Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,527 / Cinephile

Posted by Gaufrid on October 27th, 2010


A pleasant start to the day with a typical themed puzzle from Cinephile containing ‘E’ in many clues.

The ‘E’ stood for Europe (except in 25ac) and the answers to these clues are all countries within this continent. I have a query regarding 15dn because, as far as I can see, obtaining all the necessary letters requires a word to be split before selecting the initial letters.

1 BULGARIA  L (student) in BUG (listen mechanically) ARIA (song)
5 UPROSE  U (refined) PROSE (plain language)
9 SLOVAKIA  LOV[e] (lot of affection) in SAKI (short story writer) A (one) – Saki was the pen name of Hector Hugh Munro
10 GREECE  homophone of ‘grease’ (lubricant)
11 CHAPLAIN  CHAP (guy) LAIN (rested)
12 RUSSIA  homophone of ‘rusher’ (one in a hurry)
14 FAIR-HAIRED  FAIR (bazaar) IRE (anger) in HAD (held)
18 CIRCLE LINE  CIRCLE (the round) LINE (the straight)
24 POLAND  LA (US city) in POND (expanse of water)
25 ORDAINED  OR IN E in DAD (father)
26 NORWAY  *(ROW) in NAY (refusal)
27 CETACEAN  ET (film) ACE (champion) in CAN (prision)

1 BISECT  SEC (brief period) in BIT (small piece)
2 LOOFAH  A FOOL (an ass) reversed H (hospital)
3 ARABLE  ARAB (one not from E) LE (article from E)
4 INIMITABLE  IN (home) I’M (setter’s) I (first) TABLE (list)
6 PORTUGAL  OR (gold) TUG (pull) in PAL (friend)
8 EYE CANDY  homophone of ‘I (setter) Kandy (Sri Lankan city)’
15 SCARF PIN  CAR (motor) FP (footpath initially) in SIN (wrong) – FP is not a recognised abbreviation for ‘footpath’ so are we expected to split the word in half before taking the initial letters?
16 TREMBLER  dd – one def. being “a vibrating device that makes and breaks a circuit (elec)”
17 SLOVENIA  SLO[w] (almost crawling) VENIA[l] (almost pardonable)
19 ARMADA  MAD (crazy) in ARA (artist)
20 FRANCE  F (female) RAN (was in charge) CE (church)
21 SWEDEN  SWEDE (vegetable) N (pole)

17 Responses to “Financial Times 13,527 / Cinephile”

  1. anax says:

    I’m denied the pleasure of solving this one as my printer cartridge has just given up the ghost, but at 15d FP is how ‘footpath’ would typically be shown on some maps (including OS? Not sure) so I’m guessing it shouldn’t cause too many problems. Wonder how long it will be before we’re allowed to use FB (Facebook) as a crossword abbreviation – or would solvers already regard it as acceptable?

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Gaufrid.

    Very straightforward for Cinephile, I thought, but pleasant, as you say.

    As a short-distance rambler, I have no problem at all with FP = ‘footpath’. It is commonly seen on fingerposts and Google gives numerous references. Here’s one of the prettiest:

    I can’t see the significance of ‘to or from work, say’ in 12ac.

  3. Eileen says:

    Sorry, Anax – crossed in the post!

  4. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Anax
    I checked a couple of my OS maps before writing the post but could not find FP in the key, nor is it an abbreviation in Chambers, Collins or COED.

    As for FB, if/when it appears in one of the usual references then fine but until then I, for one, would not be too happy.

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Eileen
    “I can’t see the significance of ‘to or from work, say’ in 12ac.”

    I assumed this was a reference to the rush hour as a further hint towards the word forming the homophone.

  6. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid.

    Apologies for the dud link. This is better:

  7. Duncan Shiell says:

    FP is referenced on the Ordnance Survey website under Geofacts, as follows:

  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    A pleasant start of a sunny Wednesday morning.

    I found the 4 (relatively) long ones in the middle rightaway, only to find out that I was now left with 4 mini-crosswords.
    Initially considered E to be England/English, then in a moment of weirdness Emma, but eventually after finding FRANCE (20d) the penny dropped.
    From there onwards it was not really hard to fill the grid with all these country names.

    I didn’t have problems with FP for ‘footpath’, even though I haven’t seen it on OS maps [where one can find however FB for ‘footbridge’].

    I am not sure whether the identity FP=footpath is the real problem here.
    If FP indeed is a legitimate abbreviation for ‘footpath’, then clueing it with “footpath initially” is not right, is it?

    Cinephile can only have meant “foot path initially”, so – as you said, Gauufrid – splitting it up first and then taking the starting letters.
    Isn’t this just part of a new trend that we saw of late in various Guardian puzzles?
    And is Loroso’s “underpants” not something in the same category?
    Whether I always like it, is a different matter.

  9. crypticsue says:

    Great fun sorting out all the parts of E in this very nice crossword.

  10. Tony Welsh says:

    I got FP for footpath but I don’t think it’s legitimate. If FP is an accepted abbreviation for footpath then the word “initially” is redundant and misleading. By the same token could “misleading initially” be interpreted as “ML”? Maybe it would have been better if the clue had said “foot path initially”?

    Though the answer was obvious I had not heard of a scarf pin, nor is in my dictionary.

  11. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Tony
    Scarf pin is not in Collins or COED but Chambers does have it (hyphenated) with the definition “an ornamental pin worn in a scarf; a tie-pin”.

  12. Tony Welsh says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid. I looked again and yes it is indeed in my Chambers, which incidentally was given to me as a school prize in 1962!

  13. bamberger says:

    The first one I “solved” was 10a I thought ah yes Lubricant =grease which sounds like Greece so E must be Europe -but do I put “grease” or “greece” . How should I have known, without 7d, as to what was required, please?
    Got about half out thought would never have got 8d eye candy as I didn’t know Kandy.
    Venial also a new word for me.

  14. Gaufrid says:

    Hi bamberger
    Determining which of a pair of homophones is to be entered in the grid is often problematic, unless the setter has been very careful when composing the clue, and I cannot offer you any hard and fast rules. Sometimes it is obvious, sometimes not.

    In this instance the selection was made a little easier due to theme and because of the obvious anagram in 7dn. Even if one hadn’t worked out the anagram, it was clear that the intersection of 10ac and 7dn couldn’t be an ‘A’.

  15. Sil van den Hoek says:

    I’d like to say that Tony Welsh @#10 hits exactly the nail on its head re FP.
    He seems to be the only one so far to understand what’s going on here – it’s not about OS maps, but about cryptic devices and how to formulate them.

  16. Eileen says:

    Hi Sil

    I take your point entirely – and agree with it.

    My reply this morning [very hasty because [ironically] I was rushing out for a ramble!] was responding only to FP being an abbreviation for footpath, which it undoubtedly is, and not the formulation of the clue.

    AS you said earlier, Gaufrid had already addressed the issue of having to split the word before taking the initial letters.

    If I’d been writing this clue, I think I’d have played safe and done as Tony Welsh suggests, and written it as ‘foot path’.

  17. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Or writing it as ‘footpath’, and being part of that new kind of (Guardianesque) clueing which apparently doesn’t look that much at which point to split words [either in clues or solutions].
    I think this new ‘trend’ is one of the things I am going to address on Nov 30th in that Paul-meeting in London [if I’d been given the chance, of course].

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