Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,597 / Falcon

Posted by shuchi on January 21st, 2011


Nice and simple with many clues solved in the first pass. The rest fell smoothly as well with some lookups mostly in the top-right corner. An enjoyable puzzle; my only gripe is with the girl names in the wordplay [25a, 18d] which leave the possible fits too wide open.


1 OVER THE COUNTER OVER (finished) THE (article) COUNTER (one who reckons)
10 AORTA A ORT (Scrap) A[rena]
11 BOONDOCKS BOONS (favours) around DOCK (wharf). Remember the old pop hit “Down in the Boondocks”?
12 BLISTER B (British) LISTER (surgeon, the pioneer of antiseptic surgery after whom Listerine is named)
13 HORATIO [skirmis]H ORATIO[n] (short speech). Horatio Hornblower is a fictional Royal Navy officer in novels by C. S. Forester.
14 ALIBI (BAIL)* I (one)
16 ANCHORAGE dd; Anchorage is the largest city of Alaska.
22 ABSCOND AB (sailor) SECOND (back) – E (east)
25 CARAMEL CARMEL (girl) around A
27 HYDRANGEA (GARDEN)* contained neatly within another anagram, (HAY)*
28 DITTO I TT (teetotaller) in DO (party)


2 VERMILION VERMI[n] (lice, endlessly) LION (big cat). Also the English name for sindoor, a red powder traditionally applied on the
forehead by married Hindu women.
3 ROAST R (right) OAST (type of oven) &lit
4 HIBERNATE I had taken this to be an odd cd, then discovered that HIBERNIA is the Latin name for Ireland. HIBERNIA (Ireland) – I (one) A (answer), AT [th]E. “Winter” as a verb – to spend the winter in a specified place – acts as the definition.
5 CLOTH C (IVR for Cuba) LOTH (reluctance). In nautical parlance, “cloth” a number of sails taken as a whole.
6 UNDERCOAT cd; a coat of paint applied beneath the top, visible coat.
7 TACIT TACITUS – US. Tacitus (AD 56 – AD 117) was a historian of the Roman Empire.
8 RISSOLE R[ice] IS SOLE (fish). A new meaning of “faggot” for me.
9 LAMBDA LAMA (priest) around BD (Bachelor of Divinity)
15 INAMORATO (MARIO NOT A)*. One of the best things about crosswords is its ability to bring alive words from one’s dormant memory. Inamorato is the Italian word for a male lover – the female equivalent is inamorata.
18 ALMA MATER ALMA (girl) R (runs), around MATE (friend)
19 LEATHER (THE REAL)*; the line “hide the real fake” possibly comes up in conversations between forgers.
21 DOLLOP DOLL (pretty girl) OP (work). I was quite misled by the definition. Very nice.
23 SIDES SIDE (slang for pretensiousness) S (social)
24 DOGGO DOG (greyhound, say) GO (disappear)
26 RODEO RODE (went on horseback) O (ring)

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,597 / Falcon”

  1. Tony Welsh says:

    Thanks, Shuchi. But I think you made a mistake in the explanation of 2d. VERMIN surely refers to the lice part of the clue, not the bright scarlet.

    I found this quite easy except for bottom left. Never heard of “side” meaning pretentiousness, or DOGGO or the expression REST ON ONES OARS, though I guessed the last two of these.

    Other words I had never heard of included ORT and DEMIT, so it was a good learning day!

    One quibble is on 14a. An alibi is proof that one could not be guilty of whatever, while an excuse is some circumstance offered in mitigation of having done it.

    Finally, how come we got RISSOLE two days running. Surely not coincidence?

  2. bamberger says:

    Failed on
    29a-like Tony I’ve never heard of it -is it a real expression? Rest on ones laurels yes but this?
    22a didn’t think of back as second -was looking for a reversal.
    23d Never heard of side being used for pretentiousness -has anyone ever heard of it being used in that sense?

  3. shuchi says:

    @Tony Welsh: You’re right about 2d of course. I’ve fixed it now, thank you.

    “Side” meaning pretentiousness was new to me too; I looked up the dictionary for it as the answer couldn’t have been anything else!

  4. Tom says:

    Think side is as when referring to a genuine person you say they have no side to them

  5. Scarpia says:

    Thanks shuchi.
    A fairly easy puzzle compared to the last couple in the FT.I didn’t know the expression at 29 but it was fairly obvious from the wordplay.
    SIDE meaning pretentiousness is a British usage,so overseas solvers would probably not be familiar with it.
    Favourite clue,19 down,for the well cocealed definition.

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