Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times no.13,859 by ALBERICH

Posted by Ringo on November 24th, 2011


Some lovely – if at times maddeningly convoluted – clueing by Alberich here. Had terrible trouble with the left-hand side of the grid, but that’s down to the fuzziness of my brain today rather than any flaws in the puzzle. A good work-out.


7. INIMICAL  In [home] + i(nsurance) + anagram of claim

8. REWARD  Reversal of drawer [artist]

11. TENOR  Hidden in britTEN ORatorio – for me, this was the only ‘gimme’ in the puzzle

12. KERBSTONE  Kerbs [sounds like ‘curbs’, checks] + tone [colour]; lovely definition, alluding to the edges of flagstones

13. ITALIAN  I [1, one] + anagram of a Latin, with the whole providing the definition

14. PRAISES  P(ositive) raises [puts first?] – alternative explanations welcome!

15. BARBER OF SEVILLE  Barb [hurtful remark] + reversal of  lives for [is in favour of] (Franc)e + le to give the hero of Rossini’s opera

18. HIDEOUS  Hide [conceal] + (h)ous(e) [building]

20. FORTUNE  Double definition, of sorts: one needs good fortune to make a fortune

22. VICE-CHAIR  Vice [corruption] + c(aught) + hair [shock, as in a shock or mop of hair]

23. INCUR  I + (ve)n(om) + cur [villain]

24. NOOKIE  No [drama? Surely the Japanese theatre form is Noh] + OK [satisfactory] + IE [id est, that is] to give a rather dated and seedy term for ‘it’, or sex

25. STIGMATA  S(pencer) + reversal of it + anagram of at AGM


1. AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’  Reverse clue: Tina might be defined as ‘aint’ misbehaving, or jumbled; the song is by Fats Waller

2. ZINNIA  Zin(c) + Ni [nickel] + (extr)a(cted) to give the garden plant

3. MIGRAINE  Rain [shower] within reversal of e.g. [for example, say] + Im [I’m, I am]

4. PARKINSON’S LAW  Anagram of an (offici)al spins work to give the law, formulated by  Cyril Northcote Parkinson, that asserts that work expands to fill the time available for its completion

5. GEISHA  G(irl) e(ntertaining) + I [1, one] + h(iroshim)a, with the whole providing the definition of the traditional Japanese hostess

6. CAROUSAL  C [the speed of light, a constant] + arousal [excitement]

9. DRESS REHEARSAL  Dr [doctor] + ess [the letter ‘s’] + re [concerning] + hearsa(y) [gossip] + l(eft)

10. GRAPES OF WRATH  Excellent cryptic definition of Steinbeck’s novel: although, if we’re being picky, it’s actually called ‘The Grapes Of Wrath’

16. REDACTOR  Groan-inducing double definition: Vanessa Redgrave is an actor known for her left-wing (‘red’) views

17. VERBIAGE  Verb [word such as ‘take': I expect many will find this definition insufficient] + I [1, one] + age [a long time]

19. ORCHID  Or [gold, yellow (?)] + child [youngster] minus L [pound]

21. UNCLAD  Uncl(e) + (l)a(i)d


8 Responses to “Financial Times no.13,859 by ALBERICH”

  1. Rishi says:

    14a: I think it’s P (positive) + RAISES (exalts). We have to re-read the clue for the def.

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Alberich for a very satisfying puzzle and Ringo for the blog.

    14ac: exalt can mean either “raise” or “praise” so I would give this as P + raises & lit.

    24ac: no[4] is given as the first spelling in Chambers 1998, with noh as an alternative. This is an old favourite crossword device which I remember from crosswords long ago, but not recently (until today).

    4dn: I think the word “official” in the clue only contributes the L to the anagram: the A comes from “embodying a” so I would give this as A in anagram of an (officia)l spins work.

    19dn: Again from Chambers 1998, or³ for yellow is the usage in heraldry.

    21dn: The words “coming up” led me to expect a reversal, but of course the phrase “coming up short” is a perfectly good indicator for a simple truncation of a word.

  3. Joe says:

    Thanks to the setter and Ringo. Found this extremely difficult. A couple of thoughts:

    8A: I can’t see ‘has a turner’ stands for reversal here.
    13A: Isn’t it a stretch too far? Moving from one to I and then to Italian?

  4. Thomas99 says:

    8a – It’s “is a turner”, isn’t it? I.e. turns.
    13a – I don’t see any of that going on. One is just I, added to “a latin” to make the anagram fodder, and it’s &lit. – i.e. the whole clue is the definition.

  5. Ringo says:

    Hi all. Many thanks for the corrections and clarifications.

    Pelham: I did consider that reading of 4dn, and you’re probably right – but ‘embody’ struck me as an unlikely insertion indicator.

    Joe: I think the definition of ‘Italian’ in 13ac. is “one [who may potentially be] a Latin”, i.e. a European speaking a Latinate language. As for 13ac., I think “artist’s a turner” should be read as “artist is a turner”, i.e. drawer [artist] turns around.

  6. Ringo says:

    Ah, Thomas beat me to it – and made a much better job of the explanation, too…

  7. Joe says:

    Thanks Thomas and Ringo. I was not good enough to see that.

  8. shuchi says:

    Thanks Ringo. I found this easier than usual for Alberich, maybe I’ve got used to his style…though getting the explanations for the long clues did take more effort than getting their solutions!

    Many brilliant clues, I especially liked 4d and 9d.

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