Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,230 by Cinephile

Posted by PeeDee on February 6th, 2013


Yet another good puzzle from Cinephile, fresh and original as ever.

For overseas solvers a P45 is a UK tax form given to employees when they leave a company.  If anyone is unaware Cinephile (aka Araucaria) recently used one of his Guardian puzzles to announce he has terminal and untreatable cancer.  One has to wonder if this is another lighter hearted (or black humour) way of announcing his retirement from the great enterprise, or just a randomly chosen theme?

Thank you Cinephile.

1 WHITE CHRISTMAS Joint in which sophisticated parents get seasonable snow (5,9)
WRIST (joint) in which you will find HI TECH (sophisticated) then MAS (mothers, parents)
10 OUNCE Carnivore of little weight (5)
double definition – a type of cat
11 REFRESHER Whistleblower at home with female of course (9)
REF (whistleblower) at (next to) RES (residence, home) with HER (female) – a type of course
12 DISMISS Give hell to girl then give her P45 (7)
DIS (hell) given to MISS (girl)
13 SACKING P45 made of hessian? (7)
double definition
14 NEATH Welsh town not on top (5)
double definition
16 ARCHDUCHY Austria, say, turned right out of churchyard (9)
CHURCHYArD* (anagram=turned) with R=right taken out
19 WHEEL SPIN Wine helps to blur the effect of skidding (5,4)
(WINE HELPS)* anagam=to blur
20 YUPPY City slicker’s little friend with his tail for his head (5)
pUPPY (little friend) with Y (its tail) replacing its head
22 RACEMIC Type of acid for people with a lot of rodents (7)
RACE (people) with MICe (rodents, most of) – a form of tartaric acid
25 LIFT OFF Student, supposing him to be posh, has a flying start (4-3)
L (student) IF TOFF (supposing to be posh)
27 REDUNDANT Common insect keeps debt collector from getting P45? (9)
DUN (a debt collector) in RED ANT (common insect)
28 RYDAL Lakeland water from river for female reactionary (5)
R (river) LADY (female) reversed (reactionary) – Rydal Water is a lake in the Lake District
29 MARCHING ORDERS “Halt!” “Left wheel!” etc, with P45? (8,6)
double definition
2 See 9
See 9
3 TREVI . . . . in Rome and 6 in Rome, fowing in Rome (5)
TRE (3 in Italian, the clue number) VI (six, Roman numerals) – the Trevi Fountain flows in Rome
4 CARDSHARP P45, instrument for cheat (9)
CARDS (P45) HARP (instrument)
5 RUFUS William in America, under cover with backing (5)
US (America) under FUR (cover) backing – William Rufus, William II king of England
6 SPEECH DAY Dispatch always covers church school occasion (6,3)
CH (church) in SPEED (dispatch) AY (always)
7 MAHDI Muslim leader, no leader for Jihad possibly (5)
M (leading letter of muslim) and jIHAD* (anagram=possibly) with no leading letter – the definition is &lit. I looked up Mahdi in Wikipedia, but was unable to conclude if he was/is/will be a Jihadi leader or the person to end all Jihads. Great clue whatever.
8 SCRAGGY Scout leader, rugged but too thin (7)
S (leading letter of scout) CRAGGY (rugged)
9, 2 GOLDEN HANDSHAKE Improved P45 with information about former employees and fish (6,9)
OLD (former) in GEN (information) then HANDS (employees) and HAKE (fish) – definition is ‘improved P45′
15 HOLY MONTH Aspirations about half the games not playing in Ramadan (4,5)
OLYMpics (the games, half of) and NOT* (playing=anagram) in HH (two aspirations, letter H)
17 CANALETTO Prison first allowed to painter (9)
CAN (prison) A (first) LET (allowed) TO – Giovanni Antonio Canal, Italian painter better known as Canaletto
18 CUPHOLDER Saucer successful last year? (9)
double/cryptic definition
19 WAR DRUM Rooms for naval officers and Yorkshiremen, say, beaten in battle? (3,4)
sound like ‘ward room’, a room for naval officers – definition is ‘beaten in battle’. Why it is not plural and what it has to do with Yorkshiremen I don’t know. A ‘ward’ is a northern and Scottish dialect word for a division of a county, which hints vaguely that it could be a ‘room for Yorkshiremen’, but this seems very vague and adds nothing to the clear naval reference.

