Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,458 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on August 19th, 2010

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of August 7
Being on holiday in the Austrian Alps, I took this puzzle at a leisurely pace and it took me some time — there was even a moment when I wondered if I would complete it but, as always, I did. And it ended up being a satisfying one with some nicely tricky clues such as 12A (SENTENCE), 12D (SPINNER) and 20D (APPENDIX).

Across
1. PETITE – TIT (bird) in PEE (WEE)
4. STICKING – S (small) + TICKING (time bomb)
9. SHODDY – ODD (left-field) in SHY (throw)
10 FIVE-STAR – VESTA (match) in FIR (wood). I have not confirmed that “vesta” is a dictionary word in the sense used here (match, as in striking a match) but Vesta was the Roman Goddess of the hearth and is the name of an asteroid. The term is used for match in at least one British product, Swan Vestas.
11. CLEVER – C (closet) + LEVER (handle)
12. SENTENCE – double definition
13. APT – A (a) + PT (small point)
14. RECITE – [dir]EC[tor] in RITE (it’s customary)
17. HEINOUS – anagram of IN HOUSE
21. DEWLAP – anagram of LAD WE + P[inch]
25. DEN – DEN[t] (hole unfinished)
26. ANTERIOR – anagram of NOT REAR I and &lit.
27. WAFFLE – double definition
28. PRIORITY – RIO (city) + [b]R[itain] in PITY (shame)
29. LIQUID – LI (51) + QUID (pounds)
20. NUGATORY – GUN (piece) backwards + A (a) + TORY (politician)
21. VERTEX – VERT (green) + EX (old)

Down
1. POSTCARD – POST (pale) + CARD (character). But surely a postcard is the carrier of a message, not the message itself?
2. TWOPENCE – anagram of WEPT ONCE
3. TED HEATH – hidden words. Good one!
5. TOILET – T [s] ELIOT (author wasting shilling) backwards
6. CHESTY – anagram of SCYTHE
7. INTEND – IN (home) + TEND (nurse)
8. GIRDER – RED (wine) + RIG (fix) all reversed
12. SPINNER – this, I take it, contrasts two types of bowler in cricket, quickie and spinner
15. EEL – [f]EEL (sense having head cut off)
16. DUD – palindrome
18 SET ASIDE – T[ables] in SEASIDE (holiday location)
19. OLD FRUIT – anagram of RIFT LOUD
20. APPENDIX – double definition
22. DAMPEN – DAM (embankment) + PEN (cage)
23. STRING – R (run) in STING (trick)
24. DRY ROT – DRY (tiresome) + ROT (guff)
25. DOCTOR – double definition

6 Responses to “Financial Times 13,458 by Mudd”

  1. Rishi says:

    For ‘vesta’ Chambers does have the meaning “a wax-stemmed match; a short match with a wooden stem.”

    In India too we have had some brands of match sticks using the term.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Ahah! Thanks, Rishi. I seemed to recall that Swan Vestas were wax matches but I was not sure. Wax matches are, I believe, common in Italy where they are called “cerini”.

  3. Richard says:

    Thanks for the blog, Pete. I couldn’t get into the top right of this for ages, and ended up finishing it in the pub with a friend on the Monday evening. 5 really made me smile when I got it, and I kicked myself at the time it took me to work out the anagram of SCYTHE.

  4. John Newman says:

    Hi Pete

    I am now in Addis Ababa. A bit of a change from Singapore. Despite much time on my hands I could not get 4,9,10 and 11 across. Must be rusty. But to be fair how does ticking = time bomb? I know it ticks, but….. I might even accept ticker, but not ticking.

    cheers

    John

  5. Pete Maclean says:

    Hi John,

    It is good to hear from you again. I was thinking of you when I was in Singapore a while ago. I have never been to Addis Ababa but, yes, that must be quite a change! I do like Ethiopian food.

    You raise a good point about “ticking” in 4 across. I neglected to mention it in the blog but I wondered about that too. The best thing I can think of is that ticking is a clue that there is a time bomb near!

    Pete

  6. verbose says:

    Re 4a, small = s and “time bomb may be” = ticking; the definition is “in need of an oil, perhaps.”

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