Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,266 by Gaff

Posted by PeeDee on March 20th, 2013


Gaff is not a regular on Wednesdays so it was nice to have a change fronm the usual suspects.  Easy or difficult?

I found this easy to get the ansers but in some cases very difficlut to explain why.  I enjoyed the mini theme too, though it did make some solutions a write-in.  Thank you Gaff.

1 BORSCHT Throbs wildly holding club’s top dish (7)
C (top of club) in THROBS* anagram=wildly
5 See 18
10 ENQUIRER Investigator heard when choir are content (8)
sound like “in choir are” meaning that ‘the choir are the content of something’ – might also be ‘enquirer’ with part of (content of) whEN CHOIR ARe sounding like ‘enquirer’, maybe I have missed something. It seems a pretty vague clue whichever.

Gaufrid suggests a reverse homophone device: a homohpone of the solution componnents EN QUIRE  R gives N CHOIR ARE which is found embedded in the clue, ‘content’ indicating that not all the phrase is used.  This the best solution I think.

11 VALOIS Physio lavishly hosts return of 21’s in-laws (6)
hidden in (hosted by) phySIO LAVishly – Henry marries Catherine of Valois
12 ARCH Knowing chief (4)
double definition
13 LENTIL SOUP Turn pulse into lovely starter (6,4)
anagram (turned) of PULSE LENTIL and L (start of lovely) – definition is &lit, as an instruction to the solver to find the solution
15 BADMOUTHS Ordered night fiers to cover unsatisfactory smears (9)
BAD (bade, ordered) MOTHS (night fliers) containing (covering) U (unsatisfactory?) – I can’t explain why u=unsatisfactory, it is not in Chambers See verbose @10
17, 19 PANELLISTS Quiz showmen, maybe, from board tables (10)
PANEL (board) LISTS (tables)
20 TEN A PENNY A million? A grand? Almost worthless! (3,1,5)
A double/triple definition with ‘a million’ and ‘a thousand’ being examples of ‘lots’, the cryptic element coming from a misdirection to monetary amounts. This explanation seems a bit weak to me Better, if you get ten pounds for every penny £1,000 becomes £1,000,000.
22 T-CONNECTOR Splitter of wood on heavenly drink, we hear (1-9)
My best atttempt is sounds like “Wyke on nectar” Wyke Wood (a woodland in Dorset) sounds like “teak on nectar” (wood on heavenly drink) – definition is ‘splitter’. Wyke Wood seems a bit obscure to me. Wych is a wood, but I have never heard of this being pronounced anything other than “witch”, as in Witch Hazel.  Anyone have any better ideas? Thanks to luke for this.
23 See 3
25 HUNGER Two Germans ache (6)
HUN (a German) GER (German)
27 RUNS AMOK Loses control of scud missile successfully (4,4)
RUN (scud) SAM (surface-to-air missile) OK (successfully)
28 ST OLIVE Italian martyr’s to live, apparently (2,5)
anagram (apparently, in a way) of ‘S TO LIVE hidden in martyr’S TO LIVE, I am overcomplicating things here – St Olive of Palermo
29 REFEREE Judge who should determine penalty (7)
cryptic definition – football
2 OWNER He has one win – no-one explained racing starts (5)
(ONE WiN)* (anagram=explained, worked out) missing I (one, Roman numeral) and R (start of racing) – definition is ‘he has’ – or more simply One Win No-one Explained Racing (starting letters of)
3, 23 SOUTHAMPTON PLOT Where 21 might have ended up if he hadn’t uncovered it? (11,4)
cryptic definition – Henry V uncovered this plot to kill him at Southampton, so may have ended up in a graveyard plot there if he had failed
4 HARFLEUR Ben waving fare in 21’s conquest (8)
FLARE* (anagram=waving) in Ben HUR – town captured by Henry V
6 LUVVIE 18, 5 for example, told to treasure ecstasy (6)
sounds like “love e” – an actor
7 VOL Winged symbol in small space (3)
VOLume (space) cut short (small) – heraldic symbol
8 EPICUREAN A nice pure stew for gourmet (9)
(A NICE PURE)* anagram=stew
9 FRENCH LETTERS Those sent after 16 would have been miserable protection (6,7)
definition /cryptic definition – letters home from the french soldiers after Agincourt would have been miserable, definition is ‘protection’, condoms
14 SHAKESPEARE “Drab get-up”, wrote 21 (11)
DRAB reversed (got up) is ‘bard’ – Shakespeare wrote a play entitled Henry V
16 AGINCOURT Our acting reproduced 21’s triumph . . . . (9)
(OUR ACTING)* anagram=reproduced – famous battle won by Henry V against the odds
18, 5 LAURENCE OLIVIER . . . . his acting of 21 was one (8,7)
cryptic(ish) definition – Laurence Olivier’s film Henry V was hailed as a ‘triumph’ by the critics at the time
21 HENRY V Inductance with volts DC – years since his power start-up (5,1)
HENRY (SI unit of inductance) with V (volts) – Henry IV, Henry V’s father died on 20th March 1413, exactly 600 (DC) years ago today. Though not his coronation, this could be regarded as the start of his time in power
24 OZONE Protection round area (5)
O (round) ZONE (area) – the ozone layer in the atmoshpere protects us from ultraviolet rays
26 GEL Hair treatment evens out greyly (3)
GrEyLy – even numbered letters missing (out)


