Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,361 / Viking

Posted by shuchi on April 16th, 2010

shuchi.

An elegant puzzle from Viking as always. Especially liked 1A, 27A and 1D, and 6D for its fun surface.

Across

1 COURTING CO (company) URGING (insisting) + T (time) – G (Golf in the NATO phonetic alphabet)
5 AGHAST H (hard) in AGA (Turkish commander) T[own]. AGHA is an alternate spelling for AGA, perhaps Viking chose the circuitous route [H in AGA] to give the clue a more meaningful surface.
9 ABSTRUSE ABSTRACT (summarise) – ACT + USE (exercise)
10 MEDICI MEDICO (doctor) – O + I (Italy). Italian noble dynasty of skilled politicians and patrons of the arts, prominent during the 14th-17th century.
12 ELATE E (Spain), ET AL (and others), reversed
13 INTERLOCK (NICER LOT)* K[eep-fit]
14 CHINOS CHIOS (Greek island) around N (navy)
16 HOLY SEE HOLY (sounds like ‘wholly’) SEE (witness)
19 UNDERGO UN and DER (French and German articles) GO (work)
21 TRAUMA (AMATEUR)* – E (drug)
23 BETTER OFF BETTER (speculator) OFF (sick)
25 SALVO (OVALS)*
26 ROUTED ROD (staff) around UTE (utility vehicle)
27 HEROINES H.E. (high explosive), SENIOR (older), reversed. SENIOR reversed is a great find. One of the last answers to go into the grid.
29 EARL GREY G (good) RE (on), in EARLY (first thing)

Down

1 CRAVEN C (about, short for ‘circa’) RAVEN (bird)
2 UNSCATHED (SHUNTED CA[r])*
3 THREE T[his] (HERE)* &lit. Novel clue, it refers to the clue number ’3′ that appears at the start.
4 NASTIES (TASTES IN)* – T. British slang for violent films.
6 GUERRILLA (IRREGULAR)* with the last R changed to L (swapping sides). 3 ‘irregulars’ in a row: the definition, the anagrind and the fodder.
7 AMIGO MIG (fighter) in A O (ring). ‘China (plate)’ is Cockney rhyming slang for ‘mate’.
8 THICKSET HICK (yokel) in (TEST)<
11 ITCH HITCH (start, as in jerk) – H. The surface makes one think of the solecism of H-dropping. There are 2 Hs in HITCH and the clue asks to ignore ‘letter H’, so there’s a slight ambiguity about which one or how many. //Update: Gaufrid suggests that this is [a]ITCH, i.e. start removed from the letter H, which seems like the better explanation.
15 NERVE CELL (CLEVER)* in NEL[son]
17 SEMILUNAR RAN (managed), LIME (fruit) in US (America), all reversed. Half a grapefruit is shaped like the half-moon.
18 OUTBURST OUT (dismissed) [opene]R in BUST (out of order)
20 ODOR O (old) DIOR (fashion house) – I (single). ‘odor’ is how ‘odour’ is spelt in North America. Interestingly, the fashion house of Dior is particularly famous for its perfumes.
21 TAFFETA FAT (rich) reversed, FETA (cheese). ’round’ indicates turning around.
22 TOASTY TASTY (appetising) around O (round)
24 TRUSS TRUST (believe in) – T (time) + S (society)
25 SHOAL H (hotel) in LAOS (Asian country) reversed //Update: Thanks to Gaufrid for filling in the answer.

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,361 / Viking”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Shuchi
    I had a different parsing for 11dn – [a]ITCH
    25dn is SHOAL – H (hotel) in LAOS (Asian country) reversed

  2. shuchi says:

    Hi Gaufrid

    Thanks. I like your parsing your 11D better too. Will update.

  3. Uncle Yap says:

    What a remarkable co-incidence that two puzzles on the same day would feature the American spelling of ODOUR. Over at the Guardian today, Brendan clued
    Old roses oddly lacking in scent in New York (8)

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Many thanks, shuchi, for your blog.
    Only in 5ac (AGHAST) it should read “H in AGAS T”, of course.

    What a coincidence to see GUERRILLA for the second day in a row, after yesterday’s majestic Alberich which also used the word ‘irregular’ but only once. Although I like the sunniness of Viking’s version too, I prefer the Alberich one [ because of the more political surface].

    I found this a crossword with the emphasis clearly on construction (sometimes ingenious), while still a lot of clues had fine surface reading as well.
    Like my Clue of the Day (and a favourite of yours as well): HEROINES (27ac).
    With 1ac (COURTING) as a splendid runner-up.

    Finally, I was wondering why Viking did use ‘Medico’ for ‘Doctor’ [which is alright, of course, and makes a nice combination with 'dropping round'] when he could have used just ‘Medic’.

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