Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,619 by Gozo

Posted by PeeDee on February 16th, 2011


An amazingly good crossword, and a fitting tribute to the birthday boy.  Here at home the kids are off school today for half term break and my wife is away for the week, so it is a bit mad, and when I opened the FT crossword I thought “please let this be an easy one”.  Oh-no!  No clue numbers, not enough 6 or seven letter words to fill the grid, too many 9 and 10 letter words to fit in the grid.  Gulp!

First off, the birthday message is CINEPHILE IS 90 YEARS YOUNG TODAY.  OK, you would think setting a crossword with that round the edge would be hard enough, but no, Gozo then constructs each clue so that the first letters, when arranged in alphabetical order of their solutions reads JOHN GALBRAITH GRAHAM IS CINEPHILE.  Then, just in case we may finding it all a bit dull, he omits the clue numbers and leaves it to us to put them in the grid.  Then for the icing on the (birthday) cake he aranges it so that at first sight the letter counts of the words don’t match the number of cells in the grid.

Setting this crosword has clearly been a labour of love for Gozo, and I’m sure we all join him in wishing John/Cinephile/Araucaria a very happy birthday, and many more to come.

Now for the solutions :

Solution grid

Solution grid for FT 13,619


AWOL felLOW Activist
CHISINAU CHI’S (Greek letter is) and IN (made of) and AU (chemical sysmbol for gold) – Capital of Moldova
DJIBOUTI DJ (disc jocky) 1 BOUT and I (Independent)
DRILLS Double definition
EDDY Doube definition
ETA Double definition
ETRURIA Double definition (Etruria town in England founded by pottery maker Josiah Wedgewood)
FAG ENDS FENDS (fends = turns aside) holding AG (chemical symbol for silver)
GIGGLES Ryan GIGGS (Manchester United football player) holding LE (‘the’ in French)
HAVE NOT HAVEN (retreat) around OT (Old Testament – books of the Bible)
HEIGH HO sounds like “hay hoe”
IDEALLY IDE (type of fish) and ALLY
IN DISORDER Anagram of  hORSE RIDINg (inside of) and Daughter
IOLANTHE (IN A HOTEL)* Can’t quite get the reference to Bunthorne’s Bride here.  Bunthorne’s Bride and Iolanthe are both Gilbert and Sullivan operas, but how are thry linked in this clue?
ITS Island and STreet reversed
KES ShaKESpear’s
MYCENAE Anagram of ENEMY Agent (first letter of) and Caught (cricket abbreviation) – city-state in ancient Greece
NANNY STATE NANNY Small TATE (One of several art galleries in UK)
NASH Norman Architraves (first letters of) and SH (be quiet!)
OCH rOCHester (popular Scottish expression)
PRAY Performer and RAY (beam)
REDATE EDitor inside RATE (cost)
SATUR9 SATURN before IN East 
YARD MASTER  DRAY (cart) backwards and STREAM*


23 Responses to “Financial Times 13,619 by Gozo”

  1. Andrew says:

    Thanks PeeDee – this was by far the hardest of the three Araucaria-birthday puzzles I’ve done today, but good fun and very satisfying. I liked the way Gozo gave the subtle hint “solvers must figure out the correct way to enter two solutions.

    I thought the Bunthorne’s Bride = Iolanthe thing was just a mistake. BB is the subtitle for “Patience”.

  2. crypticsue says:

    Although its the hardest of the three today, it turned out to be not as hard as my first read through thought it would be. Thanks to Gozo for the very engrossing birthday tribute.

  3. Conrad Cork says:

    Verily a day for superlatives, and not least the great blog PeeDee. As for the puzzle I can only say that my fellow Old Edwardian has produced the ne plus ultra of tributes. A mind-boggling feat of virtuosity.

  4. niloci says:

    Thank you for excellent blog of this splendid puzzle and apologies for G&S error, which I should have spotted. A happy birthday to Cinephile, whose output, wit and invention happily seem undiminished by the passing years.

  5. Eileen says:

    Bravo, PeeDee! Super blog. And very many thanks, Gozo, for an enthralling puzzle, which, I’m afraid, foxed me on the enumerations. :-(

    Re Iolanthe / Bunthorne’s bride: do you think ‘masquerading’ could mean just that, as well as being the anagram indicator?

    [Haven’t we been spoilt today?]

  6. Tony Welsh says:

    I am gobsmacked that anyone could do this one! I gave up with 18 clues solved and no idea how to fit them into the puzzle. Re IOLANTHE, I suppose “as Bunthorne’s Bride” could be read to indicate that the answer is a G&S opera, “as is Bunthorne’s Bride.”

  7. Tokyocolin says:

    I have never had much success with ‘jigsaw’ style puzzles and so was dismayed when I saw this. But I was at home with a cold and it was a Cinephile tribute so I made a start and remarkably finished it not long after. I am in awe of the feat of having the clues spell out the intro to JGG as Cinephile while the answers are in alphabetical order. And I really enjoyed cracking the conundrum of the clues that didn’t fit.
    A very special day for cryptic fans.

  8. walruss says:

    Yes, a good day. And another very good puzzle. Joy!

  9. nmsindy says:

    Yes, another excellent puzzle to mark the special occasion. This was much more difficult than the Indy tribute by Eimi – like others, I would like to praise Gozo for fitting so much into the grid and initial letters of clues, this could not have been easy to say the very least. The breakthrough was eventually seeing what the perimeter message might be and what ‘figure out’ meant.

