Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,528 / Falcon

Posted by smiffy on October 28th, 2010


A technically solid puzzle, but about as easy (and, in parts, uninspired) as the FT gets.  In fact I solved all bar two of the Acrosses straight off the bat, which had the unfortunate effect of the rendering Downs to be almost as readily solvable simply from definitions alone.

1 HUMBUG - hum + bug.
4 OVERCAST - over + cast.
9 POKER – K[ing] in (Edgar Allen) Poe + R.
10 MENDACITY - men + d{eceive} + a city.
11 ABSTAIN – a + b + stain.
12 STILTON - tilt in son.  Admittedly I was fortunate to immediately stumble upon this answer via a false route, namely seeing ‘list…’ as likely anagram fodder.
13 ODIN - {R}odin.  Strange-ish surface reading; why would our artistic friend be disenfranchised so?
14 OFF BREAK - one of the more genteel deliveries in cricket.
17 TAKE HEED – (a + k{nav}e) in the + Ed.
19 SEEM – see + m.
22 UP TO NOW - up + (No. in tow).
24 VISITOR – It. in visor.
25 GOLDENROD - (old in gen) + rod.  With hindsight (and the benefit of some botanical image searching!), the use of ‘staff’ may be a tad clumsy.  Seems likely that the -rod suffix in the answer is meant to denote the staff-like appearance of the blossoms.
26 HOARD - o in hard.
27 EVENTIDE – event + ide{a}.
28 TACKLE – (elk + cat)<.  A neat idea, but I strongly suspect that I’ve seen it elsewhere in the recent past.

1 HEPTAGON - pathogen*
2 MAKESHIFT – make (as in “What ‘model’ of car do you drive?”, I assume) + shift.
3 UPROAR – up + roar.  The only ‘Bellow’ famous enough to underpin the surface capitalisation would be Saul.
5 VENUS OBSERVED - A play by Christopher Fry.  Both artist and work being way beyond my pantomime-centric knowledge of the dramatic arts.  But an almost full complement of checking letters left no room for initial doubt.
6 REALISE – double def’n.
7 A-LIST – hidden.    Didn’t really dig the Germanic-style verb positioning here.  Moreover, here’s my idle-brained philosophical question of the day; should a hyphenated word be clued as a ‘hidden’ without its hyphen?
8 TRYING – double def’n.  Am at a bit of a loss for words at this one….
10 MAN OF THE WORLD - …and here I will plead discretion as the better part of valour horror.
15 KEEP TRACK – keep + track.
16 AMBRIDGE – (game bird)*.  Re: the fictional village (in Borsetshire) from The Archers.
18 KINDEST – kind + set*.
20 BUNGLE – {bar}n in bugle (= an evergreen ‘creeping plant’).
21 ASTHMA – as + th{is} + Ma.
23 TILDE – L in tide.

3 Responses to “Financial Times 13,528 / Falcon”

  1. niloci says:

    Last Monday’s puzzle with correct grid is now on the FT website.

  2. Tony Welsh says:

    Thanks, Smiffy. I too found it easy, though not as easy as you clearly did. Took me about 40 minutes, which is just about a record for me. I thought “avoid” as a definition of “abstain” a bit of a stretch.

    btw, correcting the grid on Monday’s puzzle was easy enough, from the clue numbers and word lengths. I managed to solve the puzzle on the day without much difficulty.

  3. bamberger says:

    I got about 40% out in 20 minutes, a further 10% out in 20 more minutes and none in the last 20 minutes.

    While a few months ago I wouldn’t have written in the likes of 1a & 19a on sight, I now seem to either solve a clue within two minutes of looking at it or not at all.

    22a was frustrating. I had tow and I had no but just couldn’t see up.
    28a I’ll remember this for future use
    15d I had keep but couldn’t see track
    20d Hadn’t seen this use of bugle

    I don’t think I would have got 25a or 5d

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