Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,540 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on August 31st, 2007

Pete Maclean.

I quickly finished the left half of the grid. It then took me a couple of days before I got a good start on the right side. Once I did, I finished it quickly too. Even now there is one clue that I do not completely understand.


1. PIAZZA – A (article) in PIZZA (take-away)
4. PROTRUDE – ROT (nonsense) in PRUDE (goody-goody)
10. APPEASE – A + PPEASE (homonym)
11. LANDING – double definition
12. MINT – double definition. I had to look up mint to confirm that it can mean sweet.
13. CONTINGENT – G (group’s leader) in CONTINENT (Europe perhaps)
15. CRANNY – ANN (girl) in CRY (be sad)
16. CONFINE – CON (party, short for conservative) + FINE (ok)
20. PETUNIA – I (single) + NUT (fruit) backwards in PEA (seed)
21. DRAWER – double definition
24. COLD TURKEY – cryptic definition. St. Stephen’s day is the day after Christmas (in some calendars at least) hence the day to eat leftovers from the Christmas bird, traditionally a turkey in Britain. Wikipedia came in handy here!
26. CARD – double definition.
28. TOPPING – cryptic definition
29. BREAKER – R (right) in BEAKER (vessel)
30. CAROLINE – anagram of CLAIRE NO
31. BHUTAN – HUT (shed) in BAN (block)


1. PHARMACY – HARM (pain) in PACY (moving quickly)
2. APPENDAGE – PP (two pages) in anagram of AGENDA
3. ZEAL – hidden word
5. RELATION – ? + ELATION (utter bliss)
6. TUNING FORK – (I do not fully understand this one)
7. UNITE – UNIT (kitchen fitment) + E (key)
8. EIGHTY – [w]EIGHTY (heavy)
9. TENON – TEN (number) + ON (attached)
14. INDUSTRIAL – INDUS (river) + TRIAL (test). This is a lovely clue given that there is a well known River Test.
17. NEWMARKET – NEW (current) + MARKET (demand). Newmarket is, I believe, a little known card game — fortunately one that I had heard of.
18. NITROGEN – anagram of RINGTONE
19. GRIDIRON – RID (free) in GIRO (payment) + N (variable). There may be something about N that I don’t know but “variable” seems a rather weak indicator for it. “Variable” more usually indicates X or Y in my experience. This was the most difficult clue for me.
22. ACETIC – ACE (one) + TIC (shake)
23. DERBY – double definition
25. LEPER – P (quiet) in LEER (smirk)
27. MESH – S (back of toilets) in HEM (bit of skirt) backwards

One Response to “Financial Times 12,540 by Mudd”

  1. Smiffy says:

    5D: R=(“ending in utter”),ELATION=(simply “bliss”)

    6D: I think this one is just a rather general cryptic definition; the question mark at the end of the clue just about excuses an otherwise unimaginative clue, in my opinion.

    19D: Tend to agree with you that there is a notational distinction between n and, say, x. But, in my experience, the crossword world’s treatment of mathematical variables can, itself, be pretty variable!

    PS: Good blog

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