Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,866 / Falcon

Posted by shuchi on December 2nd, 2011


A simple and neat, if somewhat bland, fare today. I liked solving this on the whole but missed having some high points to savour.


5 UTOPIA hidden in ‘chateaU TOPIARY’. Utopia is a work of fiction by Thomas More published in 1516.
10 SOLID SOLIDUS (Roman coin) – US (American)
12 SAVILE ROW A VILE (very bad) ROW (argument), after S (singular)
13 HENCE HEN (woman) CE (church)
14 USEFUL (U + FUEL)* around S (sulphur)
15 BOWLINE (BELOW)* around I (one) N[ine]. ‘Used’ seems a bit weak as anagrind.
18 REDRESS RE (about) DRESS (formal wear)
20 BRUNEL RUNE (old letter) in BL (British Legion) – refers to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, whose engineering achievements include the construction of the first major British railway.
22 MECCA E[ngland] in MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club)
25 ISOMETRIC I (one) TRIC[k] (short joke), around SOME (certain people, as in ‘Some say that…’)
26 OMEGA O (oxygen) MEGA (huge)
27 HANNAH ANNA (another one i.e. another girl) in H (hot) H (hospital). ‘Girl like Ada’ probably because HANNAH, like ADA, is a palindrome.
28 REUNITED UNIT (one), in DEER (ungulates) reversed


1 ASSIST ASS (jenny i.e. female donkey) (SIT)*
2 TELEVISED (LEEDS VET I)*. A pretty obvious anagram.
3 RADCLIFFE CAMERA (A FARCE MILD FARCE)*. An English Palladian style building in Oxford that houses a library.
4 LIBERAL RA (artist) in LIBEL (defamatory statement)
6 THE SHOW MUST GO ON dd. Song from the musical Cover Girl. The phrase ‘send in the clowns’ is said when something goes wrong but there is a need to keep things going. It comes from the circus where, if there was an accident or some other problem, the clowns were sent in to keep the show going.
7 PLAIN I (electric current) in PLAN (diagram)
8 ANGLESEY ANGLES (views) EY[e] (look at, mostly)
9 COBWEB COB (horse) WEB (trap). Cobweb was a fairy in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
16 IN EARNEST I NEAR (approach) NEST (breeding ground)
17 FRUMPISH RUM (behind) in FISH (counter). A search for ‘fish counter’ got me here. Learning of the day: a fish is a counter in games.
19 SUPERB SUPER (senior police officer) B (British)
20 BLANCHE BLANC (white wine) HE (male)
21 EDWARD dd. King Edward of England and Edward Lear, the writer of nonsense verse.
23 CROWN dd. ‘Crown’ is slang for ‘hit on the head’.

6 Responses to “Financial Times 13,866 / Falcon”

  1. crypticsue says:

    The only one of today’s six cryptics where I more or less wrote the answers in as I went along. Fairly enjoyable and definitely one to recommend to a newer cryptic solver. Thanks to Falcon and shuchi

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Falcon for a nice straightforward puzzle and shuchi for the blog.

    crypticsue @1: I agree, this would be a good one for a new solver.

    15ac: I agree that “used” is a poor anagram indicator – I think “knotted” would be a good one here.

    27ac: I agree that “Girl like Ada” refers to the palindrome HANNAH. Also, “another one” is another palindrome (ANNA). Of course, it would have to be to make it all fit together, but I think it is worthy of comment. My favourite clue in this puzzle.

  3. Bamberger says:

    I either wrote the answer in as soon as I looked at it or just couldn’t get it -don’t know what says about me or the setter.
    Couldn’t get
    6d -Doesn’t seem very crytic to me.
    9d Never heard of this fairy
    17d Had ?r?m???h and was sure it would be ?r?m?ish but annoying I just could see frumpish
    21d Couldn;t see what clue was driving at
    15a Never thought to look for an anagram
    28a I didn’t know what an ungulate was so didnt get off the blocks.

    Crypticsue- Times, Telegraph, Grauniad. Indie , FT + ????

  4. Ferret says:

    Finished in very short time as you say…..

    Only little gripe, in addition to the lack of a P in your RUM, would be the superfluous wine in 20d, unless the setter was referring to the Golden Girl who keeps cropping up in action films……Vin Blanche…

  5. crypticsue says:

    Bamberger @3 Telegraph Toughie – a tour de force in brain stretching to the limit by Elgar (Nimrod, Enigmatist, Io)

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    After finishing yesterday’s brilliant Monk late this afternoon, this was more or less a breezer of a puzzle.
    But well clued as ever by Falcon.
    And, yes, I made one mistake.
    In 12ac I entered SAVILL ROW, and why not?
    S + A V[ery] + ILL (bad).
    When you’re not familiar with London streets, my entry would be just as reasonable as the real one (SAVILE ROAD).
    Maybe I should have set my mind on the late and much missed Jimmy Savile …..

    Thanks, schuchi.

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