Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,272 by Cinephile

Posted by PeeDee on March 27th, 2013


An super eclectic mix from Cinephile, really enjoyable.  There is one clue that I cannot explain, any help appreciated.

I love the breadth of general knowledge required to solve Cinephile puzzles such as this.  I think Cinephile is being fair in that the clues with obscure words and references also have alternative ways to get to the answer.  I can imagine one might struggle if solving without reference materials at hand.

1 BASE CAMP Backing for climb from degree taking short time to being in the House (4,4)
BA (degree) with SEC (short time) A MP (a Member of Parliament, being in the house) – definition is ‘backing for camp’
5 BEACON Shiner to be a Tory? (6)
BE A CON (Conservative, Tory)
10 CALENDS So someone borrows California’s Roman date? (7)
if CA (California) LENDS then (so) someone borrows – the first days of each month in the Roman calendar
11 LORENZO Venetian lover takes Italian actor to Australia another way (7)
Sophia LOREN (Italian actor) has OZ (Australia) reversed (another way) – character from The Merchant of Venice in love with Jessica
12 PILOT Guide to too good a fate (5)
PI (pious, too good) LOT (a fate)
13 COCKROACH Bird, fish, and so-called beetle (9)
COCK (bird) ROACH (fish) – apparently cockroaches are not actually beetles. I found the difference succinctly described on the web as “cockroaches are paurometablous, whereas beetles are holometabolous”. There you go.
14 INCLUDE ME OUT I’m uncle, due to poor Goldwyn’s refusal to take part (7,2,3)
(I’M UNCLE DUE TO)* anagram=poor – Samuel Goldwyn the film producer was famous for malopropisms and condtradictory phrases, this being a famous example.
18 DINNER LADIES Providers for the youthful stomach, possibly – indies (6,6)
INNER LAD (the youthful stomach) in DIES – definition is ‘providers’ and partly &lit
21 SARGASSUM Artists back fuel all consisting of seaweed (9)
RAS (Royal Academician=artist, plural) reversed (back) then GAS (fuel) SUM (all) will give (consists of) – a type of seaweed
23 SNAIL Garden mollusc’s second fx (5)
S (second) NAIL (fix)
24 EXAMPLE Former partner with more than suffcient specimen (7)
EX (former partner) AMPLE (more then sufficient)
25 NARTHEX Direction and skill needed to spell church portico (7)
N (North, direction) ART (skill) HEX (to cast a spell) – a vestibule in a churh between the porch and the nave
26 SPHINX Southern pub, home to unknown puzzler (6)
S (southern) PH (pub) IN (home) X (an unknown) – in Greek mythology a fearsome creature that kills those who cannot answer her riddles
27 COMMONER No royal arrival to embrace Scotsman (8)
COMER (arrival, one who arrives) containing (embracing) MON (man, Scottish)
1 BICEPS Sexually ambiguous mushrooms with muscle (6)
BI (sexually ambiguous) CEPS (mushrooms)
2 SOLELY Sun on cathedral and nowhere else? (6)
SOL (the sun) on ELY (a cathedral)
3 CONSTANCE Lady of the Lake with attitude (9)
CON (with) STANCE (attitude) – girls name and Lake Constance in the Alps
4 MUSICAL GLASSES Show good girls the harmonica (7,7)
MUSICAL (show) G (good) LASSES (girls) – a type of musical instrument
6 ERROR Panic doesn’t start by mistake (5)
tERROR (panic) not starting
7 CINNAMON Something spicy to read about pub in the morning (8)
CON (to read) containing (about) INN (pub) AM (in the morning) – a spice
8 NEOPHYTE Novice making a mess of one contest, say (8)
ONE* (anagram=making mess of) and PHYTE sounds like “fight” (contest)
9 PLACIDO DOMINGO Singer finding the spot for love protects one old bird getting married (7,7)
PLACING (finding spot for) O (love, zero tennis score) contains (protects) I (one) DODO (old bird) with M (married) – opera singer
15 MAELSTROM Major confusion of other mortals with me (9)
anagram (other) of MORTALS with ME – definition is ‘major confusion’
16 ODYSSEUS Greek hero’s headless corpse on ship with headless god (8)
bODY (headless corpse) on SS (ship) with zEUS (headless god)
17 ENCROACH Intrude upon that beetle’s better ‘alf? (8)
The mate (bettr half) of a cockroach could be a hencroach, missing the h.  Hum.
19 AACHEN Whither good news was brought in article about persistent pain (6)
AN (indefinite article) containing (about) ACHE (persistent pain) – modern name for the town of Aix-La-Chapelle which features in the Robert Browning poem “How They Brought the Good News from Aix to Ghent”
20 ELIXIR Magic potion: ‘as garden mollusc got one right? (6)
‘ELIX (helix, a snail ‘as one) then I (one) R (right)
22 ASPEN Trembler causing broken panes (5)
PANES* (anagram=broken) – populus tremuloides, the trembling aspen


17 Responses to “Financial Times 14,272 by Cinephile”

  1. PeeDee says:

    I think 17dn has something to do with COCK ROACH and ‘EN ROACH, but I can’t get this to work fully.

