Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,362 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on April 29th, 2010

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of April 17
This puzzle strikes me as a mixed bag. Mudd comes up with a clever cryptic definition for LIE DETECTOR (4D) and a cute 25A, but I think that 10A and 14D are a bit weak.

Across
1. SCRAMBLER – double definition
6. TOPIC – TOPI (headgear) + C (cold)
8. ROMANCE – ROMAN (Italian) + CE (church)
10. EMPEROR – cryptic definition, I suppose
11. BLUFF – double definition
12. EURIPIDES – I RUE (I regret) backwards + anagram of SPIED
14. LOT – L (left) + OT (where would you find him?)
15. SPEEDOMETER – anagram of MORE DEEP SET
17. SALMON TROUT – MON (day) + in SALT (marine compound) + ROUT (hiding)
19. HAW – homophone (“whore”)
20. SPEED TRAP – SPEED (drug) + TRAP (gin)
22. EMMET – hidden word
24. RAIMENT – AIM (point) in RENT (tear)
26. KOWLOON – OWL (hooter) in NOOK (recess) backwards
27. WAGER – WAG[n]ER (composer appears nameless)
28. CARETAKER – RETAKE (further test) in CAR (vehicle)

Down
1. SCRUB – SC (viz) + RUB (polish). “sc” is an abbreviation for scilicet which means much the same as videlicet, abbreviated “viz”.
2. REMOUNT – [h]OME (‘ouse) backwards in RUNT (unwanted animal)
3. MANIFESTO – anagram of SOME FAINT
4. LIE DETECTOR – cryptic definition
5. ROE – homophone (“row”)
6. TOP UP – TO (to) + PUP (baby)
7. PERIDOT – DIRE (horrible) backwards in POT (kitty)
8. CORKSCREW – CORKS (Irish) + CREW (team)
13. RED HOT POKER – RED HOT (very sexy) + POKER (game)
14. LAST STRAW – cryptic definition (camel being an African transport)
16. MOTHER WIT – anagram of ITEM WORTH
18. LEERING – ERIN (Ireland) in LEG (member)
19. HEMLOCK – HEM (border) + LOCK (security)
21. DREAR – D (daughter) + REAR (bottom)
23. TUNER – homophone (“tuna”)
25. TIC – T[w]I[t]C[h]

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13,362 by Mudd”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, Pete, for blogging this fine Mudd.
    Yes, I agree, some clues are not extremely good (like 14d), but one thing is for sure: you can’t hardly fault Mr Halpern on precision [as in his other disguises], while in the meantime there’s a good spread of devices.

    Of course, there was a ‘bottom’ again, although it was hanging a bit loosely [in the clue, I mean :)]: “… when daughter bottom”.
    And another naughty one in 19ac (HAW) which was brilliantly constructed.
    Most other favourites this time were all charades [normally not my device #1]: ROMANCE (9ac), 8d (CORKSCREW) [which has to be read as CORK'S CREW = CREW from CORK (town in Ireland)] and one more RED-HOT POKER (13d) [clued in the best Mr H tradition].

    Only one clue raised one or two eyebrows: 26ac (KOWLOON).
    The clue initially reads ‘Hooter breaks recess’ [OWL breaks NOOK, which leads to NOWLOOK or so], ‘then recalled’ [the word 'then' suggesting that at this point (áfter the insertion) the word should be reversed, which would give something strange like KOOLWON or so]. My point is that, strictly speaking, it doesn’t say: put OWL in the reversal of NOOK.

    Apart from that, I think, the usual good quality [even though last Monday's Prize was clearly a(n even) better one].

  2. mike04 says:

    Thanks for the blog, Pete.

    Well, TUNER as a homophone of TUNA raised an eyebrow here.
    HAW is certainly not a homophone of WHORE in this part of the UK and I wonder if this usage is fair in an international newspaper.

  3. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Mike04, yes, these homophones again …
    As a non-UK citizen I haven’t got the same pair of ears as ‘locals’ have.
    So, I mainly rely on resources when I’m really in doubt.
    For example, Antony Lewis’ WordWebPro.

    It gives for TUNER: tyoonu(r) – so with an optional ‘r’ at the end
    And for TUNA: tyoonu.
    Which seems OK, I guess.

    HAW and WHORE is a slightly different matter.
    HAW is given as ‘ho’ and WHORE as ‘hor’, which indeed is different.
    But then the programme also says for WHORE: ‘sounds like: haw,hoar’.
    Bit confusing.
    [but I still like the great construction/surface of the clue, maybe therefore I tend to be tolerant]

  4. Ali says:

    Out of interest, what was the clue for 4D? I recently wrote a CD clue for LIE DETECTOR involving grilling and whoppers. Has Mr. H had the same idea?!

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Ali
    4dn Invention finding invention? (3,8)

  6. mike04 says:

    Hello Sil

    Thanks very much for your comments. Unfortunately, some homophones in English are quite area-specific
    (and other factors come into play).

  7. mike04 says:

    Hello again, Sil

    See the comment after yours in Guardian 24,996. Well said, Neil!

  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Mike, I am the last (and [because of my background] the least appropriate) to have clear opinions on homophones. So, please, don’t shoot at me.

    When I solve a crossword and there’s a homophone involved, and when there’s any doubt, I normally ask my British Partner-in-Crime (= PinC) what she thinks about it.
    And when that doesn’t lead to a (for me) satisfactory answer, I’ll turn to various resources, not bothering too much about it.

    That said, I admit if I would be a setter, I’d like the homophones to be indisputable, but as a solver I’m not thát precise [shame on me - it's just not my favourite kind of device], even though I know I shóuld be bothered.
    And as a result, the [in my opinion, splendid] construction of 19ac overrules the [perhaps dubious] homophone device.

    So, I don’t want to argue about it with you.
    I believe what you say for 100%, but for me it didn’t stand in the way of enjoying the clues [but again, that's only because I don't have British Ears].

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