Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,536 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on November 18th, 2010

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of November 6

Now here is what I call a good Mudd, a puzzle that I can easily imagine took a lot of thought. It was somewhat challenging to solve and has some great clues in 9A (FUDGE), 25A (SKEDADDLE), 3D (RHEUM), 7D (IRATE) and 22D (IDEAL). I have seen a number of clues for IDEAL recently and 22D is the best I can recall. And I like seeing some off-beat words such as humdinger, skedaddle, bonce and yonks.

Across
1. IMMERSE – [s]IMMERS (cooks gently removing lid) + E[eggs]
5. BACKING – double definition
9. FUDGE – double definition
10. BATTLE-AXE – dual/cryptic definition
11. CATAMARAN – A (a) + TAMAR (river) both in CAN (vessel — another vessel, that is)
12. BLEAK – L (an amount of liquid — i.e. a litre) in BEAK (nose)
13. SHEAF – SHE (woman) + A (a) + F (female)
15. INTUITION – IN (by way of) + TUITION (lessons)
18. HUMDINGER – anagram of MIND HUGE + R[avine]
19. YONKS – ON (on) in SKY (heaven) backwards
21. COINS – anagram of IN SOC[k]
23. MOUSTACHE – O (duck) in MUST (has to) + ACHE (hurt)
25. SKEDADDLE – [a]SKED (heading off requested) + ADDLE (go off)
26. BONCE – C (caught) in BONE (skull perhaps)
27. WOLFRAM – WOLF (hunter) + RAM (prey)
28. TRAGEDY – AGED (old) in TRY (hear). I am assuming that, in the cryptic reading, “try” is meant in the legal sense.

Down
1. IN FOCUS – INFO (facts) + CUS[s] (oath though incomplete)
2. MIDSTREAM – anagram of RAM D[estroy] ITEMS
3. RHEUM – HE (man) in RUM (warmer)
4. EMBARKING – ME (setter) backwards + BARKING (pretending to be a dog)
5. BATON – BAT ON (stay in – as in cricket)
6. CELEBRITY – anagram of REBEL in CITY (big town)
7. IRATE – [p]IRATE (criminal blowing top)
8. GHERKIN – G[room] + HER (bride’s) + KIN (family)
14. FAIRS FAIR – cryptic definition
16. TURBULENT – U (you) + BRUT (dry) both backwards + LENT (fast)
17. INNOCENCE – anagram of ONCE NICE N[ow]
18. HACKSAW – HACK (journalist) + SAW (went out with)
20. SCENERY – anagram of SCREEN + [pla]Y
22. IDEAL – IDEA (light bulb overhead) + [fai]L
23. MADAM – palindrome
24. TABLA – hidden word

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,536 by Mudd”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Well, Pete, such a good crossword and no comments.
    Funny, isn’t it?
    [I still think that it is because there's too much time between puzzle & solution]

    Thanks for your blog, which was spot on.

    A crossword full of imagery, with – for us – 8d (GHERKIN) as a highlight.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Yes, how about that — a notable puzzle and nary a comment but yours! For which thanks.

  3. Wil Ransome says:

    Well in view of the above then, I’ll add my positive comments about the puzzle, very late though. Excellent clues throughout, although I am less excited than you are Pete by 22dn, as it seems to me to be the only blemish: light bulb overhead for idea seems very far-fetched, or is there something of which I’m not aware?

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    “Light bulb overhead” is an allusion to the device used in cartoons when a character suddenly has a bright idea. And that seems a fine way to me to clue IDEA.

  5. Wil Ransome says:

    Thanks Pete. Was only vaguely aware of that, but it makes sense.

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