Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,854 / Bradman

Posted by shuchi on November 18th, 2011


I found a lot to admire in this puzzle and a few clues to struggle with. The bottom-right corner was hard to piece together with 20a and 20d eluding me till the very end. I specially enjoyed the two long Down clues, the deceptive definitions in 10a and 24a, the wordplay in 9a and the usual great clue surfaces from Bradman.


1 ALCOPOPS AL (Prohibition-buster – crosswordland’s favourite gangster Al Capone), COPS (police) around PO (river). Alcopop is a colloquial term for certain flavoured alcoholic beverages.
5 BROADS B ROADS are numbered local roads in UK with relatively high traffic density, so drivers would probably find it hard to speed on them. Some clues make me feel like I can’t rest till I get to the answer, this was one of them.
9 AMENDING noon approaching = AM-ending
10 OBTAIN IN (home) by (BOAT)*, with the inconspicuous “get” as the definition.
12 LOUSE LOSE (miss) around U (university)
13 HENDIADYS (DISHY DEAN)* A new word for me, one I’m happy to add to my vocabulary. Hendiadys, which means “one through two” in Greek, is a figure of speech used for emphasis — two words linked by a conjunction to express a single idea. For example, “sound and fury”, “”law and order”.
14 PROPER PROP (support) ER (head of state)
16 TRIBUTE TRIBE (group of people), around TU (trade union) reversed
18 LADDIES LIES (stories) around ADD (tot). ‘Laddies’ is a Scottish word for ‘boys’.
20 WIGHTS WIGHT’S (island’s). Wights are ghost-like creatures popular in the SFF genre of fiction.
22 CHALLENGE CHANGE (reform) around L (left) LE (‘the’ in French)
23 FACER FAR (very much) around CE (church). British slang for an unexpected difficulty.
24 EVER SO EVE (seductive woman) first letters of ‘Rouse Several Oldies’.
25 GRANDAME RAND (money – the currency of South Africa) in GAME (sport)
26 TURNER d&cd, the first definition referring to landscape painter J.M.W. Turner.
27 REMARKED d&cd. A borderline exam submission might be re-marked.


1 ARABLE PARABLE (Bible story) – P (soft)
3 PODGE G (good) + DO (finish) reversed, in PE (gym)
4 PINCHER dd; ‘pinch’ is slang for ‘steal’.
6 RABBITING RABBI (teacher) around IT, N (no) G (good)
7 A HARD NUT TO CRACK dd, referring to the Brazil nut in the first definition, and the idiomatic meaning – a difficult problem – in the second.
8 SINISTER SISTER (nun) around NI (Northern Ireland, a province of UK)
11 KNOT TONK (hit hard) reversed – this bird.
15 PAILLASSE An unusually indicated anagram – the answer, when jumbled (rocky), could give you PILES ALAS. Paillasse is a type of mattress filled with straw or sawdust. A new word for me.
17 BLACKEST BEST (footballer once – Andy George Best) around LACK (deficiency). I know next to nothing about football and had to look up famous people with the surname ‘Best’ for this one. // Update: I had stopped my search too soon; thanks to Eileen for pointing out the better Best.
19 SINK SIN (moral offence) K[ingdom]
20 WEE FREE sounds like ‘we fthree‘, I assume this is the way people of east of London would speak. Members of Free Church of Scotland are nicknamed The Wee Frees. More here. // Thanks to Pelham Barton at comment#3 for setting the homophone right.  Cockneys tend to pronounce the “th-” sound as “f-”.
21 FRIEND FRI (a day) END (death). This took me longer than it should have, I assumed ‘death’ would be D.
23 FONDA FOND (doting) A (adult). The Fondas in question are the American stars Jane Fonda  her father Henry Fonda.

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13,854 / Bradman”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, shuchi. I admired the same clues as you did.

    I, too, know next to nothing about football and I’m afraid I hadn’t heard of Andy Best. I think this is the one intended – – who, unfortunately, was known for more than his football. In fact, the clue could be taken as &lit, I think.

    Thanks, Bradman, for another good puzzle.

  2. shuchi says:

    Thanks Eileen. I’ve updated the post and am now educating myself on details of George Best’s life.

  3. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Bradman for a very pleasant puzzle and shuchi for the blog. Too many good clues to single them out.

    A couple of issues on the blog: you have 9ac numbered as 8 and in 20dn the homophone is “we three” with Cockneys unable to pronounce the “th” sound and saying “free” instead. Note that Bradman has really gone to town in indicating the approximate homophone with “may introduce themselves thus, we hear”.

    A slight grumble about 15dn. I was held up for a while because I wrote PALLIASSE in originally. This is the more usual form of the word in English. While it asking too much to expect all clues to be unambiguous without the checking letters, it might have been better to avoid an anagram when the two forms of the word are anagrams of each other.

  4. Pelham Barton says:

    Of course in 3 I meant “While it is asking too much to expect all clues to be unambiguous without the checking letters, …”

  5. crypticsue says:

    Very enjoyable. I struggled with the NE corner – I am not sure when I might ever use 13a, but like schuchi, I will certainly try to do so. I too had problems with the spelling of 19d which did hold me up with 18a. Thanks to Bradman and schuchi.

  6. shuchi says:

    @Pelham Barton: The homophone in 20d is clearer to me after your explanation. Thank you.

  7. Ilippu says:

    shuchi, thanks. Did you mean 8d or 9a in your preamble? Both I thought were good clues. Not knowing about A roads & B roads of UK, I was not sure that ‘broads’ would be a solution, considering that it is somewhat of a derogatory US slang. 10a & 24a were my favorite clues!

  8. shuchi says:

    @Ilippu: I meant 9a! Now fixed, thanks.

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