Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,462 – Alberich

Posted by smiffy on August 12th, 2010


To avoid being too sycophantic, I’ll simply list a smattering of the clues that I relished for one reason or another; 1A, 16A, 19A, 27A, 7D, 8D, 22D.  If you’re not a regular FT solver and are looking for some time well-spent, then I’d recommend taking this one out for a spin. 

1 BOGART – “bog art” being the lavatorial drawing (I suppose that would be in the Cubist style?!).
4 THICKSET – thick + set.
9 ENTICE – E + t{ourists} in Nice.
10 BROUHAHA – Homophone of “brew” + ha-ha.
12 EXPENSES – ex + (p,s + seen)*.  A Cyclops-style, insinuating &lit.
13 TARIFF – Ar[gon] in tiff.
15 YVES – v. in yes.  Echoes of De Gaulle’s infamous and perennial “non”….
16 ACCIDENTAL – accident + a + L.  Loved the surface here.
19 DISHEARTEN – (as the diner)*.  Whereas here, I defy you not to enjoy the definition.
20 CUSP – s. in cup.
23 LIZARD – l for w in wizard.  Perhaps there was a possibility to segue from “point” in the previous clue, as a form of definition by example?
25 FOREMOST – fore + MO’s + t[ense].
27 MARKSMAN – marks man.
28 MIMOSA – (Maoism)*.
29 ADORABLE – (board)* in ale.
30 GROYNE – hidden reversal, with an &lit-ish bent.

1 BREWERY – ewer in (Br = {Nav}y).  It’s been donkeys’ years since I’ve savoured a pint of Courage Best, but I hope it’s not waning in popularity too much in the era of alco-pops and hypermarket bulk booze..
2 GO TO PRESS – got + op + Re + ss (=’saints’).
3 RECANT – (E + C{sommission’s}) in rant.
5 HARE – Hare{m}.
6 CRUSADER – (used car)* + R.
7 SWAMI – swam + {G}i{llespie}.  Alberich seems to have a knack for using famous names as the seam between definition and wordplay.  We seem to get one such type almost every puzzle.
8 TEARFUL – t + earful.  I’ve a vague recollection of maybe having seen this structure before.  Regardless of whether its originality is 100% or only 95%, I still enjoyed it.
11 MERCURY – Cu in merry.
14 VICEROY – vice + (o in Ry).
17 TAUTOLOGY – Homophone of “taught” + ology (a science, generically).  “New innovation being the examplar.
18 NEBRASKA – (banks are)*.
19 DILEMMA – (lid)< + Emma.
21 POTTAGE – double def’n (I think…).
22 DENIER – double def’n.  Textile sheerness and apostolic denial.
24 ZORRO – the man in the mask – at least for those with memories that pre-date Jim Carrey’s cinematic shenanigans. Z + (RR in oo).
26 BAWL – homophone of “ball”.

12 Responses to “Financial Times 13,462 – Alberich”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi smiffy
    As you say, an excellent puzzle that can be highly recommended. I would add 12ac to your list of worthy clues.

    I did not see 21dn as a dd but more as a d&cd with the cd part referring to ‘a mess of pottage’, which Chambers defines as “a material advantage accepted in exchange for something of higher worth, as by Esau (Bible, Genesis 25.29 ff)”, but it’s generally used to indicate something of little value.

  2. mike04 says:

    Thanks for the blog, smiffy.

    A wonderful puzzle; 19ac was indeed delightful.

    Re 21dn: From the definition in Chambers of a ‘mess of pottage’, would it not be
    more accurate to use ‘of less value’ rather than ‘of little value’ in the wordplay?

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi mike04
    Not in its generally accepted usage. The on-line Oxford Dictionary (I don’t have access to the full OED) has the phrase “sell something for a mess of pottage” interpreted as “sell something for a ridiculously small amount”.

  4. mike04 says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid. I found the phrase you quoted in the OED.
    But I enjoyed dipping into Genesis again!

  5. Eileen says:

    Hi mike04

    And you were probably surprised, as I was, to find that that well-known phrase, ‘a mess of pottage’, does not actually appear in Genesis: shades of ‘Elementary, dear Watson’!


  6. Eileen says:

    PS How could I have forgotten to say what a super puzzle this was? I could be even more sycophantic, smiffy – thanks for the blog and many thanks to Alberich for a most enjoyable work-out.

  7. Lopakhin says:

    Strongly endorse Smiffy’s recommendation of FT puzzles in general and this one in particular. On those days when I’ve skipped through the Grauniad (Rufus et al) or been floored by them (be honest: quite a few of them, especially today…) I print off the day’s FT – and always have fun.

  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Some crosswords are better than others, and this was not one of the others.

    Between the first word I entered [BOGART – remembered this from a couple of years ago in probably a Paul or an Araucaria] and the last one [DENIER – took me ages, being not very ‘biblical’, not being a tailor either] we were presented a whole scala of clever and even cleverer clues.

    Solving didn’t even take that much time [although I’m no rightback :) ], maybe because I know this magician’s tricks a bit by now.
    What he showed us in 7d (SWAMI) has become one of his major attractions, but is phenomenal as ever.
    Another great clue was 1d (BREWERY) with its misdirecting surface – for a while I had here ‘bravery’, thinking that a ‘raver’ might be a boat, but then 9ac caused trouble.
    This clue (9ac – ENTICE) being the next highlight.

    Both sport clues were my least favourite ones.
    I found MARKSMAN a bit tame compared to the rest – nothing wrong with it, true, nice surface, yet the two parts of the clue are too close, to my taste that is.
    And that I didn’t like CUSP (20d) very much is mainly because I don’t like ‘cup’ for ‘competition’, even though it is in Chambers. Again, nothing wrong with the clue itself.

    I thought this was a treat that went extremely well with my Morning Coffee.
    Thank you both, Smiffy [for your blog ánd the admiration] and Alberich [hope you’re settling down well at the moment in that beautiful country].

  9. mike04 says:

    Hi Eileen

    Yes, I was surprised. And after your comment, I couldn’t get “Play it again, Sam”
    out of my mind! This place helped a little:

  10. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the link, mike04.

    It’s amazing what you can find in Wikipedia – I’d never have thought of looking for such a list.

    [I nearly did give the Casablanca misquotation as the example!]

  11. Scarpia says:

    Thanks smiffy.
    I can only echo the above comments,an excellent puzzle from Alberich.
    Quite a few homophones,so I was a bit surprised to look here and see no complaints.
    I love homophones(the cornier the better in my book).I suppose 30 across would have been a bit obvious for that type of clue.
    Like Sil I tried to fit bravery to the wordplay in 1 down – nice misdirection I thought.
    Top clues for me 16 across,22 down and the very funny 1 across.

  12. Ali says:

    Thanks for the recommendation. I thought this was one of the best puzzles I’ve solved in a long time. A collection of brilliantly neat clues.

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