Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,113 by Cinephile

Posted by PeeDee on September 19th, 2012


A mixed bag from Cinephile today, some really great clues and some that seem a little lazy.

This crossword shares the Barrett-Browning theme with the August bank holiday special produced by Cinephile for the Guardian (writing as Araucaria).  I am curious to know which puzzle came first, the FT or the Guardian.  Did he like the idea begun in the FT and so explored it more fully in the Guardian, or is he using the FT puzzle as a vehicle for some ideas that he could not fit into the holiday special?

Hold the mouse pointer over any clue number to read the clue.

1, 4 ROBERT BROWNING ROBERT (policeman, after Robert Peel) BROWNING (fixing/making the gravy) – this clue is copied almost verbatim from this year’s August bank holiday crossword in the Guardian
10 SCOTCH EGG SCOTCH (frustrate) EGG (incite)
11 See 3
12 JUTE double definition – early Europeans and sack cloth
13 SIGN WRITER (STIRRING E W)* trouble=anagram – somone who you bring to your sign/notice to have it painted
15 See 17
16 YORKER double definition – a cricket delivery pitched at the batsman’s feet and a New Yorker
19 SHADOW HAD (deceived) in SOW (broadcast) – opposer in the sense of the shadow cabinet
21 SESSION anagram of S (opening letter of scene) and NOISES
23 ROTHERMERE the river ROTHER in Yorkshire and MERE (lake) – Harold Harmsworth, former owner of Associated Newspapers given the title Viscount Rothermere
25, 26 FAIR ISLE IRIS (flower) in FLEA* – a style of woolen jumper
27 HABIT cryptic definition
28 OVERSLEEP LEEP sounds like (reported as) ‘leap’ after OVERS (some cricket) – to oversleep is to be in a trance too long. I don’t think the tense matches, the definition doesn’t really work for me.
29 MANNERED ER (Elizabeth Regina) kept by MANNED (given crew)
30 METHOD MET (came across) HOD (carrier) – definition is ‘the way’
1 RUSH JOBS RUSH (water plants) and Steve JOBS, the late principal of Apple Inc
2 BLOWTORCH W (western) TOR (hill) in B (born) LOCH (lake)
3, 11 RACE TRACK Spoonerism of “trace rack” (draw, instrument of torture)
5 REGENCY GREEN* revolution=anagram CenturY (ends of) – historical period in UK from 1811 to 1820 when George III was too ill to rule and the Prince of Wales (his son) ruled by proxy as the Prince Regent
6 WATERCRESS (WAR SECRETS)* anagram=exposed by
7 INAPT NAP (forty winks) in IT
8 GO-CART TRAG (a piece of tragic) without (going outside) OK (authority)
9 DEPICT DE (of, French) PICT (Scot, member of Pictish people)
14 DEAD NETTLE (DANTE ED)* anagram=new and LET* (anagram=out) – plant of the Lamiumgenus. I don’t like indirect anagrams, ED for Edition. This one is pretty obvious but I think the clue is poorer for it.
17, 15 ELIZABETH BARRETT (BETTER HEAT BRAZIL)* anagram=nuts. The poet Elizabeth Barrett married Robert Browning. This solution was also in the August bank holiday Guardian, but the anagram that time was HAZEL BETTER RABbIT (missing the b). Maybe he was frustrated at missing the full anagram first time round so he has another go in the FT?
18 INTREPID I (one, Roman numeral) NT (part of the bible) with PI (p1, front page) in RED
20, 21 WIMPOLE STREET WIMP (feeble fellow) OLE (hurrah, applause Spanish syle) and SETTER* – 50 Wimpole Street was the family home of Elizabeth Barrett until she eloped with Robert Browning. The courtship and elopment is the subject of the play The Barratts of Wimpole Street by Rudolf Besier.
22 GRAHAM multiple definitions – Graham Land in Antarctica, Grahamstown in South Africa and Grahams (wholemeal wheat biscuits from the US)
24 TOBIN TO BIN (to scrap) – tax on short term currency conversions proposed in 1972 by the economist James Tobin.
26 See 25


12 Responses to “Financial Times 14,113 by Cinephile”

  1. aztobesed says:

    Thanks for the blog.

    Don’t some painters sign their work in the bottom right hand corner? I suppose this setter does take the biscuit.

  2. aztobesed says:


    I always thought ‘takes the biscuit’ meant something particularly fine and admirable but find it means something near its opposite. Scrub my comment @ 1, obviously.

  3. PeeDee says:

    I assumed you were referring to his notorious habit of “taking liberties”

    (more as Araucaria than Cinephile I admit)

  4. rowland says:

    Well, not a bad puzzle, but very familiar for the reasons you give in your very good blog, PeeDee!

    Unlucky with your biscuit there, aztobesed.

    Thanks all

  5. aztobesed says:

    PeeDee and Rowly @ 3 and 4.

    “Well that takes the biscuit” is a phrase that has often sprung to my lips when tackling this setter. It sort of means either contingency. It’s always accompanied by a chuckle. Interesting to wonder whether this puzzle was a starter that became a main course or is the bubble and sqeak concocted after the previous day’s roast. No matter, it was a satisfying snack, either way.

  6. Bryan says:

    Many thanks PeeDee & Cinephile

    GRAHAM certainly took the biscuit as a reference to Cinephile’s real name.

    Maybe that was the allusion?

  7. MikeC says:

    Thanks PeeDee and Cinephile. Enjoyed this but had to use aids in the SW corner. Don’t know why I hadn’t got MANNERED already. However, the interesting (to me) thing is that Chambers word wizard came up with both GRAHAM and ARNHEM for 22d. I remembered that there was an Arnhem land (in Northern Australia) and checked out that there was also a biscuit by that name. I confess that I didn’t check that there was a town in SA – I assumed that there would be, because of the Boer/Dutch connection. Feeling rather dull that I had lazily got it wrong, I googled Arnhem south africa: lo and behold, there is indeed such a place. So this triple-defined clue really does have two possible solutions. Maybe that does “take the biscuit”;-)

    Btw, owing to the Rev’s surname, I’m sure yours is the intended answer!

  8. rowland says:

    Very tight food analogies at 5 Azto! Chambers says that to ‘take the biscuit’ is to ‘surpass everything else that has happened’, or ‘to be worse than anything’.


  9. PeeDee says:

    MikeC – I thought of ARNHEM too but didn’t know any of the refernces and didn’t bother to check it out. Lax of me. I’m not convinced that GRAHAM is the intended answer as The Rev is a very modest person. We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out!

  10. PeeDee says:

    Hi MikeC – I have been looking and I can’t find a town called Arnhem in South Africa. Where did you see this?

  11. MikeC says:

    Hi PeeDee

    More egg on face for me. I didn’t check carefully enough. Try Arnhem limpopo south africa: it does “hit” on google but it’s a farm, not a town. Sorry to spread confusion.

  12. Bryan says:

    PeeDee @ 9

    Even though tomorrow is supposed never to come, it has arrived and Yes: GRAHAM is the correct answer!

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>

9 − six =