accepted convention.

  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Hi Shuchi, if you’re still there.

    I’ve read Anax’ post in the link you gave in #7.
    It’s mainly about Across clues, in which “A on B” has to be BA (and not AB) – which is exactly what I said in #4.
    [Anax didn’t really agree with this convention (which I can understand), but he had to].

    Rishi’s post on that same site mentions the fact that in a Down clue “A on B” is usually AB – again, I agree.

    Indeed, it’s also exactly what you said in the preamble.

    My point is, that in a Down clue BA’s possible as well: the (Across) meaning of ‘on’ being ‘attached to the end of’, does work too.
    [both Rishi and Anax didn’t say anything about that, as they were mainly discussing Across clues]

    Well, anyway, we agree, don’t we?

  9. shuchi says:

    I guess we agree. :)

    …in a Down clue BA’s possible as well: the (Across) meaning of ‘on’ being ‘attached to the end of’, does work too.

    Logically yes, but I can’t recall a Down clue in which “A on B” meant anything other than AB. I’ll be interested to know if BA for “A on B” is allowed by crossword editors in Down clues, or as with Across clues, has convention led to a single meaning only.

  10. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, interesting question [and nice to know as I do some occasional clueing myself] – maybe, someone will jump on board.

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