Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,894 / Redshank

Posted by shuchi on January 6th, 2012


The last time I blogged a Redshank crossword, its theme took me a long time to decipher. This was easy enough to work out with 5a being one of the first answers in. This puzzle had one of those themes in which, once you know the trick, you get all the answers from the definition alone without having to unravel the wordplay. That letdown apart, I found this a pleasant puzzle with some cheeky/amusing techniques (e.g. 19a, 27a).

Themed answers are prefixed with * and in green.


5 *DIRHAM (MAHDI)* around R[ebel]. A unit of currency in Libya, sub-unit of the dinar.
9 CHEAPEST C’EST (“it’s” in French) around HEAP (pile)
10 *KRONER K (king), ONE (single) in RR (posh car). The Danish currency is ‘krone’ and ‘kroner’ is its plural, as far as I know. This feels like a slight inconsistency with the other themed words that are in the singular.
12 DIESEL OIL DIESE (‘these’ in German), LOL (acronym for ‘laugh out loud’) around I (Italian)
13 *POUND POD (school) around UN (one). The British currency.
14 UFOS FO (Flying Officer) in US (the pond?) &lit. The wordplay isn’t perfectly clear to me. Is ‘the pond’ slang for US? A web search tell me that The Pond was a secret US government organization between 1942 and 1955. // Update: The pond means the Atlantic, so ‘over the pond’ = ‘in the US’. Thanks to Gaufrid @ comment#1.
16 WHIPSAW WARSAW (Polish capital) – A R (radical) + HIP (cool). Cool wordplay.
19 *RINGGIT RING (band) IT, parted with G (grand). The currency of Malaysia. We need to read ‘bandit’ as ‘band it’. I think this clue needs a question mark or some such signal for the elision.
21 *RAND RAN (smuggled) D (diamonds)
24 *DINAR DINAR RAND (from 21a) reversed, around I[nvasion]
27 *FORINT OR (soldiers – Other Ranks) IN (popular), in FT (us, the paper), with false capitalisation to make ‘us’ look like the country. Forint is the Hungarian currency.
28 CANNIBAL H (hot) in place of C (cold) would give Hannibal of The Silence of the Lambs fame.
29 LYRIST LYRICIST (songwriter) – IC (in charge)
30 INNER EAR INN (hotel) [th]E REAR (back)


1 *ESCUDO CU (copper) in (DOES)*. The currency of Portugal before the introduction of the Euro.
2 *SHEKEL (LEEKS)* around H[aifa]. An Israeli coin.
3 *RUPEE UP (finished) in REE[d] (short grass). The Indian currency.
4 NO-SHOWS NOSH (eat) O[r]W[a]S[h]
6 IRRUPTION IR (Irish) RU (rugby) (IN TOP)*
7 HINDUISM (HIS N IS MUD)* – but this has an extra ‘S’. An error? (HI[s] N IS MUD)*. Thanks to Wanderer @ comment#2.
8 MARK DOWN (WORKMAN)* around D (from 23d: short for ‘dollar’). Good one.
11 BLEW sounds like ‘blue’ (the color – navy blue)
17 PRIDEFUL P (from 26d: short for ‘pence’) RIDE (successfully endure) (FLU)*
18 ENSNARER S N (poles) in (NEARER)*
20 TATE first letters of ‘The Apprentice Tom Enraged’. I knew of the art gallery but not the sugar business. More on Henry Tate here.
21 RELEARN RELEN[t] (almost slacken) around AR (Arabic)
22 *ROUBLE [t]ROUBLE (unrest). The Russian currency.
23 *DOLLAR DO (party), RALL (slowing) reversed. In music, ‘rall’ is the gradual slowing of tempo.
26 *PENCE PEN (write) CE (Common Era i.e. these days). This one has a complete definition – “little money”, unlike the other themed clues with a partial definition.

That makes it 12 themed answers, not 13. What am I missing? // Update: I had missed 24a in the original blog. Added now.

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,894 / Redshank”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Shuchi
    “That makes it 12 themed answers, not 13. What am I missing?”

    The answer to 24ac ;)

    I read 14ac as ‘over the pond’ = ‘in the US’, so FO in US. ‘The pond’ has been used as a term for the Atlantic for some time now, usually in the expression ‘across the pond’, meaning America.

  2. Wanderer says:

    Thanks shuchi and Redshank, thoroughly enjoyable.

    In 14, I think “over the pond” or “across the pond” (ie the other side of the Atlantic) gives us US.

    In 7, I think “his short” gives us HI rather than HIS, so it’s HI + N + IS MUD

    Perhaps the other currency is the MARK in 8?

  3. crypticsue says:

    Very clever and enjoyable thank you Redshank and schuchi too.

  4. shuchi says:

    Thanks for your comments, Gaufrid, Wanderer and crypticsue.

    @Gaufrid: #facepalm, as they say on twitter :). I have added 24ac now, thank you.

    @Wanderer: Answers now updated. I thought of MARK too but DOWN with it wasn’t convincing. Gaufrid has cleared up the mystery – 24ac was missing.

  5. malc95 says:

    … if anyone is still around –
    I don’t think 15d is a dd, it’s “urine” ie wee inside “figs” ie figures (abbr.)

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