Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times no.14,108 by REDSHANK

Posted by Ringo on September 13th, 2012


I’ve always liked redshanks, pretty and raucous little lakeshore potterers that they are, and I’m a big fan of Redshanks, too – and this minor masterpiece is one of his very best. I got off to a flying start before running into a thicket of intricate cluing, innovative mechanisms and double-jointed definitions. The attention to detail is superb.


1. ON EDGE  One + alternate (‘regular’) letters from DeGrEe

5. OXIDANTS  Sounds like occident [western nations] + s(ell)

9. PINCER  Anagram of nipper with p [pence, money] replaced with c [caught] and nipper doing double duty as both anagram fodder and definition

10. DOUBTFUL  tofu minus o [zero, duck] within doubl(e) [lookalike]

11. RAWLPLUG  Reversal of war [conflict] + anagram of pull + g [government]

12. DECANT  E [Ecstasy, drugs] within DC [District of Columbia, Washington] + ant [soldier]

13. STYE  Anagram of yest(erday)

15. PATHETIC  A the [indefinite and definite articles] + t [time] within pic [photo]

18. VENETIAN  Reversal of ten within anagram of naive

19. URGE  Hidden in coURGEtte (the definition is ‘egg on’)

21. HIJACK  Ac [account] within HIJK [successive letters of the alphabet]

23. IMPETIGO  I + anagram of MEP got I [one]

25. MARATHON  Ra(ce) within anagram of a month – a lovely &lit

26. EMBARK  B [British] within E [European] + mark [(former) currency]

27. WORLD WAR  Another ingenious &lit: l(an)d within reversal of raw [bitter] + row [dispute]

28. ELEVEN  Hidden in cancEL EVENt


2. NAIRA  Air [broadcast] within reversal of an to give the Nigerian currency [‘African settler’]

3. DECOLLETE  Co [company, firm] + l [large] within delete [cancel] to (rather Paulishly) give a definition descriptive of a low-cut dress

4. EERILY  Reversal of ire within Ely [crossword setter’s favourite bishopric, see]

5. OLD AGE PENSIONER  A rather odd &lit, but anyway, it’s an anagram of Ie a golden person

6. INUNDATE  Nun [sister] within I’d + ate [consumed]

7. AZTEC  Yet another &lit (possibly the best of the bunch): A [one] + anagram of Cortez minus or [gold]

8. TRUANTING  Anagram of Aunt within Tring [Hertfordshire town]

14. THE MIKADO  Anagram of mike had within to

16. EQUITABLE  Quit [stop] within anagram of albee

17. RICKSHAW  Anagram of (w)arwicksh(ire)

20. SPHERE  A bookie’s notice might announce: ‘S.P. [starting price] here

22. AVAIL  Sounds like a veil [a mask]

24. GORSE  Go [turn] + alternate letters of dReSsEd, with the definition (unusually) given as a homophone: furs sounds like furze [gorse]

8 Responses to “Financial Times no.14,108 by REDSHANK”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Ringo.

    I’ve nothing really to add to your praise for this superb puzzle. 7dn is stunningly good.

    Huge thanks, Redshank!

  2. rowland says:

    Good puzzle, astonishing to say but the FT now surpassing The Guardian in many areas? But I think you may be stoking the &lit debate, Ringo! To me, so just a personal opinion, the AZTEC one is probably closest, while I think, maybe, some might not go for ‘pursued’ as meaning ‘coming after’ in a cryptic or ‘down-directional’ (?) sense. Course if someone like a debt collector pursues me, they’re definitely seen as ‘coming after’ me!

    Well done Ringo and FT, someone’s got to kick The Guasrdian up the bum, cheers

  3. aztobesed says:

    Thanks Ringo and Redshank.

    One of my favoutite setters, the clues fly at you from such varied directions – you really need to be on your toes. More than other setters, you get slight ‘double-duties’ (fairly) such as the pincer and Aztec clues which I find especially pleasing. I always forget that Redshank is Crucible in the Guardian but it soon comes back to me when he’s got me in the head-locks. Very entertaining.

  4. mike04 says:

    Thanks for an admirable blog, Ringo, and thanks for a fantastic puzzle, Redshank!

  5. flashling says:

    liked oxidants and the &lits, thanks Redshank and Ringo, great stuff.

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Crucible? Radian? Who are they?
    Well, they are very good setters, well appreciated by Guardian and Indy solvers.
    But I think, step by step Redshank has put them in the shade.

    What a marvellous crossword this was!
    No coincidence, because his previous one was brilliant too.

    Please no discussions on &Lits (because of reasons given by Picaroon in the abovementioned Guardian blog), but there were a few contenders indeed.
    Not just 7d (AZTEC) but also the great 25ac (MARATHON), for example.

    So many good clues that it’s hard for me to choose a Clue of the Day. If one would point the trigger at me, I would perhaps go for 19ac (URGE) in which a familiar device is in complete harmony with the surface.

    Chapeau Redshank!

    Many thanks to Ringo too.

    A crossword that deserves a lot more posts than submitted today, also a puzzle that was a Pangram!

  7. Paul B says:

    A (proper and genuine) discussion on anything would be welcome just now at 15^2, Sil.

  8. flashling says:

    Ooh PB, I’ve not seen much wrong really in the blogs (except the Guardian’s but I expect that), missed the pangram.

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