Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,726 by Gozo

Posted by PeeDee on June 22nd, 2011


A great crossword from Gozo, very enjoyable and I managed it with only a little help from Wikipedia this time.

This is the second Shakespearean character anagram crossword I have blogged from Gozo. I thought the previous version  was unbalanced, the Shakespeare characters being too hard and the normal clues too easy, but this time I think Gozo has got it bang-on.  The anagrams are brilliant, not forced at all, I got the feeling they could be a list of newspaprer headlines, or maybe chapter headings from a novel.  Some of the normal clues are woth a special mention too, especially the nice &Lit at 15dn.

Hold mouse over clue number to see the clue.

1, 5 BRUTUS & BEATRICE Brutus from (Julius Ceasar) and Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing)
9, 10 PERICLES & OBERON Pericles of Tyre and Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
12, 13 DESDEMONA & SNOUT Desdemona (Othello) and Snout (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
14, 16 WART & THESEUS Thomas Wart from Henry IV, Part 2 and Theseus from A midsummer Night’s Dream and Two Noble Kinsmen
19, 21 LAERTES & MOTH Laertes from Hamlet and Moth from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
24, 25 PHILO & CYMBELINE Anthony’s friend Philo in Antony and Cleopatra and Cymbeline
27, 28 AENEAS & MALVOLIO Aeneas from Troilus and Cressida and Malvolio from Twelfth Night
29, 30 STRATO & BASSANIO Strato from Julius Caesar and Bassanio from The Merchant of Venice
1 BIPEDS PI (mathematical constant) reversed in BEDS (Bedfordshire)
2 ARREST A R-REST & Lit – ‘arrest’ does not quite mean ‘take a break’, but near enough I think.  Edit: arrest can also mean seize, so definition=’take’ is another option, thanks to nmsindy for this.
3 RUCHE RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary, now replaced by PSNI) and HE (His Excellency, the address for an ambassador)
4 CHEROOT CHE Guevara has ROOT (source)
7 TURNOVER Double definition
11 RANT RAN (published, the newspaper ran a story) columnisT (final letter of)
15 ASTRONAUT (UNTO A STAR)* & Lit – a great clue
17 SLIPWAYS SLIP (young person) and WAYS (characteristic behaviour)
18 BEGINNER BE (to live) and GINNER (one who works a cotton gin)
20 SACK Double definition
21 MOMBASA MO (short moment) and SAMBA*
22 FILL IN Double definition
23 DE BONO DEB (debutante, society girl) and ONO (or near offer, commonly seen in English house sale advertisements) – Edward De Bono as far as I can tell is a psychologist, not a psychiatrist. Does anyone know more about him, or another De Bono perhaps?
26 ELVES dELVES (digs with the top taken off)


12 Responses to “Financial Times 13,726 by Gozo”

  1. nmsindy says:

    I agree this was very good, pitched at the right level of difficulty, did have to verify some of the characters to be sure. BTW, in 2 down I think the definition is just “take” with the remainder being the wordplay A R-REST with rest = break.

  2. Bracoman says:

    Thanks for the blog. I enjoyed this puzzle which came out reasonably quickly.

  3. DavidR says:

    I really enjoyed this puzzle and agree with the above about the level of difficulty. Fortunately I didn’t have access to a computer or reference books when I did it and persistance paid off. I’ve only started doing the FT this week and have liked them all so far. Should I expect a fiendish one?

  4. Thomas99 says:

    There’s a Moth in Love’s Labour’s Lost too – Don Adriano’s page. Bigger part than the fairy, I’d think.

  5. Eileen says:

    I thought this device from Gozo was clever enough the first time around but to repeat it within such a few months is quite a feat – some lovely surfaces for the anagrams.

    I found the across clues rather easier this time, as I’d heard of all the characters.

    Hi DavidR

    Well, you managed to crack Neo, who can be fairly fiendish – but watch out for Alberich and Loroso!

    Thanks for the blog. PeeDee, and Gozo for an enjoyable puzzle.

  6. Brian H says:

    I don’t usually post anything on this string, but feel impelled to do so as a sort of homage to Gozo in dreaming up this puzzle. On the Guardian string Thomas99 (above, no 4) and I (alias Dragoncel) have been indulging in a fairly mild banter as to whether the date had anything to do with the fact that 25% of the characters come from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Perhaps Gozo might read this and copnfirm or otherwise. Pretty neat if it was so, IMHO

  7. Brian H says:

    “confirm”, not “copnfirm”, naturally! All fingers and thumbs at the moment.

  8. lenny says:

    My first reaction was that the FT had reprinted a Gozo from a month or two back, but, upon checking, I found that it was a completely new puzzle with the same theme. Although I have seen all of his plays, I usually find Shakespeare-themed puzzles quite difficult because there are so many hundreds of obscure characters that the setter can choose from. Fortunately, in this puzzle, Gozo managed to fill the grid with well-known characters. Only Strato and Wart were unknown to me and readily gettable.

    I agree with PeeDee that Edward de Bono is a psychologist, despite his medical degree. When I studied psychology I learned the following rule of thumb: A psychogist is a man who goes to a strip-club to study the audience. A psychiatrist is a Jewish doctor who cannot stand the sight of blood.

  9. walruss says:

    The only problem for me is exactly that – it is the self-same theme! But I do agree Gozo makes a much better job of it this time. Well done to Gozo, and many thanks to PeeDee for a good blog.

  10. Tom Johnson says:

    Thanks for the lovely comments about my puzzle. I did consider a Dickens-themed puzzle when I started out compiling this puzzle, but I decided that Dickensian characters would not be so easy to include, as so many have forenames and surnames and are always known as such. I would fight shy of including just “Nickleby” as a solution, as it seems like a cop-out to me. So I decided upon a second Shakespearean puzzle. As for publication date — sheer coincidence with the AMND connections.

  11. Eileen says:

    Thank you for dropping in, Tom / Gozo. [Are we going to see you again in Birmingham on Saturday, I wonder?]

    The date connection had passed me by: I always thought that Midsummer’s Day was 24th June [it fascinated me, as a child, to note that 21st June was supposed to be the first day of Summer and three days later was mid-season! – but, typically, I remember all my childhood summers as long and sunny!] I now find, through the wonders of the internet, that 21st June has virtually superseded 24th. It still presupposes a pitifully short summer for us! :-(

    [I think a Dickens-themed puzzle would be fine!]

  12. Sil van den Hoek says:

    The only problem (with me) is that if you’re not into Shakespeare, this is not really a puzzle that sets one’s heart on fire.
    I liked the original format though, and the neatness of the down clues.

    Moreover, I started off with a wrong answer that might have been right: 20d – which was SACK but could have been PORT just a easily [Port is wine, of course, but also ‘a bag’ according to Chambers].
    Then I thought (as a non-Shakespearean) 24 & 25 is perhaps CYBIL and PHILOMENE – wrong again, and not in line with my port (which was wrong) and my MOMBASA (which was right).
    What a struggle!

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