Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times no.14,012 by GAFF

Posted by Ringo on May 24th, 2012


Sorry I’m late; had to do some last-minute work on [PLUG ALERT] my forthcoming book on the history of toilet paper.

Reliance on lengthy themed solutions always puts me in rather a bad humour; this, plus an overdose of DDs and remove-and-grind clues, rather soured me on Gaff’s ‘anniversary puzzle’. Still, no technical complaints (save an ornithologist’s cavil at 4,27) and a couple of belters – so thanks, Gaff.

Although I have to ask – exactly what anniversary are we celebrating here?

ADDENDUM: I see that the latest incarnation of Westminster Bridge was officially opened on this day in 1862. Apologies for my ignorance…


9. RHODOLITE  Anagram of bloodthirstier minus letters of Brits

10. PLAIN  Double definition

11. DREADED  Double definition; Rastafarians wear their hair in dreadlocks

12. RANCOUR  Sounds like ranker [soldier]

13. ETA  Double definition, alluding to the Greek character and the Basque separatist army

14. See 6.

17. ERROR  E [English] + RR [Rolls-Royce, car] + OR [operator]

18. COS  Kind of lettuce hidden in tabasCO Sauce

19,28,26. GRAND THEFT AUTO  GR [George Rex, king] + and + the FT [us] + Au [gold] + to to give the controversial video game; a marvellous charade

21, 20, 24, 2. EARTH HAS NOT ANYTHING TO SHOW MORE FAIR  Anagram of aghast at her information theory shown to give the initial line of Wordsworth’s Composed Upon Westminster Bridge

23. YET  Last letters of certaintY likE facT

25. ORIGAMI  Cryptic definition: increases has to be read in creases

27. SWATHES  Double definition

28. See 19.

29. THEREUNTO  Anagram of e(vangelising) one truth


1. See 6.

2. See 21.

3. WORDSWORTH  Jobsworth [irritating employee] with job [position] replaced with Word [Microsoft software]

4,27. BIRD SEED  Cryptic definition, rendered unsatisfactory by the fact that the swallow is an insectivore

5. PERRY MASON  Perry [pear cider, drink] + mason [member of order of freemasons] to give the fictional lawyer

6,14,1. UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE  Anagram of Downing Street bum Piers to give the poem written by Wordsworth on September 3, 1802

7. CAVORT  Reversal of (Il) Trova(tore) [opera] + c(ompany)

8. INFRARED  Anagram of fundraiser minus us

15. SOCIALISTS  CIA [spies] + list [pitch] within SOS [call for help]

16. NEGOTIATED  Anagram of toga it within need [desire]

17. EYETOOTH  Sounds like it appears in the spoken phrase (b)y two-th(irty) – a nice innovation

20. See 21

22. RAISED  Double definition

24. See 21.

26. See 19.

27. See 4.


3 Responses to “Financial Times no.14,012 by GAFF”

  1. Thomas99 says:

    This was great fun. I’m surprised there aren’t any comments. Every so often we get an eccentric theme in the FT – this isn’t as weird as Swan Upping, but it’s still good to see. Many thanks.

  2. mike04 says:

    Thanks for the blog, Ringo. My heart sinks when I see “See …” clues in profusion.

    I thought this puzzle was pretty difficult today, and oh dear, I had to ask a friend:
    Chambers Word Wizard!

    Yes, the SWALLOW was a blunder, and I’m still puzzled about the LARK.
    Can CAVORT be used as a noun? Maybe I’ve misread the clue.

  3. Matt Mitchell says:

    Man, that’s the kind that kills us Yanks with its eccentric clue types, but the theme construction is impressive.

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