Never knowingly undersolved.

FT 13,082/Viking

Posted by smiffy on May 21st, 2009


An overabundance of reversal devices today but, overall, a satisfying puzzle.  I’m far from confident that I’ve plumped for the right guess at 13A though (assuming that’s it’s some kind of cryptic/punning definition?)

1 PERFECTIONIST – (reception FT is)*
9 RISOTTO – (OT +to +sir) rev
10 OVERLAY – overplay – p.  I thought that this device could have been better phrased.
11 ERROR – ROR[o] (truncated form of RO-RO, roll-on/off ferry) + RE (all rev)
12 TESTAMENT – test + men in TA(rev)
13 SKILLSET – the best idea I could come up with, but lacking in justification.
15 STROVE – R in stove.  I must have away from the UK too long, because this made me nostalgic about not having heard the phrase “he stoved his head in” for donkey’s years.
18 DETECT – defect with t for f.
22 BAKSHEESH – she in bake + sh.  The middle eastern equivalent of a pourboire.
24 TONGA – n in toga. Island of rotund monarchs and occasional Rugby World cup upsets, he said stereotypically.
25 EMPEROR – rep in Rome (all rev)
26  NOXIOUS – [chairma]N + OX + IOUS.  I think that, pedantically speaking, it’s generally the case that debts are “bad” and the corresponding assets are “toxic”.  Still doesn’t stop it being an enjoyable and venue-appropriate clue.
27 TASTELESSNESS – (senseless tat)* + S.  A stalwart word for the bottom of crossword grids, as it offers such a favourable string of checking letters.

1   PURSERS – se in purrs
2 RESERVIST – (advertisers)* – ad.
3 ENTER – [r]enter
4 TROUTLET – t+r+outlet. Apparently small/young trout are not afforded glamorous names int he same way that their salmon counterparts are (parr, grilse etc)
5 OBOIST – I in (boost)*
6 INELASTIC – cit[-y] + sale + Ni (all rev)
7 TILDE – d in tile
8 MYRTLE – try in elm (all rev)
14 LOCK HORNS – (school rank)* – A
16 ONION DOME – Onion + “do” ME.  “Section of Russian church” is one of the outrageously imaginative definitions I’ve encountered for a while.
17 EXCHANGE – i.e. erstwhile loose money.
18 DABBED – dab + B.Ed
20 GLASSES – L in gasses.
21 DEGREE – hidden.  I always tip my hat to the setter when, as in this case, a hidden clue is among the last couple that I solve.
23 KAPUT – (UK apt)*. After 26A, a stab at more FT editorial comment by Viking?
24 TEXAS – X (vote) in teas[e]

5 Responses to “FT 13,082/Viking”

  1. Persephone says:

    Hello Smiffy
    “The facility to create crosswords” – the skill (to) set?
    Enjoyed this puzzle – much more accessible than usual for Viking.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Smiffy
    I agree re 13a, presumably the intention is a contraction of ‘skill at setting’.

  3. JamesM says:


    Thanks for the blog.

    At 13A I had SKILLSET: “facility” is SKILL, “create crossword” is SET.
    Didn’t think twice about it! Do you not agree?

  4. smiffy says:

    Thanks guys. Bleedin’ obvious now, but I just couldn’t get comfortable with the reasoning at the time. I think my blind-spot wasn’t helped by the question mark, and a nagging doubt as to whether SKILLSET should be one word or two.

    Relieved that I didn’t agonise for long by looking for wrong alternatives. And am always amused to read here of instances where one solver’s mountain is another’s molehill. Here’s hoping that next time, I find myself in the molehill camp!

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Smiffy
    13a It seems likely that the enumeration for this clue is wrong. Both Chambers and COED give it as two words.

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