Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,746 / Bradman

Posted by shuchi on July 15th, 2011


The usual excellent puzzle from Bradman with eloquent clue surfaces and some deceptive use of punctuation (25a, 14d).

I started from the right of the grid and worked my way to the bottom-left. A couple of answers went in without fully interpreting the wordplay, some of which came to me while blogging. 5d remains to be explained, I wait to be enlightened. //Update: 5d explained and 1a, 26a edited, thanks to Eileen, Pelham Barton and jmac.


1 POST CHAISE IS in (TEASHOP)* around C (hundred). The post-chaise was a fast carriage in the 18th-19th centuries, usually drawn by two or four horses and had a closed body.
6 MISS hidden in ‘BirminghaM IS Sassy’
9 PARENTHOOD PA (the old man) RENT (ripped) HOOD (part of garment). I like the way the definition relies on the wordplay.
10 ADZE sounds like ads (commercials)
12 GRIND TO A HALT dd. An express train does not make frequent stops along its way. I’m not sure if there is more to the second definition in the clue.
15 BLIND SPOT BLINDS (screens) POT (vessel). A blind spot is an obscuration of the visual field, idiomatically used for a subject about which one is ignorant or biased.
17 RUMBA AB (sailor) reversed, after RUM (his drink) – sailors/pirates apparently had a special affinity for rum – look up the interesting background here: naval rum.
18 TONIC TO[o] NIC[e] (pleasant, almost). I loved this clue!
19 CAP IN HAND CH (companion) around A PIN (indication of personal identity), AND. Neat that AND isn’t a connector but part of the answer.
20  IN THE HOT SEAT dd; being in the hot seat is slang for being in a dangerous position. ‘Hot seat’ also means the electric chair used for executing criminals.
24 IONA I (one) ON A. An island in the Inner Hebridies, famous for its monastery.
26 GORE dd? The second part of the clue probably refers to the secondary meaning of ‘gore’ – a triangular piece of land that connects, like a neck, larger divisions of land. GOITRE (swelling in the neck) – IT
27 FLOODLIGHT FLIGHT (stairs), around LOO (room) D (Roman numeral for 500)


1 PAPA PAP (soft food) A[fternoon]. The second old man today, after 9A.
2 SURF sounds like ‘serf’ (old labourer)
3 CONTRADICTED I’D (I had) reversed, in CONTRACTED (shrunk)
4 ASHEN SHE (the woman) in A N (knight)
5 SHORTSTOP dd. A baseball fielding position. An excursion coach might make a short stop, often called a ‘comfort stop’.
7 INDIAN MEAL I (one) N (new), DIANA (goddess – Roman goddess of the moon) around ME, L[ying]. Indian meal is coarsely ground corn, also called cornmeal.
8 SWEATBANDS cd. Sweatbands are worn by tennis players around the forehead to absorb sweat.
13 ABSTAINING A BING (Crosby), around STAIN (blemish). Bing Crosby was an American crooner in the 20th century.
14 PIANO TUNER cd. Grand is short for ‘grand piano’. A piano tuner is summoned to service the piano i.e. makes it better.
16 PICTORIAL PICT (tribesman) ORIAL sounds like ‘oriel’ (window). Had to Google for the name of the tribe.
21 SET-TO SETT (beastly home – the burrow of a badger) O (nothing)
22 BERG dd. Berg might mean Austrian composer Alban Berg or the Danish composer Gunnar Berg. The other definition is about the infamous berg that sunk the Titanic.
23 CENT CENTRE (HQ) – RE (about)

16 Responses to “Financial Times 13,746 / Bradman”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, suchi – an excellent puzzle, as you say.

    Re 5dn: an excursion coach might make a short stop [often called a ‘comfort stop’].

    I think 26ac is GOITRE [swelling in the neck] minus ‘it’.

  2. Eileen says:

    Apologies for the mis-spelling [or, rather, typo] shuchi!

  3. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Bradman for an excellent puzzle and shuchi for the blog.

    For 5dn, I took the subsidiary indication as relating to a short stop on a long coach journey.

    I think 14dn would read better without the dash in both surface and cryptic meanings.

  4. Pelham Barton says:

    Eileen @1:

    Crossing answers – I also agree with you on 26ac.

  5. shuchi says:

    Thank you Eileen and Pelham Barton. I’ve made the edits to the post.

  6. Thomas99 says:

    Different strokes etc., but I like 14d with the dash.

  7. scchua says:

    Thanks shuchi and Bradman.

    Enjoyable clueing and answers. Favourites were 15A BLIND SPOT, 27A FLOODLIGHT and 19A CAP IN HAND. Somewhat different view from Pelham Barton@3 about the dash in 14A. To me it added misdirection, as I kept thinking “better” applied to “someone”, rather than to “grand”. Probably would have got it earlier otherwise (it was my last but one in).

  8. Wookie says:

    12a – Had “Bring to a Halt”, both would work, but “Grind to a halt” is the most common I suppose :)

  9. jmac says:

    Hi Shuchi, Thanks for the blog. 1 across is an anagram of IS TEASHOP and C.

    Enjoyable puzzle, Thank you Bradman.

  10. shuchi says:

    Oops, thanks for correcting that jmac.

  11. Pelham Barton says:

    jmac @9: Although the answer to 1ac could be found as an anagram of IS TEASHOP C, I think the clue is better read as IS in POSTHAE (anagram of TEASHOP) with C also inserted, which is how the blog reads as I am typing this. How else do you justify the words “ploughing into” and “trapped” in the clue?

  12. jmac says:

    Hi Pelham, you’re absolutely right. I was just giving the letters used in order to correct Shuchi’s typo.

  13. shuchi says:

    @Pelham Barton: I had missed “IS” in the blog earlier and added it after reading jmac’s comment. I agree with your parsing of the clue.

  14. Pelham Barton says:

    jmac (@12) and shuchi (@13): Glad we agree. I could not see what the mistake had been.

    I should like to take this opportunity of saying that I think it is a great strength of this site that bloggers are willing to correct their answers.

  15. Bamberger says:

    I got a fair way with this and enjoyed it much more than yesterdays offering.
    12a Anyone who regularly travels on East Coast mainline would not agree that an express does not grind to a halt.
    11d I knew it was an anagram of calbanallure (though whether to remove a or i from caliban was only settled because I had ?a?r?? ???a?l). However if I made up lauren bacall I wouldn’t have put in -never ever heard of her and looking on google, I think you’d have to be a film buff to have heard of her-she’s 87.
    Similar comment for 13d -the only bing I’ve come across is a search engine. Turns out that Bing Crosby (my mother says she liked him)has been dead for 34 years.
    A tad naughty to have those two clues I think.

  16. Steve says:

    Thanks shuchi and Bradman.

    Re 12 across, the second definition is that a halt, in railway parlance, is a small railway station, usually unstaffed and with few or no facilities:

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