Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times no. 13,703 by Flimsy

Posted by Ringo on May 26th, 2011


Enjoyable one, this, though not too challenging. If I were feeling crotchety, I’d say that a couple of the devices were a little hackneyed – but happily I’m not (today, at least), so instead I’ll call them agreeably old-school.


1. ECCLES CAKE Eccles(iastes) [Biblical book] + cake [the verb, meaning to cover] to give the Mancunian pastry

7. ASBO Hidden within fracAS BOy, the punishment being an AntiSocial Behaviour Order

9. KNOB Smutty whichever way you look at it… knob [meaning hump or lump], when flipped gives ‘bonk’ [meaning hump in another sense]

10. IRRELEVANT Anagram of I’ve learnt r(esistance)

11. MULLET Double definition – refers either to the hairstyle [also known as business at the front, party at the back] or the heraldic five-pointed star

12. RESTRAIN Anagram of tears around (corrido)r + in

13. WRITE OFF Anagram of FT for we including I [i.e. one]

15. ITEM I + met [bumped into] reversed, giving an object

17. TIER The Roman river Tiber with b(ass) removed

19. COMMERCE Come [appear] incorporating merc(edes) to give a synonym for traffic (in the sense of trafficking)

22. CAPSULAR Anagram of Pauls inside car [automobile]

23. UMPIRE Ire [anger] following u(ntruths) + MP [politician], to give the official arbiter or judge in cricket, hockey and other games

25. SECOND WIND Second [support] + wind [section of an orchestra]

26. AVID Reversal of diva, the operatic first lady or prima donna

27. TYPE Hidden in pretTY PErson – not sure I’m convinced by ‘engaged to’ as an indicator (engaged in or engaged by, possibly)

28. EAR TRUMPET Anagram of mate erupt r(age)


2. CONQUER Con [prisoner or convict] + qu(e)er – as in ‘I came, I saw, I subdued’…

3. LABEL l(ab) + Abel [Biblical murder victim – a decidedly time-honoured device]

4. SPITTOON Cryptic definition using the slang word gob for saliva, and a lovely mental image first thing in the morning

5. AIRCRAFT CARRIER Cryptic definition

6. ENLIST Anagram of Isn’t let, minus t(raining)

7. ADVERTISE Advise [recommend] enclosing (privat)e (secto)r (investmen)t, to give a (rough) synonym for the verb market

8. BONFIRE B(lazing) + one [somebody] surrounding fir [wood] – a very neat &lit

14. TURNSTONE Turns [changes] + tone [colour] – a lovely little clue for a lovely little bird

16. SMOULDER S(trawberry) + moulder [crumble]

18. INANELY I + Ely [another rather antique device, referring to the see or diocese of Ely] ‘trapping’ nan [grandmother]

20. CARMINE Car [vehicle] followed by me [setter] surrounding in [at home] to give a shade of red – the second use of ‘car’ (after 22ac.) seems a little lazy

21. PLEDGE P(enny) + ledge [mantelpiece]

24. PSALM P(riest) + s(inging) a l(ess) m(odern)




4 Responses to “Financial Times no. 13,703 by Flimsy”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Ringo, you really are a Star.

    However, as I’ve pointed out before, Flimsy is so Robust as to be guilty of misrepresenting himself.

    SPITTOON was my favourite in a very enjoyable exercise.

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Nice puzzle.
    “Agreeable old school”?
    Well, surely a well-written crossword with a lot of fine surfaces (which I always like).
    Maybe, one car too many, but I enjoyed this puzzle.
    Not very hard, but also not one for which Flimsy used the automatic pilot.
    Elegant, I thought.

    Thank you, Ringo.

  3. bamberger says:

    Got most of the rhs out but the lhs was untouched.
    1a Book=ecclesiates is I think too hard
    3d Ditto for Abel -I was looking for body or corpse.
    11a Mullet did come to mind for a bad hairstyle but couldn’t see any connection with star so din’t write it in.
    13a Surely this is wrong? If I write off a car, I wreck it. If I go on the beer at luchtime I can write off the entire afternoon -but there is no element of cancellation.
    22a Never heard of it
    27a Agree with you Ringo

    4d Wonderful clue -though didn’t get it

    Somehow I feel annoyed when answers require biblical, art,plays or literature knowledge. Only biblical applying here.

  4. Ringo says:


    1a. I figured out ‘cake’ and worked backwards from there, to be honest. ‘Abel’ at 3d. is a device that’s been knocking around for years – very tough, it’s true, if you’ve not come across it before. But personally I’m not averse to a bit of General Knowledge in a puzzle.

    13a. I suppose you could ‘write off’ a debt, which would be the same as cancelling it, maybe?

    ‘Mullet’ (in the heraldic sense) and ‘capsular’ were both new to me, too.

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