Posted by shuchi on June 18th, 2010
A fine offering from Viking. The SE corner was tricky to unravel, the rest of the answers fell into place without hiccups though the wordplay took more time to work out.
1A, 13A are still a bit foggy, any help is most welcome. // Updated, thanks to Rishi.
Favourite solving moment: getting the meaning of ‘like a knight?’ in 22D.
I solved this in two sessions, the top half of the grid and then the bottom. The halves have few interlocking cells; this felt like tackling two independent mini-puzzles.
1 PERFORATION PER (conclusion of?) ORATION (speech), around F (France) // Update: PERORATION (conclusion of speech) around F
7 TIT taken from ‘titian’
9 EAVES [settl]E AVES (birds). Tip for beginners: ‘A finally B’ could mean the end of ‘A’ or the end of ‘B’, but a good clue (which one expects of Viking ) will not use the plural ‘birds’ just to get its ‘S’. So, in this clue ‘finally’ had to work on ‘settle’ and not on ‘birds’.
10 RETICENCE ICE (formality) in (RECENT)*
12 ACRID ACID (tart) around R
13 DEFICIT DE (?) + IF (provided), reversed + CIT[y] (most of financial centre). If only the clue had Germany instead of Italy, I wouldn’t still be scratching my head! // Update: I (Italy) FED (provided) reversed, CIT[y]
15 SPIN NIPS (drinks) reversed
18 SEES sounds like ‘seize’ (appropriate)
20 MAE WEST SEW (stitch) in TEAM (side), all reversed. We come across Mae West often in crosswords but it’s usually the actress than the life jacket.
23 PIQUE PI (detective, short for Private Investigator) QU (question) E (drug)
24 ACCLIMATE AC (bill) CLIM[b] (endless increase) ATE (upset)
26 GUIDELINE GUINE[a] (a lot of old money) around DELI (shop)
27 DRIED DIED (failed) around R (run)
28 TIE TIRE (exhause) – R (bit of ‘rust’)
29 TRAGEDIENNE (DEGENERATION – O)*
1 PRECLUDE C (carbon) in PRELUDE (beginning)
2 REVIVIFY (VERIFY I’V[e])*
3 OASIS O (old) AS IS (unchanging)
4 AIRPORT R in AI (excellent) PORT (wine), with ‘duty-free locations?’ as the definition
5 INTAKES (MISTAKES – M)*
6 NECTARINE (CERTAIN)* in [ve]NE[to]
7 TUNDRA NUT (head) reversed, DRA[b] (mostly dismal)
8 TRENDY END (cease) in TRY (attempt)
14 CLEVEREST C’EST (French for ‘it is’), around REVEL (party) reversed
16 NEGATION EG[o] (I, mostly) in NATION (people). A very nice clue, great surface.
17 ATTENDEE TEND (see) in TEE (support), after A (article)
19 STAMINA M (mark) in STAIN (dye) A (first-class)
20 MACHETE MACE (staff) around (THE)*
21 SPIGOT GI (soldier) in TOPS (kills), all reversed. The last one to get solved – the ‘kills’ meaning of ‘tops’ was new to me and I was also thrown off-track by the italicized ‘up’ and the ‘?’ in the end. They don’t serve any purpose in the clue, I think – or am I missing something?
22 EQUINE is in SEQUINED (glittery), enclosed within its extremities S and D. In the game of chess, the piece for knight is represented by a horse.
25 INDRI hidden backwards in ‘weIRD NIche’. A lemur popular in crosswords, the word is amenable to hiding. The last I recall from The Hindu Crossword – INDRI was ‘caught in rain, dripping’.