Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,863 / Jason

Posted by duncanshiell on November 29th, 2011


This was a sound crossword where the wordplay was clear and the definitions were fairly unambiguous.  There were very few surplus link words in the clues.  



The only clue I wondered about was for 13 across where ‘loudly’ seems to be used as a homophone indicator.

When you see X and Z in a crossword these days you tend to think ‘pangram’, but this puzzle falls well short of a pangram.

No. Clue Wordplay Entry
1 A name’s changed after run-of-the-mill rating (8,6) ORDINARY (run-of-the-mill) + (anagram of [changed] A NAME’S) ORDINARY SEAMAN (rating)
10 Check out the playground next to church (5) REC (recreation ground; playground) + CE (Church [of England]) RECCE (reconnoitre; check out)
11 Glaring slips about very soft wrestling (9) Anagram of (slip) GLARING containing (about) PP (pianissimo; very soft) GRAPPLING (wrestling)
12 Place this surprisingly around new bases (7) PL (place) + (anagram of [surprisingly] THIS containing [around] N [new]) PLINTHS (bases)
13 Southern American loudly kissed one on bail, perhaps (7) S (southern) + US (United States; American) + PECT (sounds  like [loudly ?] PECKED [kissed]) SUSPECT (a suspect may be released on bail pending further investigation or trial)
14 Gaffer and I must get into cook (5) I contained in (must get into) CHEF (cook) CHIEF (gaffer)
16 Guarantee to pass on the wrong side? (9) UNDERTAKE (promise; guarantee) Chambers suggests that this meaning is tending to the archaic, although it does offer ‘provide security for’, but even here it links to Shakesperean usage as well)) UNDERTAKE (pass on the wrong side; [usually on a motorway or dual carriageway, but given some examples of driving seen today, could well occur on single carriageway roads as well]) – double definition
19 Leading dignitaries in a RC island mass (9) Anagram of (mass)  A RC ISLAND CARDINALS (leading dignitaries in a mass) –  &Lit clue
20 Posed with your woodland god (5) SAT (posed) + YR (your) SATYR ([Greek] woodland god)
22 This garden plant’s fruit proved trendy (7) ROSE (proved, in the sense of causing dough to rise) + HIP (trendy) ROSEHIP (fruit of a garden plant)
25 Check concerning mountaineer’s safety aid (7) CRAMP (confine; hamper; check) + ON (concerning) CRAMPON (a spiked shoe attachment for climbing or walking on ice; mountaineer’s safety aid)
27 A written declaration from chap with independent party, Oscar (9) MAN (chap) + I (independent) + FEST (party) + O (Oscar is the international radio communication codeword for the letter O) MANIFESTO (written declaration of the intentions or motives of a leader or party) –  if Oscar is the person who leads the party, or wrote the MANIFESTO, then I think this is an &Lit clue
28 Curt greeting follows suspect food (5) SUS (suspect) + HI (short [curt] greeting) SUSHI (Japanese dish of cold rice, egg, fish, vegetables etc, now common in supermarkets, sandwich bars and restaurants throughout the land; food)
29 Fool bloke with line in The Tramp commonly (7,7) CHARLIE (fool) + CHAP (bloke) + L (line) + IN CHARLIE CHAPLIN (actor, often known as’ the little tramp’)
No. Clue Wordplay Entry
2 I provide a remedy which allows smooth flow (9) RECTIFIER (one who provides a remedy) RECTIFIER (apparatus converting alternating current [AC] to direct current [DC]; apparatus that generates smooth flow) – double definition
3 Out of place in English exercises (5) IN + E (English) + PT (physical training; exercises) INEPT (awkward; clumsy; unsuitable; out of place)
4 Argonauts travelling about in bark (9) Anagram of (travelling about) ARGONAUTS ANGOSTURA (aromatic bitter bark, a word that I have only come across before in terms of the drink ‘ANGOSTURA bitters’)
5 Remain up around end of audience with poet (5) STAY (remain) reversed (up; this is a down clue) containing (around) the final letter, Eof (end of) AUDIENCE YEATS (reference W B YEATS, [1865 – 1939], poet)
6 Snaps World Fair, eg, with certain celebs finally (9) EXPO (exhibition or public showing; World Fairs were often described as EXPOs) + SURE (certain) + last letter, S, of (fianlly) CELEBS EXPOSURES (acts of allowing light to reach photograph film to generate pictures; more colloquially, snaps)
7 We hear a mass of confused info for a source of food (5) MAIZE (sounds like MAZE [any confusingly elaborate system; mass of confused information]) MAIZE (tall cereal grass; source of food)
8 Female lingerie near gent’s cravat? (7) NIGH (near) + TIE (gent’s cravat) NIGHTIE (female lingerie)  I’m sure you can get mens’ NIGHTIEs these days, but I realise the clue was designed to get male and female together.
9 Thesis includes beginning of reinvestigation for Capricorn, say (6) TOPIC (thesis) containing (includes) first letter, R. of (beginning of) REINVESTIGATION TROPIC (Capricorn is one of a choice of two tropics, hence the ?)
15 Fine’s just horrible (9) F (fine) + RIGHTFUL (just) FRIGHTFUL (horrible)
17 What receives a clump? Husband’s drier (9) DISH (a satellite dish receives signals) + CLOT (clump) + H (husband) DISHCLOTH (drier)
18 Pickle in a pitta’s for starters (9) Anagram of (pickle) IN A PITTA’S ANTIPASTI (hor’s doeuvres; appetizers; starters, commonly found on the menu in  Italian restaurants)
19 Cold cream I replaced in china bowl, say (7) Anagram of (replaced) C (cold) and CREAM I CERAMIC (a china bowl is an example of a ceramic)
21 Concerned with black French painter (6) RE (concerned with) + NOIR (French for ‘black’) RENOIR (artist; he was French, but the definition is ‘artist’ rather than ‘French artist’)
23 This racing driver should make you want to go quickly (5) SENNA (if you want a current racing driver, the reference is Bruno SENNA; if you prefer a driver sadly no longer with us, the reference is Ayrton SENNA.  Bruno is the nephew of the late Ayrton) SENNA (a laxative drug obtained from the dried leaves and fruits of any tropical shrub of the genus Cassia; a laxative will make you ‘want to go quickly’) – double definition
24 Dad’s first pair of teeth finding gum (5) PA’S (dad’s) + first two letters, TE, of (first pair of) TEETH PASTE (gum)
26 Raise claim with a Greek story-teller (5) A + POSE (claim) reversed (raise; again, a down clue) AESOP (a Greek story-teller; reference AESOP‘s fables)

