Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13974 Gurney

Posted by scchua on April 10th, 2012


Thanks to Gurney for this enjoyable puzzle.  I have the impression this was a tad harder than usual, but totally enjoyable with some clever misdirections.  Apologies for the later timing.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  The pictures at the bottom each has a link to the crossword; some, not all, of the links are shared.


1 Expel from European country after leader’s replaced (6)

BANISH :  Initial letter(leader) of “Danish”(from the European country) replaced by(after…replaced) “B”.

4 Fast food in Paris? No! (8)

ESCARGOT :  Cryptic defn: Food, originating from France and easily found in Paris, that is specially bred snails. And we all know that snails are fast-moving creatures. No!

9 Fabric in vehicle particularly liked (6)

CARPET :  CAR(vehicle) + PET(adjective for particularly liked, like “pet hate”, which phrase then becomes oxymoronic).

10 One finishing period of self-denial ignoring daughter’s clasp, say? (8)

FASTENER :  “fast ender”(one finishing period of fast,self-denial) minus(ignoring) “d”(abbrev. for daughter).

Answer: An example of which,say is a clasp.

12 Unpleasant place man will be seen in (4)

HELL :  HE’LL{contraction of “he(man) will”}. 

Answer: In lower case letters, an unpleasant location to be (seen) in, sometimes emphasised as “a hell-hole of a place”.

13 Ethnic group with dish in better frequented location? (10)

RACECOURSE :  RACE(ethnic group) plus(with) COURSE(dish,a part of an entire meal). 

Defn: A crytic, misleading defn. with “better” as a noun and not a comparative.  Last one in for me – spent some time trying to think of an exotic/obscure ethnic group.  My favourite today.

15 Resolve strain? One can, being broad-minded (3-9)


Answer: Not belonging to, and therefore not restricted by the beliefs of, any particular sect, and therefore broad-minded.

18 Polite matron, refined, characteristic of London perhaps? (12)


Answer:  Pertaining to a large city, an example of which,perhaps? is London.

21 Printing expert terse and petty if messed about (10)

TYPESETTERAnagram of(if messed about) [TERSE plus(and) PETTY]. 

22 Faltered regularly in rush (4)

FLEE :  First, third, fifth and seventh letters(regularly) of “faltered”.

24 Act assuming some won’t come because of personal problem? All right (8)

OVERBOOK :  OVER(because of, as in “they fought over a woman”) + BO(abbrev. for “body odour”,a personal problem?) + OK(all right). 

Defn. and Answer: What some establishments and companies do – take more reservations than they can accommodate, assuming some won’t turn up,come.  And of course all hell breaks loose when more than they assume turn up.

25 Revised clue is “It carries water” (6)

SLUICEAnagram of(revised) CLUE IS.

26 Open air worker – in forest in Germany? (8)

GARDENER :  ARDEN(the Forest of,the region in central England) contained in(in) GER(abbrev. for Germany)  

27 Great attraction of publication associated with computers? (6)

MAGNET :  MAG(short for magazine,publication) + NET(short for the Internet,a network of,associated with computers). 

Answer: Noun for something which carries great attraction.


1 Writing style reporter outlawed, according to Spooner (8)

BACKHANDSpoonerism of “hack”(reporter, disparagingly) “banned”(outlawed). 

Answer: Style of handwriting which slopes towards the left like \.

2 On way up, organise drink for young child (8)

NURSLINGReversal of(up, in a down clue) RUN(a way,course,trail eg. a ski run) plus(organise) SLING(a mixed alcoholic, usually sweetened, drink, eg. the Singapore Sling)

3 Building in swish Edinburgh (4)

SHEDHidden in(in) swiSH EDinburgh.

5 US farmer, potential buyer, welcomes article about credit (12)

SHARECROPPER :  SHOPPER(potential buyer wandering the shops) containing(welcomes) [A(article in grammar) + RE(short for regarding,about) + CR(abbrev. for “credit”, especially used by bean-counters)] 

Answer: In the US, a farmer, especially a tenant who pays a part,share of the crop as rent.

6 With court appearance a possibility, arranged bail at once (10)

ACTIONABLEAnagram of(arranged) BAIL AT ONCE

Answer: What one does (or mis-does) may result in a legal summons,is actionable, requiring one to make a court appearance.  Something you want to stay away from.

7 Feeling of anxiety upset attempt to produce bridgelike structure (6)

GANTRYReversal of(upset) NAG(a feeling of anxiety that nags at you) + TRY(an attempt).

8 Aim to make sailor understand (6)

TARGET :  TAR(nickname for a sailor) + GET(to understand something,geddit?). 

Defn: What you shoot for, as in “my aim is to complete this blog in time”.

11 Clever idea some linked with Star Trek broadcast (12)

MASTERSTROKEAnagram of(broadcast) [SOME plus(linked with) STAR TREK].

14 Criminally, feed line extremes of bias can be justified by argument (10)

DEFENSIBLEAnagram of(criminally) [FEED LINE +  B,S(the initial and ending letters,extremes ofbias”)]

16 Be evasive over what’s charged for horse? (8)

STALLION :  STALL(to stonewall,prevaricate,be evasive) placed above(over, in a down clue) ION(a charged particle of matter).

17 Excite curiosity of characters from entire street (8)

INTERESTAnagram of(of characters from) [ENTIRE + ST(abbrev. for “street”)]

19 Convincing air inspires leaders of the recruits (6)

STRONG :  SONG(an air) containing(inspires) T,R(initial letters,leaders ofthe” and “recruits”)

20 Seem awed at first – extremely quiet on organ? (6)

APPEAR :  A(initial letter,at first of “awed”) + PP(in music, abbrev. for pianissimo,instruction to play extremely quietly) placed above(on, in a down clue) EAR(organ of hearing).

