Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,938 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on December 11th, 2008

Pete Maclean.

FT Weekend Prize Puzzle from November 29
I found this puzzle moderately easy. 29A took me a while though. Mudd has a few fine clues here, such as 14A and 17D. And how often does a setter get an opportunity like 16D!

Across
9. MARCH HARE – ARCH (main) + H (drug) in MARE (horse)
10. EXILE – I (one) + L (left) in EXE (river)
11. TRESTLE – anagram of LETTERS. My Chambers tells me that “scrabble” in the sense of scramble is an intransitive verb, a fact that might be taken to suggest that this clue is imperfect. I stand by Mudd with this one though.
12. DOLPHIN – PLOD (police) backwards + HIN[t]
13. YET – YET[i]
14. MICKEY MOUSE – double definition
17. SKATE – double definition
18. EAT – [h]EAT
19. DURER – D (daughter) + URE (river) + R (runs)
21. MINUTE STEAK – MINUTE (little) + homophone (“stake”)
23. DUD – palindrome
25. RISOTTO – R (king) + IS (is) + OTTO (German king)
27. CAPTION – APT (fitting) in CI (chapter one) + ON (on)
28. RULER – double definition
29. RIFLE SHOT – FLESH (intended target, perhaps) in RIOT (battle)

Down
1. SMITHY – SMITH (common name) + Y (unknown)
2. GREEN TEA – anagram of TEENAGER
3. THE TEMPEST – HE (man) + TEMP (stand-in) in TEST (match)
4. GAME – double definition
5. DEAD CENTRE – cryptic definition
6. SELL – homophone (“cell”)
7. VISHNU – hidden word. “Peevish nuns”? What a great image that inspires!
8. REINDEER – REIN homophone (“rain” – not sun) + DEER homophone (“dear” not cheap). I do not recall seeing a clue structured quite like this before but I think it works.
15. CHESSBOARD – HESS (Nazi) + BOAR (pig) in CD (record)
16. MUDSKIPPER – “Mudd’s kipper”. Mudd must have loved this one — as well he should! A beauty.
17. SOMBRERO – SOMBRE (black) + RO[d]
20. RED LIGHT – ED (journalist) + L (line) in RIGHT (Conservatives)
22. NESTLE – hidden word
24. DENOTE – DE (couple of low grades) + ETON (school) backwards
26. TORT – TROT (pace) backwards
27. CUFF – CU (copper) + FF (very powerfully)

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