Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,493 / Bradman

Posted by shuchi on September 17th, 2010


I worked my way up from the lower half of the grid and was stuck on the top-right for a while. Great stuff from Bradman, and I’m happy I get to blog his puzzles frequently on the Friday slot.

A few red herrings came up in the form of wordplay more descriptive than one expects (e.g. ELL isn’t just length but ‘length of cloth’), which was fair always but added to the challenge nevertheless.


1 BEATRICE BE A TRICE (don’t take long). This is the sort of clue that makes you think the answer must be within easy reach but it isn’t, and it doesn’t let you be at peace till you have solved it. I got this only after 1D.
5 SPECKS PECK (nibble) in SS (ship)
9 ESTEEMED E (English) STEED (horse), around ME (this writer)
10 DOLMAN (OLD)* MAN (fellow). Pictures of this jacket here.
12 CAROM CAR (vehicle) OM (Order of Merit); ‘cannon’ is a carom in billiards.
13 THREE-PART THREEP (dispute in UK dialect, so ‘local’) ART (skill). Gaul is divided into three parts. My last entry into the grid. I think the definition was too wide, besides ‘threep’ was unfamiliar to me.
14 ETCHER ETC (with other things) HER (that woman)
16 TALLY-HO TALLY (count) HO (small house). Tally-ho is another name for a four-in-hand coach, a vehicle drawn by four horses.
18 ORCHARD OR CHARD (veg). The short form ‘veg’ set me looking for a short name for a vegetable but that turned out to be a fruitless pursuit. Liked this clue for its smooth surface; I now recall something similar by Rover in the Guardian: Place to grow fruit or vegetable (7)
20 BARBIE dd. The doll with an interesting assortment of controversies to her credit, and the informal word for a barbeque party.
22 FRILLIEST FIEST[a] (celebration, shortened) around RILL (stream). Lovely misleading definition – ‘most gathered’.
23 CHELA hidden in ‘MiCHELAngo’. I should have spotted the answer much sooner. A word of Hindi origin, CHELA is one who follows a guru.
24 RACINE IN (at home) in RACE (groove). ‘Race’ is a groove in which anything runs (such as ball-bearings or a rope).
25 MOLESTER MOLE (spy) STER[n] (serious, not totally)
26 EXEDRA EXE (river) DRA[kes] (half of the male ducks). A new word for me, exedra is ‘an apse, recess or niche’.
27 ESOTERIC (TORIES)* in EC (the City i.e. the London EC postcode area)


1 BLENCH BENCH (chair) around L (lecturer)
2 ANTARCTIC CIRCLE One of the first clues I answered but can’t see more than a cd. There is something more, right? I am prepared to kick myself when you show me the answer.
3 RHEUM sounds like ‘room’ (part of building). An old word for ‘cold’, therefore ‘once upon a time’.
4 CHESTER CHEST (box) ER (insignia of Good Queen Bess i.e. queen Elizabeth I of England). This must be the longest way ever of clueing ‘ER’ :) .
6 PROPELLER ELL (length of cloth) in PROPER (right). ‘The opposite’ indicates that ELL is cutting i.e. going through PROPER, and not the other way round.
8 SANCTION S (card player) and N (partner of S) in ACTION (deed). ‘Sanction’ is one of those words (‘cleave’ is another) that are their own opposite. Trivia question: can you think of more such words?
11 BRAT from ‘aBeRrAnT’. A nice and easy &lit clue.
15 HEADLINER HE (the man) (IRELAND)*
17 CONFEREE CON (against) FEE (charge), around RE (about)
19 DEER DEE (river) R (runs)
20 BUTTONS BUT (nevertheless) TONS (many). The definition refers to the turn buttons of revolving doors of a hotel, I guess a page in a hotel, etc. // Updated. Thanks, Gaufrid.
21 FABRIC FAB (marvellous) RICH (plush) – H (hard)
23 CHEAT EAT (take in) CH (companion), with ‘initially’ asking us to place CH before EAT.

11 Responses to “Financial Times 13,493 / Bradman”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Shuchi
    I too cannot see anything more than a cd for 2dn.

    In 20dn, BUTTONS is a term for a page in a hotel, etc.

  2. Eileen says:

    Many thanks, shuchi. This was a challenge but a very rewarding one.

    We often remark on how different people’s areas of interest come into play when solving crosswords. Your last entry was my first – the opening words of Caesar’s Gallic Wars: Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres. All Gaul is divided into three parts [once apocryphally translated as “all Gaul is quartered into three halves”. As a classicist, I’m also familiar with EXEDRA but, unlike you, didn’t know CHELA or CAROM. Interesting, isn’t it? – and all credit to Bradman, I think, that we both [eventually] finished it. I know he makes a point of covering as wide a range of knowledge as possible.

    There was much to admire in this puzzle. I particularly liked the way I was beguiled by ‘right’ in 6dn meaning proper rather than R, for once.

    I loved your ‘fruitless’ search re 18dn! :-)

    I see that, in the meantime, Gaufrid has forestalled me re BUTTONS [he’s the page in the pantomime version of Cinderella, too.] I can’t see any more in 2dn, either.

  3. Bradman says:

    Thank you, friends! There’s nothing more to be seen in 2D. I fear that I simply couldn’t find anything sensible to do with the letters (all those Cs and Is – horrible!), and even the cryptic definiton required a lot of contriving. Still, it sometimes pays off to try to clue the unclueable!

  4. Jezza says:

    Thanks to Shuchi, and to Bradman for a super puzzle!

    I think we are missing 24a in the solution :)

  5. Richard says:

    Good puzzle and good blog, even without Racine.

    Bradman, surely 2dn is crying out for something to be arranged with the CLERIC, CART and ANTIC disposition.

  6. Tony Welsh says:

    24a is I think Racine, “in” (at work) inside race which I suppose a groove but I am not sure why.

  7. johnb says:

    I think ‘race’ is a groove (or channel) cut for water – as in a ‘mill race’ as at

  8. Richard says:

    I think it must mean race as in a Mill Race or channel of a water mill.

  9. shuchi says:

    Hello everyone, Sorry for getting back on this so late, and for missing to include 24a.

    I had IN inside RACE too; Chambers says RACE is “a groove in which anything runs (such as ball-bearings or a rope)”. Will update the post.

    Bradman: I’m relieved to be spared the self-kick for 2D. Thank you for the enjoyable puzzle.

  10. Bradman says:

    Challenge to Richard : do have a go at using that anagram and tying it into a definition with a convincing and smooth surface meaning. If you have any thoughts of setting yourself, it’ll be a wonderful practice exercise!

  11. Sil van den Hoek says:

    And if you really want to use an anagram here [btw, I’m fine with the clue as it is] one might think of (RECALCITRANT)* around ICC [which can be clued in several ways, including cricket-related].
    So, there is some potential – however, I think it is not easy to fit in a nice definition without making this an overlong clue [although, if you think ‘parallel’ is enough, well, who knows].

    Richard, I completely agree with Bradman – just saying ANTARCTIC CIRCLE = (CLERIC + CART + ANTIC)* doesn’t mean this will automatically lead to a good clue!
    [btw, for me ANTIC would be too close to the first part of the solution anyway]

    And, btw2, I found this a satisfying crossword in which I went the wrong way in the SE, by putting in CREDITOR instead of DIRECTOR (7d). Silly me :).

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