Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times no.13,877 by ORENSE

Posted by Ringo on December 15th, 2011


I’d been feeling a little jaded with the world of cryptics lately (cue violins)… but the wonderful Arachne in the Guardian yesterday and Orense here today have quite restored my faith. How’s that for a heartwarming advent tale? Anyway, no Christmas allusions here from Orense (save for a nod to the nativity in the surface of 14ac.), and nothing too difficult – but ingenious clueing from top to bottom.


1. SUPERB  Supper [meal] minus one p(rawn) + b(acon)

5. MAVERICK  Aver [state] within Mick [typical name for an Irishman (in crosswords, anyway)]

9. STOPGAPS  Top [best] + gap [space] within SS [Steam Ship – so ‘on board’]

10. SADDOS  Add [contribute] within SOS [the morse code mayday signal: … — … , I think]

11. TUREEN  Hidden in mixTURE ENcrusted

12. AIR FORCE  Air [broadcast] + for [on behalf of] + CE [Church of England]

14. STANDING ROOM  Stand-in [replacement] + groom [stablehand]: what a lovely clue

18. COLD SHOULDER  Another great charade: C [carbon] + old [dated] + shoulder [joint]

22. HACIENDA  Anagram of had a nice to give a Spanish term for an estate or ‘spread’

25. LEEWAY  Reversal of wee [small] within lay [non-professional]

26. WIZARD  I [one] + z [last letter] within reversal of draw [sketch]

27. MATERIAL  Double definition

28. REVEREND  Ever [always] within rend [split]

29. DAHLIA  Anagram of had + reversal of ail [trouble]


2. UNTRUE  Un [French for ‘a’] + true [right]: not one of Orense’s best, this

3. EXPRESSED  Ex [former girlfriend] + pressed [in a hurry]

4. BRAINWASH  A rather odd little cryptic definition

5. MUSTARD  Star [leading man] within mud [scandal]

6. VISOR  Visitor [guest] minus it

7. RADIO  A d(ate) within Rio [ubiquitous port city]; ‘set’ is a rather old-fashioned term for a radio (or television)

8. CHOP-CHOP  Doubling of ch(urch) + op [opus, work]

13. FOG  ‘Rights’ – i.e. rightmost letters – of chieF tO hanG

15. NODULATED  Anagram of due to land

16. RARE EARTH  Rare [little-known] + earth [planet] to give a group of chemicals

17. BONA FIDE  Anagram of bad if one

19. SUE  Sue(t) [fat]

20. UNARMED  Anagram of a rum end

21. SALAMI  (Roll)s +  á la [French for ‘in the style of’] + mi [note, as in ‘do, re, mi’]

23. IMAGE  I [one] + m(illion) + age [years]

24. NUDGE  G(overnment) within nude [wearing nothing]; it seems that ‘wearing’, unsatisfyingly, is doing double duty here

3 Responses to “Financial Times no.13,877 by ORENSE”

  1. MikeC says:

    Thanks Ringo and Orense. Nicely done, both.

  2. ChrisM says:

    Thanks for your blog Ringo, there were some great clues here
    In 24d I read ‘wearing nothing’ as ‘in the nude’, giving the solution as G in nude

  3. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Orense for a pleasing puzzle and Ringo for the blog. Two very good clues at 14ac and 18ac, which provides some compensation for the fact that these two clues give the only links between the top and bottom halves of the grid.

    24dn: I had thought of ChrisM’s alternative suggestion, but the clue still seems unsatisfactory that way. We have to lose “the” from “in the nude”, and there is no indication for this.

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