Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13875 Gurney

Posted by scchua on December 13th, 2011


It’s back to business for me, with a thank you to Duncan for so ably holding the fort in the last 3 weeks.  A gentle landing for me with today’s puzzle, thanks to Gurney.  Some nice surfaces, and 2 clever &lits.  As usual, definitions are underlined in the clues.  There are no hidden connections in today’s pictures, though you might recognise/identify the cities/towns where one might find the churches.


1 Something that prevents quarrel where items are sold (6)

BARROW :  BAR(something that prevents/stops) ROW(quarrel)

Defn:  As used by street vendors selling fruit, vegetables, fish.

4 Taking lead from Sita, Stoic converted – embracing eastern philosophy (8)

TAOISTICAnagram of(converted) ITA{“Sitaminus(taking…from) “S”,lead,first letter} & STOIC.  Nice surface, sort of, with reference to 2 -isms, and a goddess, though I don’t think she had anything to do with either.

Defn:  Embracing Taoism (or Daoism), the hard-to-define eastern philosophy (with religious intertwinings) mainly practised by the Chinese.


10 Office item even more out-of-date quietly installed (7)

STAPLER :  STALER(even more out-of-date/old hat) containing(installed) P(piano,to be quietly played)

11 Agree lecturer’s content to choose incumbent? (7)

REELECTHidden in(…’s content) agREE LECTurer

12 Only remaining shoemaker’s model (4)

LAST :  Double defn.

13 Fez trainee refashioned – it’s useful in winter (10)

ANTIFREEZEAnagram of(refashioned) FEZ TRAINEE

16 Finally changing sides, US president establishing trade body (6)

CARTEL :  Carter(Jimmy, the peanut farmer former US president) with last letter(finally) “r”,right replaced byl”,left(changing sides)

Defn:  A gang,body of commercial/trade organisations who decide on collective action to further their interests and almost always regardless of, or at, additional expense to their clients/customers, eg. OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries).

17 Worker less productive after cold (7)

CLEANER :  C(cold) LEANER(less productive, though sometimes less is more, as in “lean and mean”)

20 Like Venus de Milo, with no warlike threat? (7)

UNARMED :  Cryptic defn:  Descriptive of the famous statue of Venus/Aphrodite de Milo/of Milos, the Greek island where it was uncovered.

21 Landlord’s means of communication (6)

LETTER :  Double defn.

24 After drink and kiss, joiner recalling song in Mediterranean port (10)

ALEXANDRIA :  X(kiss) placed after(after) ALE(alcoholic drink) AND(conjunction in English grammar,joiner) plus reversal of(recalling) AIR(song)

Defn:  The largest port on the Mediterranean coast, in Egypt, founded by Alexander the Great.  Once famous for its Pharos Lighthouse, and its library, it is now a tourist attraction and a shipping and inustrial centre.


25 Gentle sort (4)

KIND :  Double defn.

27 Motivate at home with religious feature (7)

INSPIRE :  IN(at home and not out) plus(with) SPIRE(feature of a religious building/church)

29 Lacking time, take land out of production creating leisure area (7)

 SEASIDE :  “set aside”(take land out of production/productive use, in order to decrease crop production and maintain/increase prices) minus(lacking) “t”(time)

30 Search for fun the don is misrepresenting? Not entirely (8)

HEDONISMHidden in(not entirely) tHE DON IS Misrepresenting

 Defn:  Another -ism, this one more simply defined as the pursuit,search for and maximisation of net pleasure (pleasure minus pain),fun.

31 Doctor gin in filthy room? That’s mean (6)

STINGYAnagram of(doctor) GIN contained in(in) STY(filthy room housing eg. pigs and teenagers?)


1 Herb vicar’s uncovered in church (8)

BASILICA :  BASIL(herb) ICA{“vicar” minus “v” & “r”, its outermost letters(uncovered)}

Defn:  An early Christian or medieval church.


2 After resistance, change census area – that allays doubts (11)

REASSURANCEAnagram of(change) CENSUS AREA placed after(after) R(in physics, symbol for electrical resistance)

3 City in Laos, look! (4)

OSLOHidden in(in) laOS LOok

5 There’s assistance here to welcome rerouted flier? (8)

AIRFIELD :  AID(assistance) containing(to welcome) anagram of(rerouted) FLIER.

Defn:  A nice &lit – if your flight has been rerouted to another airport/airfield, hopefully you’ll find some help there. 

6 Shattered bike racer swallowing tablet – it relieves tension (10)

ICEBREAKERAnagram of(shattered) BIKE RACER containing(swallowing) E(abbrev. for the drug ecstasy which comes in  tablet form).  Grim surface refering to athletes taking drugs.

Defn:  That which breaks down the tension amongst strangers at a party, bar or even a business meeting.  Could be a chat-up line, a party game, or even a “Aren’t we having nice weather today?”.  Though nowadays, with certain people at certain venues, it might well be a tablet. 

7 Tiger starts with it of course (3)

TEE :  Double defn:  1st: The letter “t” with which the word “tigerstarts; and 2nd:  What Tiger(Woods) starts with on a golf course (except, of course, the short holes of the course).  An &lit double defn. though, I’m not sure, but it might have appeared somewhere before, I seem to recall vaguely.

8 Reduction in size permitted in meat (6)

CUTLET :  CUT(reduction in size) LET(permitted)

Defn:  A slice of meat

9 Mischievous act in Portugal, giving off bad smell (5)

PRANK :  P(International Vehicle Registration for Portugal) RANK(giving off bad/offensive smell)

14 Unusually nice article, he might shed light? (11)


15 Play has racier tone unfortunately (10)

RECREATIONAnagram of(unfortunately) RACIER TONE

18 Annoys with criticism, singular, that’s avoidable (8)

NEEDLESS :  NEEDLES(annoys with criticism) S(singular/single, as in eg. SWF in personal ads)

19 Urged to reform internally, gone off alcohol, very hard work! (8)

DRUDGERYAnagram of(to reform) URGED contained in(internally) DRY(abstaining from/avoiding/gone off alcohol)

22 French city hotel in area known to clergyman (6)

PARISH :  PARIS(French capital city) H(represented by “hotel” in the phonetic alphabet)

23 Most important tree on street (5)

FIRST :  FIR(kind of tree) ST(abbrev. for street)

26 Actors discarded (4)

CAST :  Double defn.

28 Unhappy as island regularly ignored (3)

SAD :  “islandminus 1st,3rd, and 5th letters(regularly ignored)


3 Responses to “Financial Times 13875 Gurney”

  1. MikeC says:

    Thanks scchua and Gurney. Good, clean fun. I was very slow on 20, being fixated on the idea that the answer must be armless. A heavy penny-dropping, eventually. D’oh!

  2. Gurney says:

    Many thanks, scchua, for your superb blog and thanks to MikeC for his comment.

  3. scchua says:

    Hi Gurney, it’s always a pleasure to have the setter acknowledge one’s blog, especially if there’s a dearth of comments. :-) I guess it’s the nature of the (FT) beast, that it attracts a fewer number of comments than the Guardian Cryptic or the weekday Indy.

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