Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,979 – Falcon

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on April 26th, 2012

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Apr 16

Quite a surprise to see a Falcon crossword on a Monday (instead of the expected Dante who, for once, took the Tuesday spot that week), but this neatly clued puzzle was certainly very welcome.  Some fine cluing from the FT’s Everyman – not very hard, but elegant and effortless as ever [which I consider to be something positive].

Definitions are underlined wherever appropriate.


1 SCHILLER Dramatist, first to stage terrifying work
    S[tage] + CHILLER (terrifying work)
    Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805), German dramatist whose “Ode to Joy” became part of Beethoven’s Ninth.
5 AS WELL A grand in addition
    A + SWELL (grand, as an adjective)
9 PANORAMA Girl blocking parents’ view
    NORMA inside PA/MA (parents)
10 JARGON Slang used in joint? An element
    J (joint) + ARGON (an element)
    I wasn’t familiar with J for ‘joint’, but Chambers tells us that we should think of drugs (marijuana).
12 RUSTY Honest, leader’s gone out of practice
    TRUSTY (honest) minus T (its leader, ie first letter)
13    SAGE DERBY           Grand in bread? Yes, processed cheese
    G (grand) inside (BREAD YES)*
14 LOVAGE Adore eating a good salad plant
    LOVE (adore) around A G (good)
16 SCORPIO Sign of arachnid without sting?
    SCORPION (arachnid) minus N
    The sting is in the tail, they say, and certainly when talking about a scorpion. Therefore we must remove the tail (ie the last letter) of ‘scorpion’. Not sure whether it will satisfy the purists, but there is a question mark at the end.
19 BANKING Forbid piece of financial activity
    BAN (forbid) + KING (piece, in chess)
21 CANNON What sounds like a standard piece of artillery?
    Homophone of CANON (a standard)
23    VINGT-ET-UN    Five in tug and ten adrift in pontoon
    V (five) + IN + (TUG + TEN)*
    Pontoon is a card game, with winning 21 points as its object. VINGT-ET-UN is French for ‘21’.
25 LEAVE Permission to go
    Double definition
26 AVANTI Film vehicle entering at one
    VAN (vehicle) inside AT I (one)
    In 1972 there was a Billy Wilder film called “Avanti!” – with an exclamation mark (but in Crosswordland we ignore punctuation).
27 DIMINISH Shrink taking car round course? Just the opposite
    DISH (course) round MINI (car), instead of the other way around
28 LEADEN Dull, field study
    LEA (field) + DEN (study)
    Simple as it is, I like neat clues like this.
29    CARDINAL One, perhaps, of fundamental importance
    Double definition
1 SUPERB Excellent salesman aboard vehicle going north
    Reversal of:  REP (salesman) inside BUS (vehicle)
2 HANDS DOWN    Factory workers getting depressed easily
    HANDS (factory workers) + DOWN (depressed)
3 LORDY Expression of surprise from peer close to Hattersley
    LORD (peer) + [Hattersle]Y
4 EN MASSE All together in new manse on outskirts of Scone
    (MANSE)* + S[cone]E
6 STAND DOWN    Resign from partnership losing money
    STAND (partnership) + DOWN (losing money)
    ‘Stand’ meaning ‘partnership’ was new to me. But as it is about cricket, one cannot blame me! The second part of the clue doesn’t fully convince me – I see the economical link, but still.
7 EAGER Keenly interested in lacrosse, a German
    Hidden solution:  [lacross]E A GER[man]
8 LINDY HOP Don & Phil excited about end of May dance
    (DON + PHIL)* around [Ma]Y
    A very nice clue, but the (amateur) setter in me thinks there is a missed opportunity here as Everly also ends in a Y.  By the way, this particular dance (from the Roaring Twenties) was named after the aviator Charles Lindbergh.
11 AGES Carries on ignoring wife for a long time
    WAGES (carries on) minus W (wife)
15 ARISTOTLE Emerge carrying dram left for philosopher
    ARISE (emerge) around {TOT (dram) + L (left)}
17 PROBATION        Trial period for cricketer joining one cricket side
    PRO (for) + BAT (cricketer) + I (one) + ON (cricket side)
18 ABOVE ALL    What Everest is especially?
    Two definitions, the first one being Cryptic
20 GATE Exit from building, a terminal
    Hidden solution:  [buildin]G A TE[rminal]
21    CANTINA Insincere talk in a bar
    CANT (insincere talk) + IN A
22 BETHEL Bachelor girl in church
    B (bachelor) + ETHEL (girl)
24 NYALA Name a song about an antelope
    N (name) + YALA (reversal of A LAY (a song))
25 LAIRD Landowner set out to cross river
    LAID (set out) around R (river)

2 Responses to “Financial Times 13,979 – Falcon”

  1. Bamberger says:

    Far harder than most Everyman crosswords for me.
    Couldn’t get
    21d I’m afraid I still don’t see why insincere talk =cant.If you can’t do something what is the connection with insincere talk?
    22d I have never heard of this
    24d Ditto

    Thanks for the answers

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Well, Wanderer, in real life I do not come across bethels and nyalas that often myself, but they have their place in Crosswordland.
    As to CANT (21d), as a noun, Chambers gives us as Definition #1:
    “A hypocritical, affected or perfunctory style of speech or thought”. So I think, “insincere talk” is OK.
    Sorry to see you found it (unlike me) hard.

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