Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,228 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on November 19th, 2009

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of November 7

I found parts of this Mudd puzzle challenging. I am unsure if I have 8D correct and do not understand the wordplay of 28A. No doubt someone will fill me in. I especially like 6D.

Across
1. CAPARISON – A (a ) + PARIS (capital city) in CON (take for a ride)
6. DWARF – D (died) + WAR (fighting) + F[ade]
9. MOOSE – homophone (“mousse”)
10. ROSE-WATER – AWE (fascination) backwards in ROSTER (duty list)
11. ANTIMATTER – TIM (boy) in A (a) + NATTER (chat)
12 FRET – double definition
14. PHANTOM – H (husband) in PAN (god) + TOM (man)
15. GLASSES – G (good) + LASSES (girls) with a nice cryptic definition
17. CHELSEA – ELSE (otherwise) in CHA (the drink)
19. TILLAGE – LAG (convict) in TILE (hat)
20. YARD – cryptic definition (referring to Scotland Yard)
22. SLEAZINESS – S (small) + [femal]E in LAZINESS (sloth)
25. EAVESDROP – E (English) in anagram of AS PROVED
26. IDYLL – t[IDY] (near but for its first) + LL (couple of lines). Good one.
27. MANGE – G[row] in MANE (animal hair)
28. EVERGREEN – ???. “Tree whose left-25 throughout the year!” How does the wordplay work here?

Down
1. COMMA – double definition
2. PROSTRATE – R (river) in PROSTATE (gland)
3. RHEUMATISM – anagram of IM HURT SAME
4. STRATUM – TART (dessert) backwards in SUM (problem)
5. NEST-EGG – double definition
6. DAWN – cryptic definition
7. ASTER – [m]ASTER
8. FORETASTE is the only word I can find to fit here but I cannot fit it with the clue. And it seems unlikely to be right since “taste” is an explicit part of both clue and this word.
13. NAIL-BITING – double definition
14. PACHYDERM – ACHY (hurting) + D (daughter) in PERM (some style)
16. SPARE TYRE – double/cryptic definition
18. AT LARGE – anagram of REAL TAG
19. TRAIPSE – anagram of A PRIEST
21. RAVEN – RAVE (dance) + N (pole)
23. SALON – hidden word
24. ASHE -A (ace) + SHE (woman)

6 Responses to “Financial Times 13,228 by Mudd”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Just like you, I found this quite challenging.
    Certainly harder than the usual Mudd.

    Lots of very clever clues, with indeed 26ac as a highlight.

    Re 8d:
    This surely must be a mistake of Mr Halpern.
    It is SATE (fill) upwards (up) in FORTE (strong), so FORETASTE.
    Funny that the editor didn’t see the double use of TASTE either.

    As to 26ac:
    left-25 = L+EAVESDROP = LEAVES DROP
    But do EVERGREEN trees drop their leaves throughout the year?
    I am not a biologist.

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Of course, I meant, “As to 28ac”.

  3. Pete Maclean says:

    >> But do EVERGREEN trees drop their leaves throughout the year?

    I don’t know.

    Thanks, Sil, for the explanations.

  4. walruss says:

    I do not think I agree with the definition for “evergreen”. These plants bear leaves all the year round, only shedding when the new foliage is fully formed.

  5. John Newman says:

    Dear Pete

    I found this very hard also and I still have difficulty with some of the clues. There were many tricks – like “holding desert up”. As a down clue I expected the “holding up” simply to mean that dessert would be the top few letters.

    10A – how do you get backwards from ebbing?

    15A – Are glasses really apparel?

    19A – I simply could come up with nothing for this. What hat is a tile? And I have not heard of the word lag from convict.

    6D – remains a mystery to me. Please let me have what you think here?

    8D – Whatever the reasoning it is a poor clue isn’t it?

    Strange for me, “evergreen” was one of the first clues I filled in. At first I wondered a little, but yes, they drop leaves all year round – much to the chagrin of gardeners (especially here in Singapore).

    cheers

    John

  6. Pete Maclean says:

    >> 10A – how do you get backwards from ebbing?

    One of my dictionaries defines ebb as meaning to recede which, in turn, is defined as to move backwards. So I think this works.

    >> 15A – Are glasses really apparel?

    Strictly speaking, perhaps not. But this is a liberty I am happy to accept for what I think makes a nicely devious clue.

    >> 19A – I simply could come up with nothing for this. What hat is a tile?

    I accepted this because I had come across it before although I was unsure of the exact connection. I have looked it up now and ascertained that it is a Scottish word for a hat, particularly a top hat.

    >> And I have not heard of the word lag from convict.

    Interesting. It is fairly common usage in my experience. Maybe it is very British.

    >> 6D – remains a mystery to me. Please let me have what you think here?

    Dawn is a girl’s name. There was a Dawn in my primary school class and then there is the comedienne Dawn French. Then there is also the dawn chorus referring to the sounds of nature at sunrise.

    >> 8D – Whatever the reasoning it is a poor clue isn’t it?

    Yes, definitely.

    I also have some doubts about 1D because breathtaking does not mean breath taking. In fact, it means almost the opposite!

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