Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,651 / Falcon

Posted by shuchi on March 25th, 2011


A crossword with the upper half considerably easier than the lower, with 14, 21d and 22d taking time/research to fill in. Three easy hidden words gave a good start and many fine clues along the way afforded much entertainment. My favourites of the day are 23a, 29a and 18d.


1 ARDENT ARDEN (forest) [Parkhurs]T; ardent = burning as in ‘burning desire’. Arden is an area mainly located in Warwickshire, England, which was formerly heavily forested and known as the Forest of Arden. The place is best known as the setting for Shakespeare’s As You Like It.
4 APPARENT A, P (page) in PARENT (guardian, with false capitalisation to make you think of the paper). Falcon does well to make the wordplay work as a container rather than a charade, as the roundabout wordplay produces a great surface.
10 ARTILLERY ILL (hostile) in ARTERY (main road)
11 ON TAP hidden reversed in ‘AntwerP AT NOon’
12 CURT CUT around [de]R[by]. The letters of the answer are in plain sight in the clue and yet I didn’t see it immediately. Nice example of ‘lift and separate’.
13 LEGITIMATE LEG IT (run away) I (one) MATE (friend)
15 OLIVIER 1 (one) in OLIVER (musical); Oliver! is a musical based on Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist. Olivier refers to Sir Lawrence Olivier, a celebrated Shakespearean actor in the early 1900s.
16 TRIBAL B[ox] in TRIAL (court case); great use of the words ‘box’ to go with court case.
19 BEAGLE B (British) EAGLE (bird)
21 REAL ALE (ALL ARE)* before [wak]E
23 CONTRADICT DI (short for Detective Inspector i.e. policeman) in CONTRACT (agreement)
25 MERE dd; when taken as adjective the word means ‘nothing more than’, and ‘a pond’ when read as noun.
27 LURID UR (old city) in LID (cover)
28 RECOLLECT R[emarkabl]E COLLECT (harvest)
29 SCHOONER CH (companion, short for Companion of Honour) in SOONER (more willingly), with ‘boarded’ as the indicator. A schooner is a type of sailing vessel.
30 SENTRY S (one) ENTRY (coming on to stage). The clue seems simple in retrospect but it was one of the last I could solve.


1 AT ANCHOR sounds like ‘a tanker’
2 DETERMINE DETER (discourage) MINE (store)
3 NILE hidden in ‘salmoN I LEarned’
5 PAY DIRT (DAY TRIP)*, with the unusual anagrind ‘abroad’ – the word could mean ‘all over the place’ or ‘in error’ (archaic).
6 ABORIGINAL AB (blood group) ORIGINAL (not seen before)
7 EXTRA dd. Good to see a cricket-based clue just a day after the exhilarating Ind-Aus ODI of yesterday.
14 DIDGERIDOO GER (German) 1 (one) DO (party), in DIDO (pop singer). A new word for me – the didgeridoo is a wind instrument of Australian origin, also described as a natural wooden trumpet or “drone pipe”.
18 RECENTLY CENT (small amount of cash) in RELY (bank). Good clue!
20 ENDORSE D (degree) in E (English) NORSE (language)
21 ROCOCO OR (gold) reversed, COCO (Chanel, nickname of the fashion designer)
22 ECCLES BECCLES (English town) – B (bishop). Beccles is a town in Suffolk, Eccles in Greater Manchester. The last answer in for me since I was unfamiliar with both of those towns.
24 NORTH from ‘CroxtoN OR THetford'; an easy hidden clue about the statesman Lord North.
26 CLUE cd

13 Responses to “Financial Times 13,651 / Falcon”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Shuchi

    I failed to get Didgeridoo and surrendered after having convinced myself that it was obscure.

    However, I now recall Rolf Harris having introduced it on TV many years ago:

    Many thanks Falcon this was very enjoyable.

  2. Tony Welsh says:

    Thanks Suchi. I found this fairly easy, though I was not sure about CLUE and did not put it in until, like you, I finally got SENTRY. I got DIDGERIDOO fairly early on, surmising that there is a pop singer called Dido. I had previously spent some time working on the assumption that the pop singer was RINGO, who is about the most recent such whose name I would know. Surprised that didgeridoo is a new word to people, but my wife has Australian relatives and we have one in the house! Spent quite a while trying to justify CONGRUENT as the answer to 23a.

