Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,577 / Cinephile’s Christmas Jumbo

Posted by Gaufrid on January 6th, 2011


I was rather surprised to find that this Cinephile Jumbo took me no longer than some of the ‘normal’ FT puzzles despite the greater number of clues. This was perhaps due to twigging the theme very early on or possibly due to the fact that there didn’t appear to be as many of Cinephile’s characteristic liberties as there might have been.

The theme of pantomime characters was quickly determined from 21ac, and confirmed by 31ac, which made solving the other thematic clues much easier. Though 1dn was obvious from the checked letters, and I could see the parsing, I needed Wikipedia for confirmation since I was not familiar with the film or who was in it.

Apart from that, I don’t remember any particular difficulties with this puzzle, though I’m writing this preamble several days after solving and there has been some sort of festive occasion in between.

1 A FAIR AMOUNT A FAIR (a blonde) A MOUNT (a horse)
7 SMOOCH S (school) MOOCH (loiter aimlessly)
13 ADAMANT A DAM (a mother) ANT (worker)
14 TANGO d&cd – a reference to the phonetic alphabet.
16 DIGIT two defs and ‘As You Like It’ = DIG IT
17 ENCLOSE E N (two directions) C (number) LOSE (are defeated)
18 KNITTER *(TRINKET) – I’m not sure my late mother would like to have been described as a ‘construction worker’!
19 NOSE RAG ON reversed SERAG[lio] (most of harem)
21 RED RIDING HOOD RED (Lancashire’s rose) RIDING HOOD (Yorkshire’s criminal)
23 ACCOMMODATE AC (bill) COMMO[n] (almost vulgar) DATE (girlfriend)
24 HIGH PITCH Spoonerism of ‘pie’ (food) ‘hitch’ (get lift)
25 CINDERELLA CINDER (burnt residue) ELL (length) A (first)
28 FROG PRINCE a ‘Dauphin’ is a French prince
31 BEANSTALK BEANS (chaps when old) TALK (converse)
33 OPERA SINGER OP (one side of stage {opposite prompt}) ERASING (getting rid of) ER (hesitation)
36 SCALING LADDER [me]SCALIN (me off hallucinatory drug) GLADDER (happier)
37 TANGENT TAN (coloured) GENT (fellow)
39 ORBITAL BIT (somewhat) in ORAL (said)
41 BOLSHOI SLOB (fat lazy pig) reversed HOI [polloi] (some of the plebs)
43 RAMEKIN RA (painter) ME (puzzler) KIN (like)
45,42 LANDING STAGE LANDING (upstairs passageway) STAGE (theatre)
46 CRYING cd&d – the saying ‘a crying shame’.
47 SHERRY PARTY RY (line {railway}) in SHERPA (mountain guide) *(TRY)
1 ALADDIN A LADD IN – ‘The Glass Key’ was a 1942 film starring Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake (and Brian Donlevy)
3 ROAST R (right) OAST (oven)
4 MOTHER GOOSE *(HOT) ERG (piece of work) in MOOSE (deer)
5 URTICARIA UR (old city) TIC (involuntary movement) ARIA (song)
6 TIN SOLDIER TIN (metal) I (one) in SOLDER (stick together)
8 MARRIAGE PORTION MARR (Andrew) I AGE (I’m getting older) PORT I ON (do I carry on)
9 ONSET ON SET (group)
10 HUNDREDTH YEAR dd – the end of the Hundred Years’ War and when the Queen sends a telegram.
11 COME-HITHER CO (company) ME HIT (shall I be a success) HER
20 RUMPELSTILTSKIN RUMP (bottom) ELS (golfer) TILTS (leans) KIN (family)
22 OFTEN OF TEN – from “My strength is as the strength of ten,
Because my heart is pure.“ (Alfred Tennyson, Sir Galahad)
23 ARCHBISHOPRIC ARCH (spanner) BI[cycle] SHOP RIC[h] (not quite loaded)
26 NYASA NY (US city) AS A – ‘nyasa’ is a common word for “lake” in the languages spoken around what is now known as Lake Malawi. Malawi was formerly called Nyasaland.
29 GIANT KILLER GIANT (a whale of) KILLER (whale)
30 GOLDILOCKS *(COLLI[e] DOG) K’S (King’s)
32 ANGELENO ONE LEG (member) NA (not applicable) all reversed
34 EARTHRISE ARTHR[it]IS (it leaves problem for joints) in EE (electrical engineering)
40 BUMPY MP (politician) in BUY (pay money for)
42 SUNUP PUN (wordplay) US reversed

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,577 / Cinephile’s Christmas Jumbo”

  1. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Gaufrid.
    I also found this a pretty quick solve with the theme falling into place early on.As you say there were very few’liberties’ taken but I still thought there were some very good clues,favourites being 19,36,41 and 47 across,plus 8,11,23 and 34 down.Also liked the definition at 18 across.
    All in all a very enjoyable puzzle.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    I enjoyed this puzzle too although I found it more difficult than you, Gaufrid. I twigged to the theme early on but then realized that, apart from the a few big names, I knew of rather few pantos. So, for example, Aladdin was easy but Frog Prince was not.

    Surely 10D is both inaccurate (in that the Hundred Years War did not actually last 100 years) and anachronistic (in that hundredth birthday greetings from the Queen are now sent by post, not as telegrams).

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Pete
    I agree with both your observations regarding 10dn but it was the season of intoxication (sorry, good will) and I was prepared to overlook the odd inaccuracy, particularly ones that didn’t get in the way when solving the clue.

  4. bamberger says:

    Couldn’t get 11d or 26d ,the latter not helped by having 36 as sliding ladder.
    For a novice who doesn’t like to give up too easily, a large crossword like this is very time consuming-think I prefer normal size.

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