Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,661 by IO

Posted by PeeDee on April 6th, 2011


A bit of a rush job today I’m afraid, I am travelling abroad and don’t have much access to the internet and no printer, so had to try to solve this without a grid to write in.    I’m stuck on 29 across,  I’ll try and get back to the blog later today to finish it off if possible, any help gratefully received.

1 AMALFI “I am Alfie” without the I (cut). Reference to the Michael Caine film and the famous coastal location in Italy
9 SUBTITLE IT (sex) inside SUBTLE
10   See 26
11 I SWEAR IS WEAR (don – to put on) meaning “yes, really”
14 BRING-A-BOTTLE Bachelor RINGABLE (available to call) around OTT
22 FRESH AIR SERF (one bound to a feudal lord) and HAIR (musical)
25 MAROON Double definition
28 PEDESTAL iD EST (Latin ‘that is to say’ missing first letter) inside PEAL (ring of bells)
29 ESTATE  E (5th letter of alphabet) and STATE (say) – ‘estate’ can mean ‘rank in society’.  Thanks to EB and others for expaining this one.
2 MOUSSE USS Enterprise inside MOE Szyslak (owner of Moe’s Tavern in Springfield, in the Simpsons cartoon)
3 LITTER BIN I TT (race) inside BERLIN*
4 INTERVIEW VIE (contend) inside WINTER (cold), W the (with) moves to the end (last)
5 THE RING EH (what) reversed (up) inside TRING
6 BEFIT BIT (little) around (bathing) FE (chemical symbol) – befit means suit
7 HOMER HOME (in) River – cryptic reference is to homing pigeons
13 EGO I’vE GOld (reserves = contains)
15 BAIN MARIE 1 MAN* inside BAR (pub) and IE (that is)
17 PORRIDGE Breakfast food and slang for time spent in prison
19 DOH Doh (first note of scale) and Doh! Homer Simpson’s favourite expression
20 NARWHAL anagram of fAtHeR iN (odd letters missing) and LAW
21 JOB LOT Job and Lot both characters in the Old Testament
23 SLADE Cryptic references to Slade prison, the rock and roll band starring Noddy Holder and DEALS*
24 ASSET AS SET (answer a question ‘as set’)


Hold mouse over clue number to see clue.

15 Responses to “Financial Times 13,661 by IO”

  1. Bradman says:

    29. I suggest ESTATE (= E state)

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks PeeDee, you’ve done a wonderful job in the circumstances.

    Me? Although unimpeded, I was unable to finish knowing nowt about The Simpsons.

    I’m afraid that I harbour negative feelings about this setter after last meeting him in the guise of Enigmatist in The Grauniad on 31 March when his puzzle generated 109 Comments, many unfavourable.

    It’s a devil when neither you nor Bradman are to unravel 29a for sure.

  3. Bryan says:


    It’s a devil when neither you nor Bradman can unravel and explain 29a for sure.

  4. EB says:

    Thanks PeeDee and IO.

    Agree 29ac must be ESTATE. Cryptic part “no 5″ = “number 5″ = “E (fifth letter of alphabet presumably)” & “say” = “state”.
    Definition must be “Rank” but not sure which meaning of rank equates to estate. I guess rank can equal order and there are 3 orders/estates in government plus 4th Estate (the press) but is there something else meant here?

  5. crypticsue says:

    I too thought estate for 29a. One of the definitions in Chambers is any of the various groups or classes within the structure of society – which would equate with rank. I enjoyed this one – my particular favourites being the 17a 23d combo. Thanks to IO and PeeDee.

  6. walruss says:

    Like a lot of them I think this compiler takes his foot off the gas for the more complex FT audience. That’s what they’ve called it here, anyway! But the E from ESTATE is not a good bit of defining for me. That’s the only thing I didn’t like.

  7. bamberger says:

    Got about 3/4 out and quite enjoyed it. Can’t believe that I thought of mo and uss for 2d but couldn’t make the jump to mousse.
    28a was too hard for me and didn’t know 20d.

  8. Richard says:

    Not good.

  9. John H says:

    If you didn’t like it Richard, any chance of knowing why/not?

    I’m happy to discuss – maybe over a pint?

  10. EB says:

    @John H/IO

    Can I pretend I didn’t like it? ;-)

  11. flashling says:

    @IO/EB with the number of Nimrod’s I’ve suffered I deserve a beer or two! Is this the same Richard who commented “horrible” on one of my blogs and then ran, not saying why?

  12. Tilsit says:

    Yes the 109 comments many were not exactly unfavourable but consisted of childish pathetic jokes.

    Most of the comments, like Richard’s, didn’t actually give a lot of reasoning why they didn’t like the puzzle, other than it was too hard for their little brains.

  13. John H says:


    Yeah, go on…

  14. Dave H says:

    Late posting due to being away fron a computor since Wednesday. I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle completing without any aids over a couple of hours and a couple of pints but thanks for the explaination of Estate which I could not parse.Good chalenge with precise clueing and some of IO,s usual tricks and deviousness which is all the more enjoyable when the penny finally drops.

  15. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Very late to the party.
    Just as I (must say: we) liked the recent Enigmatist, I enjoyed this crossword very much too.
    Finished it only tonight – saved it for ‘later’ (which was today).

    It is only recently that I find that there is something about John H’s puzzles that hits the right note for me.
    Clever, fiendish, smiling and certainly nót as chilly as I once thought.
    In the blog of ‘that’ Enigmatist (which we didn’t find very hard … (tackled it within the hour – sorry folks)), I made a remark about the fact that my view on crosswords probably has changed through the (not so many) years.
    Precision in combination with adventurous and original cluing (whatever that’s worth in a country where bookshops literally have Walls of Crossword books) are high on my agenda nowadays.
    This puzzle didn’t disappoint, with perhaps 27ac and 3d as my favourites.

    Very challenging crossword, very satisfying to solve.
    One may find this crossword too hard, not one’s cup of tea or whatever, but saying “not good” (post #8) is IMO out of order.

    Many belated thanks to JH & PD!

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