Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 12,878 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on October 2nd, 2008

Pete Maclean.

Mudd gave us a few sterling clues in this puzzle (2D, 18D, 26D), one that I think is weak (19D).

Across
1. WOMBAT – TAB (bill) + MOW (cut) all backwards
4. BLACKOUT – LACK (shortage) in BOUT (attack)
9. NINETY – Y (unknown) + TEN (figure) + IN (in) all reversed. I did not figure out this wordplay originally — see comments below.
10. MONORAIL – ON (on) + OR (gold) in MAIL (post)
12. SPECTRUM – anagram of CRUMPETS
13. ACCENT – homophone (“axe sent”)
15. ROOK – double definition
16. GASTRONOMY – G (good) + ASTRONOMY (looking up)
19. COAT OF ARMS – anagram of FOR A MASCOT
20. PEEP – double definition
23. PASTEL – PAST (after) + EL[even] (eleven, flat out)
25. SCREW TOP – CREW (men) in STOP (bar)
27. TROTTING – T (time) + ROTTING (going off)
28. ACTUAL – AC (account) + U (university) in TAL[e] (short story)
29. LUCKY DIP – [p]LUCKY (courageous going topless) + DIP (swim)
30. PEPPER – ???. This strikes me as a non-cryptic clue. Am I missing something? (See comments below.)

Down
1. WINDSOR – WINDS (snakes) + RO[of] backwards
2. MINNESOTA – anagram of NOMINATES
3. ASTUTE – STU[pid] (semi-foolish) in ATE (goddess)
5. LOOM – double definition
6. CHOW CHOW – double definition
7. OSAGE – O (old) + SAGE (wise)
8. TOLSTOY – anagram of LOST + TOY (play)
11. RUNAWAY – A (article) in RUNWAY (path of aircraft)
14. STOMACH – double definition
17. OVERTRUMP – OVERT (frank) + RUMP (behind)
18. COVENTRY – COVEN (women practising spelling) + TRY (test)
19. CAPITAL – double definition
21. POPULAR – U (yew we hear) in POPLAR (tree)
22. RESCUE – anagram of secure
24. STOIC – I (one) in COTS (beds) reversed
26. ANTI – [m]ANTI[s] (prayer without limits)

5 Responses to “Financial Times 12,878 by Mudd”

  1. Geoff Moss says:

    9a Y (unknown) TEN (figure) IN all reversed (retro) – definition ‘number’

  2. Andrew says:

    30ac – PEPPER can be a verb meaning to spray (e.g. with bullets) as well as the type of spray used to quell riots.

  3. Pete Maclean says:

    Thank you Geoff and Andrew.

    So 30ac counts as a double definition. I can’t say I like it!

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    The problem with 30A is that you do not use pepper to quell a riot, you use pepper spray. Which means the two definitions are not really distinct.

  5. Geoff Moss says:

    Pete, I can see your concern re 30a in that for there to be a double definition the clue needs to be read as ‘spray’ and ‘spray with this in riot’

    I have seen far worse, and the question mark at the end does give an indication of intent.

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