Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,445 / IO

Posted by shuchi on July 23rd, 2010


John Henderson (IO) is getting married to Jane Teather (known in crossword circles as jetdoc) today. This puzzle is a tribute.

15A sets the theme of the puzzle and 12 other clues refer to various famous Janes. A couple of clues hint towards weddings, and 1A has Jane’s surname as the answer.

I have thoroughly enjoyed solving and blogging about this special puzzle. The clues are very well-crafted and even those not in the know about the theme would not be any less entertained. Thanks to IO and congratulations to him and Jane.

[I learnt via email from Big Dave that all the five leading daily crosswords – Times, Guardian, Telegraph, Indy and FT – carry tributes for the wedding today.]

Full annotations for 14A, 20A are pending, I look forward to your comments for explanation. //Updated, thanks to Big Dave.


5 *GOODALL GOOD (not bad) ALL (Tom, Dick and Harry)
9 *ASHER ‘was here’ – WE (partners at table, as in bridge)
10 TREATMENT EAT ME (the message on the cake which tempted Alice to eat it and grow tall) in TR[ucule]NT
11 UNSPOILT (PILOT)* following (SUN)*, with the definition cleverly standing for the airline on the surface.
12 *AUSTEN A (absent) US (members of FT setting team) TEN (10)
14 MARKETEER MARKER (exam he’ll assess) around ETE (‘summer’ in French)
15 *JANE hidden in ‘AzerbaiJAN Easily’
18 *EYRE R (Romeo) in EYE
20 *LAPOTAIRE (AT OP)< in LAIR E (den number 5)
24 *NORMAN NORM (standard) AN (article)
25 ARKANSAN ARK (collection of beasts), S[tatesman] in ANAN (famous panda). My last entry in the grid. I knew I’d need online help for the famous panda’s name but even Wikipedia’s list was unhelpful. I did find AnAn’s picture eventually.
28 INTRO INTO (very keen) around R (right)
29 *RUSSELL hidden reversed in ‘VaudeviLLE’S SURe’
30 *SEYMOUR sounds like ‘see more’ (look again). Jane Seymour was the third wife of  Henry VIII of England.


1 TEACUP A nice double cd – there maybe leaves at the bottom of a teacup, and there may be a “storm in a teacup”.
2 APHASIA A PH (public house i.e. pub) ASIA (continent). Our compilers, wizards at the use of language, would not have this feature. Symmetrically placed with 7D which is about solvers.
3 *HORROCKS HR (60 mins), around O (round) ROCKS (ice, slang for diamonds)
5 *GREY ‘Grey’ goes after ‘Earl’ in the name of the tea. Lady Jane Grey’s rule was ‘short-lived’ – less than two weeks, the shortest rule of England in its history.
6 OPT OUT OP (work) TOUT (solicitor)
7 AMENTIA AMEN (to conclude), I in TA (gratification). Some of my non-solver friends argue that obsession with crosswords is a sign of mental impairment but I’m happier to believe IO’s take on it.
16 REINDEER REIN (check) DEER (sounds like ‘dear’ i.e. expensive). Santa’s reindeer pull the sleight carrying Christmas presents. One of my favourite clues today.
17 *CALAMITY A LAM (beat) in CITY (business center)
19 REREDOS REDO (perform again) in RES (understudies). Reredos is a screen or decoration behind the altar in a church. Here is a picture.
21 RISOTTO OTTO (German given name) SIR (master), all reversed
22 *MARPLE PR (priest) reversed in MALE (Gents)
23 ON TOUR ONTO (having got whiff of) UR (old city)
26 EARL [y]EARL[y] (annually, curtailed)

6 Responses to “Financial Times 13,445 / IO”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Normally I am not very good at completing an IO crossword. That’s mainly because his puzzles, not only as IO, are so multi-layered (as I always call it).

    Today, though, is a Special Day.
    And see, I solved the crossword without any blanks left!

    All these Janes did help, of course, although I had to check two of them (HORROCKS, LAPOTAIRE) of which I had never heard.

    What I especially liked about this crossword [apart from it being topical] were the indirect definitions in several clues.
    For example, in MARKETEER, TEACUP, REINDEER and the pair of 2d/7d.

    Thank you, shuchi, for your festive blog.
    Only 1ac (TEATHER) needs more explanation, I guess?
    E (Tab) inside (THREAT)* – E being Ecstasy = Tab? [not familiar with that]
    Also not familiar with RE = ‘understudy’ (in 19d), but I assume it stands for ‘reserve’?

    Truly entertaining puzzle.
    And now for Enigmatist and Nimrod (saw only a glimpse of that puzzle – promising a lot of fun).
    [or do I have to buy the Telegraph and the Times too today? – what a tribute, 5 puzzles on one day!]

    Cheers to the Happy Couple!

  2. Rishi says:

    I think tab is short for tablet. I guess the drug comes in tablet form.

  3. JamesM says:


    If you have not yet bought The Times, rush out and do! It is a cracking puzzle which I struggled with and solved after an hour. Well worth trying, and quite different to this one.

  4. Scarpia says:

    Thanks shuchi.
    This was a lot easier than the Guardian and Indie puzzles but no less enjoyable.I think a third puzzle at that degree of difficulty would have short circuited my brain!
    25 across was my last as well,but I well remember An-An and the attempt to mate him with London Zoo’s Chi-Chi
    Top clues for me 10 and 11 across and 16 down.

  5. Uncle Yap says:

    What a fantastic day of Henderson clues. This one in FT is just as entertaining and challenging as those in the Times, Guardian and Independence. Alas, I do not have access to the Telegraph. Anyone here can send a copy to [email protected]?

  6. Bannsider says:

    First FT puzzle I’ve done in ages – probably years.
    Impressive to get so many Janes in. The wordplay for TREATMENT defeated me I am ashamed to say …

    Marvellous stuff Mr H …

    Uncle Yap, if you are still stuck for the DT puzzle I can reconstruct for you and send. Let me know.
    [email protected]

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