Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,618 / Gurney

Posted by Gaufrid on February 15th, 2011


I don’t know what has prevented Agentzero from blogging today but here is an analysis of the clues.

Sorry, no comments from me. I have an optical migraine at the moment and am therefore trying to keep typing to a minimum as I cannot read what appears on the screen (so please excuse any typos).

5 CAMPER M (male) in CAPER (escapade)
10 IMPASSE ASS (animal) in IMPE[l] (drive finally failing)
11 DIARIST RAID (attack) IST (first)
12 ERROR [t]ERROR (lacking time, troublesome child)
13 TRIMESTER ME (setter) S[tuden]T in TRIER (one making an effort)
23 PLATE P (Portugal) LATE (in the evening)
24 REISSUE *(USER IS) E(English)
25 INTENSE IN TENS (as we count) E (energy)
26 DINING [g]IN [g]IN (double gin not good) in DG (director-general)
2 SUPERB UP (success) in SERB (East European)
3 OBSERVERS OB (TV item {outside broadcast}) SERVERS (workers in café)
4 ELECTRIC HEATER ELECT (choose) RICH (well-off) EATER (one 26 {dining})
6 ADAGE hidden in ‘broAD AGEnda’
7 PAINTING I (current) in PANTING (longing)
8 RETORTED TORTE (sweet cake) in RED (wine)
16 IMPAIRED I (one) PAIR (couple) in MED (sea)
19 MAGNET hidden reversal in ‘shorTEN GAMe’
20 HERESY HERE (in this place) S[axon]Y
22 IBSEN BSE (cattle disease) in IN (home)

11 Responses to “Financial Times 13,618 / Gurney”

  1. Tony Welsh says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid, especially in view of your migraine. I found this very easy, though for some reason it took me a while to get my last clue, PLATE. Seemed like a lot of anagrams. Thanks for explaining the “OB” in OBSERVER and the IMP___E in IMPASSE, both of which I got without fully understanding why.

    Favorite clue 4d.

  2. bamberger says:

    Six months ago I would have been pleased to solve this with aids. Now I’m not happy because I got through all bar 1a,1d, 5a 2d & 3d in a record time for me but just couldn’t get those clues. Stared at them for a good 20 mins and gave up. Came back 2 hours later and got them within 5 minutes. One day I’ll solve the lot in under 15 mins.
    I always like to read the Times blog “7 mins 20s -would have been quicker had I not put in a wrong answer at 5a which meant I spent 2 minutes pondering ?a?b?c before realising my mistake”.
    Like Tony couldn’t understand OB.
    I liked this.

  3. mike04 says:

    Thank you for stepping in Gaufrid – with such an excellent (and flawless) blog.
    I hope you are feeling much better soon.

    A very easy puzzle, it would be very suitable for beginners at this game.
    I thoroughly it though; it’s great to achieve a fast time occasionally!

    My only criticism of today’s clues would be in 19 down.
    Would ‘Looking back’ not be preferable to ‘Looking up’?

  4. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Tony
    When solving, I too thought that there were a lot of anagrams but having just counted them there were only eight. Perhaps this perception comes from the fact that six of them occurred in the across clues.

  5. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Gaufrid

    Sorry to hear that you have been suffering.

    I would never have guessed if you hadn’t said.

    The sign of a true pro: The Show Must Go On!

  6. Gaufrid says:

    Hi bamberger
    Don’t worry about times! A good crossword should savoured like a single malt or a vintage port (substitute your preferred tipple), not knocked back as quickly as possible without having time to appreciate the aroma and flavour.

  7. Gaufrid says:

    Hi mike04
    Thanks for your good wishes. Fortunately I no longer get full-blown migraines, just optical ones, so I felt OK, it was just a case of not being able to read the screen, or see the keyboard clearly, due to the large number of jagged lines, blurred areas and blind spots. At least it has eased enough now for me to be able to read these comments without too much difficulty.

    Regarding your comment about 19dn, as this is a down clue ‘looking up’ is perfectly valid. However, ‘looking back’ would, IMO, improve the surface and it would still work correctly.

  8. Agentzero says:

    Thanks for stepping in, Gaufrid. I couldn’t blog last night, and I was hoping to have one up by 5 pm London time today, but work got in the way. I’m sorry for any contribution to your headache!

  9. Sil van den Hoek says:

    My first ever Gurney, a puzzle by one of Fifteensquared’s very own bloggers.
    Just like others I found this very easy, and to be honest, I was a bit surprised by it – for some reason I expected something more challenging (in the aftermath of Derby do), also given the fact that he is an Indy writer.
    That said there’s nothing wrong with the clueing as such.

    I started in the SW and encountered quite an overdose of anagrams, but to be fair to Gurney, all in all there were ‘only’ eight, seven of them indeed concentrated in the bottom half.

    Clue I liked most was 19d (MAGNET), nice surface.

    And, not unimportant, this puzzle restored my self-confidence considerably after hopelessly failing on today’s Nimrod in the Indy.

    Thanks N. and Gaufrid!

  10. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Gaufrid.
    Very pleasant puzzle to solve after the severe brain ache caused by Nimrod!
    All clues were sound and there were some very good anagrams – 14 and 18 in particular.
    Definitely easier than puzzles by this setter’s alter ego – I have struggled with a couple of his Inquisitor outings.

  11. Gurney says:

    Many thanks, Gaufrid, for standing in, esp in view of your discomfort, and for writing an excellent blog. Many thanks also to all for their comments. As some have noted, the Gurney FT puzzles generally aim to be just a little easier than puzzles using the Raich pseudonym in the Indy.

    Inquisitor puzzles also would draw on the wider vocab of the Chambers Dictionary.

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