Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,096 – Alberich

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on August 30th, 2012

Sil van den Hoek.

There is no blog so far for this splendid Alberich puzzle. Therefore, until someone turns up, I stand up and deliver one (a simple one, that is).  Being a fan of this setter I wondered why there wasn’t any sign of life recently. But here he was, on form as ever. Personally, I didn’t find this a particularly difficult puzzle – very accessible, once you know what to look for.  That said, I can imagine others might think differently. I failed on two clues (without resources that is), 15d and 2d, of which the latter was absolutely marvellous.


1   GOTTERDAMMERUNG – G (good) + [r]OTTERDAM (port, not opened) + ME (Alberich) + RUNG (spoke) – def: a work by Wagner in which Alberich appears

9   SHEATHE – SHE (woman) around HEAT (warmth) – def: cover

10   NABOKOV – {A + BOK (BOOK (novel) with only one O in it)} inside NOV (30 days, November)} – def: writer

11   INTER – [w]INTER (season starting late, so not with W but I) – def: football team

12   LAGER LOUT – anagram of {LL (left (L) twice) + TO ARGUE} – def: anti-social sort

13   CHEVALIER – double definition: “gallant” and “French novelist”, apparently (not Maurice)

15   PENNE – PENNIE[s] (most of change, change without the final S) minus I – def: pasta

16   LOBBY – LOB (throw up) + BY (near) – def: entrance

18   CLEOPATRA – T (time) inside LEOPAR[d] (almost a cat, a Manx cat), and all of that inside CA (a state, California) – def: Queen

20   MOONLIGHT – double definition:  “perform work at night” and “a piano piece” (by Beethoven)

23   RHONE – R (river) + HONE (smooth stone) – def:  river

24   ISMAILI – IS + MAIL (post) + I (island) – def: Muslim

25   RAINBOW – RA (artist) IN BOW (part of London), so “East End artist” [thank you, Eileen!]- def:  display of colours

26   TERRITORIAL ARMY – anagram of TO MARRY IRRITA[b]LE, the missing B being the first letter of ‘boyfriend’ – def:  volunteers


1   GOSSIP COLUMNIST – G(uardian) + an anagram of {L (Latin) MUSIC IS SPOT ON} – def:  journalist

  TRESTLE – WRESTLE (to fight) with the W (women) replaced by T (the last letter of ‘respect’) – def:  support

3   ESTERHAZY – EST (is, in French) + ER (monarch) + HAZY (confused) – def:  Haydn’s patron

4   DWELL – W[ire] inside DELL (valley) – def:  live

5   MENAGERIE -  anagram of GERMAINE + [gr]E[er] – def:  group of animals

6   EMBER – [m]EMBER (representative (‘member’) minus its first letter) – def: hot coal

7   UNKNOWN – {K (Kelvin) + NOW (presently)} inside {U (university) + NN (news, new+new)} – def: strange

8   GAVE THE GAME AWAY – double/cryptic definition

14   INCOGNITO – I (one) + NCO (officer) + an anagram of GOT IN – def: disguised

15   PAPERGIRL – cryptic definition (paper=rag)

17   BLOOMER -  double definition: “it could be lily” (a flower) and “baker’s creation” (bread)

19   TOOLBAR – anagram of ALT B OR O – def: on-screen utility

21   LUIGI – hidden backwards in [verd] I GIUL [ini] – def: one of his compatriots, an Italian (well, in fact both mentioned in the clue are - everyone knows Verdi, but Carlo Maria Giulini was an Italian too, a famous conductor (1914-2005))

22   TARSI -  anagram of most of ‘at risk’, so of AT RIS – def:  bones





8 Responses to “Financial Times 14,096 – Alberich”

  1. Eileen says:

    Bravissimo, Sil!

    I was just about to go to bed, very disappointed at there being no blog of this, as you say, splendid puzzle – and then yours popped up! Thank you so much.

    I loved it – huge thanks, Alberich! [I sent you an email, saying so, but your email address doesn't seem to work now?]

    Great stuff! Thanks again, both.

    Sil – I read 25ac as RA [artist] IN BOW [East London]

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Many thanks, Eileen!
    25ac now tweaked – you’re right, as ever.
    Night night.

  3. MikeC says:

    Thanks Alberich and Sil: good fun. I needed help on 15d and 18a but that was my problem, not the puzzle’s!

  4. Bamberger says:

    Thanks for stepping in.

  5. Alberich says:

    Many thanks for the blog, Sil. You’re too modest – this blog is far more than a simple stopgap. I’m full of admiration for the way the bloggers here manage to produce detailed, accurate and regular analyses of at least three broadsheet puzzles every morning, plus of course a number of weekend specials. Work, computer crashes or illness are bound to delay the occasional blog from time to time and it’s remarkable that if this happens the blog is always excellent when it does appear, as is Sil’s here.

    Thanks too for the posted comments. The lack of recent puzzles is entirely my fault; I’d somehow omitted to send any new ones since my last one appeared in March! That’s been rectified now. It is rather a coincidence that my first appearance after five months coincides with an appearance in the indy – there must be plenty of people wondering what they did wrong in a previous life to deserve me twice on the same day!

    All the best, Alberich

  6. Mark says:

    Thanks Sil. Very helpful

    What does “without resources” mean, please? I’m not being critical in asking this question; it’s simply that I am still relatively new to Cryptics. I managed to finish this one without any resources; half yesterday, the remainder this Saturday morning, and pleased with myself. 2D was the last in. I was convinced “support” was something to do with “tee” and the answer was a word for women……..!!



  7. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Mark, “I failed on two clues (without resources, that is” is a bit minimalistically formulated, indeed.
    I meant to say that I could finish the puzzle without any resources apart from two clues (15d and 2d). The solutions to these clues were then found using, in my case, the WordWeb software. That’s all, so nothing really special.

  8. Mark says:

    Thanks Sil. Mark

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