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks, PeeDee. A lovely puzzle, I thought.

    Re 17dn: I think Cinephile’s playfully suggesting that a cockroach’s better half might be a hencroach. 😉

    You have a surplus L in 10ac: the abbreviation for California is CA this time.

    Favourite clue: 18ac – many thanks to Cinephile.

  3. Eileen says:

    Sorry – we crossed.

  4. PeeDee says:

    Thanks Eillen, fixed now.

    I think you could have “cock roach” and “hen croach” or “cock croach” and “hen croach”. Cockroach and ‘encroach just doesn’t work for me.

  5. Aztobesed says:

    Thanks PeeDee.

    I just assumed we were in Groucho Marx territory — “You’ve heard of a cockroach? Well, this was a hencroach!” (I think it’s just a silly gag.). I liked what he did with Aachen.

  6. Rowland says:

    I think that bit might be an error, but so what, it is a nice puzzle. I enjoyed it!


  7. Tom Johnson says:

    Aix-la-Chapelle is the French name for the city which the Germans call Aachen. It’s not a former name, as PeeDee suggests.
    Yours pedantically, Tom J.

  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    As others said, a lovely puzzle by Cinephile.
    Nowadays he is around more often than he used to be before.
    Much to our advantage.

    Many thanks PeeDee for the blog, but I still don’t get 10ac.
    Can you (or anyone else) explain?
    Of course, I see CA and LENDS, but I am confused by the order of things.

    And what about 1ac? I’m not sure about that either.
    “Being in the house” is “Member of Parliament”.
    Strictly speaking, in cryptic language, not “a Member of Parliament” (as the clue doesn’t give us “a being in the House”).
    This clue becomes even more complicated when one takes MP as an abbreviation. Then “a MP” should really be “an MP”.
    Therefore, not happy with this clue.

    Surprised to see that Rowland accepted the blatant Guardianism in 18ac (indies = in dies).

  9. Paul B says:

    ‘Someone borrows California’ = CA LENDS in Cinephile-speak. With the other one you may be right, unless ‘a’ equals ‘to’ in oldspeak. Re Rowland, quite frankly, who knows what is going on.

    hE oght to hve pouced!!!!!!!!

  10. PeeDee says:

    Hi Sil,

    In 10 across I read the apostrophe meaning “Someone borrows California’s” as “someone borrows something belonging to California”, so California lends something.

    I agree about 1ac, the ‘A’ is implied and is confused/obscured by the abbreviation.

    Cinephile was in full libertarian mode when he set this one. I was happy with them all except 17, which I thought was just a liberty too far.

  11. PeeDee says:

    Tom @7 – you are quite correct. I struggled what to write here and opted for ‘former’ as I thought it conveyed in one word the idea of both a name change and a sense of history, this being the common (English language) name for the town at the time of the supposed ride.

  12. PeeDee says:

    Just to clarify the point@11 – the commonly used English language name for the town has changed since Brownings day, hence ‘former’. I see this as the justification for the substitution of the modern English usage ‘Aachen’ for the historical English usage ‘Aix’ in the solution.

    The town has various current and historical names in French, German, Flemish etc but these are irrelevant in respect to the clue.

  13. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Paul B & Pee Dee: CALENDS is clear now.
    I should have seen that.
    Being a B%$#@& Foreigner, I confused ‘borrowing’ with ‘lending’.

  14. ernie says:

    PeeDee, I think that you may have inadvertently left out the parsing of the first ‘i’ in the answer to 9D ie one old bird = idodo. It was abmittedly a longish clue.

  15. PeeDee says:

    Thanks ernie, fixed now

  16. MichaelG says:

    A really enjoyable puzzle that gradually revealed its secrets in a satisfying way. Solved without aids (other than a dictionary) for once, although it took a while for the penny to drop in 19D. I agree that 13A is taking a bit of a liberty but a good joke, I thought.

  17. Jen and Nel says:

    Wonderful puzzle. Thanks so much for the explanations..stumbled on the reason for dinner ladies, and it was nice to see the reasoning.

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