A hard crossword

The weekend Financial Times has had a peculiarly evil general knowledge crossword for the last two or three years: it used to be in the weekend magazine, and migrated to the main section in the autumn. We attempt it every week, and almost every week I learn a new word from it. I cheat of course. I don’t think it would be possible for anyone to solve without access to a library, or for anyone but the most gifted and learned to solve it without Google and the acronym faculty of the OED.

Among the answers this week, I have found two old french words, one classed as archaic by the OED (“Virelay” and “Veilleuse”, respectively a stanza form and a night light), the nickname for a shrike (“Nine killer”) and a term for radical sceptics, “nullifidian”. I still have not found “A Swabian dance in triple time, or an old German” — ?l?a?m, nor “A ruffian, informally” — ???g?o.

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4 Responses to A hard crossword

  1. Stephen says:

    1. ALMAIN. See Chambers. “German” in Shakespeare or an alternative spelling of ALLEMANDE, a dance which is usually in duple time (e.g. the second movement of baroque suites everywhere) but which seems to be in triple time in Swabia.

    That screws up another solution, though.

    2. THUGGO? A word, according to http://ull.chemistry.uakron.edu/cbower/.jumble but not in Chambers, OED or Merriam-Webster online.

    Useful website: http://dictionary.langenberg.com/. Make that very useful website!

  2. el Patron says:

    Wow! Thank you very much. I would never have managed that. And, since the two clues don’t intersect, it doesn’t mess up “Thuggo”, though that is a word I had never heard of either.

  3. onigame says:

    I’m stuck on the same page as well. I’d presume “THUGGO” intersects with HOUGH going down.

    So what’s 3-down, “Associated with standing water (6)”? I presume you thought it was LIMPID, but now with ALMAIN it has to be L?N?I?

    Also, did you try the Christmas Crossword? I solved all but one of the clues, and don’t understand about 5 of them.

    Unfortunately I don’t get the Times regularly so I fear I will never see the answers.

  4. el Patron says:

    Well, the asnwers have now been published. Thuggo and almain were right. I had thought “associated with standing water” was “limnic”, but it turned out to be “lentic”.

    I can’t remember anything about the Christmas crossword except that it was vile.

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