Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,564 / Alberich

Posted by smiffy on December 9th, 2010


Much like a Spurs game in the Champions League, seeing Alberich’s name appear above the grid is always a mouth-watering prospect.  And somehow, just like ‘Arry’s boys, the subsequent entertainment levels rarely fall short of my lofty expectations.

1 SPITFIRE – s{pot} + pit fire.
6 HOBBIT – hob + bit.
9 REBOOT – (October)* – c[hapter].
10 ROMANTIC – t[ime] in Romani{a} + c[lubs].
11 WELLINGTON – {s}welling + not<.  Relieved to see nary a military (or jazzy) Duke in sight, for once.
12 AMMO – A.M. + MO.  ‘In the morning doctor makes rounds briefly’.  Pure, undistilled genius!
13 MEDICI – medic + I.  The Renaissance-era dynasty.
15 MADHOUSE -had* in mouse (= Mickey).  The lack of hyphenation in ‘mickey taking’ is a bit of a giveaway that there’s a pseudo-definition lurking here.
18 ALICANTE – (a NT) in Alice.
20 VIEWER – {re}viewer.  More effective simplicity.
21 MIME – double def’n.  Not being a Ring-master, I had to check  the Wagnerian reference online, only to discover that Mime is Alberich’s sibling!
23 FRATRICIDE – D[emocrat] in (a terrific)*.  A clue that’ll probably resonate with any JFK conspiracy theorists out there.
25 BLUEBELL – E[nergy] in bulb* + ell.
26 ONAGER – a g{reenhouse} in oner.  Once upon a time an onager was also the catap-ultimate weapon of mass destruction.
27 GRATIS – grat{e} + is.
28 THERMALS – Herm (a Channel ‘Island’) in  salt*.  A meteorologically timely answer.

2 PIECEMEAL – pie + c{h}e{f} + meal.
3 TROLL – t + roll. A ‘pest’ as in those annoying spambots that attempt to hijack the threads here at 15^2.
4 INTENTION – homophone of “in tension”.
5 ERRATUM – rat in (er + um).
6 HE-MAN – Am< in hen.
7 BANGALORE – ban galore (i.e. a very restrictive government).
8 IDIOM – I + d[eserted?] + IOM (Isle of Man).
14 INCLEMENT – L{atin} for r[ight] in increment.
16 DOVER SOLE – dove + (r in sole).
17 SPEEDWELL – peed () in swell.
19 EPAULET – E[nglish] + Paul + et (Fr.).  A word that I’ve only ever encountered in the feminine form before.
22 IDLER – hidden reversal.
23 FLEAS – a in self*.
24 CHARM – c{ounteract} + harm.

7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,564 / Alberich”

  1. dreadnought says:

    Thanks for the blog; as you said, a very enjoyable outing today. Laughed at 7D, got 8D despite “deserted = d” controversy as you pointed out. Spent ages on 23D. And decided against Washington for 11A.

    However I am still puzzled by 26A. The only “oner” I know of (i.e. c.1970) is a conker that has either (depending on local rules) just been stringed or has smashed another virgin conker. (Sadly, as I live in Singapore I cannot demo this to my son.) So why “a lie = oner”? Is it golf or summat?

  2. Eileen says:

    Many thanks, Smiffy, and Alberich, for a very entertaining puzzle – a real treat, as usual.

    Some lovely surfaces – 12, 23, 27, 21ac, 23dn and – favourite of all [close to home!] – 14dn.

    Orlando [Cincinnus] gave us THERMALS in the Guardian puzzle yesterday!

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Chambers gives ‘oner’ as an informal term for “a big lie” (as in being economical with the truth).

  4. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was very good and not too hard at all. Favourites AMMO and MADHOUSE. Thanks for the blog, smiffy, and Alberich for the puzzle.

  5. shuchi says:

    Thanks smiffy. Alberich is such a delight to solve.

    My favourite clues were for words with a personal connection – BANGALORE (where I live) and REBOOT (which my old laptop needs too much of nowadays). Loved the clue for AMMO too.

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Lovely crossword (again).
    So precise and so many great surfaces [the only one I didn’t understand was 15ac where ‘taking’ went beyond me, but that’s perhaps my fault].

    I made two mistakes, one of which prevented me to find 28ac.
    In 23d I entered FLIES (I in SELF*), but you can hardly call them ‘jumpers’ – with BLUEBILL (a duck …) instead of BLUEBELL. Thought that perhaps ‘ill’ was referring to a word like ‘ill-measured’.
    In 24d I had CRASH, ‘rash’ perhaps being ‘a series of unpleasant occurrences’ (misfortune), but a CRASH is not really a counteract then, more one to make things worse ….

    I needed the blog to fully understand IDIOM, which apart from the first I consists of only abbreviations, very unusual.

    My Clue of the Day [hard to choose]: WELLINGTON (11ac), because of the originality of the surface (where one usually gets a Duke, as smiffy [TA!!] points out).

  7. scarpia says:

    Thanks smiffy.
    Super puzzle from Alberich
    My favourite was MADHOUSE and,like you,was not keen on D – deserted in 8 down,but a quick check shows it listed as that in Chambers,so no quibble from me.This use of obscure abbreviations is something more often found in barred puzzles.

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two + = 6