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,863 / Jason”

  1. crypticsue says:

    I struggled a bit with the NW corner of this one but then this was the last of today’s six cryptics so perhaps the grey matter was feeling a little jaded. Thanks as always to Jason and Duncan.

  2. Richard says:

    Thanks for a great blog. Got them all except 2dn during a 40 min lunchbreak in the pub.

  3. Ilippu says:

    Thanks, duncanshiell.
    On 16a, I’d say overtake = pass, so ‘pass on the wrongside?’ is ‘undertake’ esp with a ?.
    Not quite a double definition, more of a wordplay, guaranteee being the answer. A bad overtaking is never called ‘undertaking’.

  4. duncanshiell says:

    Ilippu @ 3

    I agree that none of the scholarly dictionaries define ‘undertake’ as ‘overtake on the inside’, but WordWebPro does give that definition under both its ‘Wordweb’ tab and its ‘Wiktionary’ tab. See undertake

    After reading your comment I did a bit more research. The concept of ‘undertake’ in the sense I suggest has generated quite a lot of debate about the difference between:

    passing in the inside lane without changing lanes such as in lines of congested traffic moving through roadworks or an accident scene on one hand, and

    cutting up a middle lane road hog on a motorway tootling along at 50 mph or less by passing on the inside at 80 mph and then returning to the middle or outside lane on the other.

    It will be interesting to see if the definition of ‘overtake on the inside’ enters mainstream dictionaries over the coming years.

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