Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,395 / Cinephile

Posted by Gaufrid on May 26th, 2010


Despite a less than friendly grid that only linked the four corners by one across and one down light, I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle which had some trademark clues.

The answers to the themed, asterisked clues are all colleges at Cambridge University, despite ‘Oxford colleges’ appearing in the grid (11,4).

1 PUBLIC  UP reversed B (second) LIC (licensed) – lic=licensed is not in any of the usual references but lic=licence is supported by at least one on-line American dictionary. However, I cannot see any other explanation for ‘turning up’ and the surface does pleasingly allude to a public school and a public house with the latter requiring a licence.
4 COLLEGES  COL (officer) LEGES (laws, in Latin) – leges is the plural of lex, something I remember more from previous crosswords than Latin lessons at school many years ago.
9 TENACE  TEN ACE (two cards)
10 STEWARDS  ST E[d]WARD’S – defn. ‘racing authority’ and a reference to (king and saint) Edward the Confessor.
11 OXFORD  OX (beast) FORD (car) – strictly speaking, in the vicinity of Oxford the Thames is known as The Isis.
12* PEMBROKE  MEP (Brussels worker) reversed BROKE (without money)
14,8* SIDNEY SUSSEX  YEN (desire) DIS (underworld) reversed SUSS (work out) EX (former partner)
17* DOWNING  DOWNING (bringing to earth) and *(GON[e] WIND)
21 DOMINO  d&cd – as well as the tile with dots used in a game, a domino is a long cloak of black silk with a hood, used at masked balls.
26 ORACULAR  [d]RACULA in OR (gold)
27 ADMIRE  AD (poster) MIRE (mud)
28 PLACEMAN  *(CAME) in PLAN (scheme)
29 FILLET  dd – a fillet is also a band for the hair (’round head’)
30 SET ASIDE  E (drug) in STASI (secret police) DE[er] – defn. ‘fallow’
31* SELWYN  S (society) *(NEWLY)

1 POTHOUSE  THOU (old solver) in POSE (sit)
2 BONA FIDE  ED (journalist) IF (provided) A NOB (an aristocrat) reversed
3 INCURRED  IN (home) CUR (dog) RED (leftwinger)
5 OUTLET  LET OUT (release) with the two halves swapped (inversion)
6 LOW EBB  LO (see) WE (FT) BB (Bed and Breakfast)
7* GIRTON  GIRT (having clothes on) ON
12 PIONEER  ONE in PIER (support)
18 GOLDMINE  G (force) OLD (former) MINE (setter’s) – a minor quibble, ‘g’ is the symbol for the acceleration due to gravity or gravitational constant, not the force (gravity) itself.
19 CIVIL LAW  C1 (first century) VILLA (house) W (with)
20* HOMERTON  HO (house) MERTON (one of the 11 14 {Oxford colleges}) and HOMER (poet) TO N (pole)
22* CORPUS  CORPUS (body) and P[oison] in CORUS (steel producer)
23 SAVANT  VAN (leaders) in SAT (was in chair)
24* QUEENS  dd
25 HAZARD  AZ (extremes) in HARD (not easy)

12 Responses to “Financial Times 13,395 / Cinephile”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid.

    I really enjoyed this, getting the theme from SELWYN, my daughter’s old college, and ruling out John Gummer [although he is an alumnus] and Selwyn Lloyd as being thematic.

    I tried initially to make ALEHOUSE work for 1dn, as I hadn’t heard of TENACE. I expected to find, on looking it up, that it was a double definition [‘holding’ – connected with ‘tenable’, etc.] but all my dictionaries suggest that it’s a straight definition, so not a very satisfactory clue.

    I think ’round head’ and ‘on the Thames’ would not go down well as definitions in an Araucaria puzzle, especially with the slight inaccuracy that you mention, but I smiled at the nod to Oxford colleges.

    Some intriguing story-telling surfaces, eg 10 and 30ac and 6dn!

  2. walruss says:

    I’d shied away from this, but ended up solving with a colleague over lunch. Awful grid and entertaining puzzle!

  3. nmsindy says:

    I think as the blog says that TEN ACE is the wordplay part, which just happen to be two cards.

  4. Ferret says:

    Your entry for 25D is missing an R

    I’m not familiar with tenace – however if it merely describes a hand consisiting of a ten and and ace (as in pontoon) then it ia weak clue.

    Also a gripe with Corpus…..never heard it without Christi. You wouldn’t describe St Catherines as St….although possible as Cats, so maybe I’m being picky?

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Ferret, typo corrected.

  6. Eileen says:

    Hi Ferret

    Corpus Christi is widely known as Corpus as on its own website:

    [and University Challenge! :-) ]

  7. Ferret says:

    Thanks Eileen, my uni days were spent a little further west than Oxbridge!

  8. Eileen says:

    Mine too, Ferret – in Bristol! :-)

  9. nmsindy says:

    TENACE, not personally familiar with this at all, but it seems wider than a ten and an ace according to dicts, a combination of cards one above and one below a high card held by the other side so it does seems a conventional two-part cryptic clue.

  10. smiffy says:

    Fun, and solvable without recourse to references (contrary to my initial fears on identifying the theme) – the asterisked clue were pretty generous. Like Eileen, I’m still reeling from the
    literal reading of 30A!

    I think this particular “Balkanized” grid, is one of the last such that remains in regular use. Can’t think of another barred-format where the 3-letter answers feature two consecutive checkers. But kudos to Cinephile for giving those four lights a sense of cohesion today.

  11. Scarpia says:

    Another fun puzzle from Cinephile.As usual a couple of ‘chancy’ clues and a couple of corkers.Particularly liked 26 down.
    As nms says, a tenace in bridge is a holding of two non-cosecutive honours.

  12. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Indeed, a good Cinephile, but as I could finish it without any help from outside [I have my opinions, but I am a ‘slow’ solver], it must have been rather easy.
    Or was it because of the Cambridge colleges [which are around the corner] that I had no real problem?
    In Guardian terms, I would call this crossword an Araucaria Lite.
    Which doesn’t mean I didn’t like it [see my comment #47, Guardian 25,010], far from that!
    Even if the College theme has been done before [I remember ‘OC’ for Oxford Colleges, months or one or two years ago].
    Talking about Oxford, I found the Oxford reference in 20d unnecessarily ‘misleading’. In this clue are two separate constructions for the same college (HOMERTON) – so there’s no need for the Oxford link.

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