Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,812 / Falcon

Posted by Gaufrid on September 30th, 2011


A very straightforward puzzle from Falcon today which took far longer to blog than it did to solve. The only obscurity, for me, was the Agatha Christie novel in 26dn but it didn’t take long to find confirmation in Wikipedia.

I believe there is an error in part of the wordplay for 3dn but this did not cause any significant problems when solving.

9 BLOWTORCH BLOW (upset) TORCH (US arsonist)
10 RIOJA RIO (port) JA (German’s OK)
11 ANTONYM ANTONY M[ark] (a relation of Caesar J)
12 RELEASE RE (concerning) LEASE (tenancy agreement)
13 DAM if reversed (upset) this becomes MAD (furious with anger)
17 PATIO *(A TOP) around I (one)
18 PIT TIP (dump) reversed
19 RAVEN [c]RAVEN (heading off, yellow)
21 LOOSE CANNON LOOSE (unattached) homophone of ‘canon’ (clergyman)
23 GIG GIG[i] (film girl’s short) – either of two films based on the novella written by the French author Colette.
25 ARMENIA ARIA (song) around MEN (soldiers)
27 GREMLIN G[k]REMLIN (Russian government with new leader) – strictly speaking the Kremlin is a building but it is used as a metonym for the Russian government in the same way that Westminster is used for the British one.
28 TILER L (50) in TIER (bank)
29 CHALLENGE HALL (vestibule) in CE (church) *(GEN)
1 ABOARD A BOARD (table)
2 CONTEMPT CON (prisoner) TEMPT (lure)
3 STONY-BROKE S (small) TONY (statuette) BROKE (smashed) – an error here I think. An Oscar is a statuette but a Tony Award is a medallion.
4 TRIM double def.
5 CHARLESTON CHARLES (prince) NOT reversed – this dance.
6 ORAL [c]ORAL (rocklike substance initially carried out)
7 SONATA hidden in ‘blisS ON A TApe’
8 GAME PLAN GAME (willing) PAN (make harsh criticism) around L[eague]
15 APPEARANCE PEAR (fruit) in PAN in ACE (expert)
16 TARANTELLA TA (soldiers) RAN (managed) TELL (report) A – this dance.
17 PALO ALTO PAL (friend) O (old) ALTO (singer) – this place in California.
20 VIGILANT *(LIVING AT) – ‘resort’ needs to be read as re-sort.
22 ORMOLU *([b]LU[e] ROOM)
24 GANDER double def. – this town in Newfoundland.
26 NORM N OR M? (Agatha Christie novel)
27 GLAD GLAD[stone] (former PM having lost weight)


7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,812 / Falcon”

  1. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Falcon for a pleasant puzzle and Gaufrid for the blog.

    Re 3dn: I have tried to persuade myself that mounting the Tony medallion on its substantial base makes the whole thing a statuette – and failed. I think you are right that Falcon has slipped up here.

    The one that caused me to raise an eyebrow when solving was 11ac. Is (or, rather, was) Mark Antony a relation of Julius Caesar? Wikipedia says “important supporter and loyal friend”.

    Of course, neither of these possible lapses made the clues unsolvable, and I would be only too happy if someone can find a convincing justification for either of these clues.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Pelham
    There is no problem with 11ac. Had you delved a little deeper into Wikipedia you would have found that Mark Antony’s mother, Julia Caesaris, was a cousin of Julius Caesar.

  3. Pelham Barton says:

    Gaufrid @2: Thanks for that. I am always glad to have a misapprehension corrected.

  4. Rishi says:


    On reading your intro but without moving further down, I guessed that you must be referring to the Christie novel N or M. I have seen clues with that wordplay before.

  5. Steve says:

    I agree with the above comments re 3dn. FYI, the official Tony Awards website refers to the trophy as a statuette: (scroll down towards the bottom of the page). However, I’m not claiming that this usage by a PR hack provides a convincing justification …

  6. Pelham Barton says:

    Steve @5: Thanks for that. I think that makes 3dn acceptable, or at worst a totally forgiveable error.

    Incidentally I could also point out that 29ac is one of those rare clues that has two equally good parsings with the same answer: I had it as [HALL + *(GEN)] in CE, but Gaufrid’s (HALL in CE) + *(GEN) works just as well.

  7. Bamberger says:

    I got about half of this out by just looking at the clue and writing the answer in. Then I came to a grinding halt and gave up 30 minutes later with not a single further clue solved. Of course the more you get the more chance you get of solving further ones but I would never have got 23a,16d, 17d & 22d never having heard of them. I have heard of the verb “to torch” but hadn’t heard of the noun “torch” in this context.
    For 3d I was lookign of an anagram of something and never thought that I was after another phrase for on the rocks.
    Pretty tough overall I thought.

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