14 Responses to “Financial Times 14,266 by Gaff”

  1. luke says:

    Re 22A – perhaps it’s T-connector: “Teak nector” – wood on heavenly drink?

  2. Thomas99 says:

    Weird and wonderful stuff from Gaff as usual. Thanks for the blog. One slight correction – no anagram of “to live” in “St Olive” (28a), apparently…

    I thought the “Ten a penny” one (20a) was saying that if you get £10 (or 10 rupees, rand, lire, whatever) to the penny then you get a £1m for £1,000. I can imagine saying something similar in Italy pre-euro – back then I think it would have been “A million? Only £500?” (2000 lire to the pound).

    I agree with Luke. I thought it might be “O-connector” for 22a but google made me change it from oak to teak.

    But the hardest for me was “panellists” – looks so easy now.

  3. Thomas99 says:

    (PS. Sorry for that mistake – for “£1m” read “million” in the fourth line.)

  4. Rowland says:

    Yes, hidden ST OLIVE. Some of this is good, and I like SOUTHAMPTON PLOT, but also it’s a bit too weird in places for ne, bit like some Guardian stuff. Is Gaff Guardian too>?


  5. pogel says:

    I think 2d is just the initials (starts) of “one win – no-one explained racing”.

  6. PeeDee says:

    Thomas99, you are right I think. I thought of £10 for 1p at the time of writing the blog but dismissed it as too obscure. On reflection I think it is probably the intended solution.

    Anyone have any views in INQUIRER/ENQUIRER?

  7. Gaufrid says:

    Hi PeeDee
    I parsed 10ac as the ‘content’ indicates a hidden word and the ‘heard’ a homophone so [wh]EN CHOIR ARE becomes whEN QUIRE R.

    I’m confused by the explanations for 20ac. A million a grand (1,000,000 for £1,000) is the same as TEN [for] A PENNY.

  8. PeeDee says:

    Gaufrid – On 20ac I mean just the same as you (I think).

    I prefer your explanation of 10ac as it avoids the dodgy ending of the homophone forcing an “are” sound into an “er” sound.

    Overall (as Thomas99 suggests) I think Gaff has got just a little too creative on some of these. Having said that, given the choice I would rather have this than a dull workmanlike puzzle that stays safely within the ‘rules’.

  9. PenelopeIII says:

    Re 18,5. I think there is a further nuance to this clue. ‘acting’ is an anagram of ‘agin ct'; ct being a short form of ‘court’ so Agincourt.

  10. verbose says:

    Re 15a, grade reports in the US often use S or U to indicate satisfactory or unsatisfactory work in a college course taken on a pass/fail basis. A “U” is the equivalent of an “F” in a course taken for a letter grade. It made complete sense to me without having to look it up.

  11. Muffyword says:

    It is LUVVIE, not LOVVIE. Presumably a typo.

  12. Thomas99 says:

    PeeDee @8
    “Weird and wonderful”, not “too creative”! Well OK yes he does push it sometimes but I’d also be disappointed if he didn’t.

  13. PeeDee says:

    Sorry Thomas99, I misunderstood you there. I think I was confusing your comment @2 with the one from Rowland @4.

  14. Keeper says:

    PeeDee @6: I struggled with INQUIRER vs. ENQUIRER, ultimately going with the former, as I recalled reading once that the “i” spelling refers to a more formal investigation while the “e” spelling is simply asking a question. (Chambers has: “inquirer – someone who inquires; an investigator or questioner.”)

    Upon further research, however, I’ve seen sources that claim the words are entirely synonymous and/or that “i” is a chiefly North American spelling, while “e” is a chiefly British spelling.

    So I’m at a loss. Perhaps Gaufrid @7 was correct that the solver has to take the EN from whEN to know which spelling to enter into the grid.

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>

three × = 6