Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times no.13,847 by REDSHANK

Posted by Ringo on November 10th, 2011


Oops. Problems here. I’m not sure how it’s come out in the pink paper, but the PDF puzzle I’ve got from the FT website is all to cock: rogue white squares and clues strewn here, there and everywhere. I think I’ve managed to pick my way through the wreckage okay, though.

A shame, because this is a decent puzzle. A couple of the &lits had me on my feet and applauding wildly.


1. NOSINESS  Double definition: curiosity, and the defining characteristic of the big-beaked Cyrano de Bergerac

5. PATOIS  Toi [a form of ‘you’ in French] within pas [‘step’ in French]; ‘with Nancy‘ seems a strange indicator for ‘in French’, though (‘in Nancy’ would have made more sense (but would, I realise, have been less cryptic))

10. SHINGLE  H(arbour) within single [one run in cricket]

11. OROGENY  Anagram of one orgy to give the geologic process of mountain formation

12. LIFER  Hidden in reverse in featuRE FILm

13. WAIT FOR IT  W [Welsh] + ait [island] + I [1, one] within fort [castle]

14. LABOUR LEADER  Anagram of euro deal blair minus i(taly) to give the post formerly held by Gordon Brown

17. ACTUALLY 18ac. IN THE GRID  SECOND FIDDLE  Double definition: a second violinist (fiddler) would need a bow, and Nick Clegg plays ‘second fiddle’ to David Cameron in the UK’s coalition government

21. LAUNDERER  LA [Los Angeles] + (Th)underer [old nickname for the Times of London]

23. TRURO  R [river] within anagram of rout(e) to give Cornwall’s only city

24. MARTYRS Anagram of R(idle)y (L)at(i)m(e)r + s(tate); the whole provides the definition (somewhat contrivedly) and alludes to the English heretics

25. AIRLINE  Double definition: a hose or line that inflates something with air, and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)

26. ON SONG  S(ociety) within on [working] + on + g(olf)

27. STOLIDLY  Lidl [German supermarket] within anagram of toys


1. NESTLE  Newcastle minus w(omen) + ca [circa, about]

2. SNIFFY  If within S(tephe)n F(r)y

3. NIGERIA  Anagram of regain + a  The grid provides nine squares, not seven: the FINAL two squares should be ignored

4. SHERWOOD FOREST  Anagram of Hoods few resort; again, the whole, alluding to the legend of Robin Hood, provides the definition

6. ALOOF  O [ring] within anagram of foal

7. OVERRIDE  Anagram of o(ld) driver + (verg)e

8. SHYSTERS  Anagram of theyre + sss [$$$, a few dollars…]

9. ROBIN REDBREAST  Anagram of b(ird) birders are not, and a third elaborate &lit (the allusion being, of course, to Erithacus rubecula)

15. ACTUALLY 16dn. IN THE GRID  O SOLE MIO  Anagram of a solo melody I minus the letters of lady to give the famous Neapolitan song that translates into English as ‘Just One Cornetto‘…

16. ACTUALLY 17dn. IN THE GRID  ACQUIRES  Sounds like a choir’s [choral group’s]

18. ACTUALLY 15dn IN THE GRID  LITERAL  This one’s tricksy enough even without the (appropriate) misprint: a literal is an error in printing, and sounds like (when read out: ‘as read’ is, I think, the homphone indicator, not another definition of ‘literal’) littoral, on the beach  The grid provides nine squares, not seven: the FIRST two squares should be ignored

19. BURIED  (C)uri(a) within bed [plot]

20. LONELY  A cryptic clue for ‘lily’ might be one [I] within lly

22. DOYEN  Ye [corrupted old spelling of ‘the’] within don [fellow: it could be either a fellow’s name or an academic fellow, I suppose]

13 Responses to “Financial Times no.13,847 by REDSHANK”

  1. Conrad Cork says:

    Bravo Ringo for getting it sorted. Once I realised there were two lights which should have been blocks, and that the listed clues and their numbers were all Ok, the penny dropped, and a quick partial renumbering of the grid made everything come right.

    Must be incredibly frustrating for Redshank, since, as you say, this was a pretty good puzzle with much to relish.

  2. Eileen says:

    Yes, well done, Ringo – I hope others had the patience to persevere. It’s perhaps easier to see how the error in the central row occurred than the confusion over the numbering.

    And many thanks and commiserations to Redshank – it was indeed a fine puzzle. Like Ringo, I particularly admired the &lits. [There’s an interesting coincidence in 24ac with clues in Anarche’s Indy prize puzzle of last Saturday.]

    [It only took me a few minutes to realise that my first answer, FRENCH was just a bit too obvious for 5ac!]

  3. Ringo says:

    Thanks both. I think that if you black out the two superfluous lights you can see how the numbering got out of synch: without a word descending from the ‘e’ of ‘leader’, 16 becomes 15, 17 becomes 16, and 15, now two rows below, becomes 18, while 18 becomes 17.

    Hope that’s all clear…

  4. Eileen says:

    Quite clear, thanks, Ringo – ‘consequential errors’, for which allowances are made in exam marking! I just didn’t bother to black out the squares and think it through.

  5. togo says:

    Thanks Ringo for the de- and re-construction. A good crossword too.

    I hope the errors today don’t signify a new style of crossword. Sonthing like “There are 7 deliberate mistakes in today’s crossword. The grid, though symmetrical, requires adjustments. Apparently misplaced clues should be entered wherever they will fit……” Lets hope Rev Graham is not bored and looking for new ways to play…..

  6. togo says:

    Or *something* like..

  7. Niloci says:

    Grid had some rogue black squares for which my apologies. Correct version should appear on website shortly.

  8. Paul B says:

    Still a good puzzle though!

  9. Paul B says:

    … though still a tautology. Rats.

  10. Redshank says:

    Niloci has manfully taken the rap for what appears to have been my cock-up. Apologies for the extra challenge. I like Togo’s idea; must work on it.

  11. togo says:

    Now see what a fine mess I’ve got us into with Redshank. Mercy, please.

  12. Sil van den Hoek says:

    As Paul B said, despite the ‘cock-up’ [which was re-paired :) within two minutes] a good puzzle!

    Only PATOIS (5ac) was one ‘pas’ too far for me.
    A handful of thanks to Ringo.
    The blog was certainly needed for 21ac (and 5ac, of course).

    Fine bunch of clues, of which only O SOLE MIO (16d) didn’t appeal to me that much [because of the sole/solo similarity].
    But how can I be negative about a solution that was one of the musical tracks at my father’s funeral way back in 1998.

    I especially liked 12ac (LIFER) and the three longer ones 14ac, 4d and 9d.
    But there was a lot more to admire – for which many thanks Redshank!

  13. Niloci says:

    The people in Manila have been trying to update the puzzle on website but there are technical problems. But it looks as if the problem can be overcome by astute solvers….!

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