Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times no.14,180 by Redshank

Posted by Ringo on December 6th, 2012


I won’t say too much about this morning’s offering from Redshank, because a combination of software, hardware and newsagent failings have already made me very late. So I’ll only say that I thought this was a great puzzle, and that I wish I’d had more time to appreciate it. Thank-you, Redshank.

(I was working from an on-screen PDF, which made this more challenging than it might otherwise have been, and I’ve failed dismally on a few clues… assistance humbly requested!)


1. ARROWS  Double definition, referring first to arrows, which have flights, and the Red Arrows

4. ERASED  Hidden in opERAS EDifying

8. PIG IRON  Giro [cheque] within PIN

9. COMPASS  Com(e) [arrive] + pass [gap in mountain]

11. SUPERGRASS  Super [top-quality] + grass [cannabis]; ‘shopping’ here means ‘informing on’

12. AWRY  Anagram of A(rthu)r W(ellesle)y (with ‘out’ doing double duty as both anagrind and part of defining ‘out of uniform’)

13. GUSTO  Anagram of outings minus in [trendy]

14. ABSCONDS  AB [sailor] + seconds [extra helping] minus e [energy]

16. SYMMETRY  Anagram of (a)rmys (s)y(s)tem

18. PLANT  No idea, I’m afraid… help!

20. GAIT  Sounds like gate [opening]; a gait is a way of walking…

21. GUILLOTINE  Lot [item in sale] + in [popular] within guile craft; to guillotine someone is to ‘top’ them

23. SKID ROW  I’d [I had] within reversal of works [see 18ac.]

24. PAGEBOY  PA [per annum, each year] + anagram of goe(s) by; a pageboy supports a bride’s train

25. SHRINK  Triple definition

26. OTIOSE ??? I literally haven’t a clue…


1. ADIEU  Die [fade] within Au [chemical symbol for gold]

2. RAIDERS  A [amateur] within riders [changes to a Bill]

3. WRONG FOOT  ‘Contrary’ to right hand

5. ROOTS  Reversal of too within r(adical)s; ‘root’ and ‘radical’ are maths terms, I think (I’m sure someone can elaborate)

6. SOPRANO  Anagram of professional minus the letters of flies

7. DISCREDIT  Disc [record] + anagram of tried

10. PARALYTIC  Anagram of italy within reversal of crap [rubbish]

13. GUY FAWKES  Guy [chap] + W [Welsh] within fakes [pretends]  

14. SUPPLIANT  Again, no idea… anyone?

17. MATADOR  A tad [a little] within mor(e) [extra]

19. ART DECO  Anagram of traced + O [old]

21. GROAN  G [German] + roan [(colour of) horse]: one might groan at a ‘corny’ joke

22. NO ONE  Noon [midday] + E [English]

12 Responses to “Financial Times no.14,180 by Redshank”

  1. Thomas99 says:

    Thanks for the blog. A lovely puzzle but that SE corner was very tricky and one is still perplexing.

    18a – The old house is Plantagenet and the donkey is a genet
    15d – Supplant (“replace”) covers (“blankets”) I


    For 26a I also had otiose (as in, no clue so an answer is otiose?). I noticed there’s no letter count so I think something odd may be going on. Has anyone seen the actual FT today? Is it the same there?

  2. Ringo says:

    Ah, of course! Thanks so much, Thomas.

    And I had similar misgivings about 26a. Hopefully someone wil be along soon to shed some light on it…

  3. AID says:

    For 26a, I went for stooge being one without a clue.

  4. anax says:

    I can’t speak for all setters, but I guess the majority supply puzzles in Crossword Compiler. The default setting – if a clue remains unwritten – is for the text No Clue to appear in the clue list. Seems to be the case here, especially with the absence of enumeration and the capitalisation of the initials of both words.

  5. anax says:

    Additional (with apologies!) – should have pointed out that No Clue only appears when you export the clues into a Word or similar document. It doesn’t appear in the list of clues within Crossword Compiler.

  6. Pelham Barton says:

    Hi Ringo. I do not think you need double duty in 12ac. The clue can be parsed as AW (starts [of Arthur Wellesley]) followed by (and) RY (ends [of Arthur Wellesley]).

  7. mike04 says:

    Thanks for the blog, Ringo.
    Re 5dn: According to Chambers, a radical is a root, in any sense.
    No-one else seems to have taken up your challenge – so here goes!

    A radical in mathematics is the root of a quantity as indicated by the sign ?
    (the radical sign).
    A number (the index) placed to the left of the sign shows the type of root.

    For a Cube Root, the number is 3: 3? (the second 3 should be smaller!)
    eg 3?8 = 2 because 2 x 2 x 2 =8.
    For a Square Root, the number is 2, but the number is usually omitted: ?
    eg ?9 = 3 because 3 x 3 =9.

  8. mike04 says:

    Oh dear, in comment 7 the radical sign has come out as a question mark.
    Sorry about that. Every question mark should be a ‘square root’ sign!

  9. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Indeed, in 26ac something must have gone wrong. Anax is right about “No Clue” appearing in Crossword Compiler when there’s no clue yet. I was hoping to get a stunning clue here, but I wondered about the capitalisation of ‘Clue’ rightaway. Never mind.

    Apart from that, it was once more a great puzzle by Redshank who has become a real threat to his alter egos in the Indy (Radian) and the Guardian (Crucible). In a way I find Redshank crosswords a tad more sparkling because of being free of ninas, themes and over-cleverness [but Duggie, I like those too! :)].

    If I have to single out clues, they would be:
    9ac (because of separating mountain/range), 21ac (great definition), 10d (fine surface) and 15d (although I needed the blog and Thomas99 for help).
    12ac, though easy enough, was quite original too.
    And as always a (kind of) subtraction anagram which some still find ‘unusual’, in 6d.
    Oh, and 5d – fine too, alluding to two meanings of ‘radical’.

    Really satisfying crossword.

  10. Redshank says:

    Sorry, but I’ve just now visited and seen the confusion and I’m not surprised! Don’t ask me how it happened – I don’t know. Perhaps compound anagrams are now automatically banned?

    Here’s the clue I wrote for 26A:

    With grant, this could make negotiators redundant (6)

  11. verbose says:

    Thanks Ringo. I don’t understand 10d. I get the wordplay, but why is “under the table” a definition for “paralytic”?

  12. Sil van den Hoek says:

    verbose, Chambers tells us that “paralytic” can mean (informally) ‘helplessly drunk’.

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