Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,433 / Cincinnus

Posted by shuchi on July 9th, 2010


GK buffs will feel right at home with this puzzle which touches a range of domains like literature and biology and geography. The wordplay is accessible, so with help from good old Wikipedia, it wasn’t too tough. Liked the consistently smooth surfaces of the clues.


1 PRINCIPALITY PRINCIPAL (main) IT (centre of ‘herITage’) Y (end of ‘railwaY’). Monaco is officially the Principality of Monaco, i.e. a territory ruled by a prince.
9 MAIGRET (IM GREAT)*. Jules Maigret is a fictional police detective created by writer Georges Simenon.
11 TALENTS TALES (stories) around NT (National Trust)
12 STRANGE S[tar] T[rek] RANGE (compass)
13 BRASS dd. Brass is a section of orchestra, and both ‘brass’ and ‘ready’ are slang for cash.
14 INCOMMODE IN (at home) COMMODE (item of furniture)
16 AUSTRALIA AL[l] (almost ‘entirely’) in AUSTRIA (one country)
19 STUFF dd. ‘pig out’ is to stuff oneself with food, and stuff is matter.
21 CONIFER CONFER (have a discussion) around I (one)
23 ANOTHER (ON A)< THE [bitte]R
24 ESTEEMS hidden reversed in ‘clasS MEETS Expectations’. I always admire the hidden answer that eludes me on first pass. This was one such.
25 APROPOS A (article) PROS (experts) around PO (post office)
26 ARCHDEACONRY ARCH (roguish), CON (prisoner) in DEARY (sweetheart)


1 PATELLA PAT and ELLA (two girls). Patella is the flat, movable  bone at the front of the knee, also called the knee cap or kneepan.
3 CROSSBILL CROSS (grumpy) BILL (request for payment)
5 LEITRIM LE (extremes of ‘LargE’) IT RIM (border)
6 TORONTO TORO (a Spanish fighting bull) (NOT)*
10 THE NEW FOREST (TREES OFT HEWN)* An area covering southern English known for its large pasture land.
15 CHARABANC ARAB (a type of horse) in CHANC[e] (accident, losing tail). A nice surface.
17 SENATOR NATO (alliance) in SER[bia]
18 REFRESH (HERE’S)* around FR (father). Good clue!
19 SPORRAN (APRONS)* around R. The sporran (Scottish Gaelic for ‘purse’) is a pouch, part of the traditional Scottish Highland dress. The clue is probably meant to be read as an &lit: “[What] Scots wear [-] fancy aprons?”, but I think it’s a loose definition.
20 UNHAPPY UN (“a” in French) HAPPY (a chance to play outside?). Not sure of this one, help invited. // Update: UN HAP (chance) P[la]Y. Thanks to Gaufrid.
22 ROSIE sounds like ‘rosy’ (optimistic). After Pat, Ella and Blanche, a fourth girl’s name in the same puzzle is a bit much!

11 Responses to “Financial Times 13,433 / Cincinnus”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Shuchi
    20dn is UN HAP (chance) P[la]Y

    You have a typo in 1ac (man should be main) and 18dn should be FR (father).

    By coincidence, the reverse of 21ac (removing ‘i’ from ‘conifers’) is in today’s Guardian (25ac).

  2. shuchi says:

    Thanks Gaufrid! Post updated.

  3. Sil van den Hoek says:

    So, thát’s how it feels!
    Just before I went to sleep last night I rushed through half of this crossword in under 5 minutes.
    Rightback, here I come!

    As visitors of this site will have noticed, I am a big supporter of Mr Curl in all his aliases.
    But this Cincinnus was exceptionally (and unusually) easy, I thought.
    Maybe that’s why, for once, he doesn’t take the familiar Saturday spot this week?
    There is not much wrong with the clueing, and there are one or two gems [like the nicely misdirecting 6d (TORONTO) and the beautiful surface of CHARABANC (15d)], but all in all it was a kind of routine affair.
    What a difference with last Tuesday’s Orlando in the Guardian.
    Ah, well – we all have lesser day.

    One final remark.
    For the second time in a short time we had PATELLA (1d).
    At least for me, since March 2nd (when Rufus said something about it) forever associated with Rufus [see my comment on Crux (FT,#13,423)].

    10′ [ :)]

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Oh, and thank you shuchi !!!

  5. shuchi says:

    Hi Sil van den Hoek

    I always enjoy reading your perceptive comments.

    Thanks for sharing the background on PATELLA, now I’m not going to be forgetting the Rufus association either. :)

    This puzzle wasn’t all that easy for me as some of the grid-fills were from unfamiliar territory, but I can see how others might have breezed through it. Under 5 minutes is impressive, congrats!

  6. Rishi says:


    Sil took ten long minutes for this puzzle.

    He did half of it in five minutes.


  7. Rishi says:

    For ELLA, the Daily Mail crossword once had:

    She goes on a bit of a bender with Pat (4)

    This I came across in its reproduction in an Indian newspaper.

  8. mike04 says:

    Rishi, I was interested in your last comment.

    In the 1970s, The New Straits Times in Malaysia published crosswords from The Guardian and its Business Section published crosswords from the Financial Times.

    Were crosswords in The Times of India and the Indian Express similarly supplied or were they compiled locally?

    (I hope this is not too far off-topic!)

  9. JamesM says:

    I entirely agree with Sil vdH. This was so easy it was laughable.

    Recently FT crosswords have seemed to veer between extremes of ultra-simple and uber-difficult. The up-coming prize puzzles could be interesting!

  10. Rishi says:


    See my response in Chat Room: General Crossword Discussion.

  11. Scarpia says:

    Thanks shuchi.
    Found this one pretty easy as well,but still very enjoyable.
    Thought 6 down was excellent and also the anagram at 10 down.
    Folowing on from Gaufrid’s comment @1 – puma(s) was featured at 19 down (with more or less the same wordplay) in Phi’s puzzle in today’s Indie.

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