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Financial Times 13779 Gurney

Posted by scchua on August 23rd, 2011


Can’t say I’ve done many Gurneys (though I’ve, enjoyably, completed quite some Raich’s), but this was quite enjoyable.  Last one in was 9A, with the parsing coming to me only after I had started the blog, making it my 2nd favourite, with the first being 17D.  Thanks Gurney.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  2 of the picture sets have a hidden connection in them.


1 Artist represented watery scene? (6)

STRAITAnagram of(represented) ARTIST

Defn:  A stretch of water between land masses, could be part of, well, a watery scene.


4 African politicians imprisoned for dance? (6)

CANCAN :  ANC(abbrev. for the African National Congress,the now South African political party that started as an anti-apartheid nationalist movement) contained(imprisoned,in CAN,slang for prison)

Defn:  The French dance featuring high-kicks and the splits

8 Front of oven sealed by one trying out kitchen equipment (7)

TOASTER :  O(initial letter,front of oven) contained in(sealed by) TASTER(one trying out,tasting)

9 Brave quartet eschewing journey in pursuit of pleasure (7)

GALLANT :  IV(Roman numeral for four,quartet) deleted from(eschewing) GALLivANT(jaunt,journey in pursuit of pleasure,or, commonly, a Saturday night out)

Defn:  Another meaning to the word usually associated with chivalry

11 “A Man Risen” I ordered for religious trainee (10)

SEMINARIANAnagram of(ordered) A MAN RISEN I

Defn:  A trainee at a seminary, a special school providing religious teaching mainly to prepare students for a religious calling


12 Group of criminals maybe in place for fight (4)

RING :  Double defn.  2nd: As in a boxing ring

13 First of all supremo wants everyone actively tackling hard work (5)

SWEAT :  Initial letters,first of all of Supremo Wants Everyone Actively Tackling

14 Edict disposing of last mine, past its best (8)  

DECREPIT :  DECRE(edict,DECREe minus,disposing of its last letter) PIT(mine,hole in the ground to extract minerals)

16 After vacation, trusty circle arranged transport for children (8)

TRICYCLEAnagram of(arranged) [TY(TrustY minus its inner letters,after vacation,emptying) CIRCLE]

Defn:  A three wheeled cycle for children before they graduate to the bicycle, but…


18 A street in US city becomes unpleasant (5)

NASTYA ST(abbrev. for street) contained in(in) NY(New York,US city)

20 Old North African land (uncultivated) (4)

MOOR :  Double defn.  1st:  Member of Muslim northwest African people of mixed Arab and Berber descent, who invaded Spain in the 8C until driven out by end of 15C

21 Inept beginning for awkward mother, her suit’s crumpled (10)

AMATEURISH :  A(initial letter of,beginning for awkward) MA(mother) plus anagram of(cumpled) HER SUIT

23 Take on board French priest, suitable to be welcomed (7)

CAPTURE :  APT(suitable,fitting) contained in(on board,to be welcomed) CURE(with the acute accent over the E, a French parish priest).  There seems to be two containment indicators.  Edit.note:  comment #5 – “on board” would be part of the defn.

Defn:  Forcibly or tactically take possession of eg. an opponent’s piece in a board game like chess.

24 Shed tears after operatic heroine’s imitation (7)

MIMICRY :  CRY(shed tears) placed after(after) MIMI(heroine in the opera La Boheme, the Puccini version overshadowing Leoncavallo’s)

Defn:  Life’s imitation of other life or non-life for various purposes eg. defence, and entrapment


Cuckoos’ eggs mimicry and their targets

25 Breadwinner’s essential for those studying at school (6)

EARNER :  The inner,essential letters of lEARNERs(those studying, eg. at school)

26 Run away from church, coat is needed (6)

FLEECE :  FLEE(escape,run away from) CE(Church of England)


1 Support coastal area (5)

SHORE :  Double defn.

