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Financial Times 13,581 / Cincinnus

Posted by shuchi on January 13th, 2011


Prize puzzle from the FT of December 31, 2010
An end of year surprise – prize puzzle on a Friday. The clue for 19D sums it up for me. Liked many clues such as 23A and 7D, got some quickly others after a struggle, and there were a couple I wasn’t too happy with.

Cincinnus puzzles nearly always have a composer or two in them, this was no exception. Elgar is an old friend now; for 18A this Wiki page came to the rescue.


1 CLAMMY dd; the second definition referring to clams (shellfish)
4 ABOUND A (area) BOUND (destined)
8 EL GRECO ELGAR (English composer) – A, ECO (Italian writer, Umberto Eco)
9 CARRIER CARRIE (girl) R (right); HMS Ark Royal was an aircraft carrier in the Royal Navy.
11 DISORDERED D (daughter) IS ORDERED (told what to do). It’s a bit dull when the charade is broken along its natural join, as in this clue.
12 GOSH GO (split) S (second) H (hours)
16 BEAU NASH BEAUN[e] (burgundy, mostly) (HAS)*. Beau Nash was a celebrated dandy in the 18th century.
18 NYMAN NY MAN; the composer is Michael Laurence Nyman.
20 TRAD TRAD[e] (unfinished business). “Trad” is short for traditional jazz.
21 RESEMBLING (GERBILS MEN)*, an easy anagram.
23 BELIEVE VEIL (cover) reversed in BEE (worker)
24 STAND-IN STANDING (position) – G
25 DOGGED DOGE (old magistrate) around G (grand), D (duke)
26 ASCEND AS (when) C[urrents] END (stop)


1 CALVI hidden in ‘theologiCAL VIrtues’. Got this through the wordplay, and verified that Roberto Calvi was an Italian banker nicknamed “God’s
Banker” because of his close association with the Vatican.
2 AIRPORT AIR (song), TROP (French for ‘too much’) reversed. Charles de Gaulle is the main airport in France.
5 BLAND B (British) LAND (territory)
7 DRESS DOWN A lovely dd; to dress casually i.e. be “unsuited”, and to scold/lecture.
10 FRANCHISE FRANCE (part of Europe) around HIS (man’s)
13 SPEARHEAD SPEAR (possibly iron) HEAD (lead). “Iron spear” is a type of spear. Not a fan of this clue for the same reason as 11A, but I like the misdirection with “lead”.
15 GUNSMITHS cd; “piece” is slang for firearm.
17 UNDYING NU (Greek character) reversed, DYING (longing)
19 MELANGE ME (Cincinnus, the setter), G (good) in LANE (way)
21 REVUE EVER (at any time) reversed, around [yo]U[th]

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,581 / Cincinnus”

  1. John Newman says:

    I found it impossible to get the bottom left hand corner out. 16A I doubt that I would ever get. 13D and 17D I could not get because of my answer to 20 across. My answer is “Comp” which I think is a better answer for the clue (although obviously not what Cincinnus intended). Comp is unfinished company and comp is the act of accompanying along impromptu “in Jazz”.

  2. nmsindy says:

    John, while there will be the very odd exception, ‘unfinished’ generally indicates removal of just the last letter of a word as in ‘trade’ here. I enjoyed the puzzle which I found tricky enough.

  3. bamberger says:

    Surprisingly given the comments above,I finished this in a reasonable time. Must have had a going day helped by knowing beau nash, having seen trad in numerous xwords and doge having appeared in a FT crossword a few days before this one

  4. Bradman says:

    Anyone done mine today (Friday)?

  5. MarcoPolo says:

    Re 13d, is it not a dd SPEARHEAD = “lead (v)” and SPEARHEAD = “part of weapon, possibly iron”

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