Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13270 / Dante

Posted by C G Rishikesh on December 29th, 2009

C G Rishikesh.

A none-too-easy puzzle. I had a slow start but managed to complete it. Among the last to go in were 4ac, 29ac, 1dn and 14dn. The very last was 30ac, which I understood only after looking up the dictionary.


1 BATTER – double definition – basis of pudding/buffet (v.)
4 COCONUTS – cryptic definition – ref to a fair game called “coconut shy”. (Though similar games are known in India also and though coconuts are aplenty, I don’t think we use coconuts as targets.)
10 GRATIFIED – (weddin)G + RATFIED (authorised)
11 DRUID – RU (Rugby Union) in DID (cheated)
12 RASE – (“raise”) – Good homophone clue.
13 ON THE ROPES – (shot opener)*
15 ANOTHER – (on earth)*
16 PURIFY – I (one) in PURFY (fryup)* –
19 STARVE – (averts)* Several anagrams or part anagrams in a row.
21 FREIGHT – RE (about) in FIGHT (battle)
23 ORIGINATED – I (single) GIN (drink) in ORATED (made a speech) – Clever definition delayed the answer even after I saw part of the wordplay.
25 AREA – reversal of A(a) ERA (long time)
27 REAPS – (spare)*
28 PREDATORY – (portrayed)* – Nice clue.
29 DIOGENES – cryptic definition – Greek cynic philospher who lived in a tub.
30 BATTEN – double definition – Light / beam – cf. BATTER in the symmetrical position (Sometimes setters become puckish.) 

(On edit) 1 BIG BREAK – With thanks to Eileen for the answer. I had entered BIG TREAT.
2 TRANSPORT – double definition – entrance/ vehicles
3 EMIT – reversal of time (given gratis)
5 OLD CHAP – OLD (former) CHAP (roughness)
6 ORDER ORDER – Calls in house, such as parliament, to bring quiet; duplicate of what a salesman aims for. – Enjoyed this clue.
7 USURP – cryptic definition
8 SADISM – cryptic definition
9 SIGNOR – SIGN (notice) OR (alternative)
14 SHARE ISSUE – double definition – Stock / allusion to case in which Solomon suggested a child be cut in half when it became known who the real mother was
17 FIGURE OUT – cryptic definition
18 STEADY ON – ST (way) + EADY ON (one day)*
20 EXAMPLE – EX (no longer) AMPLE (enough)
21 FLEXES – cryptic definition
22 CONRAD – CON (study) R(e)AD (one [study] non-English) – ref. to English novelist Joseph Conrad. – Good wordplay.
24 IDAHO – ID (I’d from I had), A (a) HO (abbr. of house, small property)
26 GALA – GAL (miss) A (a)

9 Responses to “Financial Times 13270 / Dante”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Rishi.

    1dn is BIG BREAK, which explains the snooker connection.

    I thought this was very enjoyable. I know not everyone likes cryptic definitions but I don’t mind them at all [Dante’s so good at them!] and loved 29ac and 7 and 14dn! Many thanks, Dante.

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thank you, Rishi, for the blog.
    Indeed, not too demanding a puzzle.
    Despite the cryptic definitions …. (14d is indeed very good)

    And Eileen, as you ‘loved 7′ you must be able to tell me a bit more about that one.
    It was the last one I entered.
    I know what USURP means, but what’s cryptic about this clue?

    And the other one I missed out (BATTEN) is still (half) unclear to me as well.
    BATTEN for ‘beam’ I do understand, but the LIGHT bit?
    I would be grateful if someone could explain this to me.

    All in all, a nice (um, ‘as usual’?) Monday-crossword-on-a-Tuesday.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Sil
    Regarding 30ac, if my memory serves me correctly a fluorescent light (the long straight ones) is often called a batten fitting in the trade, though Chambers only has “a row of electric lamps or a strip of wood carrying them”. Collins has something similar but COED doesn’t mention the lighting sense at all.

  4. Eileen says:

    Hi Sil

    As I’ve said before, Mr Squires’ [because it’s usually Rufus’ puzzles I’m commenting on] clues usually tell stories. I was just taken by the contrast between the picture of the office boy sneaking into the physical office, to steal a couple of paper clips, perhaps, and that of, for instance, the various people who seized the ‘office’ of Roman Emperor by force of arms.

    Thanks, Gaufrid, for shedding light :-) on 30ac.

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Eileen & Gaufrid, thank you both for your reply.
    As to 30ac, I find it still a bit so-so (if you don’t mind).
    And 7d, well, Eileen, I do understand your fondness of these little stories and I go a long way with your imagination, but not till the end (I’m afraid).
    But then, not every single clue has to be a masterpiece.
    There were more than enough nice clues to fully enjoy this crossword.

  6. Rufus says:

    Just returned from three days in Yorkshire and had trouble on the internet trying to send this comment. Trying again.
    Thanks to Rishi for an excellent blog and Eileen for her explanations.
    30 acr.: After leaving the Fleet Air Arm in 1963, I earned my living partly from crosswords and also as a professional TV actor (that I was a poor one is indicated by the fact my “peak” was three months as Amy Turtle’s nephew in Crossroads), and as a magician (with 26 Rolf Harris shows on BBC1 and 5 Crackerjacks as the peak). In the theatre and TV studios the lights are hoisted in groups on “battens”. I obviously assumed light-battens were more well-known than they are!

  7. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Dear Mr Squires, I am always touched by your responses at this site in which you tell so many things about your (exciting) life.
    When you talked (at BBC4) about that Britney Spears/ Presbyterians clue, there was so much twinkle in your eyes.
    That’s what your crosswords are: twinkly :) (and another one :))

    PS, totally convinced about 30ac now.

  8. John Newman says:

    Dear Mr Rishikesh

    I am glad you found this xword a little on the hard side as I did too. Only got round to it yesterday hence this late response to your blog. I wish to take issue with 12 across. The spelling is raze. Hence I couldn’t get 2 down.



  9. John Newman says:

    On further investigation I see that Rase is another spelling of Raze, so I stand corrected. (I bet the FT would only spell it with the Z).

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