Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13951 Peto

Posted by scchua on March 13th, 2012


I think Peto is new to the FT.  I was initially anxious, it being somewhat uncharted territory.  However, the puzzle turned out to be quite the usual  FT start to the week, ie. more straightforward than the later part of the week.  Thanks Peto and welcome.  A subsequent search reveals that there was a Listener setter of the same name from Oct 1953 to Nov 81, so I’m not sure if it’s the same person.  Plus the style here is a far cry from the Listener, in other words I can completely solve this one here.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.


1 Typical of a girl taking Latin (6)

NORMAL :  NORMA(name of a girl) plus(taking) L(abbrev. for Latin)

4 Reserve the best for dessert (3,5)

ICE CREAM :  ICE(the coolness,reserve of someone who is aloof) + CREAM(the best,tops)

10 It isn’t different inside a Native American people’s college (9)

INSTITUTE :  {Anagram of(different) ISN’T contained in(inside) IT} + UTE(Native American Indian people of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, related to the Aztecs).

11 It’s not appropriate for Peto to sleep with model (5)

INAPT :  I(the setter,Peto) + NAP(to sleep) plus(with) T(name of one of the earliest models of cars made by the Ford company) .

12 Essential to end Aretha’s challenge (4)

DAREHidden in(essential to,necessary part of) enD AREtha’s.

13 On the outskirts of Omaruru wasted food rots in the open air (3-2-5)

OUT-OF-DOORS :  OU(first and last letters,outskirts ofOmaruru”, in Namibia if you want to know) + anagram of(wasted) FOOD ROTS

Answer: Before it became shortened to “outdoors”.

15 Steal Pat’s dog (7)

WHIPPET :  WHIP(to steal) + PET(to pat as an expression of affection).

16 Upset by malicious woman’s game (6)

TIPCAT :  TIP(upset,overturn) + CAT(a malicious woman, literally or metaphorically scratching and biting like, well, a cat).

Answer:  Old-fashioned outdoor game, which some say is the fore-runner of rounders and cricket, but with a bat and piecce of wood (the cat).

19 Tasteless jewellery pocketed by South American of high rank (6)

STATUS :  TAT(tasteless articles, eg. jewellery, derived from “tatty”,cheap and vulgar) contained in(pocketed by) S(South) + US(United States,American).

Answer: Used as an adjective to confer a real or apparent elevated,high rank, eg. a status job, car or symbol.  

21 Talk idly about her taking in a race (7)

CHATTER :  C(abbrev. for circa,about) + HER containing(taking in) TT(abbrev. for the International Tourist Trophy Race for motorcyles held on the Isle of Man; or, if you prefer, a time trial race where competitors are individually timed and their times compared, in other words racing against the clock rather than others.

23 Everybody hates me dithering even so (3,3,4)

ALL THE SAME :  ALL(everybody) + anagram of(dithering) HATES ME.

25 Come to an end before the opening of parliament (4)

DIET :  DIE(expire,come to an end) plus(before) T(first letter,opening of “the”).

Answer:  The legislative body,parliament of certain countries, eg. Japan.

27 Niece oddly neglected after servant becomes deranged (5)

MANIC :  IC(“nieceminus first,third and fifth letters,oddly neglected) placed after(after) MAN(male servant).

28 A complete change of opinion on the subject of spin (5,4)

ABOUT TURN :  ABOUT(on the subject of,regarding) TURN(spin).

29 Good-humoured requests by a social worker (8)

PLEASANT :  PLEAS(requests) plus(by) ANT(a social insect, one which might belong to the worker caste within its society).

30 Orders small underwear (6)

BRIEFS :  Double defn: 1st: Plural of an order,writ summoning one to answer to a specified action, or a document of facts and points of law by which a solicitor instructs,orders  a barrister to represent a client; and 2nd:  Close- fitting, legless underpants,small underwear, which a barrister might, or might not, be wearing while he/she’s presenting his/her briefs in court :-)


1 Make final now Linda’s abroad (4,4)

NAIL DOWNAnagram of(abroad) NOW LINDA.

2 Reserve prop rings coach (9)

RESTRAINT :  REST(a prop, eg. that used in billiards to rest your cue on) containing(rings) TRAIN(to coach).

Answer: That quality shown by people who are reserved,inhibited in their behaviour.