    Again as in the Indy tribute it was so appropriate that this type of jigsaw puzzle was used on the special day. Thanks PeeDee for an outstanding blog and Gozo for the puzzle.

  10. PeeDee says:

    Another thing about this puzzle I forgot to mention in the blog is that Gozo achieves all his amazing tricks without having to resort to obscure technical terms and archaic words. All the solutions in the grid are within the realm of ‘general knowledge’.

  11. Uncle Yap says:

    Great blog for a fantastic puzzle. Well done, PeeDee and Gozo.

    Really enjoyed the birthday puzzles today

  12. Robi says:

    I didn’t do this one, but I am minded to comment on the amazing talent of this setter. A really super puzzle and a good blog too. How long did this take Tom Johnson to compile? I can only sit and wonder!

  13. Scarpia says:

    Thanks PeeDee,
    …and Gozo for a super puzzle in the style of the master.A very fitting tribute indeed.
    Nice to see a reference to Bunthorne(even if slightly in error),who was,alongside today’s birthday boy,one of the great compilers on the Guardian team.

  14. smiffy says:

    I can only, slightly belatedly, join the chorus of sentiments on this (to both the setter’s gridmanship and our thematic hero’s milestone).
    For once I decided to savour the puzzle, so saved it to solve in the evening rather than in less appreciative fashion during the work day. And certainly wasn’t disappointed!
    Managed to solve a decent slug of the clues in isolation, but it wasn’t until DJIBOUTI dropped that I was able to start piecing them together. The two that, with hindsight, took me an inexplicably long time to fathom were IN DISORDER and DO THE DIRTY.

  15. Tom Johnson says:

    This is the first time that I have ever responded to bloggers’ comments on any of my puzzles, but your fulsome praise on my Cinephile 90th Birthday crossword cannot go unnoticed. Very many thanks for all that has been said. As for the Bunthorne reference — it was not an error on my part, just a very abstruse allusion to G&S operettas which enabled me to include Bunthorne who, you may recall, captained the Crossword Compilers team which included Cinephile on University Challenge. Robi — I have no idea how long the puzzle took to compile, as I do not attempt to complete a puzzle in one sitting. I produced a dummy version first, which was not wholly successful and so revised the grid, before the idea of the message within the clues occurred to me, so that added to the complexity of cluing. Colin Inman invited me to compile the puzzle in early December and I sent the final version to him just before Christmas.
    And Conrad — I had no idea that you are an OE too — were we contemporaries?

  16. Mick and Pirjo says:

    We have just started getting into cryptic crosswords and this was Pirjo’s first introduction to the jigsaw special. We stayed up late to finish it. Thanks Tom for a most enjoyable puzzle!

    Has anyone else noticed that the FT has published the wrong solution grid this morning?

  17. BrigC says:

    Gosh, I was worried when I saw the published answer grid, having had so much trouble (and fun) completing it yesterday. It’s a wonder nearly all of the incorrect solutions interlock correctly, only FTS instead of ITS looking clunky.
    I too think this was the best tribute of the three published in the Guardian, FT & Independent. A very impressive jig saw, many thanks Tom. It’s also wonderful that you should visit this forum yourself.

  18. Scarpia says:

    Tom – nice to read your comment and I withdraw my previous “slightly in error” comment.
    I thought the Bunthorne reference must have been deliberate.

  19. beermagnet says:

    Thanks to whoever it was who tipped us the wink to come over to the FT and have a go at this. (I’m not sure who first mentioned it on the Graun or Indy blogs)

    What a great crossword!

    I think I had more enjoyment out of this than the day’s G or the I – but perhaps for a different reason – I absolutely love these alpha-jigs, and this was one with a twist and extras.
    And what a twist!

    I saw the perimeter message building but initially put in XC for the 90 which foxed me for a while. I thought the “extra” clues/letters would resolve by overlapping or something.
    At that time that left S—-X so I was wondering how SPHINX could possibly fit there.

    I don’t normally attempt the FT (not a paper I buy) but after this I will probably look in more often, particularly if I spot the name Gozo on the go.

  20. Tony Welsh says:

    Thanks, Tokyocolin. It would never have occurred to me to see the message in the first letters of the clues. It probably would not have helped me if I had, though, since I had never heard of JGG.

  21. Paul8hours says:

    Many thanks for the blog and to whoever it was who made us Grauniads aware of this amazing tribute puzzle.
    Well done Gozo for a very impressive & truly appropriate achievement. I only found it yesterday but had a very enjoyable train journey to Leicester and for once I did not mind the delay in arriving.

  22. Sil van den Hoek says:

    The Party’s Long Over.
    And finally, yes finally, I championed this crossword.
    Did I say ‘crossword’?
    It was a real ‘tour de force’.
    In so many aspects.

    I will not say that this was the best puzzle of the three as I have too much respect and admiration for the other tributes, but it was certainly the most challenging one.
    My Crossword of thát Day!

    Gozo, this was an amazing experience.

  23. The Button says:

    Thanks PeeDee for printing the correct solution!

    I was on holiday for this one, so didn’t care how long it took me to finish… (more than a day!)

    Admit that I was foxed by the 9 and 0 figures, but got the rest.
    So was really perlexed when I went to ft site to check the answer and found quite a few different solutions in there. However several of the ft “wrong” answers were ones that I was very confident about so assumed it was a glitch.
    First time I have used this website, but will be back for more.

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