Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,967 / Moodim

Posted by C G Rishikesh on January 6th, 2009

C G Rishikesh.

Since I started writing here, this is the first time I am encountering Moodim.

I enjoyed doing the puzzle.


1 RAISED EYEBROWS - two def. – Pleasing clue; the arch of the eyebrows when women return from the beauty parlour after having had the hair growth “plucked” (or whatever the term is) is pronounced, so I have myself gasped sometimes.
10 ACT UP - a c(t)up
11 SHELF LIFE - Pleasing wordplay. But the long second definition is so explicit that one can solve the clue with just that.
(On edit) The wordplay is provided in a comment below.
12 PILGRIM – rev. of rim, G, lip. Nice surface reading.
13 DREDGER – Evokes a plausible image – dr., edge, R – dr. for driver is recorded in Chambers though I have never seen it used anywhere. Nor dr. for drummer. Dr. for Drive (as in street names) is understandable.
14 NIECE – ni(E)ce – the wordplay is old hat but the clue wording is new.
16 ADDICTION – Nice clue – a d(D)iction
19 PAY PACKET - pay, packet – is breakup like this permissible?
20 RICIN – (p)ricin(g) – Don’t have murder on your mind but Wikipedia informs: Ricin is a protein toxin that is extracted from the castor bean (Ricinus communis).The U.S. Centers for Disease Control gives a possible minimum figure of 500 micrograms (about the size of a grain of salt) for the lethal dose of ricin in humans if exposure is from injection or inhalation.
22 OUSTING – ou(S)ting – If R is for river in maps, S is for Sun in drawings of the solar system, perhaps.
25 INSIGHT – sounds like “inn cite”. (On edit, correcting a typo) “inn site”.
27 FORMALISE – did you juggle with “emails are”? for, malise (anag. of emails)
28 OLIVE – rev. of evil, o. Can’t imagine how the tree was returned; perhaps it was a sapling then.
29 REPRESENTATION – did you think ‘operates’ was the anagrind? Anag. of “intern operates”, ‘works’ being the anag. signal.


2 ARTILLERY – art(ill)ery
3 SUPER -su(p)per – I need help to understand what a ‘poncy start’ is.
4 DISEMBARK - Very good surface reading. I solved it after I got a couple of crossings and saw ‘land’ (v.) in the clue. I am yet to work out the wordplay. Perhaps someone will comment.
(On edit) See below.
5 YIELD – Excellent wordplay for this frequently occurring word in crosswords. – Y,ield (anag. of ‘idle’)
6 BUFFET CAR – buff, etcar (anag. of ‘react’)
7 OWING – (v)owing
8 SWEAR IN - did you think this was a reversal clue? – anag. of ‘a new sir’ – Is ‘arising’ a valid anag. signal? Why not? When ‘arising’ has the sense ‘rising up’.
9 DAMPEN – dam (rev. of ‘mad’), pen – In wordplay ‘flipping’ = ‘turning over’ but in surface reading it is = nasty.
15 ERADICATE – Veteran solvers needn’t read the clue beyond ‘puss': that’s an excuse for my not fully working out the involved anno!
17 DETRIMENT – ‘trime’, anag. of ‘merit’, in dent
18 INCOGNITO – Good surface reading. incognit (anag. of ‘noticing’), o – ‘doctor’ is the anagrind. Is “is” obtrusive in wordplay? Comment sought.
19 PROFFER – PR, offer
21 NUTMEG – nut, Meg (the first time that I came across this female name was in a poem titled ‘Meg Merrilees’ that I read in school).
24 GUISE – “guys”
26 SCOOT – s, coot

6 Responses to “Financial Times 12,967 / Moodim”

  1. Eileen says:

    Hi Rishi

    4dn: [MAKES BIRD]*

    15dn: ERA D[inner]I[cat]E

    [I remember Meg Merrilees, too!]

  2. Geoff Moss says:

    Morning Rishi

    11a You haven’t mentioned that this is ELF in *(ELFISH)

    25a You have a typo, ‘cite’ should be ‘site’.

    28a It is the ‘bad old’ that returns not the tree.

    3d ‘poncy start’ indicates the first letter of poncy, ie ‘P’.

    Eileen has already covered 4d and 15d and so has saved me some typing. Thanks Eileen.

  3. C G Rishikesh says:

    Thanks. I was so happy with the wordplay in 11a that I forgot to mention the anno. And I was making the point that the lengthy def. itself is likely to lead one to the answer.
    I have corrected the typo in 25a.
    In both 28a and 3d I was referring to the surface reading of the clues.

  4. Geoff Moss says:

    Sorry, I misinterpreted your comments in 28a and 3d.

    I didn’t think the surfaces were too bad. I am sure that some of the ‘starters’ in up-market, overpriced restaurants could be considered ‘poncy’ if we use the COED definition of ‘to ponce something up’, which is ‘to attempt to improve something by making flashy changes’.

    Also, a ‘bad tree’, perhaps one with blight or another defect, could be returned to the garden centre or other supplier.

  5. C G Rishikesh says:

    Thanks, Geoff.

  6. Agentzero says:


    Thanks for the blog.

    I too was bothered by the “is” in 18d.

    Also, although I may be too old-fashioned here, to me “doctor noticing” tells the solver to anagram the word “noticing,” but “noticing doctor” does not. Maybe “putting on disguise, before old doctor noticing” would have worked.

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