Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,928 by Cinephile

Posted by PeeDee on February 15th, 2012


I finished this quickly, though at the time if felt quite difficult – ‘easy but hard’ would be my summary.  A very enjoyable solve, thank you Cinephile.

The RS of the preamble stands for RED STAR.  My favourite today was “hole in the crust” as a cryptic definition of a volcano, but this was only the icing on a uniformly good cake.  Cinephie was in fine form when he set this one.

Hold the mouse over a clue number to read the clue.

1 APPARATCHIK A PATCH (area) around PAR (standard) and IK (one thousand pounds)
7, 28 RED RUM MURDER (crime) reversed – a star of the racetrack
9 GULAG Good U (turn) with LAG (convict)
10 ADMISSION Double definition
11 RACKETEER Definition and cryptic definition
12 CHINA the colour red and the star motif are both symbols representing communist China – note that the star of China is yellow, hence the qualification ‘separately’ (‘red’ and ‘star’ not ‘red star’)
13 ANTARES ANT (insect) ARES (god) – a red supergiant in the Milky Way galaxy
15 MARS mars=damages – Mars appears as a red star in the sky but is technically a planet, not a star
18 ETNA ANTE (stake, betting) reversed – cryptically, a volcano could be a hole in the Earth’s crust
20 PASSAGE PAS SAGE – a translation from French gives ‘not good’, i.e. ‘bad’
23 ASPIC ASP (snake) IC (in charge)
26 BETELGEUX (GET EX-BLUE)* – an old spelling for Beltelgeuse, a red supergiant in the constellation Orion.
27 COCOA CO CO (company, twice) with A
28 See 7
29 REPLACEMENT PEARL* and CEMENT (to effect integration)
1 ALGERIAN GERIatrics (study of age, some of) inside (at heart of) ALAN (boy)
3 ROGUE ROUE (rake) around Garden (only a piece of)
4 TRADERS TRAD (square) and ERS (belonging to ER, The Queen)
5 HUMDRUM HUM (little sound) and DRUM (musical instrument)
6 KISS CURLS (LICKS USSR)* – in this case the red star is a red herring
7 RAISIN RA (artist) IS IN (at home)
8 DENTAL NT (New Testament – books of The Bible) inside DEAL (transaction) – choppers=teeth
14 RETICULAR CU (copper) inside TRAILER* – defiition is ‘net-like’
16 FAROUCHE OUCH (cry of pain) inside FARE (one taking a taxi) – a shy awkward person
17 REDSTART RED STAR and Time – a bird of the flycatcher family. I think ‘original’ must refer to this being the clue that sparked the theme in Cinephile’s mind. I would be interested to hear any other ideas.
19 ANTWERP AN and TWERP (unprepossessing person)
20 PYREXIA Y (unknown, in equations) REX (king) in PI (page 1, the front page) with A
21 CAMBER MBE (medal) in CAR (transport)
22 SPUTUM PUT (set) inside SUM (all)
25 NICHE hidden inside chroNIC HEllraiser – definition is either ‘suitable’ or ‘suitable post’, I’m not sure which. To me the clue cryptically alludes to ‘chronic hellraiser’ being hidden in ‘suitable’ not the other way around. Can anyone some up with a clearer explanation?


5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,928 by Cinephile”

  1. Thomas99 says:

    Thanks for the blog. I had a similar experience to you – overall time taken wasn’t that long but a lot of it was spent wondering if I was ever going to finish, and in particular what RS was. After getting CHINA I wondered about “Rhyming Slang”. Some people disapprove of bringing in foreign languages but I would like to put in a word for PASSAGE – when you tell a child in France to be good you say “Sois sage” rather than “Sois bon”, or you did when I was learning French, so it works very nicely.

    I took “original” in 17d much as you did – it’s the original “RS” in that we don’t have to replace it with a synonym/equivalent.

    The only thing the puzzle was missing was a red-haired movie star (Woody Allen? Damian Lewis? Rita Hayworth?) but you can’t have everything.

  2. Wanderer says:

    Easy but hard sums it up perfectly. I got APPARATCHIK, GULAG and the USSR clue before I cracked RS, so I was duped into expecting some kind of Soviet theme. The first of the themed clues which seemed possible was ANTARES — when I looked it up, wiki describes it as a ‘red supergiant star’ and for a while I thought The Rev was going to be testing our knowledge of supergiants… thank goodness I was wrong.

    Thoroughly enjoyable, thanks for blog and puzzle.

  3. PeeDee says:

    I spent a lot of time trying to place Red Star Belgrade into the grid somewhere. I was convinced they would be there somewhere.

  4. scchua says:

    Thanks PeeDee, and Cinephile for an enjoyable crossword

    This was not as difficult as some Chinephiles. Got the RS early on, and this helped. Like you liked the defn for ETNA.

    And the ellipses between 13A and 15A did serve a purpose as MARS is the Roman equivalent of the Greek ARES.

  5. crosser says:

    Thanks, PeeDee.
    I was held up at 20d because I already had the X from BETELGEUX and took it to be the “unknown”.
    I confirm what Thomas99 says @1 – “sage” still means “good” in the sense of “well-behaved” in France, where I live.
    By the way, there’s a typo at 1a: there’s a “C” too many!

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