Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times no.14,207 by Gurney

Posted by Ringo on January 10th, 2013


I don’t think I’ve blogged a Gurney puzzle before (though I’ve come across him as Raich in the Indie). This turned out to be a speedy, enjoyable solve. At the very easiest end of the FT difficulty spectrum, I think,  but fairly-clued, varied and good fun.


1. DIVINE  Vin [wine, as it would be said in Dieppe] within Die(ppe)

4. TRESPASS  Anagram of pert sass(y)

9. STREAK  Cryptic definition: streak as in run naked (bare) across, e.g., a sports field

10. FORESTER  Forecaster [one making predictions] minus ca [circa, about]

12. SHOT  Double definition

13. ENTER  (C)enter [American/New York spelling of ‘centre’, middle]

14. ANTE  Within nANTEs

17. EXTERMINATOR  Ex [former] + anagram of metro train

20. COUNTER TENOR  Count [noble] + ER [Elizabeth Regina, queen] + tenor [sounds like tenner, money]

23. OILS  Il [Italian for ‘the’] within OS [Over Size, very large]

24. SPARE  Spar [pole] + (voyag)e

25. TRUE  T(ranslator) + rue [French for ‘street’]

28. SUITABLE  A + B [bishop] + (idea)l within suite [set of rooms]

29. CREATE  A(ssembly) within Crete [Greek island]

30. NEEDLESS  Needle [intense rivalry] + s(ulkines)s

31. SLEEPY  Lee [shelter] within spy [agent]


1. DESISTED  Sis [sister, relative] + t [tense] within deed [performance]

2. VERMOUTH  Reversal of rev [reverend, cleric] + mouth [grimace]

3. NEAT  Alternative (‘regular’) letters of iNtErAcT

5. RIO DE JANEIRO  Anagram of jeer radio icon minus c(ivility)

6. STEP  Reversal of pets [dogs, say]

7. ANTONY  A + N [new] + Tony [theatre award]

8. SHRIEK  Anagram of irks E(nglish) h(unt)

11. INDIANAPOLIS  In [home] + anagram of loan is paid

15. ARROW  (N)arrow [without breadth of vision]

16. LOOTS  Sounds like lutes [old instruments]

18. INCREASE  In [popular] + cr [credit] + ease [facility]

19. GREENERY  Greene [writer Graham] + RY [railway, lines]

21. COUSIN  Hidden in rauCOUS INsults

22. ALPINE  (M)al(i)pine [wood]

26. MAIL  Reversal of Liam [man’s name]

27. ORAL  Initial letters of Our Rules And Laws


6 Responses to “Financial Times no.14,207 by Gurney”

  1. Wanderer says:

    Thanks Gurney and Ringo.

    In 26d, MAIL, I read ‘man picked up’ as ‘sounds like male’, although your ‘man’s name reversed’ works just as well.

    I agree that this was not the hardest, but a very enjoyable solve.

  2. Ringo says:

    @ Wanderer: Yes, that’s much more straightforward – I’d imagine your version is what the setter had in mind. Thanks.

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Ringo.

    I, too, went for Liam, without thinking – Gurney is Irish! – but, Wanderer’s right, ‘picked up’ usually indicates a homophone.

    Talking of which, I had to question LOOTS / lutes [which I would pronounce as ‘lewts’] but was amazed to see that Chambers gives ‘loot’ as the first of the alternative pronunciations – so, apologies, Gurney, and many thanks for a quick but very enjoyable solve.

  4. mike04 says:

    Thanks, Gurney and Ringo.

    I was interested in your comment about the vowel sound in the word ‘LUTE’, Eileen.
    Here, north of Hadrian’s Wall, I think I’m right in saying that the word is normally pronounced so as to rhyme with the word ‘BOOT’. So local dialect must play a part.
    The pronunciation must also depend on other factors though; a diphthong would be difficult to insert in, say, RUDE, but unavoidable in, say, JUTE.

    There’s an interesting article about the letter U here:

  5. Gurney says:

    Many thanks for the blog, Ringo, and to those who commented. Yes, I can confirm that a homophone of ‘male’ was what was intended but, if two experienced solvers independently arrived at the answer the other way, it probably works just fine! Liam is the Irish version of William and I must admit I’d not have used it as not being familiar enough. Re LOOTS (also a homophone issue!), I approach homophones with great caution as the same words are pronounced so differently in different places. So I’d looked in Collins which gives exactly the same pronunciation for both words and I took it from there.

  6. fearsome says:

    thanks Gurney and Ringo
    Enter defeated me and I hadn’t parsed Forester completely

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