Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,633 / Bradman

Posted by shuchi on March 4th, 2011


A puzzle with moments of ease as well as perplexities, which dissolve happily when the penny drops. A few words learnt today thanks to 14a and 20d. A wide range of knowledge domains and deftly crafted clues. Bradman is a pleasure to solve.


1 CONCERTS CON (trick) CERTS (sure-fire winners). A “cert” is short for a certainty, such as a horse sure to win a race.
6 SCRIBE CRIB (information word for translation, such as list of answers illicitly used by students during exams) in PROSE – PRO (professional)
9 UTTERS UTTER (absolute) S[ense]
10 ROASTING RING (circular) around OAST (kiln)
11 BOSS BO (stink, short for “body odour”) SS (short for Schutzstaffel, the military organization under Hitler which was banned post-World War II)
14 TARBOOSH TAR (sailor) BOOS (expresses disapproval) H (hard). Tarboosh is a brimless felt hat worn by Middle Eastern men, shaped like a cone or short cylinder.
16 ROOT RO[b]OT (automaton)
18 STOA hidden in ‘stages to Athens’. Stoa is a covered walkway in ancient Greek architecture. A very well-framed clue with the leading word “See” and the link between Greece and Athens.
19 DETAILED dd; the farmer’s wife de-tailed i.e. cut off the tails of the three blind mice.
21 CLODHOPPER CHOPPER (helicopter) around (OLD)*
22 ARCH MARCH (month) – M (man)
24 HELSINKI HE (Helium, an abbreviation for ‘high explosive’) L (left) SINK (wreak havoc) I (one). I can’t see how SINK = “wreak havoc”; “sink” seems to convey slow collapse, havoc is much stronger than that. // Update: Scarpia has shared this definition from Roget’s which puts the  doubt to rest: “Sink – To cause the complete ruin or wreckage of. ” And thanks to quodlibet for the expansion of HE.
26 IBIDEM I BID (offer) ‘EM (them, informally); Latin word meaning “in the same place”, generally used in footnotes when citing a reference.
27 HYADES [miser]Y in HADES (hell). Hyades is a star cluster close to the solar system.
28 THE ENEMY dd; from the expression “time is the enemy”, which possibly originates from the line “The innocent and the beautiful, Have no enemy but time” by W B Yeats.


2 OUTDO d&cd. A picnic is a party out-of-doors, therefore OUT-DO, with the “?” in the clue nudging us to think laterally.
3 CHEESEBOARD Derby and Leicester are types of cheese.
5 STRETCHED A POINT dd. This raised a smile.
6 SWATHE SHE (the female) around WAT (Wat Tyler, leader of the English Peasants’ Revolt)
7 ROT TORY (politician) – Y, reversed
8 BANGALORE BANG (strike) A LORE (lot of stories). Isn’t it lovely to come across words in a crossword that have special meaning to you? This is the city where I live.
13 TERMINATION TERM (period of office) I (independent) NATION (country)
15 ARTILLERY ARTERY (vessel) around ILL (unsatisfactorily, as in “ill-used”)
20 TOTNES TOTS (kids) around NE (region diametrically opposite to SW)
23 CREAM SCREAM (yell) – S (son). Fantastic surface.
25 SAD “Down” is the definition and daughter = D; how does SA work? Thanks to Shyam for the answer: SA (It, crosswordese for sex appeal) D (daughter). SAD stands for “seasonal affective disorder”, the effect of winter darkness. A rare instance of an acronym as the answer, and I’m reminded of this related article by the Guardian’s crossword editor.

14 Responses to “Financial Times 13,633 / Bradman”

  1. Shyam says:

    IT = SA Sex appeal, Shuchi :) Usual trick!

  2. Shyam says:

    The definition is not down.
    SAD = Seasonal affective disorder = effect of winter darkness

  3. shuchi says:

    Thanks, Shyam! And here I was wondering how to discard the extra letters from DEC + SHADE.

  4. Eileen says:

    Hi shuchi and thanks for the blog.

    Re Bangalore; I spent too long working this one out: I was too hung up on ‘galore’ meaning ‘a lot of’!

    I share your feeling of gratification: I live in Leicester and we recently had our 15² get-together in Derby! :-)

  5. Bradman says:

    Thanks all. Other puzzles by me today in the Daily Telegraph and Church Times ( the latter free at the website)

  6. Andrew says:

    Thanks suchi, and Bradman. I enjoyed this, but I’m puzzled why STARLIKE is “bright but quite small” – surely stars are quite large.

    I thought “down” in 25dn was a second definition.

  7. Bradman says:

    Stars as we perceive them!

  8. Andrew says:

    Ah, fair enough! Thanks Don.

  9. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Shuchi

    I was saddened that I was unable to get SAD but no complaints!

    Thank you Bradman this was very enjoyable. I’ll now take a look at the Church Times – if I can find it.

  10. bamberger says:

    Had I got 18a , this would have been my first unaided Bradman solve. Sadly faced with ?t?a I just couldn’t get it.
    I had seen tarboose somewhere else.
    I couldn’t have explained 6a, 24a or 25d.

    While I don’t find the Don’s crosswords easy, I do find the clues impeccably constructed unlike several other setters.

  11. quodlibet says:

    re 24 ac: Helium is not an explosive. I think this is the abbreviation HE for “high explosive.”

  12. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thank you, shuchi, for the blog of a relatively easy crossword [although after yesterday’s Boatman a lot of crosswords might have been called easyish today].
    By no means a negligible one, though.

    I agree with quodlibet @11 about the use of HE in 24ac.
    For 25d (SAD) I needed the help of the blog, and now I see how it is, I must say that it is a very sound clue.
    And, as ever with Bradman (and certainly with his other aliases) I learnt something today, which is good.

    Very even, pleasant crossword.

  13. Scarpia says:

    Thanks shuchi.
    As usual,an impeccably clued puzzle from the Don.
    I too had doubts about WREAK HAVOC = SINK but I found this definition(copied from Roget’s) –
    Sink – To cause the complete ruin or wreckage of.
    So I’ll have to keep looking – he’ll make a mistake one day! :)

  14. shuchi says:

    Thank you.I’ve updated 24a with the expansion of HE and Roget’s definition of SINK.

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