Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,713 / Loroso

Posted by Gaufrid on June 7th, 2011


When I agreed to stand in for scchua I was hoping that I would get a Loroso to blog and I have not been disappointed. As usual with this setter there are some excellent clues but there is one (8dn) that I have been unable to parse. I’m hoping that someone will be able to enlighten me.

There were many clues that I enjoyed but I think my favourite has to be 28ac which can be read in several ways, including taking the question at face value.

Edit: When Loroso kindly provided the parsing for 8dn (see below) he also said “Wouldn’t be like me to go all vanilla, now would it? A word placed in front of 7d forms something of a pun. It can also be placed before or after 13 other answers.”

After some thought the penny finally dropped! JACKET can go before or after 13 answers and if put before 7dn you get a pun on ‘jack it all in’. What an excellent puzzle!

1 WHOOSH WHO (that) O (nothing) SH (quiet)
4 ABUNDANT BUN (hairstyle) in A DANT[e] (a setter’s kept short) – ‘short’ is doing double duty as it is also part of the definition.
10 GUERILLA *(I’LL ARGUE) – ‘irregular’ in the sense of a soldier not trained under the authority of a government.
12 TROMINOS *(ROOM ISN’T) – a new word for me, “a flat shape made up of three identical squares placed edge to edge” according to Chambers.
13 DINNER D (drawn) INNER (private) – I cannot find ‘d’ as an abbreviation for ‘drawn’ in any of the usual references but it is common enough in tables of sports results.
15 BOOK BOO (I hope you’re scared) K (knight)
19 HORSE-CLOTH R (Romeo) in *(SCHOOL THE) – a novel anagram indicator.
20 MESS hidden in ‘becoMES Strawberry’
23 COMBAT COMB (groom) AT (engaged in)
25 REPORTER cryptic def.
28 VACUUM cryptic def. and double def. – you can read this as a simple cryptic def. or as ‘does it take up’ (vacuum [cleaner]) and ‘space’ (vacuum). An excellent clue.
30 DONKEY DON (assume) KEY (major)
1 WASHTUB T[wenties] in WAS HUB (focal point)
2 OFF-COLOUR double def.
3 STRAIT I (one) in STRAT (guitar) – ‘sound’ as in a stretch of water. ‘Strat’ as an abbreviation for a Fender Stratocaster does not appear in any of the usual references, nor in on-line dictionaries apart from the Urban Dictionary and Wikipedia, so this must be regarded as specialist knowledge and therefore perhaps a little unfair.
5 BLUE double def. &lit
6 NARCISSI NARC (drug investigator) IS S[niff] I (one) – a third occurrence of ‘one’ = I in the wordplay!
7 ALL IN A L[ittle] L[ove] I[s] N[ot]
8 TEA TREE RE (engineers) in TEAT (dug) E (earth) – one of the definitions for ‘dug’ in Chambers is “a nipple or udder of a cow or similar animal; a woman’s breast”.

Edit: Thanks Loroso for supplying the parsing. I should have checked ‘dug’ in Chambers when I couldn’t parse the clue.

I have been unable to parse this one and so am not sure if I have the right answer though I cannot find anything else that will fit. The enumeration is given as 3-4 but none of the usual references have ‘tea tree’ hyphenated. The wordplay indicates a word, or words, meaning ‘dug earth’ around RE (engineers). My initial thought, before I had the checked letters, was that ‘dug’ was an anagram indicator so that it was going to be RE in *(EARTH). When it became clear that this was not an option I considered the possibility of ‘earth’ = E but this got me no further.

11 NORFOLK  NOR (and not) FOLK (people)
14 LEATHER E (Euro) in LATHER (panic)
17 AWESTRUCK WEST (bridge player) in A RUCK (a mob)
18 BEJABERS JAB (punch) in BEERS (drinks)
19 HACKING C (cold) KIN (blood) in HAG (witch)
21 SCRUMMY [thu]S CRUMMY (cheap)
22 POTATO A (area) in POT (grass) TO
24 MATIN MA (old woman) TIN (can)
26 LIFE hidden in ‘jaiL I FEar’ &lit

16 Responses to “Financial Times 13,713 / Loroso”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Gaufrid.

    i was waiting for you to explain 8dn: you seem to have had the same thought processes as my own – I can’t get any further, either, I’m afraid.

    Re 25: I wondered about RE [on] + PORTER [page] – with some double duty, of course? Otherwise, it doesn’t seem very cryptic.

    Super puzzle, as always. Many thanks, Loroso.

  2. gnomethang says:

    Lots of fun this one, thanks Loroso. I was just musing on the hidden theme and actually thought of Jacket but didn’t run down all the clues. Favourite had to be 18d – there were a few instances of MY in the clue and I was sure that one of them would be of the Cor, Gosh variety; This was the last one and proved to be the case!

  3. crypticsue says:

    Thanks to Anax for a great crossword that has kept me entertained on and off all morning in between what I was actually supposed to be doing. Lots to make me smile, but I would agree with Gnomey that 18d is my favourite too. Thanks to Gaufrid too for the explanations.