There are two subsidiary homophone clues here: “a room for officers” and “a room for Yorkshiremen”.  In the written clue they are combined into “rooms”, the (alleged) Yorkshire pronunciation applying to both.  Considering this is Cinephile, we have a plausible explanation to a convoluted clue.  Alternatively, the ‘s’ could just be a misprint.  Thanks to all the contributors for suggestions.

21 YAFFLE Fairies raised by tree surgeon? (6)
ELF and FAY (two fairies) reversed (raised) – the yaffle is the green woodpecker, nature’s tree surgeon
23 CEDAR Disgraced artist’s tree (5)
found inside disgraCED ARTist’s
24 CHAIN Part of cycle unwelcome to house seeker (5)
double definition – bicycles and house purchases
26 FIRED Encouraged with P45? (5)
double definition


8 Responses to “Financial Times 14,230 by Cinephile”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, PeeDee.

    For those who missed it, Araucaria was on ‘Newsnight’ last night – you can see it here here: and produced a special puzzle for the programme:

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Hi PeeDee

    19dn: May I suggest that WAR DRUM only sounds like WARD ROOM if you speak in a northern English accent, as for example in Yorkshire?

  3. Thomas99 says:

    Pelham Barton@2/PeeDee

    Agree with Pelham B about the Yorkshire homophone. PeeDee’s other comment about the plural made me think about it and I think the explanation is that “Ward Room” means, amongst other things, Naval Officers – not the room they use but the people themselves (“the officers of a warship collectively, excepting the captain” – Collins). But I think it’s “rooms” because it’s “ward” (a kind of room) plus “room”. So that bit of the clue is effectively a cryptic clue for “Ward Room”. The rest tells us that this is said “for…Yorkshiremen”, i.e. the solution is said like “ward room” if the speaker is from Yorkshire. I did it in a bit of a hurry and didn’t really notice but it’s actually a satisfyingly intricate clue, with the main laugh coming from the unusual “precision” of the homophone bit.

  4. mike04 says:


    Thanks for parsing 3dn. I couldn’t see it because the Latin for three is TRES.
    However TRE is used in modern Rome – in Italian.

    I find it very difficult to get my head round 19dn. Here’s my attempt:
    The first room is for naval officers: a WARD ROOM.
    The second room is heard when a Yorkshireman pronounces WAR DRUM.
    It’s a Cinephile clue: don’t enter either of these rooms, just enter the definition at the end – helpfully accompanied by a question mark.

  5. PeeDee says:

    Thanks Mike04, I meant Italian not Latin, fixed the blog now. (un)Fortunately I don’t know any Latin so I was not distracted by the spelling.

    Re 19dn I was initally put off the homophone explanation by it being ‘and Yorkshiremen’ not ‘for Yorkshiremen’, but added to the multiple rooms explanation proposed by Thomas99 and refined by mike04 I think gives quite a plausible explanation.

    I have never known Cinephile come back and explain clues here or anywhere else, so I guess we will never know for sure.

  6. Thomas99 says:

    @mike04/PeeDee @4&5
    Yes – I think that’s definitely how I parsed it at the time, except I thought of it as “for” Yorkshiremen meaning that’s what what they would think one was saying when one said “war drum”. I suppose it does work, I was just rather excited at finding the other approach which seemed to account for the plural a bit better – but rather too elaborately, it seems to me now; the simpler parsing is normally the intended one. I don’t think there can be any serious doubt that it’s basically about the Yorkshire pronunciation of “War drum” as “Ward room” with the “for” carried over by the “and”. It obviously works, it’s just hard to describe and one can get a bit lost in the syntax.

  7. MichaelG says:

    Enjoyable puzzle
    It should be HI TECH in your parsing of 1 across.
    Keep up the good work!

  8. Keeper says:

    Perhaps I’m being picky, but doesn’t 16a need something to refer to Austria’s historical status as an archduchy? For example, “Austria once, say,…”

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