Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,637 by Cinephile

Posted by PeeDee on March 9th, 2011


A fine crossword from Cinephile, complete with his usual ‘bending of the rules’ that will delight some and no doubt infuriate others. 

I didn’t find that the special instructions were important to solving this crossword, it might have been nice to omit them and let us figure it out for ourselves.

Regrettably, I am at a complete loss for an expanation to 31 across.  Could anyone help me out please?

1 RIPEST IRons and PEST – I’m not convinved about ‘using’ as a reversal/anagram indicator here
9 SPRITE R (Rex = king) inside SPITE – “O cursed spite, that ever I was born to set it right!”
10 BANNERET ANNE Regina inside BET
11 COVERT Double definition
12 DEMEANOR maDE ME AN ORgan – American spelling of demeanour
13 PER REP reversed
14 RIALTO A LT (lieutenant) in RIO – bridge in Venice
17 EARRING ERRING about A – Girl with a Pearl Earring book, film and painting
21 TAILOR AIL inside TOR - one who ‘tailors something to fit’
25 RUB RUBy (with last of zloty removed)
26 OVERAWED O (love = zero tennis score) VERA WED
27 VECTOR C (one hundred) inside VETO yeaR
28 TWADDLER Anagram of WALT, D (Disney’s head) and RED
30 RENT ROLL RENT (broken, torn) ROLL (a bit of bread)
31 PRIEST Any ideas about ‘art spy’?  art spy = are  a spy = are prying = priest.  Thanks to anax for this.
1 REST CURE REST (the others) CURE (to preserve food with smoke)
2 PERUVIAN PEN around Rugby Union and VIA
5 LEAVER LEER about A V (Roman numeral five)
6 DANGER D ANGER (diving dire into d + ire)
7 MARINE MARE around INch
8 RETORT Double definition
12 DEFRAUD DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – UK government agency) and Urban Development District – this abbreviation is not in my Chambers Dictionary, but I find examples of its use on the web
15 OAK Gabriel Oak is a character in Thamas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd
16 ANT ANThony, ants found in an ant hill
18 GAMESTER Second inside GAMETE and Right
19 FLATLINE FE (chemical symbol for iron) around L (learner deriver’s plate) inside LATIN – reference is to lack of activity shown on heart monitor
20 PRURIENT RURItania (without Tania) inside PENT – Ruritania is a fictional country in The Prisoner of Zenda et al.
22 ROTTER tROTTER (top missing)
23 REMAIN RE (over = regarding) MAIN (the high sea)
24 GANDER Double definition
25 REVEAL RE (regarding = about) VEAL


Hold mouse over clue number to see clue, click a solution to see its definition.

11 Responses to “Financial Times 13,637 by Cinephile”

  1. anax says:

    PRIEST – art spy

    Indeed; it’s exploiting an archaism. ‘Thou art spy’ = ‘thou priest’ (based on PRY). I think it was in the Guardian many years ago when I first saw a similar trick for the answer TEA-CHEST whose wordplay was something like ‘art tutor’.

  2. PeeDee says:

    Thanks Anax, whizzed over my head. I’ll update the blog.

  3. Handel says:

    31ac: Eh? Sorry, obviously being dense here Anax…

  4. Bryan says:

    Many thanks PeeDee.

    This was very enjoyable but I was undone by FLATLINE and, although I opted for PRIEST, the Art Spy ‘clue’ only served to confuse.

    I rather liked its complementary anagrams. Whatever will The Rev think up next?

    Thanks Cinephile: the competition is really hotting up between you and Arau-whatever-his-name.

  5. PeeDee says:

    Re ‘thou priest’ – it is only an archaism for us newcomers, Cinephile is old enough to remeber this as regular conversation.

  6. Geoff says:

    Thanks PeeDee

    I was banjaxed by PRIEST (although I couldn’t think of anything else that would fit) – a very clever clue.

    The UD in 12d is ‘Urban District’, I think – usually found (formerly) in expressions like Urban District Council, which was usually abbreviated to UDC.

  7. smiffy says:

    A deftly constructed grid, although I concur with PeeDee that the special instructions were an immense help; once you’d solved one of a pair the wordplay for the other was largely redundant.

    12D was solved purely from definition. Last time I paid any attention to such matters, the UK still had MAFF (Ministry of Ag, Fish & Food). Didn’t realised it had been subsumed by a five-letter rival!

    Following up on the Priest/priest item. A quick trawl of the site archives suggests that Cinephile himself used the teachest/tea chest variant a couple of years ago in FT 12,917 (not sure if that counts as “many years”, Anax(!), but well remembered on the ‘art tutor’ bit). It also cropped up in The Times (24,425)in early 2010.

  8. anax says:

    Hi Smiffy

    I seem to (vaguely) remember seeing TEA/CHEST in a book of Guardian crosswords – so long ago that some of the grid artworks were a bit ropey. I’m not talking hatched block cells, but there were different line thicknesses, grid number fonts/sizes etc. It was certainly a long time before crossword software existed; I’ll make a very rough guess at early 1980s.

  9. PeeDee says:

    I notice Paul has ESPRIT, yet another anagram of PRIEST/RIPEST/STRIPE/SPRITE in the Guardian today.

  10. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Nice puzzle, but not as taxing (nor as clever) as a similar crossword some months ago in which Araucaria did a similar thing.
    But … very important … then not telling us.
    Today he did, making it – like smiffy said – much easier.

    Like others I didn’t understand PRIEST, and, although I am more than convinced that what anax said must be right, it is really a stretch for us, the ‘younger generation’ [did I mention the name anax … :), and did I say I am part of the that younger generation (too)? :)]

    BTW, what is the role of “in Britain” in 12ac?

    16d: “Little boy” for ANT (the only word that fitted ?NT, indeed).
    Is ANT really short for Anthony?
    Well, it is shorter than Anthony, true, but ….

    I liked 17ac (EARRING), TWADDLED (28ac) [very unusual constructional device for Cinephile] and the surface of 29d (STRIPE).

    Thanks , PeeDee.

  11. Scarpia says:

    Thanks PeeDee.
    Very enjoyable puzzle,not too difficult but plenty of witty definitions.
    I think the special instructions are an FT ‘house rule’,similar to the one about linked clues being ‘of a kind’,whereas the Guardian just links to the relevant clue number.
    Re 31 across – I remember a blog on this site by,I think,Andrew and TEACHEST was an answer.He gave a link to this little witticism –
    A facetious Cantab is said to have placed upon his tea-caddy the Latin words, Tu Doces, (i.e., Thou teachest,) rendering the phrase into a punning motto, Thou tea-chest.

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