Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,800 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on July 3rd, 2008

Pete Maclean.

The top right corner of this puzzle was hard going for me. I particularly found 11A, 13A and 5D challenging and I do not understand how 8D works. Then I was totally stumped by 20A.

I greatly like 24A and 14D.


1. FLINCH – L (lake) in FINCH (bird)
4. SCRIPTED – anagram of PREDICTS
10. GUESSED – homophone (“guest”)
11. THISTLE – WHISTLE (holder of pea) with W change to T
12. RATE – double definition
13. QUAD-BIKING – anagram of BID in QUAKING (obviously nervous)
15. NECTAR – NEC (Centre of Birmingham) + TAR (sticky thing)
16. ULULATE – LULU (singer) backwards + ATE (consumed)
20. ?L?E?E? – ???. I assume this clue has to be a cryptic definition but it is beyond me. Could the answer be SLEEPER? A sleeper is certainly out in a sense but where does “one’s ear” come in?
21. TSETSE – T[ourist] + SETS (lays) + E[ggs]
24. DUNG BEETLE – anagram of NUDGE and BETEL
26. CLUB – double definition
28. TERRACE – anagram of CATERER
29. MOONSET – MO (doctor) + ONSET (beginning)
20. RHAPSODY – HAPS (chances) in ROD (bar) + Y (Yankee)
31. BARREN – homophone (“baron”)

1. FIGURINE – FIG (fruit) + URINE (wee)
2. IDENTICAL – I (single) + DENT (impression) + I (I) + CAL (state)
3. CASE – double definition
5. CITADELS – SLED (winter vehicle) + TIC (jerk) backwards
6. INITIALISE – anagram of III (three ones) and ENTAILS
7. TUTTI – TUTTI[ng]
8. DREDGE – ???. I cannot figure out the wordplay here.
14. BAKED BEANS – anagram of BABES NAKED
17. TOTALISER – TO (to) + TALIS[man] (charm with no man) + ER (the Queen)
18. REVEREND – RE (subject) + RE (again) in VEND (sell)
19. VERBOTEN – VERB (type of word) + O (old) + TEN (number)
22. EDITOR – TO (to) in RIDE (trip) backwards
23. PLUMP – double definition
25. NORMA – “nor ma”. I have come across people who consider clues of this form, with a missing word, to be illegitimate. Certainly they are uncommon but I have no objection them. This is the second I have come across recently and I think it is an okay clue.
27. COLA – COL (pass) + A (a)

3 Responses to “Financial Times 12,800 by Mudd”

  1. Octofem says:

    I figured that 8d worked as d-r-edge – (d- day,r -last of torpor, edge for bound ( as ‘within the bounds of possibility’.)

    I had sleeper for 20a too, thnking of it as the ring which girls wear at night to preserve the piercing for an ear-ring, but was not sure that ‘on’ should not have been ‘in’.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Thanks, Octofem. I figure you have to be right about 8D.

    I had not known of that meaning of “sleeper”. And, if it is the intended meaning for 20A, I still do not care for the clue.

  3. MMcC says:

    Got 20a as I went to bed, natch. Place your hands in the position of prayer. Move them up and over so the back of your left hand covers your right ear. Tilt you head as far to the right as it will go. Close your eyes. Result: sleeper.

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