Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,384 / Alberich

Posted by smiffy on May 13th, 2010


Having not looked at a crossword for over a week, and with a healthy dollop of jet-lag still floating in my brain, I was hoping for a relatively light workout.  While this was far from a breeze, thankfully there were a few more freebies on offer from Alberich than usual.  That still left plenty of room for several of his trademark gems, though.

1 JAM TOMORROW - one of my favourite coinages from Alice...  , plus a traffic reference to 13A.
7 PUG – double def’n.
9 OCTET - Oct + e{xper}t.
10 DOMINANCE - (N + comedian)*.
11 APOLOGIST – a + polo + gist.  I think this may be the first time that I’ve ever seen our compiler stray into the realms of an uber-cliche (if you’ll forgive the linguistic fudge) clue.
12 SPENT - pen in (S + {accoun}t).  “Yes” is literal, “no” is definitional.
13 DRIVERS - double def’n.
15 HEAT – {c}heat.
18 AREA – are (metric land measure)+ a.
20 SEEPAGE – See page….
23 CROWN - alternate letters in CaRe Of WiNe.  One of the standout clues for me.
24 ANARCHIST - (chart{er} + is an)*.
26 TIT FOR TAT – (tota{l} rift)* + t.  Recipient of my clue of the day award.
27 NOHOW - homophone of “knowhow”.
28 HOY – double def’n.
29 STAKEHOLDER - re: Dracula.

1 JEOPARDY – {l}eopard in (j{unk} y{ard}).
2 METEORIC – (to + e{scalating} + crime).  Another silky smooth surface.
3 OUTDO – Utd in 0-0.
4 ORDAINS – O + drains, wit the “R” (=”river”) elevated.
5 REMATCH – Ma in retch.
6 WINDSCALE – the original name of the Sellafield nuclear site.  The re-branding was considered necessary, in order to cloud the public’s memory of the severe accidents that occured in the reactor “pile” there. Also Re: The Beaufort Wind Scale.
7 PUNTER - pun{s}ter.
8 GHETTO - H(eroin) in get to.
14 ERRONEOUS - Roneo (a copying machine of yesteryear) in (user)*.
16 FAMISHED – Amish in fed.
17 BESTOWER - best ower.
19 ACANTHA - a + cant + ha{s}.  I was unfamiliar with “sloping position” (=cant), but just about managed to derive an answer.  Although, there may be a singular/plural mismatch here?
20 STARTLE - S{ymphony} + (Rattle)*.
21 SCOTCH - double def’n.
22 PORTLY - L in (port + Y).
23 CANTO – can’t + 0.

6 Responses to “Financial Times 13,384 / Alberich”

  1. anax says:

    Great blog of a great puzzle Smiffy, and I’m really glad you used “trademark gems” in the intro. Alberich hasn’t been on the FT all that long but those two words show that in a short space of time he’s has gained a worthy reputation for top quality clueing.

    A delight to solve as always.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was excellent, quite hard by FT standards. I marked as esp good SPENT, SEEPAGE, TIT FOR TAT, ORDAINS, PUNTER, GHETTO, BESTOWER.

  3. scarpia says:

    Thanks Smiffy.
    I thought this was a great puzzle,particuarly liked the cd at 29 across and, even though it was quite easy to solve,I liked the surface of 20 down with it’s Haydn reference.
    Had to think long and hard over 12 across,was trying to fit an ‘L’ (pound) in there somewhere.
    19 down seems fine to me Acantha being either a spine or the nymph who scratshed Apollo’s face to protect her virginity – and got turned into a plant for her trouble!

  4. scarpia says:

    Alberich – is he the chief of the dwarves {Niebelungen)from Wagner’s Ring or is it just an anagram for Charlie B ?

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Well, scarpia, I know … but I’m not going to tell you [interesting thought, though].

    Guardian solvers as we are, we had a problem today.
    But as their Paul puzzle turned out to be a routine affair, we found more than enough time to tackle Alberich too.
    And as always, sheer quality.
    Even though this one did offer – as you said, smiffy [and thx] – some freebies.

    We didn’t get SPENT (12ac) and still don’t understand it.
    [S = special?, and ‘pen’= ?]

    No idea what the Clue of the Day must be [there were too many to choose from] – let’s take OUTDO (3d).

    My PinC said several times “Oh, that’s clever” [or something similar].
    And so it was.

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Re my own post (#5):
    If S is ‘special’, we do understand 12ac now, but is S ‘special’?
    Well, it probably is, though I couldn’t find it [I still haven’t bought the ‘real’ Chambers].
    The thing is, in the recent Guardian prize crossword by Crucible ‘special’ was SP, which I cóuld find.
    That’s a bit confusing, two abbreviations for the same thing.

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