Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Tines 13,649 by GAFF

Posted by PeeDee on March 23rd, 2011


This is my first blog of GAFF, and I’m afraid it has defeated me, there are two answers I can’t really explain at all.  So, any help from the wise would be appreciated. 

Nevertheless I enjoyed this crossword very much, lots of clever devices and I picked up some interesting snippets of information along the way.  The theme of course is budget day, which I believe is today  (I don’t really have much interest in the budget, strange I know for an FT solver, but there you go!)

1 COCKED HAT Double definition – the bicorne or tricorne, and ‘knock into a cocked hat’
6   See 2
9 APPROVE AP (son of in Wesh name) PROVE (show)
10 GEORGIA The only word I can think of is GEORGIA, but I can’t find any reason it fits the clue.  The final stop of the Midnight Train to Georgia.   Thanks to crypticsue for this one.
11 EXTRA In cricket extras are runs scored by default. Why an extra ‘comes to’ a test match I can’t work out.
12 OSCILLATE CILLA Black (TV personality and singer) inside TOES* (limted = contained by)
14 ILL Weak = ill.  Any help on the word-play?  oscILLate (middle of previous solution)  – thanks to Eileen
15 INHERITANCE (THE AIR)* inside INN followed by ChangE (ends of)
17, 8 CHANCELLORS STATEMENT (TO THE SMALL SCREEN CAN’T)* – in which chancellor George Osborne sets out UK fiscal policy for the coming year
19 VAT Double definition
22 MERIT TIRE (flag) on Mountain reversed
26 INTENSE Non-EsSENTIal* (loans removed)
27 X-RAYS Cryptic definition
28 BENCHMARK BENCH (seat) MARK (sign)
1 CRAZE sounds like the Krays
2, 6 across CAPITAL GAINS CAPITA (heads) and SIGNAL*
3 EGOMANIAC Cryptic definition
4 HAEMOPHILIA (HAIL MAry I HOPE)* with RY removed (ry = railway = lines)
5 TUG Double definition
6 GROWL George Rex and OWL
8   See 17
13 CORPORATION Corporation tax. A ‘corporation’ is slang for a fat belly, hence ‘body building’. I think there could be other way to parse this clue too, e.g. corporation=’local government body’ and building = ‘makes into’.
16 TEST MATCH In test match cricket there can be hundreds of overs bowled in five days, not just one.
18 AUREOLA EURO* inside A LA (‘as the’ in French) – headlight = halo
19 VERANDA A (initial – first letter) follwing aVER (end of claim) and AND.  On second thoughts, a better explanation is ‘move the A to the end of AVER AND’
21 JINKS sounds like “jinx”
23 TWEAK (TAKE With)* rocky = anagram indicator
25 EBB pEBBles – ebb tide and flow tide


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

9 Responses to “Financial Tines 13,649 by GAFF”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, PeeDee.

    Re 14ac: ILL is the middle of the previous [last] answer, OSCILLATE.

  2. PeeDee says:

    Doh! Thanks Eileen. Can you explain 10 across?

  3. crypticsue says:

    There is a song called the Midnight Train to Georgia! I did struggle with this mighty themed puzzle with those long anagrams but I got there in the end.

  4. walruss says:

    Quite an odd puzzle, but it was nice to see a re levant theme in a puzzle that is not The Independent!

  5. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, PeeDee, I really struggled with this and, even after completing it correctly (as I have now discovered), I was st a loss to explain some of the solutions until you (among others) removed the mysteries.

    I did like OSCILLATE when the penny eventually dropped.

    How very topical. It’s just a pity that Gaff failed to mention Elizabeth Taylor, RIP.

  6. jmac says:

    Thanks for the blog PeeDee – really needed it. A very entertaining puzzle and I look forward to more by Gaff in the future.

  7. Nestorius says:

    Very tough challenge but I got there in the end. Topper for me was 12a.

  8. malc95 says:

    I know it’s late, and there’s probably no-one still around, but I just had to comment on this one.

    Being relatively new to The FT crossie, I’ve not come across GAFF before. I have to say that I thought this was excellent; just the right level of difficulty (3 pints of Original in the Cherry Tree)without having to resort to electronic aids, some fine surfaces and a large dose of humour in a neatly topical puzzle.

    Favourites; 9, 24 & 26a, 3 & 7d; 10a very clever, but cod 4d.

  9. Scarpia says:

    Thanks PeeDee.
    A tough but excellent puzzle I thought.Some very clever wordplay and plenty of humour,plus a long anagram,which seems to be a Gaff trademark.This seems to be only the second Gaff puzzle in the FT and looking back at the blog for the last one I see a comment from Hellathwen –
    “This puzzle is indeed Gaff’s first puzzle for the FT. He is known under other pseudonyms elsewhere and I am delighted to see his work appear in a daily for the first time. He has been a regular compiler for me as an editor for some years. This is an auspicious debut.”

    If you’re here tonight Hellathwen,it would be nice if you could give us a bit more info.This is an equally auspicious follow up!

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