Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times no.13,835 by SLEUTH

Posted by Ringo on October 27th, 2011


An uneventful morning’s work, this one (the sole novelty being that, due to an apparent FT famine in north Leeds, I had to print the puzzle off and, disorientingly, solve it on white paper instead of pink…). I enjoyed it, although with rather too many of the clues I found myself solving through a combination of crossing letters and definitions rather than labouring through the charades.


1. SCRIMSHANK  S(econd) + crim [criminal, offender] + shank [strike in error, particularly in golf]: what a lovely word

6. GRAF  G(ood) + RAF [Royal Air Force, service] to give the German tennis star

9. CONCLUSIVE  Con [convict, prisoner] + L[eft] + U [universal, for all to see] within anagram of vices

10. STUN  Stun(t) [showy performance]

12. MERETRICIOUS  Mere [pool] + tric(k) [deception] + ious [IOUs, promises of payment]

15. PEPPERONI  Pepper [something in pot] + on + i(sland) to give the spicy Italian-American sausage

17. NOBLE  Hidden in sNOB LEngthily

18. CARER  Re [about] within car [estate, a type of car]

19. ENDEAVOUR  Anagram of over a dune

20. ANAESTHETIST  A none-too-testing cryptic definition: anaesthetics are substances that numb

24. IDEA  Alternate (regular) letters from wIlD bEgAn

25. DUNDEE CAKE  N(orthern) + Dee [river] + c(homp) + a within duke [peer] to give the Scottish fruit cake

26. MAID  Sounds like made [appointed]

27. HEART-THROB  Anagram of hat brother


1. SACK  Double definition: dismiss – get rid of – from the workplace, and a fortified Spanish wine popular in the 16th century

2. RUNT  (G)runt [infantry soldier – mainly a US army term, I think]

3. MALTESE CROSS  R(iver) within anagram of some castles

4. HASTE  Hidden in slowcoacH AS TErrible

5. NEVER MIND  Vermin [obnoxious types] within reversal of den [study]

7. RATION BOOK  (N)ation + b(readth) within rook [(chess) piece]

8. FINISTERRE  St(e)er [guide] within IR [Ireland] within fine [sensitive] to give the former name of Fitzroy, a maritime region well-known to fans of the Shipping Forecast

11. SCANDAL SHEET  Scan [read] + e(ntertainment) within anagram of the lads to give a term for a sensationalist newspaper

13. SPECIALISM  Anagram of I miss place

14. SPERMACETI  Perm [wave] + ace [excellent] within [special] + ti [note, as in do-re-mi…] to give the wax obtained from the head of a sperm whale and used in cosmetics, among other things

16. OPEN HOUSE  Pen [writer] within o(ld) + h(otel) + Ouse [river]

21. TUDOR  Do [party] within tur(n) [time of change] to give the royal house

22. PAIR  Sounds like pare [cut]

23. HERB  Her [woman’s] + b(each) to give an aromatic plant such as bay

5 Responses to “Financial Times no.13,835 by SLEUTH”

  1. MikeC says:

    Thanks Ringo and Sleuth. I enjoyed this. Btw, isn’t 11 “source of e(ntertainment)”, with “after excitement” as the anagram indicator? Needed your explanation of 2, which I’m sure is correct, now I see it!

  2. Ringo says:

    Hi Mike. You’re quite right, of course – sloppy work by me. I’ve corrected it now.

  3. Dave H says:

    Regular onlooker but occasional contributor. Thanks for the blog which helped expalin a few I could not fully parse.
    However took an age on 25a and 27a as I had Abby for 23d b inside bay* which I was very confident on first read through and I cannot see how it is wrong and I think this clue has 2 pefectly correct solutions

  4. Ringo says:

    Hi Dave – thanks for chipping in. Yeah, I think ‘Abby’ fits the clue very well – never thought of that. But I think it’s permissible if sometimes there’s no indicator other than the crossing letters as to which of two or more options is correct; you get this a lot with homophone-based clues, and (particularly) with cryptic definitions. Be interested to know what others think.

  5. Pelham Barton says:

    Following comments on 23dn:

    The reason I do not like “quick” crosswords is that so many clues are ambiguous without the checked letters. For a cryptic, it is a reasonable expectation that almost all clues will have unique answers. Occasionally a clue may have more than one valid answer, but only one of these should fit with the checking letters.

    On the specific case of 23dn, ABBY would not have occurred to me as an alternative, because I would not regard “perhaps” as a satisfactory anagram indicator – but I have seen worse.

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