Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,565 / Bradman

Posted by shuchi on December 10th, 2010


An uncomplicated, enjoyable grid. I am a fan of the way Bradman constructs fresh and elegant clue surfaces with even basic wordplay, such as 21a and 2d. My favourites today are 26a, 3d.


1 PARODY ROD (bar) in YAP (chat) reversed. At first I thought “around about” must be a typo, later found it’s needed for the wordplay. It doesn’t read very well though.
4 SCRAWLER S (small son) CRAWLER (one not yet on feet)
9 SHAMAN SH (order to shut up) A MAN (fellow)
11 HOSTEL HO’S (house’s) TEL (phone)
12 DRUMBEAT dB (a bit of noise – decibel, the unit for sound) EAT (have food), around RUM (drink)
13 MOT dd
14 REGAIN EG (say) in RAIN (shower)
17 CARTOON O (ring) “boxed” i.e. put inside CARTON. Clever clue!
21 WEAVER W (wife) EVER (always), around A
26 RECLINER RE (about, as in ‘with reference to’) LINER (cruise ship), around C (about, as in ‘circa’)
27 FAERIE F (female) A ERIE (lake). The archaic spelling of “fairy”.
28 AGNATION A G (good) NATION (country). Agnation is the line of descent from a common male ancestor.
29 SOLIDI SOLID (financially sound) I (one). Plural for ‘solidus’, a gold coin issued by the Romans in the Middle Ages.
30 INCHOATE INCH (measure) ORATE (sound off) – R (right)
31 DEMEAN MEA[l] in DEN (hovel)


1 POST HORN POST (after) HORN (the cape, Cape Horn); a wind instrument used in the past to signal the arrival and departure of a post rider or mail coach.
3 DIABETIC CITE (call) B (bishop) AID (help), all reversed
5 COVERT OVER (series of deliveries, in cricket) in CT (court)
6 APLOMB A MB (doctor), around P (quiet) LO (look)
7 LOOTER LOO (small room) TER[m] (time, short)
8 RARITY RAY (man) around RIT (slowing down in play). Rit is short for “ritardando”, the gradual slowing of tempo in music.
12 DOTTIER DO (party) TIER (row), around [lef]T
15 NAP PAN (face), reversed
16 BOW dd. A place of East End in London, often seen in cryptic clues to indicate Cockney pronunciation.
18 NEMATODE (ONE TAMED)*, Nematodes are thin worm-like animals with the body often marked with ridges, rings or bristles.
19 OVERNICE O (old) VENICE (Italian city), around R (river)
20 ARMENIAN MEN (fellows) in ARIAN (heretical – follower of Arius, deemed heretic by Christian bishops in the 4th century)
23 SCENIC S[unday] CE (church) NIC[e] (pleasant, no end)
24 BISTRO ST (street) in BIRO (writer)
25 GET OUT dd

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,565 / Bradman”

  1. Bradman says:

    Thanks! Always particularly glad to have Bradman blogged because I have no friends or neighbours who are regular FT solvers.

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, shuchi, as you say this was relatively uncomplicated (or are just talking about the grid), but very well clued.
    As always, I do like the precision of Bradman very much.
    Some nice special effects (like the ‘Boxed ring’ in 17ac) and an fair amount of fine surfaces (my favourite possibly being APLOMB (6d)).

    SOLIDI was the last one to go in (in a corner that gave me some trouble), and a word that crosses ARMENIAN (20d).
    I am still asking myself here what is part of the ARIAN wordplay and what is the actual definition.
    One cóuld, for example, read ‘heretical ethnic’ for ARIAN and ‘group in Asian’ for ARMENIAN. But one could also do what you do, which is taking ‘ethnic’ as part of the definition’. I was even playing with the idea of making ‘group’ part of the ARIAN bit. Maybe it is because my feeling tells me that the definition (whichever it is, probably the one you suggested), doesn’t fully match the word ARMENIAN.
    It’s not very important, I just kept on wondering.

    Nice puzzle.

  3. shuchi says:

    @Bradman: Thank you for the entertaining puzzle. It’s a pity FT doesn’t have too many solvers, it surely deserves a bigger audience.

    @Sil van den Hoek: Thanks, you’ve set me thinking about ARMENIAN too. When blogging I took “ethnic group in Asia” as the definition but can’t get it to substitute ARMENIAN in a sentence.

    And yes, I did mean “uncomplicated” for the crossword…it helped restore some of my shaken self-confidence after yesterday’s fiendish Times crossword!

  4. Jan says:

    Thank you, shuchi and also Bradman. It’s always nice when a setter takes time to pop-in.

    I found this a fairly quick solve, but had to use the dictionary to check ARGALI and AGNATION. I knew agnate but couldn’t remember what it was. A ‘line for men’ could have been new undies in M&S!

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