Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times no.13,883 by FALCON

Posted by Ringo on December 22nd, 2011


A pleasant, easy-going puzzle, this – ideal for those with lots to do and not enough time to do it, which, with Christmas closing in, probably means most of us. A few great clues, a few rather lazy ones (and I’m no fan of three-letter solutions), but all in all a nice way for me to sign off for the year. Sackfuls of thanks to everyone who’s read and commented on my posts this year, and to the marvellous FT setters. A very merry Christmas to you all!


1. TOM JONES  Triple definition: the tight-trousered Welsh singer, the opera by Edward German (who was not German) and the Albert Finney-starring film; these two last werre, of course, based on Henry Fielding’s novel

6. RWANDA  Wand [stick] within RA [Royal Academy, artist] to give another name for the central African language Kinyarwanda

9. HERMIT  Herm [Channel Island] + it – ‘solitary’ here is a noun

10. RED CROSS  Red [embarrassed, red-faced] + cross [trial, as in ‘a cross to bear’] to give the hugely admirable medical charity

11. TAXI  Tax [duty] + I [one]; a plane taxis when readying to take off

12. OPPOSITION  Op [opus, work] + position [station]

14. STAGNATE  Anagram of agents at

16. EZRA  Z [algebraic unknown] within era [age] to give the Biblical high priest

18. ARIA  (M)aria [Callas, the legendary opera singer]

19. FINISHED  F(emale) + in [after??] + I shed [I cast off]

21. TURKEY TROT  Turkey [country] + Trot [Trotskyite, revolutionary] to give the 20th century dance-step

22. RACE  R(uns) + ace [excellent]

24. VIRGINIA  Virgin [unspoilt] + I [one] + a(rea) to give the US state of which Richmond is the capital

26. ELEVEN  Le [French for ‘the’] within even [level]

27. BEAT IT  Beat [defeat] + It(alian)

28. HEDONIST  Don [either a university fellow, or a fellow’s name] within heist [armed hold-up]


2. OMEGA  O [ball, circle] + anagram of game to give the last letter of the Greek alphabet

3. JUMPING JACK  Jumping [missing? Possibly in the sense of jumping an obstacle – or, more likely in this case, ‘jumping ship’] + Jack [sailor] to give a kind of string puppet

4. NATIONAL Double definition

5. STRAPPED FOR CASH  Stripped for cash [occupation of the (defunct?) male-stripper troupe the Chippendales] with A [definite article] replacing I [one]

6. RADISH  R(ecipe) + a dish [a meal]

7. AIR  (H)air [70s musical]

8. DISCOURSE  D(uke) + is + course [sounds like ‘coarse’, vulgar]

13. TREE SURGEON  Very nice cryptic definition: the allusion is to the plane tree

15. TURQUOISE  Anagram of ours quite

17. END TO END  Anagram of don’t need

20. CYGNET  The name for a young swan sounds like ‘signet’ [ring]

23. CHESS C(aught) + anagram of shes

25. GET  E(arl) within GT [car]


4 Responses to “Financial Times no.13,883 by FALCON”

  1. Thomas99 says:

    Thanks for the blog – I wouldn’t call this all that easy, however. Re 19a, which I took a long time to parse properly, the “??” isn’t really necessary. As I finally remembered, “in 3 days” means (more or less) “after 3 days”… I agree about 13d too – excellent misleading CD.

  2. Thomas99 says:

    PS. Actually I should withdraw my “(more or less)” above. “He said he’d come back in 3 days.” “He said he’d come back after 3 days.” Certainly close enough in meaning, quite possibly identical.

  3. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Falcon for an enjoyable crossword and Ringo for the blog. I will pick 5dn as my favourite clue.

    19ac: After a few minutes thought, I agree with the argument given by Thomas.

    15dn: Can anyone justify “garishly” as an anagram indicator?

  4. Bamberger says:

    Not easy for me and couldn’t get

    6a I had r?a??? and ran through all the possibilities of r?a but never thought of rwa. I thought it was country not a language.
    11a Kicking self
    16a Didn’t have any crossing letters and never heard of him .
    22a See 11a
    2d Is an alphabet a series?
    8d I doubt if I ever would have got that. Filed in the “too hard” cabinet.
    13d Very good -if I’d had t?e? s?r?e?n I might have guessed it but only t??? s???e?n I couldn’t.

    Thanks for the 2011 blogs

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