Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times no.14,273 by Gozo

Posted by Ringo on March 28th, 2013


I was hoping for something easy and breezy to see me off on my Easter hols, so my heart sank when I saw that Gozo was treating us to a themed puzzle – and it sank even further when I figured out  what that theme was.

However, Gozo, as always, delivered the goods: this was fun, even for an anti-themist like me, and not too tough (although I did learn a few new words).

The theme of the across solutions is, of course, musical instruments.


1. BUGLES  Bugles(s) [of a flower, without bugs, pests]

4. PANPIPES  Pip [spot, as on a playing card] within panes [sheets of stamps]

9. REBECK  RE [Royal Engineer, sapper] + Beck(s) [nickname of footballer David Beckham]

10. CLARINET  N(ewshound) within anagram of article

12. OCARINAS  Carina [girl’s name] within OS [Over Sized, very big]

13. FIDDLE  D [director] + D [daughter] within file [set of computer data]

15. LUTE  Outer letters of LUxuriaTE

16. OPHICLEIDE  Oph [sounds like off, cancelled] + I [island] + cleide [sounds like Clyde, river]

19. COR ANGLAIS  Anagram of sing a carol

20. HARP  Harp(y) [eagle], or har(e) [mammal] + P [positive]

23. ATABAL  At [attending] + a + bal(let) [dance show]

25. TRIANGLE  Anagram of altering – and, of course, a shape

27. DULCIMER  Anagram of could merit minus the letters of to

28. TABRET  Tablet [small computer] with r [right] in place of l [left]

29. SIDE DRUM  Side [sounds like sighed, moaned] + Dr [doctor] + um [hesitation]

30. VIOLIN  V(illa)IO [10] + reversal of nil [0]


1. BARN OWL  Bar [counter] + now [currently] (til)l

2. GIBRALTAR  Anagram of B [black] argiltar [salt, sailor]

3. EUCLID  Anagram of clueID [1D]

5. AWLS  Odd letters of mAxWeLlS

6. PARTICLE  Part [a bit] + anagram of (s)lice

7. PINED  Pine [tree] + d(une)

8. SO THERE  Sot [drunkard] + here [present]

11. TADPOLE  Tad [just a little] + pole [perch]

14. RIVIERA  Anagram of I arrive

17. INAUGURAL  In Aug [during August, month] + Ural [(mountain) range]

18. UNVARIED  Anagram of ruin Dave

19. CHANDOS  Chant [melody] minus t [time] + dos [parties]

21. PRESTON  Anagram of open secret minus EEC

22. SALAMI  Reversal of I’m alas [sad to say] – ‘snag’ is a slang term for a sausage

24. AILED  Reversal of Delia [Smith, TV cook]

26. BEAU  Sounds like Bow [district of the East End of London]


4 Responses to “Financial Times no.14,273 by Gozo”

  1. Meic Goodyear says:

    Thanks Ringo. As a lute-player I got 15 on sight, and the rest of the thematics came very quickly to me, axcept ATABAL, which was new to me and last in. I didn’t know snag=sausage, but the wordplay made the answer obvious. Splendid puzzle I thought.

  2. Lynette says:

    I did not find this fun at all. Your first instincts about this crossword were correct in my case, Ringo.

    How the hell is anyone supposed to work out the theme – especially when so many of the instruments are so obscure?

    Of the non-themed clues, I thought 11 & 22 were bad. Snag is slang for sausage? Really?

  3. Ringo says:

    Hi Lynette. I sympathise! Maybe I was lucky in that, like Meic, I solved ‘lute’ first, making the theme pretty evident. I hadn’t heard of snag=sausage either, but in fairness it’s there in the dictionary.

  4. Keeper says:

    I also picked up the theme from LUTE (with COR ANGLAIS providing the needed confirmation), but was stumped by 16a, 11d and 22d.

    1a: Isn’t “flowers” rather unnecessary? It seems that “Almost pest-free” would suffice just fine.

    20a: The “tailless mammal” could also be har(t).

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