Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,870 by Cinephile

Posted by PeeDee on December 7th, 2011


Yet another quality crossword from Cinephile and another pleasure to blog.  I never cease to be amazed how he continues to produce such good crosswords at the rate he does and keeps them feeling fresh and original.  Thank you Cinephile.

The K of the preamble stands for knight and the provenance is the Round Table of Arthurian legend.  It seems to be the FT’s editorial policy to explain this sort of device in a preamble rather than letting the solvers figure it out for themselves.  My guess is that they have a ‘lunchtime rule’, where the crossword has to be solvable within a standard (city?) workers luch hour.

Hold your mouse over any clue number to read the clue.

1 DECAMP the solution is often found following aide in ‘aide-de-camp’ – definition is ‘run away’
9 PERCIVAL RC (catholic) IV (quartet, roman numerals) inside PEAL (ring of bells)
10 GAWAIN AWA (absent, ‘away’ in Scots) in GIN
11 DINNER Definition and cryptic definition – a person making a din (row)
12 HEREDITY HERE (this is where) DItTY (song, missing its heart) – definition is ‘transmission’
13 ANTEDELUVIAN VALETUDINarIAN* (anagram=to go wrong) missing A and R (right) – definition is ‘very old’
17 ANYTHING GOES THIN (unconvincing) G (note of the scale) GO (to leave) in AN YES (acceptance) – definition is ‘a free for all’
20 MICAWBER MICA (transparent stuff) by (next to) Carl Maria WeBER (composer missing second letter) – character from David Copperfield
23 ELIJAH EH? (what did you say) about JAIL* (break=anagram) – Elijah is a prohpet which sounds like (did you say) profit
24 SNIPER SNIP (certainty) and ER (the Queen, Elizabeth Regina)
25 ICE CUBES ICE CUBES (diamonds greatly increase in value, as opposed to a proprtional increase) – definition is ‘rocks’ e.g. ‘Scotch on the Rocks’ – thanks to thomas99 for sorting this one out
26 LANCELOT LANCE (weapon) LOT (destiny)
27 FLECHE sounds like (say) “flesh”, unsuitable for vegetarians – definition is ‘architectural addition’, a slender spire in a cathedral
2 EYELID EYE (glance) and LID (cover) – an eyelid is an object that can be batted
3 ASCENDANT A SCANT (meagre) surrounding END (to finish) – definition is ‘on the up and up’
4 PAVAROTTI naVAROne (heart of) inside Adelina PATTI (former sporano) – definition is ‘tenor’, Luciano Pavarotti
5 GALAHAD GALA (celebration) HAD (enjoyed)
6 NIGER Double definition – ‘African country’ and ‘a black person’. I think the question mark in the clue is because the ‘black person’ definition is obsolete.
7 MEWED ME (setter) WED (married) – definition is ‘confined’
8 TRISTRAM STIR* (anagram=trouble) with TRAM (car)
14 LOOSE-LEAF LOAF (loiter) around mOSELEy (centre of) – definition is ‘not bound’, as a book
15 VESTIBULE BUILT* (anagram=oddly) inside V (vide, abbrev) and SEE* (anagram=translated) – definition is ‘porch’
16 INSIGNIA INSIGNIficant (unimportant) with ‘in fact’ reordered (grotty) and removed (taken away) and A – definition is ‘badge of office’
18 GERAINT RAIN (drops) inside GET (make aquisition)
21 ASPIC AS PIC (film) – definition is ‘jelly’
22 BERYL Double definition


15 Responses to “Financial Times 13,870 by Cinephile”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, PeeDee. Suffice it to say that I share your amazement!

    In 15dn, ‘translated’ is the anagram indicator, as you say, but [Latin] ‘vide’ is also ‘see, translated’ – very neat!

    And in 6dn, I took the question mark as indicating that ‘niger’ is Latin for black. [I didn’t know that spelling of the word for a black person. Chambers is the only one of my dictionaries to have it.]

  2. PeeDee says:

    Hi Eileen

    I liked the surface reading of 15dn too, neat indeed.

    Re 6dn: I thought of niger=black in Latin too, but it does not have this meaning as an English word (in Chambers at least) and since there is no specific indication of translation in the clue I plumped for the dictionary definition ‘black person’. I guess either is as good as the other.

  3. MikeC says:

    Thanks PeeDee and Cinephile. Very enjoyable. 22 took me a while to settle (20 was my last in, as I’m not a great Dickens enthusiast, so I didn’t have the initial letter). I considered Coral, and even Pearl at an earlier stage. Interesting to find three 5-letter girls’ names ending in “l” that could conceivably be stones. As ever, though, the setter’s actual choice was the most precise.

    I’m with Eileen on 6d – my Chambers mentions niger oil, from “black seeds (niger seeds)”, which seems both to validate the word’s existence in current English, and its Latin derivation. I doubt that Cinephile would use the obsolete “black person” sense, not least because of its uncomfortable closeness to the other “N” word. But it’s certainly not worth falling out over!

  4. mike04 says:

    Many thanks PeeDee. Great fun today.

    I’m still rather confused about the ICE CUBES in 25ac. Perhaps the on-line and newspaper versions are different?
    On-line: Diamonds greatly increase in value as rocks (3,5).
    Shouldn’t CUBES be clued as “greatly increaseS in value”? In that case, though, “Diamonds” would have to be singular.

  5. PeeDee says:

    Mike04 – you are right about 25ac not being quite right. Unfortunately I have to go out now, I’ll look at it again when I get back.

    as = ‘s perhaps?

  6. Thomas99 says:

    mike04 and PeeDee-
    25a is fine. I made the same mistake at first, but in fact it’s a Double Definition: “Diamonds greatly increase in value” is another way of saying “Ice cubes”, ice (singular) meaning the same as diamonds (plural), so we need a plural verb in the clue (increase) and a singular verb in the solution (cube), which is what we have. Clever stuff.

    It was only after I’d pointed out the “mistake” on another site that I realised there wasn’t one.

  7. Thomas99 says:

    Sorry – typo/confusion there: the singular verb in the solution is of course “cubes”, not “cube”.

  8. mike04 says:

    Thanks Thomas.
    As you say, “clever stuff”. I think I’ve got my head round it now.
    And that typo? I thought it was just to test us!

  9. Eileen says:

    Rather late back to the party – I’ve been in and out all day – but just wanted to say, re 25ac, that I would never, ever, suspect Cinephile of making a grammatical error!

    And also that this is the only time I’ve appreciated my abominated middle name, BERYL. I would never have considered CORAL or PEARL, even without the initial B from MICAWBER! ;-)

  10. PeeDee says:

    Hi Eileen, @25 I suspect my blog entry is wrong, not Araucaria’s clue.

  11. Eileen says:

    Hi PeeDee [I’ve been out again]

    There’s nothing wrong with your blog entry. It was later that doubts seem to have crept in. I was jusr observing that there are some compilers whose grammar I might sometimes suspect but never Araucaria’s – opps, sorry, Cinephile’s. ;-)

  12. Tony Welsh says:

    Isn’t 8 down a mistake? King Arthur’s knight was Tristan, not Tristram.

  13. Samak says:

    Agree with Tony

  14. PeeDee says:

    According to Wikipedia it can be spelled Tristan, Drustanus, Drystan, Trystan, Tristran or Tristram,though as you say Tristan is the most common.

  15. Thomas99 says:

    Tristram is certainly right – another mistake Cinephile is not likely to make!

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