3 Keen for prima donna to turn up (4)

AVIDAnagram of(to turn up) DIVA(prima donna,star)

5 Pop singer loves having time for a cigar (7)

CHEROOT :  CHER(female pop singer since the 60s) + OO(looking like 2 zeros,2 x love,zero score in tennis) plus(having) T(time)

Answer:  Different from a cigar in having both ends untapered/cut squarely.

6 A dramatisation of the nativity may be very easy to do (6,4)

CHILD’S PLAY :  Cryptic defn: The nativity is the birth of a child, and a dramatisation of it could be called a CHILD’S PLAY.

7 English artist in contact with a source of inspiration (5)

ERATO :  E(English) + RA(a member of the Royal Academy of Arts,an artist) + TO(in contact with, eg. “a punch to the jaw”).

Answer: The muse,source of inspiration for lyric or erotic/love poetry or hymns.

8 Unwillingness to speak of mother without it getting back to son (6)

MUTISM :  MUM(mother) containing(without) [reversal of(getting back) IT plus(to) S(son)].

9 Impressive to find gold and a bit of silver in capsized boat (6)

AUGUST :  AU(in chemistry, symbol for the element gold, from Latin “aurum”) plus(and) [S(first letter,a bit of “silver”) contained in(in) reversal of(capsized,in a down clue) TUG(a boat that tows)].

Answer: Majestic,impressive.

14 What dermatologists may do when they occur without warning (4-6)

SPOT CHECKS :  Cryptic defn: Dermatologists, skin specialists that they are, may check any spot on your epidermis to ensure that all is healthy. 

Answer: Spot checks by authorities of eg. identification, intoxication by drugs or alcohol, occur without warning.

17 Volunteers uplifted by a statement showing respect for property (9)

ATTRIBUTEReversal of(uplifted, in a down clue) TA(Territoral Army made up of volunteers) plus(by) TRIBUTE(could be a statement, showing respect,paying homage to someone or something). 

Answer: A characteristic,property of someone or something.

18 Makes a claim about nurses under pressure (8)

PRETENDS :  RE(about,regarding) TENDS(as singular verb, nurses) placed below(under, in a down clue) P(in physics, the symbol for pressure, and happens to be the symbol for power, too).

20 Suffer as Tunis is destroyed (7)

SUSTAINAnagram of(is destroyed) AS TUNIS.

21 Done by a number of people in public (6)

COMMON : Last one in, so hope it’s correct.  Double defn: 1st: Descriptive of what is done by a number of people, ie. common; and 2nd: Belonging to the public or community, as in common property.

22 Athletes do it in battle over money at university (4-2)

WARM-UP :  WAR(battle) placed above(over, in a down clue) M(abbrev. for money) + UP{at,attending university in contrast to “(sent) down”,barred from attending}.

24 Nationalist breaks Spike’s weapon (5)

LANCE :  N(abbrev. for Nationalist, as in the names of any number of political parties worldwide, each with differing interpretations of the word) contained in(breaks) LACE(adulterate with a bit of something,spike, as with a drink).

26 Passage from Amiss targeting a leading performer (4)

STARHidden in(passage from) amisS TARgeting.  I was wondering: is there a surplus “s” in Amiss?  The clue reads much better with Amis (Kingsley or Martin), writer compatible with the surface “passage from”, and there are probably more than one “leading performer” in their novels.  The only Amiss of note that I could find was Dennis, English cricketer.


2 Responses to “Financial Times 13951 Peto”

  1. mike04 says:

    Thanks very much, scchua. Like you, I was left with C?M?O? at the end.
    It seems rather surprising that such a simple word could cause any sort of problem!

    Some of the other six-letter clues (BRIEFS, TIPCAT and MUTISM) also had me
    wondering if today’s puzzle came with a sting in the tail. No, it turned out to be
    quite straightforward and very fair I thought. Most enjoyable too – thanks, Peto.

    Yes, I think there’s a surplus ‘s’ in 26dn (or possibly an ‘i’ missing from ‘Amis is’.)

  2. TonyP17 says:

    Thank you scchua for an extremely comprehensive blog.

    Really struggled to make much progress and I can now understand why. Several clues too complex for me in the time available.

    I don’t think 3d is an anagram but more simply ‘diva’ turned up or backwards.

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