Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,469 / Falcon

Posted by shuchi on August 20th, 2010


The top-left of the grid held me up with an unfamiliar synonym of ‘river’ and some tricky wordplay. 9A is still waiting to be annotated.

Tougher than Falcon’s usual, with all his elegance and breadth of references. 25A is quite brilliant, and there’s a self-referential clue at 19A (the setter Everyman is the same as Falcon).


1 BACKGAMMON BACK (second) GAMMON (bull, as in nonsense)
7 RAGE RAG (piece of jazz piano) [basi]E
9 MINI MINI[m] – a friar, sister, or lay member of any of three orders founded by St Francis of Paula (1416–1507), so called as if humbler than even the Friars Minor (Chambers) // Thanks to Gaufrid for the explanation.
10 INDIAN FILE INDIAN (worker) FILE (record). I wasn’t sure why Indian was ‘worker’, but the dictionary lists this as slang: a person who performs a required task or carries out the instructions of superiors :? .
11 BOWLER B (black) OWLER (old smuggler). Owlers were wool smugglers of south east England.
13 LANGUISH L (50) ANGUISH (suffering)
15 OVER DOVER (port) – D (daughter)
17 SHOO SHOO[t] (modelling session, curtailed)
19 EVERYMAN EVER (always) (MANY)*. Everyman is a 15th-century allegorical play in which the conflict between Good and Evil is dramatized.
22 ETON CROP ETON (college) CROP (gather)
23 BANNER ANNE (British queen) in BR (British). Liked this.
26 MEAN MEN (soldiers) around A
27 ET AL hidden reversed in ‘popuLATEd’


2 ARIZONA OZ (Australia) I (one), in AN RA (artist), all reversed
3 KRILL KILL (river) around R, with ‘do’ standing for ditto. // Update: ‘Kill’ as synonym for ‘river’ will have to wait for another setter to exploit – Falcon probably meant ‘kill’ as the usual kill. See Gaufrid’s comment #1 for a simpler explanation of this clue.
6 NEARBY NEAR (tight) BY (times). ‘BY = times’ comes from multiplication I suppose, but I can’t think of a sentence where they’re interchangeable. It is ’10 times 2′, or ‘multiply 10 by 2′. Can someone show how they’re synonyms? // See Rishi’s comment #2.
7 REFECTORY Fe (iron) in RECTORY (clergyman’s house)
8 GALILEE GAL (girl) I LEE (shelter)
16 SEA BREAM AB (seam) in (A MERES)*
18 HATCHET HATCH (door) E[fficien]T
20 AVERAGE AVER (declare) AGE (getting century?)
21 TRIP UP TRIP (trip) UP (ahead)
24 NIMES N (new), SEMI (house) reversed. ‘Semi’ is short for a semidetached house.

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13,469 / Falcon”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Shuchi
    9ac is MINI[m] – a friar, sister, or lay member of any of three orders founded by St Francis of Paula (1416–1507), so called as if humbler than even the Friars Minor (Chambers)

    I parsed 3dn as R (river) in KILL (do in) though I now see that Chambers does indeed give ‘kill’ as US dialect for ‘river’.

  2. Rishi says:


    For ‘by’ Chambers has the definition (among others) “multiplied into, or combined with another dimension of”.

    We might say a room is 10 feet by 10 feet. Isn’t this 10 times 10?

  3. shuchi says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid and Rishi. I didn’t see that simpler explanation for 3D, that makes perfect sense too.

    Yes, when speaking of dimensions by = times sounds convincing. Will update the post to point to your comment.

  4. smiffy says:

    Perfectly pitched for a Friday during the dog days of August; so well done Xwd Ed, as well as Falcon. Entertaining while maintaining a steady pitch and cadence throughout (sometimes the lack of a Clue of the Day is no bad thing). I even learned about OWLERS along the way.

    Shuchi, I think your annotation for 2D is missing a reversal. And I’m with Gaufrid all the way on 3D – although your parsing is a testament to the powers of inductive/lateral thinking!

  5. shuchi says:

    Hi smiffy, Fixed 2D, thanks. And I’m glad to have learnt something new with my “research” for 3D, it might come in useful later :).

  6. Scarpia says:

    Thanks shuchi.
    Nice puzzle from Falcon and after the test of today’s Guardian,a comparatively gentle workout.
    Had to look up a couple of unfamiliar definitions,thought it must be MINI but needed the “Big Red Book” to confirm,same with GALILEE.
    I took the easy route to get KRILL,but I love your parsing – which does work!
    Favourite clues for me – 25 across and 24 down.

  7. MarcoPolo says:

    Re 3d: KILL = “do in” around R (= river)

  8. MarcoPolo says:

    Oops my eyes aren’t working this late – missed Gaufrid @1

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