  4. Joe says:

    Thanks to Loroso/Anax for an entertaining puzzle and to Gaufrid for the blog! I struggled my way to completion as is always the case with your puzzles :) But I have some doubts in the wordplay:

    4A: I am confused about the parsing. Which is the inserticator? And are double duties alright in clues?

    16A: A smelly – noun? I do not see smelly as a noun in OED/Chambers.

    20A: I loved this, but for the extra ‘this’ in the telescopic fodder.

    24D: When different fragments of the fodder are present, they are usually considered singular still, i.e., “MA TIN offers prayer” is the usual fare. Is it okay to assume an “and” in between the two fragments?

  5. Joe says:

    Also, the theme was pretty tough to identify without goading. My kind request to you would be add a cryptic statement asking us to look for an appropriate prefix. It would also have somewhat accelerated our progress!

  6. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Joe
    In 4ac the containment indicator is ‘kept’ which gives ‘abundante’ and the ‘short’ means remove the last letter. As for double duty, I have no problems with it but others do. Having re-read the clue I think perhaps my comment was unnecessary since the ‘anything but’ could be referring to the whole of the first part of the clue as I’ve just remembered hearing the likes of ‘he had an abundant head of hair’

    16ac True, but Loroso likes to take liberties and I’m sure I’ve heard perfume etc referred to as ‘a smelly’ even if it isn’t in the dictionaries (yet!).

    24dn I don’t see a need for anything further in the wordplay when the second part of the answer immediately follows the first.

  7. anax says:

    Afternoon all, and many thanks to Gaufrid for a loverly blog.

    Just to answer Joe’s point about the theme; I took a slightly oblique approach to deciding whether or not to announce it. This is one of the easier FT grids to fill, so I hoped some solvers might wonder why it was necessary to have the rather obscure answer at 12a – after all, it isn’t there because I happened to find a really good clue for it (the clue’s rather plain, actually). Sometimes that nagging suspicion leads you to look at the answers to see if any have something in common.

    Re 4a, I’m with Gaufrid on the Marmite effect of words doing double duty and I was aware of it – I hoped that adding the QM (unnecessary in terms of the letter deletion indicator) might segue into the definition.

    20a is a tad sneaky in that you’re supposed to mentally insert a colon after “This”.

    16a. Indeed. You’re often likely to hear general bathroom goodies referred to as smellies when they’re given as e.g. Christmas gifts.

    And finally 24d. Yes, it’s one of those things which ventures into the land of technicality and I remember a vociferous clue-writing forum argument on a similar subject. If you replace ‘old woman’ with A and ‘can’ with B, then call the answer C you have the equation A plus B equals C – a plural form. Here ‘offer’ is the ‘leading to the answer’ word, so A and B offer C. Mathematically I see ‘offers’ would be just as good, but this is language and language rules aren’t quite the same. You wouldn’t say ‘Tom and Jane goes to London’.

  8. Joe says:

    Many a thanks to Anax and Gaufrid!


    With your fix, 20D is interesting and great :) I have to accept having heard about 16A as well. 4A makes much more meaning now, but during solving it’s way too difficult to unravel. I looked at the cryptic reading – It reads “BUN (that) A DANTE has kept short”, which means we get ABUDANTE first and then shorten it to get the answer.

    24D, as you say, is an assumption in any case. In the case of ‘offers’, I ignore the space between the words. In the other case, you assume an extra ‘and’ between that isn’t there.

    MA TIN offers answer or MA (-and) TIN offer answer – Ha… Too much technical thingy for something I solved right at the start :)

  9. walruss says:

    I had time to do the FT today, and well worth it. It’s good to see the tools of the Indy brought to the Pink One, but the ‘word in front of’ theme is probably too silent. I think this could have done with some kind of nudge.

  10. Wanderer says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this, although I failed to spot the JACKET theme until I came here.

    Didn’t finish as I was snookered by the VACUUM clue. I had LACUNA, which I parsed as 1) a lacuna is a space, or gap, in text; and 2) a lacuna takes up space because in text it occupies at least an en, or an em, or possibly a larger space. So I thought it answered the question “does it take up space?” in the affirmative! Then I came here for enlightenment, and saw the much more satisfactory answer. I was still pleased with the coincidence that I had (mis)found another 6-letter word which goes _ACU__. Can’t be many of them in English.

    Many thanks to Loroso and Gaufrid.

  11. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Wanderer
    “Can’t be many of them in English.”

    Both Collins and Chambers list six – bacula; facula; lacuna; macula; macule & vacuum.

  12. Wanderer says:

    Thanks for that Gaufrid! I’m sure in due course I shall encounter them all in crosswordland!

  13. Gaufrid says:

    I’m pretty sure I already have in one barred-grid puzzle or another.

  14. gnomethang says:

    @ #9 //It’s good to see the tools of the Indy brought to the Pink One//

    I hope that our setter doesn’t take that the wrong way! ;-)

  15. Abu Amaal says:

    I thought 25ac was “imposter” (an acceptable spelling) and bogged down finally on 14d
    Missed the theme – a very nice bonus.

  16. Paul B says:

    How long will it be, I wonder, before ADVISOR comes before ADVISER in the dictionaries. Shocking.

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