Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,503 / Cinephile

Posted by Gaufrid on September 29th, 2010


An easy (by Cinephile standards) but enjoyable solve today. No particularly outstanding clues but equally none of the customary liberties, though I rather liked the definition in 17dn.

1 BOBCAT  BC (former days) in BOAT (craft)
4 HIBISCUS  HIB (short Edinburgh footballer) [d]ISCUS (topped field event)
10 RUM RATION  RUM (funny) RAT (creature) ION (item charged)
12 LUTE  dd
15 ROOSTER  O (old) in ROSTER (duty list)
16 DOTARD  TAR (sailor) in DOD[o] (tailless bird)
19 SHARIA  SH (don’t sing) ARIA (song) – “the body of Islamic religious law”.
21 SHOTGUN  T (model) in SHOGUN (Japanese dictator)
23 DEFINITIVE  DE (from French) IN IT in FIVE (number)
25 BLAH  B (black) HAL (prince) reversed – Henry, Prince of Wales, later to become King Henry V.
27,18 STICK-IN-THE-MUD  d&cd – blimp: “an incurably conservative elderly military officer, as Colonel Blimp of the cartoonist David Low (1891–1963), or any other person of similar views”.
28 ALGORITHM  *(GOAL) *(MIRTH) – another example of a word needing to be split to provide the anagram fodder and indicator.
29 NINE DAYS  dd – a reference to the saying “nine days’ wonder”.
30 FLORID  F (female) I (one) in LORD (aristocrat)

2 BY MY TROTH  homophone of ‘buy might’ (purchase power) ROTH (author) – Philip Roth.
3 ADAM  A DAM (mother)
5 IGNORED  N[eck] in I (one) GORED (stabbed)
6 INNOVATION  INN (pub) OVATION (cheers)
7 CUBIT  CUB (young animal) IT – “an old measure, the length of the arm from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, from 18 to 22in (approx 46 to 56cm)”.
8 STEADY  *(DAY SET) – as in ‘ready, steady, go’ or ‘on your marks, get set, bang!’.
9 GINGER  triple def.
14 STARK NAKED  KNA[c]K (knowhow with number missing) in STARED (looked hard)
17 REGULATOR  R[esidence] EG (say) ULA[n ba]TOR (both ends of Mongolian capital) – ‘Of body’ referring to Ofwat, Ofcom etc (UK regulatory bodies).
20 ACTUARY  ACT (work) [jan]UARY (most of first month)
22 ODDS ON  ODD (funny) SON (lad)
24 FEIGN  [p]IG (take head from beast) in FEN (marsh)
26 ARAL  A R (river) A L (lake) – the Aral Sea.

9 Responses to “Financial Times 13,503 / Cinephile”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid.

    Yes, all very straightforward – apart from my having confidently [and quite smugly, not being a mathematician] entered ‘logarithm’ for 28ac!

    I hadn’t quite got the ‘of body’ in 17dn, thinking that it should lead to ‘regulatory’, so thanks for that – great clue!

  2. bamberger says:

    Oh dear -if that was an easy Cinephile, I’m never going to start a hard one. After 5 minutes I had 3d, 5d,8d &1 4d.After another 55mins of intensive concentration I had nothing more and gave up.Well blogged and well done those who got it out.

    27,18 Convinced myself this was an anagram of “but more likely. Having failed to get anything that fitted,, I thought what a blimp was and the answer was obviously something-in-the-sky.
    12a Clay=lute I knew not
    21a I did have t for model t but didn’t know that shogun was a Japanese dictator.
    28a I had never seen this “trick” before.
    2d I imagine that with the numerous authors with first or second name of Philip that you needed checkers to get this. In any case, the clue was way beyond me.
    7d Sadly a cubit is not something I recall encountering before.
    17d I knew Ulan Bator and played around with U, R and U,N,B,R but it never occured to me that I needed more than the end letters
    26a And ditto aral.

    I wish I had got 9d -very good.

    Ah well -tomorrow is another day and with a two hour train journey in store, I’ll give it another whirl.

  3. Eileen says:

    Hi bamberger.

    It’s all relative – Cinephile [Araucaria in the Guardian] is known as being one of the trickier setters.

    From your comment yesterday, it wasn’t completely clear whether it’s just the FT puzzle that you’re new to or cryptics in general. If it’s the latter, may I suggest that you download last Monday’s Quiptic puzzle [targeted at newer cryptic solvers] from the Guardian website:

    for which, when you’ve had a go, there is an excellent blog on this site:

    [Curiously, I almost always find the FT’s prize puzzles more straightforward than the Tuesday to Friday ones! 😉 ]

  4. bamberger says:


    I’ve been doing the Private Eye crossword for about 5 years -at first I was lucky to get more than a handful but over the years I have found that I can usually solve it in about 45 minutes. I have flirted, on different days, with the Telegraph, Indie, Guardian & Times for about a year. I have usually have about 30 mins a day about 3 days a week but I have decided to give the FT a real go. Must say today’s attempt was my worst by far for quite some time.

  5. Eileen says:

    Obviously not a beginner, then – my apologies.

    But welcome to 15², anyway. I don’t remember having seen your name before yesterday but, if I’m wrong again, more apologies. :-)

  6. Gaufrid says:

    Hi bamburger
    Don’t give up on Cinephile! Like several other setters, for example Anax in the Indy (Loroso in the FT), you need to get used to a particular style in the way the clues are set. Once this has been achieved the puzzles become much easier to finish.

    I should perhaps have said in my preamble that I found this to be an easier puzzle, rather than it being an easy puzzle, because the apparent degree of difficulty varies from solver to solver depending on experience, background etc. I perhaps had an easier time of things because, for example, as soon as I saw ‘author Philip’ I immediately thought ‘Roth’ which led to ‘troth’ (as in ‘I plight thee my troth’) and then the rest of the answer.

  7. Lopakhin says:

    Learning that Cinephile is also Araucaria chuffed me no end, as I practically sailed through this one, and I seldom crack A. in his Guardian guise.

  8. bamberger says:


    No need to apologise. I have very occasionally posted in the Grauniad and Indie parts

  9. Sil van den Hoek says:

    This post is so late that it’s pointless to submit, perhaps.
    Yet, I do.
    Agree, Gaufrid [and sorry, bamberger :)], an easy Cinephile.

    Just like Eileen I had ‘logarithm’ for a while, asking myself why on earth Cinephile clued it as ‘Procedure’ – only to find out that 20d wouldn’t work, so saved by the bell.

    In 4ac (HIBISCUS) we have HIB again for an ‘Edinburgh footballer’, being short for Hibernian. I clearly remember some people object to this when Araucaria used it (not that very long ago): a Hib is apparently a Hibernian supporter. That said, here the first part of the solution cán be read as “short for Hibernian [ie the footballer?]”.

    Finally, in the blog Gaufrid mentions one of last week’s hot topics: the fact that in 28ac’s clue the word ‘goalbreak’ has to be split, giving us fodder and indicator.
    Without restarting the discussion [well, hardly anyone will read this anyway, I guess], it is a good example of what I meant when I said (in Paul’s blog) that for me personally some breakdowns are more “acceptable” [mind the quotation marks!] than others: the split in goal/break is much more natural than in ref/used. Moreover here ‘goal’ is the full anagram fodder, which wasn’t the case for ‘ref[used]’.

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