Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,391 / Viking

Posted by shuchi on May 21st, 2010

shuchi.

This was a pleasure to solve. Impeccable clues, creative and challenging without being insurmountable. It took me the longest time to see 4D, but got there in the end.

Across

1 BILL OF FARE I (international) LL (lines) OFF (no longer availble), in BARE (basic)
7 SORT SHORT (electric fault) – H (sign of hot water). What a smooth surface.
9 GONG GOING (leaving) – I (one). ‘Gong’ is slang for a medal or award.
10 EXACTITUDE ACT (performance) IT, in EXUDE (show). I paused to admire here, how cleverly ‘IT’ gets used in the solution.
11 DIESEL DIES (stops working) EL (short for elevated railroad)
12 ARMS RACE (SLR CAMERA – L)*
13 IGNORANT hidden in ‘sIGNOR ANTony’
15 CODA CO (firm) DA (lawyer). Nice pun on the word ‘bars’. ‘Coda’ is a passage that concludes a musical composition.
17 ABLE TABLE (slab), trimmed.
19 RAILLERY (ARTILLERY – T)*
22 FIGHT OFF FIGHT (bout) OF F[lu]
23 DAPPER REP (agent) PAD (apartment), all reversed
25 CALUMNIATE (MALICE AT UN)*
26 REEK GREEK (European) – G (government)
27 ADZE sounds like ‘adds’ (supplements)
28 NETHERMOST NET (‘TEN’ reversed) around THERMOS (container with insulation)

Down

2 IRONING I (IN WRONG – W)*
3 LAGOS LAGS (delays) across O (old). Lagos is the capital city of Nigeria.
4 FREE LOAD FREE (spare) LOAD (pack). To ‘sponge’ is to gain from others’ efforts.
5 AS A MATTER OF FACT (A SMART TEA)* OFF (poor) ACT (do)
6 ENTOMB MB (doctor) follows E,N (directions) TO
7 SATIRICAL (RACIALIST)*
8 REDUCED DEDUCED (worked out), and diameter halved = radius (R). Enjoyed working this out.
14 OPEN HOUSE d&cd
16 MIND’S EYE MIND (take care) SEE (look) around Y[ou]
18 BRIGAND RIG (one’s set up) in BAND (gang) &lit. I didn’t solve this on sight, but did get the feeling that this is going to be a wonderful clue. The hunch proved right.
20 REEFERS REFERS (has recourse to) around E (drug)
21 JOIN IN JOININ[g] (union, shortly). My least favourite clue of the puzzle…JOIN IN and JOINING are too close etymologically.
24 PURIM PRIM (formal) around U (middle of ‘augUsts’). I was getting nowhere with trying to fit GU (the middle of ‘auGUst’) into the answer. It turned out that the ” ‘s” needs to be read with ‘August’. A new word for me – Purim is a Jewish festival which includes a celebratory meal.

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,391 / Viking”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was an excellent puzzle for the reasons you give – I made quite fast progress at first but it then took me ages to finish the SE corner. Favourite AS A MATTER OF FACT (excellent surface), also esp liked GONG, OPEN HOUSE, and BRIGAND.

  2. JamesM says:

    Thanks Shuchi for a superb blog of a not very easy puzzle.

    I would mention that LAGOS is not the capital of Nigeria(Abuja is). I think the clue has to be read as “old capital city” and is therefore an &litt.

    I also think that PURIM is close to out of bounds. It was not difficult to solve, but I had to verify it afterwards.

    Good puzzle though.

  3. scarpia says:

    Thanks Shuchi.
    Another very good puzzle from Viking.
    Took me ages to work out ‘reduced’ – one of those where you know you’ve got the right answer but fail to twig the wordplay.The penny finally dropped whilst putting new sealant around the bath.
    Might explain why I’m so crap at D.I Y.!

  4. dreadnought says:

    maybe the ‘middle of August’s’ is just middle of ‘Aug’ the standard abbreviation?

    loved 28a! I wrote down ‘thermos’ and slowly added the other letters….

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