Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,678 Set by Gozo

Posted by PeeDee on April 27th, 2011


A good crossword today from Gozo, harder than it looks at first sight.

We have a geography lesson from Gozo:  countries, states, riviers and cities – large and small.  I enjoyed the juxtaposition of great metropoli such as Karachi with little villages such as Holt – a tiny little Welsh town I used to cycle to for an evening ride during the time I lived in Chester.

I am stuck for a good explanation of 25 across.  Can anyone help please?


Looking over the crossword again, all but 4 of the solutions are geographical entities, only ROCK, LION, CARPEL and TUG-OF-WAR are not.

This is is impressive, especially since such an extensive theme does not dominate the crossword.  Each clue stands on its own as a normal clue, and the pattern only gradually reveals itself as the solve goes on.  Even knowing the theme, solving doesn’t just become a mechanical excerise, the solutions are varied enough that looking through lists on Wikipedia isn’t going to help that much.  Well done Gozo!

Hold mouse over clue number to see clue, click a solution to see its definition.

1 TOBAGO BAG (catch) inside TOO (also)
4 TRINIDAD New ID (identity) inside TRIAD (chinese secret society) – partner toTobago
9 GALWAY Gramarian (first letter) ALWAYs (for ever cut short)
12 FLORENCE ROLF reversed and EN (‘in’ French) CE (‘this’ French)
13 RACINE (IN CARE)* – also French dramatist and city in Wisconsin – two definitions for the price of one
15 ARAN peculiAR ANtiquities
16 BENARES ARE (live – ‘we live’) inside BENS (Scottish mountains) – colonial name for Varanasi
20 SKIDDAW Small KID (child) and WAD (pile) reversed
21 HOLT double definition – an otter’s den and town on the River Dee.
25 ABADAN Possibly A (first) then  D (D-Notice, former name for DA-Notice, press restriction) and A (African, an abbreviation not listed in my Chambers) inside BAN (prohibition) - provincial captial city in Iran.  I’m not very  happy about this explanation.  Alternatively, A (first) and AD (advert=notice) inside BAN (prohibition) – city in Iran, not in Africa. This is the best I can do, can anyone improve on this please?
26 KHARTOUM sounds like “car tomb”
29 EL PASO APpLE (fruit with no core) reversed and SO (therefore)
30 LAUSANNE sUSAN (girl without s=shilling ) inside LANE (country road)
31 STROUD STUD (boss) around OR (gold colour) reversed
1 TUG-OF-WAR definition and cryptic definition
2 BALMORAL BALM (ointment) ORAL (spoken of)
3 GRAVES double definition
5 ROCK double definition
6 NEW HAVEN WHEN* and AVENue (shortened road) – location of Yale University
8 DUNDEE DUNE (sandhill) around DE (‘some’ French)
11 SCHELDT HELD inside SeCT (religious group without e = east) – European river
14 KARACHI Knight on A and then CHAIR*-thanks to marcopolo for the correction
17 OKLAHOMA Cryptic definition – reference to musical of the same name
18 COLORADO COLOR (american spelling) and A DO (a party)
19 STAMFORD STAMp (stamp=press, without p=priest) FORD (crossing)
22 CARPEL peopLE PRACticing reversed – female organ of a flower
23 MASERU ERASMUs* (confused=anagram, endlessly=without last letter)
24 ARKLET (LAKE RT)* – Scottish loch
27 LION LIsbON (outer parts of)


9 Responses to “Financial Times 13,678 Set by Gozo”

  1. mike04 says:

    Thanks for the blog, PeeDee.

    I think your second explanation for 25ac is correct.
    I wondered if perhaps there was some confusion with IBADAN in Nigeria.

    For 6dn, I think the enumeration should have been (3,5).
    A most enjoyable geographical excursion though!

  2. PeeDee says:

    Initially I did have IBADAN for 25ac, which fitted the clue perfectly, but then had to back out because it clashed with CARPEL, which also seemed to be right. Perhaps CARPEL is wrong?

  3. mike04 says:

    I think CARPEL is correct. For -I-P-L, I could only find one possibility: DISPEL.
    By the way, there’s a typo in the solution to 17dn.

  4. Bryan says:

    Many thanks PeeDee

    This was a toughie with several places I’d never heard of but very enjoyable until I got hopelessly stuck with 3 undone and 1 wrong.

    However, I did at least manage to spell Oklahoma correctly.

  5. PeeDee says:

    Accurate typing is not my strong point, as readers of my previous blogs will have noticed.

  6. Conrad Cork says:

    Re 21 across. Otterden is the pseudonym of a fine setter whose real name is Holt. I’m sure Gozo did this deliberately.

  7. Abu Amaal says:

    I had exactly the same experience at 25ac – first Ibadan, then, reluctantly, Abadan.
    Still puzzled.

  8. Lisa says:

    6dn should definitely have been clued as 3,5. The city is New Haven, two words. I ought to know; I went to college there.

  9. MarcoPolo says:

    Also you’re missing an A in KARACHI (its in the clue but not in the blog)

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