Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,118/Viking

Posted by smiffy on July 2nd, 2009


I found this a well-balanced and consistent puzzle.  Nothing too clever-clever, but plenty of  decent clues that seemed more admirable on review (compared  to at the moment of solving).  If this has been an unattributed puzzle, I’d probably have plumped for it being by Bradman, as it was reminiscent of his style in parts.

1 PAGE TURNER – a neatly joined double def’n
6 SPAM – (maps)<
10 AGAIN – (Niagara)< – RA
11 CHAMELEON – (am in Che) + Leon.
12 VIRTUOSO – v + (riotous)*
13 TESTY – t[-h]e  + sty. A name-check for one of the 15^2 brethren.
15 ARTISAN – [-p]artisan
17 RIVIERA – (I vie) in RR + a
19 ERRATUM – rat in (er,um)
22 HYPER – hidden
24 SHEEPDOG – She + (god + PE)<
27 AGITATORS – (stage a riot)* – e
28 OBAMA – o[fficiate] + BA + MA.
29 THEN – h in ten

1 PEAK – homophone of “pique”
2 GLADIATOR – (lad + I) in gator.  For some reason, the surfaced conjured up an image of one of Belloc’s Cautionary Tales for Children.
3 TENET – te + (ten)<
4 RACCOON – c/o in (acorn)*
5 ENAMOUR – (a mo) in (rune)<
7 PRESS – triple def’n
8 MONEY TALKS – double def’n.  The G20 meetings being the political pow-wow more usually found on the editorial pages of this newspaper.
9 LEFT OVER – (f + to ) in lever
14 HAVE A HEART – r in (h + ave + a + heat)
16 SATURDAY – (U + Rd) in satay.  I’d be a very happy bunny if each and every Saturday equated literally to a “holiday”!
18 ELABORATE – E + labor + ate
20 MISTOOOK – mist + o +OK
21 EMERSON – [REM (i.e Michael Stipe & Co) in nose]<. You wait for ages for an Emerson to come along, and then two show up in the same week.
23 PRIME – prim + e. 19 being the numerical examplar.
25 POORI – (Poirot)* – t
26 TAPS – (spat)<

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,118/Viking”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was good, just a little more difficult than average FT for me. Like you, found no loose ends, SHEEPDOG being my last answer. Liked OBAMA, MONEY TALKS, ELABORATE, MISTOOK.

  2. shuchi says:

    I haven’t attempted the crossword, smiffy, but I saw POORI (25d) in the solution and looked up the clue.

    Is this the Indian bread? If yes, then “spicy concoction” isn’t quite right. Poori is unleavened bread made of just flour and salt, it isn’t spicy at all.

  3. Dreadnought says:

    stuck on this for ages, mainly cos I thought 6a was ‘maps’….

    I think poori is short for ‘bel poori’ which is indeed a delicious, Indian, spicy snack…

    but why is he-man = ‘god’ in 24A?

    and – whilst I’m writing – a curiosity from the other day: emerson = champion. I thought this was Emerson Fittipaldi (who won the F1)…

  4. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    When we say ‘poori’ we mean only ‘fried wheaten cake’. The round is usually some 10 to 15cm in diameter. They may be flat or puffed (if made carefully). As Shuchi says, it’s bland but is always served with chutney, sambar or any similar spicy preparation.

    In ‘bel poori’ and similar dishes, the pooris may be whole but quite small or even broken and are thrown in elaborate spicy mixtures. One sees the array of small stainless tins with powders of various hues that the cook has and wonders what they are.

    Sometimes carom seeds may be added into the poori dough itself before making those rounds and frying them. They also go with other side dishes.

  5. Viking says:

    Thank you for the blog and the other feedback. I thought I should explain my definition for “poori”. Chambers gives, as a second definition, “a small round cake filled with a spicy vegetable mixture and deep-fried”. This is supported by takeaway menus listing “mushroom poori” and “prawn poori”.

    As to “god”, Chambers includes “a man of outstandingly fine physique”, which is a usage I have certainly encountered.

    Finally, I sympathise about maps/spam, since I dislike such ambiguities and try to avoid them. In this case I did so by relying on a fairly general (though not universal) understanding that “wordplay is FOR definition” (and “definition is FROM wordplay”).

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