23 Initially placate the French with first-class excuse (4)

PLEA :  P(initial letter,initially of “placate”) + LE(in French, the article “the”) plus(with) A(the A grade,first-class).

Answer: An excuse,pretext, as in “she declined it on the plea that she had a headache”.



15 Responses to “Financial Times 13974 Gurney”

  1. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Gurney for a pleasant puzzle and scchua for the blog.

    1ac: I think the “from European country” is DANISH rather than SPANISH, so that only one letter needs to be replaced.

    17dn: As usual, I prefer to parse this as [Anagram of ENTIRE] + ST.

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks, Pelham, you’re right. I had Danish, when I solved it, but had Spanish on my mind when I wrote the blog. Blog now corrected.

  3. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Gurney for the puzzle and scchua for the blog. Pic 1 is Burt Lancaster who played Elmer Gantry (7d). Pic 3 is Sylvester Stallone aka Italian Stallion (16d). Also shown are Queen and Jean Simmons but someone else will have to explain the connection.


  4. Eileen says:

    Thank you, scchua, for the blog.

    I had a slightly different reading for 2dn: NUR: reversal [on the way up] of RUN – organise] + SLING.

    Pelham Barton, I think scchua’s reading of 17dn agrees with yours.

    Thanks, Gurney, for a nice puzzle. Favourite clue, i think, was 25ac. I hadn’t heard of SHARECROPPERS but the cluing was impeccable.

  5. Pelham Barton says:

    Eileen @4: I had 2dn the same way as you, with RUN = organise. On 17dn, the difference in the parsing is whether you count the ST as being part of the anagram or not. I prefer to keep abbreviations out of the anagram whenever this is consistent with the construction and wording of the clue.

  6. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Scchua & Gurney

    For what it’s worth, Jean Simmons was also in Elmer Gantry.

    And so was the lovely Shirley Jones who won an Oscar for playing a vengeful prostitute.

  7. Eileen says:

    Pelham Barton

    “I prefer to keep abbreviations out of the anagram whenever this is consistent with the construction and wording of the clue.”

    I totally agree and have noted [without commenting] that you have made this point several times before. But, as I said, scchua’s parsing: Anagram of(of characters from) [ENTIRE + ST(abbrev. for “street”)] is in total agreement with your own – isn’t it?

  8. Eileen says:

    Pelham Barton, on reflection, if you’re really nit-picking [and I know that it can be really difficult to decide how to use brackets, dashes, etc when blogging] – perhaps scchua could have said, more precisely: Anagram of(of characters from] ENTIRE + ST(abbrev. for “street”)] – but I knew what he meant. ;-)

  9. Pelham Barton says:


    As you say, I have made this point on previous occasions, which is why I started my original comment with “As usual”. I saw it as expressing a minor preference between two valid parsings. The difference the brackets make is that “Anagram of [ENTIRE + ST]” would also fit INSETTER (although that could not be the answer to 17dn as the definition would not work), but “[Anagram of ENTIRE] + ST” would not. Personally, in the very limited amount of clue writing I have done, I would never clue INSETTER using that wordplay, but I have no quarrel at all with anyone who would.

  10. Gurney says:

    Many thanks, Scchua, for the excellent blog and to all for their kind remarks. INTEREST was intended to be (entire)* ST as I think was clear (to me anyway) from the blog also. I guess clues should generally lead to unique answers, but, where they don’t, as can happen, crossing answers should resolve the ambiguity.

  11. Robi says:

    Thanks scchua; as no-one has attempted the quiz I’ll try.

    STALLION – Sylvester Stallone, in ‘The Italian Stallion;’ logo for the Ferrari Spider

    FERRARI – Lilie Ferrari wrote ‘Angel Face,’ a film starring Jean Simmons in which she drives a sports car and dates the ex-racing driver Robert Mitchum; the Spider as above.

    ARDEN – Catherine Z-J is the face of the commercial firm

    GANTRY – Burt Lancaster starred in ‘Elmer Gantry’

    STAR TREK – Rachel Weisz wanted to get a part in the latest sequel

    HELL – Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen ‘Beezelbub has a devil put aside for me’

    I’m not sure I’ve quite got the connections right.

  12. Robi says:

    …….. ah, Jean Simmons was also in Elmer GANTRY……..

  13. scchua says:

    Thanks for all your comments, and especially Gurney for dropping by. I’ve always enjoyed your puzzles in the FT and Indy (the harder of the two, I think).

    Hi, Robi, I was anticipating something from you. These were the connections I had in mind (though you’ve discovered more!):
    Sly Stallone’s nickname was of course the “Italian STALLION” (also got by grandpuzzler above).
    The other Italian was of course a Ferrari, whose marque features a STALLION.
    Rachel Weisz costarred with Ralph Fiennes in The Constant GARDENER.
    Burt Lancaster and Jean Simmons starred in Elmer GANTRY (also got by grandpuzzler and Bryan).
    That was Catherine Z-J in an ad for Elizabeth ARDEN cosmetics.
    (The) Queen (HM, not FM and company) will kick off her jubilee at the Derby at Epsom RACECOURSE. (This came to mind because, for a while, I was livng a stone’s throw from Tattenham Corner.)

  14. Robi says:

    Thanks, scchua; I live now a stone’s throw from Tattenham Corner.

  15. Robi says:

    Apologies to grandpuzzler and Bryan, whose picture quiz comments I missed in my rapid skim of the posts…. it would have saved me some time!

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

nine + = 13