Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,431 / Cinephile

Posted by Gaufrid on July 7th, 2010


I initially thought that many of the clues were on the easy side for a Cinephile but then found that there was a very obscure reference in 26,27 which I wouldn’t have known without the help of Google and Wikipedia. Though there were examples of Cinephile’s trademark liberties in the clues, the puzzle, for me, didn’t seem to have the sparkle present in some of his previous offerings.

1 BABOON  BOO (catcall) in BAN (prohibition)
4 CALCIFIC  CI (Jersey, say {Channel Island}) in CALF (its offspring) IC (in charge)
9 WEASEL  d&cd – as in the expression ‘weasel words’
10 OMISSION  O (love) MISSION (task)
12,25 PASSOVER  PAS (not French) SOV (sovereign) ER (English one {sovereign})
13,14 ROUND TRIP  ROUND (a few drinks) TRIP (stumble)
17 INCONCLUSIVE  homophone of ‘ink’ ON homophone of ‘clue sieve’
20 BANBURY CROSS  BAN (prohibition) BURY (hide) CROSS (religious symbol) – the second time prohibition=ban  appears in this puzzle – a reference to the nursery rhyme “Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross To see a fine lady upon a white horse …..”
23,24 HOME TRUTH  HO (call) MET (police) RUTH (compassion)
28 VIGNETTE  *(GENT) in VITE – ‘invite’ needs to be split to parse the clue
29 LENNON  NN (names) in LEO (sign) N (name)
30 STEPFORD  STEP (pas) FORD (passage) – passage: “a crossing-place, ford, ferry, bridge, or mountain-pass” (Chambers)

1 BOWSPRIT  [shi]P in *(TWO RIBS)
2 BRASSICA  BRASS (money) I (first) AC (bill) reversed
3,6 OPENCAST  OPEN (start) CAST (actors)
7 FRIARY  defn. & pun
8 CANAPÉ  CAN APE (tinned copy)
11 COLLABORATOR  COLLA[r] (almost catch) B (born) ORATOR (speaker)
15 SNEAK  SNAKE (reptile) with E ‘swallowed’
16 EVICT  VI (shrinking violet) in ECT (shock treatment) – I think ‘shrinking’ means the diminutive of the girl’s name Violet rather than just an indicator for the first two letters of violet, but I could be wrong.
18 CONVENER  CON (with) VENER[ate] (some worship)
21 CHIVES  C HIVES (lots and lots of bees)
26,27 SELF-HELP  F (female) HE (man) in SELL (market) P (page) – a reference to Samuel Smiles who wrote several self-help books in the 19th century.

7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,431 / Cinephile”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid.

    I read VI as you did.

    [I’m afraid 7dn reminded me of the hoary old joke from ‘Round the Horne’ [I think]:

    ‘Are you the fish friar?’
    ‘No, I’m the chipmunk’.]

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid.
    I have to say I enjoyed this crossword.
    Some nice touches as the ‘invite’ trick in VIGNETTE [even if it’s well-known, by now], the double use of ‘Jersey’ in CALCIFIC and the ‘snake’ swallowing its tail in 15d.

    Like you, I was surprised by the multiple use of BAN (prohibition) – and I didn’t find 20ac a good clue anyway.
    And in 2d I wasn’t sure whether ‘by’ should be there or not. I know, it connects the construction part with the definition, but normally Cinephile uses that little word to add something to something else.

    On the other hand, I liked LENNON, SELF-HELP and especially 13,14ac (ROUND TRIP) – a simple charade, but an exceptionally fine surface. Clue of the Day.

    5d (ADMINISTRATE) did confuse me a bit.
    First I thought ‘order’ must be the anagrind with ‘cooperation’ as the definition, but that’s impossible as the solution is a verb. So ‘cooperation’ as the anagrind, and ‘order’ [as that enough?] as the definition?

    Even though I liked the crossword as a whole [I am very sensitive to a good spread of devices – which was certainly the case here], I could hardly believe the weakness of 31ac (SPARSE).

    Finally, a remark on PASSOVER (12,25ac). I saw the PAS bit, but consequently took the SOVER out of ‘sovereign’ [it is completely in it], looking for the removal of EIGN [thought of a combination of ENG (English) and I (one), then, of course, missing the removal indicator]. I see now that it’s SOV+ER, but find this an ugly construction for the reason mentioned above.

    Reading my post, one might think I have a lot of Qualms & Quibbles.
    Pro saldo, though, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Sil
    Thanks for your comments, particularly the one regarding 5dn. I have to admit that whilst solving I didn’t read this clue beyond the first four words, immediately thinking, like you, ‘order’ anagram indicator, ‘matters India’ fodder.

    Later I had difficulty seeing ‘cooperation’ as an anagram indicator or ‘order’ as meaning ‘administrate’, though I suppose that someone who administrates would issue orders.

    I therefore decided that ‘to administrate’ could be to undertake a ‘co[mpany] operation’ but then forgot to include this in my analysis. However, if this interpretation of ‘cooperation’ is correct it should really lead to ‘administration’ so I am still not sure as to the correct parsing of this clue (though I still favour ‘order’ as the anagram indicator).

  4. JamesM says:

    Thank you Gaufrid: I thought that this puzzle was a good work-out.

    BUT are we really supposed to know that Samuel Smiles wrote SELF-HELP 150 years ago?! I solved the clue by having the checkers but had no idea why!

  5. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Gaufrid.
    I enjoyed this puzzle which had a nice variety of clue devices and some very “allusive” definitions.
    Like others here was not quite happy with 5 down but everything else worked fine for me.favourite clues 4,20 and 29 across and 21 down.

    Re. 26/27 – I thought it referred to smile therapy

  6. Eileen says:

    Re 5dn: I admit to having taken the quick road of INDIA + MATTERS anagram to enter ADMINISTRATE, without thinking too deeply about it, apart from not liking the word, anyway. My [rather elderly] SOED recognises the word only as a past participle of ‘administer’. I know that Collins and Chambers have it – but both as an exact synonym of ‘administer’. [This is, I admit, rather odd, since the Latin verb is administrare, which would lead to ‘administrate’ but, interestingly, neither has a seemingly analogous verb ‘ministrate’ – only minister’.]

    So, my objections to administrate, as a word, aside, I have no problems with it being equated with ‘order': a well-ordered state is a well-administered one.

    ‘Working’ is a common anagram indicator and so my considered take on this clue is: definition: order; anagram indicator: co-operation [literally ‘working together’ {gerund}] ‘matters with India’.

  7. Scarpia says:

    Nicely put Eileen.The clue works perfectly well as you explain it.I’d not thought deeply enough about “co-operation”,but it does work very well as an anagram indicator in this clue.i should know better than to doubt “The Master”!
    Re:26/27(again) – I think Gaufrid’s explanation is more likely to be correct than my hypothesis.I reckon Araucaria is more likely to know of Samuel Smiles than an obscure Asian philosophy.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

× 2 = twelve