Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,704 / Sleuth

Posted by Gaufrid on May 27th, 2011


Half of the answers went in very quickly during my first pass through the clues, the other half took somewhat longer due to some intricate wordplay in places. I am unable to fully explain 6dn so I am hoping that someone will be able to help me out with this one.


1 FACTOTUM AC (account) in FT (newspaper) TU (trade union) in OM (award)
6 RAKISH K (knight) I (one) in RASH (unwelcome spots)
9 JAILER mAILER (US author) with J (judge) replacing m (Frenchman) – Norman Mailer.
10 ROUND OFF d&cd
11 ASTI  hidden in ‘toAST Imbibed’
12 EXHILARATE LARA (noted batsman) in HIT (success) in EXE (banker {river}) – Brian Lara.
14 TANGIERS *(TRAINS GE[t]) – a port in Morocco that, according to my references, is more correctly called Tangier.
16 GAPE G[r]APE (fruit right away)
18 BUSH hidden reversal in ‘mucH SUBtlety’ – as in George W.
19 INCITING IN (fashionable) TIN (element) in CIG (thing that could be drawn) – it took me a while to see ‘cig’ even though I have smoked for the best part of half a century.
22 SAGE S[t]AGE (platform short of time)
24 EGOMANIA OMANI (Arab) in AGE (era) reversed
26 TEABAG TE (note) A B[owler] A G (good)
27 WAGGLE WAG (joker) *(LEG)
2 AMASS A MAS[on]’S (builder’s not working)
3 TALKING SHOP A L (liberal) KINGS (college) H (hotel) in TOP
4 TURGENEV URGE (drive) in VENT opening) reversed – Ivan Turgenev
5 MARTHA’S VINEYARD A in *(A DRY MAN THRIVES) – the island that received international notoriety in 1969 due to the Chappaquiddick incident.
6 ROUBLE homophone of ‘rue’ (regret) ‘bull’ (rubbish) + ??? – I just don’t see this one. I cannot think of a homophone of a word meaning ‘rubbish’ that would give the ‘ble’ (the nearest I can come up with is ‘blah’ but this does not have the correct pronunciation). Rubble came to mind but that would not normally be defined as ‘rubbish’ and I also don’t see how the clue would work. I’m probably missing something obvious (not for the first time!) so any enlightenment would be welcome.

Edit: Thanks Eileen for providing the rubbish=bull explanation.

7 KID KI[n]D (sort with no end of variation)
8 SAFETY PIN SAFE (peter) TYPIN[g] (a lot of activity in pool)
15 AQUILEGIA EG (say) I (island) in AQUILA (stellar group) – “a plant of the columbine genus Aquilegia, native to Europe, N Africa and Asia” (Chambers). Aquila is a constellation.
17 SCIMITAR MIC (Mike) reversed in SITAR (instrument) – mic and mike are both abbreviations of microphone, the capitalisation was intended to mislead.
20 STANCE hidden in ‘oldeST ANCEstors’
23 GRAZE homophone of ‘greys’ (horses)
25 MUG dd

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13,704 / Sleuth”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Gaufrid, especially for 9ac, which I just couldn’t see.

    I was puzzled by 6dn, too, then concluded that it must be ‘bull’. Not good, I know, but …

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Eileen
    I knew I had to be missing something obvious! I just did not think of rubbish = bull, both in the sense of nonsense.

  3. Conrad Cork says:

    Sorry but I can’t let Sleuth get away with defining Turgenev as ‘dramatist’. Writer would be better, and even novelist would not be wrong. but not dramtist. Nobody thinks of Turgenev primarily as a dramatist. Fortunately the wordplay was unambiguous. All the same I’m miffed.

  4. Joe says:

    Solving FT after quite sometime, yet managed to finish this pretty fast. Loved most of the clues, though I felt some were quite wordy.

    I do have a quibble on 2D: Gather a builder’s not working AMASS – An ‘s’ in the apostrophe cannot easily become a part of the answer, I thought. Plain reading only gets me to ‘A MASON has not ON’, which in turn gets me ‘AMAS’.

  5. Joe says:

    And yeah, with the numerous Gs and Ks floating around, to go with a J and Q, I thought Sleuth had a pangram sealed. And am not I right?

  6. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Joe
    I appreciate your concern regarding 2dn but it is a device that has been used before and no doubt we will see it again.

    You are right about the pangram. I hadn’t noticed it because I was preoccupied with trying to think of something to fit the second half of 6dn.

  7. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Gaufrid & Sleuth, this was very enjoyable even though I gave up on 2d AMASS and 9a JAILER.

    I wonder if Sleuth resembles Humphrey Bogart?

  8. Sleuth says:

    Many thanks to Gaufrid for his blog and all for comments.

    Re Conrad Cork @3, I defer to your superior knowledge of Turgenev but he is defined in major biographical
    reference works as a novelist and dramatist so don’t think the latter is misleading

    Re Joe @5, thanks for spotting the pangram

    Re Bryan @7, no but I do enjoy wearing a trench coat

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