  3. Tony Welsh says:

    Oops; I meant CONGRUENCE in my last post.

  4. Mike Card says:

    I have a disagreement with DIDGERIDOO…. as the explanation provided, and from the clueing, would make it DIDGERIDO. I’ve read the clue again, and can’t find anything to offer a second O.

    And is the word “party” completely unnecessary ?

  5. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, shuchi.

    Hi Mike Card

    14dn is GER I DO [party] in DIDO.

  6. shuchi says:

    14d: I missed the word “party” while writing the blog – thanks for setting that right, Eileen. Will update the main post.

  7. bamberger says:

    I too got stuck on the instrument and gto hung up over having ein to start with. Once I’d used a solver, the SW corner fell.

  8. Eileen says:

    Hi shuchi

    Sorry for jumping in – I thought you might have gone to bed [I’m not absolutely sure of the time difference. :-)]

    I sympathise: I committed two ‘sins of omission’ on my own blog today!

    As Bryan says, if you’ve heard of Rolf Harris, you’ll know of the didgeridoo and if not … [they’re practically inseparable.]

    This is what it sounds like:

    One more thing: as a Classicist, I find it poignant to see DIDO clued as ‘pop singer’ – but we must move with the times …

  9. shuchi says:

    Hi Eileen, thanks for the link – the didgeridoo is a sure limelight-stealer! As I type this, the clock points to 1:10am. I’m going to bed now. :)

  10. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Falcon is the FT’s Everyman, writer of accessible crosswords.
    In my opinion, this puzzle was very easy.
    To avoid making any enemies: well written, too!
    Once more a puzzle that should attract all those solvers that enjoy Falcon’s alter ego.

    Thank you, shuchi, for your blog, most appreciated.
    It was clear that 20d was ENDORSE, but your wise words made clear that my parsing was wrong. Thought that NDO might perhaps be a kind of degree, placed inside ERSE (English Language). Oops, English? Gaelic!

    No DIDGERIDOO problems for me [apart from spelling it wrong initially].
    No problems with Dido either, saw it immediately.
    Fine performer [saw her about 7 years ago in Rotterdam], lovely woman too. A real shame that there’s no place for her anymore in a world full of Gaga’s and Perry’s.
    English folk-rockers The Levellers, a band I have seen many many times, had at one point a didgeridoo player on stage. And in Utrecht, my ‘home town’, we had a street artist with that long thing, a boring thing, in my opinion.

  11. bamberger says:

    Re 10 -I would describe Redshank as easier than Falcon. I have definitely solved two Redshanks without aids but while I’ve got close, I don’t think I’ve got there with Falcon yet.

  12. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Bamberger, don’t get me wrong, I was only talking about this specific puzzle, which I found a lot easier than the average Falcon. Others may disagree, of course.

    In my opinion, this puzzle was similar to an Everyman, also in the style of clueing, where his Falcon puzzles normally have just thát little bit extra.
    All this is no criticism, nor disdain for anyone who found it challenging.
    We all experience crosswords in our own way.

    Moreover, I like to emphasise that to me Falcon is a very good setter.
    And as there are so many admirers of Everyman (look at the number of posts every Sunday), there must be solvers whose hearts will beat faster when they see the name of his alter ego in the FT.
    Not sure whether all these solvers know that Everyman = Falcon.
    Sometimes I would like to start a campaign to make Observer solvers aware of this, if necessary, to ‘seduce’ them to this (often lonely) corner of Fifteensquared.

    Re Redshank, I agree with you that especially the second Redshank was very easy. But I think, comparing them ends here. Redshank uses techniques very different from Falcon’s, in particular he puts a lot of thought into the surface reading of his clues (which are similar in style to his more fiendish alter egos Radian and Crucible, both(?) much admired by me).
    I haste to say that this doesn’t say anything about Falcon!

  13. SteveDove says:

    Thanks Sil van den Hoek for directing me to this puzzle from today’s Everyman, most enjoyable.

    A little late perhaps, but I share your view about Dido, Eileen.

    And while thanks are due to shuchi, I think describing Sir Lawrence Olivier as a celebrated actor in the “early 1900s” hardly does justice to a man whose careeer spanned over half of that century.

    And I too fell into the “Ein” trap for didgeridoo at first.

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