Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,264 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on December 30th, 2009

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of December 19

A lot of double definitions here, of which 15D is probably my favorite. This puzzle took me a while and I still do not fully understand how 1A works. I also wonder if I am missing something in 17A.

Across
1. PAPACY – ??? “The money” gives us PAY, presumably, but I don’t understand the rest of the wordplay.
4. SCHILLER – S (s) + CHILLER (scare)
9. NARROW – N (point) + ARROW (missile)
10. TAPEWORM – A (a) + PEW (seat) in [s]TORM (homophone “gale”). I guessed “pew” quickly but the rest took a while as it is unusually indirect.
12. AXIS – A (a) + SIX (boundary) backwards
13. POTTY – double definition
14. BALL – double definition
17. ORGAN-GRINDER – cryptic definition?
20. BLOW ONES MIND – anagram of WOMEN SO in BLIND (prejudiced)
23. HOOP – POOH (bear) backwards
24. ELDER – double definition
25. IDLE – double definition (referring to Eric Idle). Wow, a crossword reference to someone I have actually met!
28. SEDITION – S (second) + EDITION (issue)
29. BELIZE – LIZ (the Queen, familiarly) in BEE (worker)
30. RENOWNED – NOW (present) + N (name) in REED (Oliver). Cromwell? Twist? Hardy? No, Reed.
31. SLIGHT – double definition

Down
1. PENTAGON – cryptic definition
2. PORRIDGE – cryptic definition referring, I presume, to a jailbird
3. CLOT – double definition
5. CLACTON-ON-SEA – anagram of ONCE N (northern) COASTAL
6. ITEM – I (one) + MET (police) backwards
7. LOOFAH – LO (look) + OF (of) + A (a) + H[arlot]. Clever.
8. RUMBLE – double definition
11. YOURE WELCOME – anagram of Y (why) WE O (love) MORE CLUE
15. ANGLE – double definition
16. TERSE – hidden word
18. PIDDLING – double definition
19. ADHERENT – A (a) + HER (woman) in DENT (depression)
21. CHASER – double definition
22. JORDAN – RD (road) in JOAN (girl)
26. STEW – double definition
27. SEAL – double definition

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,264 by Mudd”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Re 1ac:
    Chambers says: “to do better than, improve on or outdo someone or something”
    for CAP – so that’s it then.

    I didn’t find 18d and 26ac.
    PIDDLING is, I think, rather obscure.
    And IDLE, although fair, not really what you’re thinking of as a comedy actor.
    (Pete, nice though, you met him)

    I can’t make anything more of ORGAN-GRINDER than you did.
    Twelve double definitions – a bit much, ay?
    And I think, 1d is also one of them.

    Not Mr Halpern’s best crossword, methinks.
    But then …. there he is again – 13ac !!!

  2. Eileen says:

    Hi Pete and Sil

    Re 17ac: it’s a double / cryptic definition, I think. ‘Controlling person’ as in the saying, ‘I want to speak to the organ-grinder, not the monkey’ – and I’ll leave the possible ‘instrument of torture’ to your imagination!

    [I don’t think PIDDLING is obscure, in either meaning, and I’ve seen Eric Idle appear like this in crosswords several times.]

  3. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Hi Eileen,

    Of course, you’re right about PIDDLING and IDLE.
    I shouldn’t have said ‘obscure’ in case of the first one.
    The word just wasn’t in my vocabulary yet – but it is surely in Mudd’s ……
    (at least in one sense)

    [There’s a lot that’s not in my vocabulary yet, made worse by yesterday’s Pasquale – still feel KO]

  4. Eileen says:

    Hi again, Sil.

    Sorry you’re still punch-drunk! I’ve posted you a response on the Pasquale.

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