Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,511 / Cincinnus

Posted by shuchi on October 8th, 2010


A straightfoward, elegant puzzle from Cincinnus. It is a high point in solving when the last few answers come not with looking up aids for unfamiliar facts but with delightful ‘aha’ moments. This puzzle gave me that experience. 12A, 23A, 10D were among the last ones to get solved, and they are some of the best clues today.


1 LEGION LEG (a member), (NO 1)<
4 ABLAZE A B[rown] LOAF (laze). Nice use of ‘loaf’ here.
8 SLOBBER S[tone] LOBBER (thrower)
9 IGNORED [s]IGNOR (Italian gentleman, without 1st letter) ED (edition)
12 NOON A palindrome.
13 PHLOX sounds like ‘flocks’ (lots of birds)
14 NAGASAKI NAG (badger) A SAKI (monkey). The only Saki I knew of till date was HH Munro.
16 BEEFED UP BEE (insect) FED UP (bored)
18 SHOOT dd
20 MAXI MA (old lady) XI (side). Update: I got this one after publishing the post. Had entered SARI at first.
21 FOR CERTAIN FORCE (cogency) (IN ART)*
23 AT FIRST FIRS (trees) in [se]ATT[le]
24 ATTABOY TAB (bill) in A TOY (play)
25 REGALE LAGER (drink) reversed, E (quarter)
26 GRATIS (TAR)< (sailors, reversed) GIs (soldiers)


1 LILAC dd. Shade means ‘colour’ in the cryptic reading.
2 GABRIEL GAL (girl) around BRIE (cheese)
3 OVERTAXED (TO VEX A RED)*. Not sure what ‘public chopped’ is doing in the clue. //Update: There are two sets of wordplay – other than the anagram, there is a charade: OVERT (public) AXED (chopped). Thanks to Gaufrid and Rishi for the explanation.
5 BAGEL BAG (get) EL (‘the’ in Spanish)
7 EYE SOCKET E (Eastern) YES (agreement) [r]OCKET (spacecraft, without right)
15 GAS HEATER GAS (talk) EATER (consumer), around H[ome]. A very smooth surface.
17 FAILING F (Faraday) AILING (sick)
19 OUTCAST OUT (not in) CAST (shed)
21 FUSIL FIL[m] around US (American)
22 ICONS CO (Company) [chairma]N, inside IS

11 Responses to “Financial Times 13,511 / Cincinnus”

  1. Rishi says:

    14a: Why, Shuchi, you must have known also the Japanese drink ‘saki’, which is however more usually spelt ‘sake’.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Shuchi
    In 3dn there are two sets of wordplay, the anagram you have identified and OVERT (public) AXED (chopped).

  3. Rishi says:

    3d: I think that apart from it being an anagram, it’s also a charade: OVERT(public) AXED (chopped).

  4. shuchi says:

    Thank you, Gaufrid and Rishi. Should have got that!

    14a: Now that you remind me, Rishi, yes I do. I’ve seen this spelling for the drink in crosswords, but the monkey is a first for me.

  5. bamberger says:

    I’m afraid this was premier league stuff for this third division plodder and I ran out of steam with only 3d,4a & 6d solved.Should have got 10d
    13a I did thinks of “flocks” but sadly did not know flox.
    14a Too difficult as I did not know saki nor Kyushu. I guessed the latter was in Japan but couldn’t see any relevance.
    16a The reason I struggled with this sort of clue is that without any checking letters, there are a myriad of insects. Ok bee is common and near the front of the alphabet.
    21a I did guess that there was an an anagram of in art but couldn’t get cogency=force.
    23a Now I think this is hard. Even if you realise that centre of Seattle is att and not just t, you then have get that the trees are firs.
    24a Also very hard I thought. I was looking for ac and never thought of tab -and then you have to think of toy=play.
    25a Not only do you have to get the correct drink but you also have to reverse it -don’t think I’ve seen “from the right” before and then add what I assume is from the four quarters of a compass-again I don’t think I’ve seen this.
    2d Problem here was not getting the correct sort of cheese.
    7d I tried to anagram spacec aft + E . I take it eye socket=orbit?
    13d Haven’t heard of poetaster -is “involved in” a fair anagram indicator?

    The only overall comment is whether this is more suitable to a weekend rather than a weekday?

    Well blogged and well done to those who solved it.

  6. arthur says:

    In 17dn, Farad should be used in the clue, the unit of capacitance with symbol F. of course named
    after Michael Faraday.

  7. shuchi says:

    Hi bamberger

    I find the FT crossword toughest when it’s a Cinephile creation – that comes up right in the middle of the week!

    A tip for 16a: Out of the many insects, the most common in crosswords are ANT and BEE. BEE is very often the outer word of a container clue, where the answer is of the form BE(…)E.

    Hi arthur

    I thought Faraday in this clue referred to the unit of electrical charge, which is also named after Michael Faraday:

  8. Arthur Greenspoon says:

    Hi Shuchi–Thanks–I wasn’t aware of the “faraday constant”
    I’m not sure if it’s simply called a Faraday.

    Cheers Arthur

  9. Sil van den Hoek says:

    A while ago there was all at once a Cincinnus puzzle on a Friday.
    Which is quite unusual, because Mr Curl’s creations normally take the Saturday spot.
    That particular crossword was unbelievably easy, so I thought: Well, thát’s why they put him on a Friday.
    So when I saw Cincinnus’ name today, I was a bit surprised – ánd I was expecting an under-par crossword.
    But I must say, I found this one (relatively) harder than usual.

    I didn’t like SHOOT (18ac) that much, and I also wondered why 3d (OVERTAXED) was made so complicated – the ‘changed to vex a Red’ bit was completely superfluous and ruined the surface, which is very un-Cincinnus.

    But I put a lot of ‘plusses’ on my print-out, too.
    As you say, shuchi [thank you!], 4ac (ABLAZE) was nice.
    Also a plus for 9a: great that ‘first’ and ‘edition’ should be split.
    One of your last (NOON) was one of my first [and in fact, AT FIRST was my first, but about your last – gosh, isn’t life complicated :)], and this NOON was rather good, I thought.
    7d’s EYE SOCKET deserves mentioning, while TRANSPIRE (10d) was the Anagram of the Day because of the lovely surface [btw, it is also an anagram of ‘terrapins’].

    I liked this puzzle [extremely precise!] – one of Cincinnus’ better Orlandos.

  10. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Arthur (#6), although I tend to agree that F should be ‘Farad’, the Holy Chambers dóes give ‘Faraday’ as one of the many meanings of F.

  11. Harrison Shunk says:

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