Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,929 by Satori

Posted by Gaufrid on November 19th, 2008


Yes, it’s me again though this time back to my scheduled Wednesday spot.

An enjoyable puzzle today with some excellent and entertaining clues. Very little to quibble about except perhaps the use of ‘around’ to give ‘ca’ in 19a but this was more than compensated for by the cleverness of some of the other clues.

1 POSITIVE  I in POST I[s] V[ery] E[nthusiastic]
9 STRIDENT  S[upersonic] TRIDENT
12 EBONY  EBAY with A changed to ON (working)
14 PIPPIN  homophone of ‘pip in’
16 BACKPAY  BACK PAY = ‘yap’
19 CALDERA  ALDER in CA – ‘lines’ being an insertion indicator. ‘Ca’ is actually ‘about’ but I suppose ‘around’ is near enough
25 TROOP  POOR (lacking) T reversed
26 ISOMER  *(IS MORE) – a substance, radical or ion isomeric with another; an atomic nucleus having the same atomic number and mass as another or others but a different energy state (Chambers) – obscurum per obscurius to many so here is a, slightly clearer, COED version – each of two or more compounds with the same formula but a different arrangement of atoms in the molecule and different properties.
27 MANTILLA  T (head to toe) in MANILLA (strong paper) – a short cloak or ‘wrap’
28 NINETY  6 x 15 and *(INTEN[sit]Y)
29 WELL-BRED  BR in WELLED (poured out)

1 POSSET  POSSE T[he] – a drink of milk curdled with eg wine, ale or vinegar, formerly used as a remedy for colds etc.
3 TODAY  DOT reversed A Y
4 VENISON  SO in VENIN – ‘venin’ is any of the various toxic substances in venom
7 RAITA  hidden in ‘portRAIT Artist’ – an Indian dish of chopped vegetables, especially cucumber, in yoghurt
8 BROOKLYN  cd – the ‘notable old landmark’ is the Brooklyn Bridge which spans the East River in New York and which was opened 125 years ago. It connects Manhattan with Brooklyn on Long Island.

Edit: What a superb &lit clue! The wordplay is *(YORK B N O L), B N O L being the first letters (leads) of ‘bridge, notable old landmark’. ‘New’ is the anagram indicator. Thanks Octofem for persuading me to revisit this clue!

The clue is worth repeating for the benefit of those who have not seen it:
“New York bridge, notable old landmark, leads here”

11, 20 VERBALLY  BALL (delivery) in VERY (quite) – even when Cinephile isn’t the setter on a Wednesday we still get a cricketing term!
15 PRESCIENT  *(CREEP ISNT) – having foresight
17 POTBOILER  PO (river) B in TOILER – a work in art or literature produced merely with regard to saleability, to secure the necessaries of life
18 SCORPION  PRO reversed in SCION (shoot) – ’22’ is ‘upward’ which indicates the reversal
22 UPWARD  UP WARD = ‘draw’
25 TOTAL  TO TAL[k] – to kill or destroy completely (‘write off’)

8 Responses to “Financial Times 12,929 by Satori”

  1. Octofem says:

    Hi Gaufrid – it seems to be your week! I got held up on 25a, trying to take the ‘t’ from ‘troops’and getting ‘spoor’ which didn’t seem appropriate! ‘Brooklyn’ was an obvious answer for 8d, but could you explain the word play? The first letters of the words do not seem to work.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Mornin’ Octofem

    I’m not sure there is any wordplay as such in 8d, it seems to be just a (almost non-) cryptic clue. However, now that you have raised the question I will revisit the clue to see if I can come up with anything else.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Many thanks for prompting me to revisit 8d. It was well worth spending a little extra time on what turned out to be a superb &lit clue.

  4. Eileen says:

    Congratulations, Gaufrid, on cracking 8dn! It could so easily have been missed.

    I don’t see your problem with 19ac. The first meaning of ‘circa’ in both Lewis and Short’s Latin dictionary and SOED is ‘around’. I thought ‘lines’ as an insertion indicator was very clever, especially with the more usual use in 2dn. [I played around too long with ‘ll’.]

    Interesting to see [almost] the same device in 16ac and 22dn.

    I rather liked 27ac.

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Eileen
    Thanks for the congratulations. I was rather pleased when the penny finally dropped and haven’t stopped smiling since.

    With regard to 19a, my problem is that the usual references give the following:

    Chambers ca = cases; circa (L), about
    COED ca = circa and circa = approximately
    Collins ca (abbreviation for circa) = about
    Collins circa = at the approximate time of

    I accept that Chambers defines circa as about or around but there is no direct link given between the entries for ca and circa.

  6. Octofem says:

    Gaufrid, I thought you would crack it! I had gone all round the houses without actually seeing the way. You should have a big smug grin, never mind a smile.

  7. smiffy says:

    I found this the toughest FT puzzle in weeks, if not months, with the south-east corner causing me all sorts of aggro. Still kicking myself that the two 25s didn’t come to me quicker.
    Not often that I find a war of attrition so enjoyable, so a tip of my hat (a woolly one, it’s frigid in these parts today) to Satori.

    Agreed that 8D is very well-honed, but I do have a vague (or perhaps false?) memory of having encountered a similar treatment before, in the dim and distant past.

  8. Jake says:

    Still rather new to cryptics – only 4 months in, I found this rather OK and straight forward. I did struggle with the south east corner and this is the first Satori puzzle I’ve done, but really liked it. Filled 40 % in without any reference help at all, the words came naturally for me today.

    Any who. Tomorrow’s another day, where’s IO ?

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