2 Especially enthralled by ceremony that brings relief (7)

RESPITE :  ESP(abbrev. for especially) contained in(enthralled by) RITE(ceremony)

3 Supply not sensitive to price changes in the Spanish wine clubs (9)

INELASTICIN EL(the definite article the in Spanish) ASTI(Italian bubbly,sparkling wine made in the region around the town of the same name) C(abbrev. for clubs, the playing cards suit, as used in eg. bridge notation)

Defn: In case you would like an explanation – Economics 101:  Assuming consumers are “rational” and other factors remain constant, the total demand for a commodity usually decreases with increasing price.  A commodity’s demand is inelastic if, the total demand for it is relatively unchanged in spite of,not sensitive to a wide range of price changes.  This is commonly evident for basic necessities like a staple food – you must have it, whatever the price.  The same can be said for the supply-price relationship, but in the reverse direction.


5 Old military commander at home once more (5)

AGAIN :  AGA(Former military commander in Turkey and other Muslim countries) IN(at home)

6 California’s gold that is reference unit for consumers (7)

CALORIE :  CAL(one of the abbrevs. for California) OR(the gold metal or colour) IE(that is, in Latin, id est)

Defn:  The standard,reference unit of the fuel or energy value of food taken in by consumers

7 Inn not yet busy, it’s no reputation (9)


Defn:  Descriptive of one with no reputation,a nobody

10 Buyer and seller, he’s in the right place here (9)

MIDDLEMAN :  The word man,he’s in the middle of,in the right place here,the clue.  Edit.note:  Re comments #2 and 4, “in the right place here” refers to the middle of the grid, rather than the clue.

Defn:  One who buys and sells, in turn the same product within a very short time or even simultaneously, ie. both buyer and seller, sometimes called a reseller

13 One standing in Eurostar, nervously protective of girl initially (9)

SURROGATEAnagram of(nervously) EUROSTAR containing(protective of) G(first letter,initially of girl)

Defn:  A substitute standing in for someone else, as in a surrogate mother, courtesy of modern medicine

15 Having similar interests, could be nice to take along rambling (9)

CONGENIALAnagram of (rambling) [NICE plus(to take) ALONG].  Is “could be” another anagram indicator?

17 Cultural employee, first to conserve our art perhaps (7)

CURATOR :  C(initial letter of,first to conserve) plus anagram of(perhaps) OUR ART

Defn:  A caretaker of cultural artefacts, including art pieces, an employee especially in a museum or gallery.  A wonderful &lit.

19 Opening move in court (7)

SERVICE :  Cryptic defn:  First stroke,opening move to start a game on the tennis court

21 Have the same opinion: “An intense desire must be curtailed” (5)

AGREE :  A(an,indefinite article) GREE(intense desire,GREEd without its last letter,must be curtailed)

22 Cleanser gets used to some extent for fabric (5)

SERGEHidden in(used to some extent) cleanSER GEts

Couldn’t find any interesting images of the fabric, but found this French Serge with Brigitte and Jane

serge gainsbourg and brig 001 Sixties Saturday: Serge Gainsbourg Bonnie and Clyde  sixites saturday serge gainsbourg Brigitte Bardot bonnie and clyde   

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13779 Gurney”

  1. Norman L in France says:

    Congratulations on parsing GALLANT. I couldn’t work it out.

  2. Wanderer says:

    Thanks scchua and Gurney, this was not the hardest but was great fun.

    Not sure I follow your parsing of MIDDLEMAN. I understood it to relate to the position of MIDDLEMAN slap in the middle of the grid — hence “MIDDLEMAN’s in the right place here”

  3. crypticsue says:

    I couldn’t even get GALLANT so thank you scchua for putting me out of my misery. I would sum this one up as fairly straightforward with a couple of sneaky bits.

  4. scchua says:

    Thanks Wanderer, your “middle” is more accurate (mine’s slightly off-centre), and yours is very likely the correct parsing.

  5. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Gurney for a pleasant puzzle and scchua for the blog. I must add my name to the list of those who failed to parse 9ac.

    In 23ac I think “on board” is part of the definition referring to games such as chess, leaving “to be welcomed” as the inclusion indicator.

  6. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Scchua & Gurney this was another enjoyable challenge which took me longer than expected although, looking back, I can’t think why.

    All the clues were great!

  7. Gurney says:

    Many thanks, scchua, for this incredible blog and many thanks also to all who commented.

  8. scchua says:

    Thanks for dropping by Gurney, and your encouragement. I was glad I could do some justice to your puzzle. Look forward to another opportunity

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