Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,572 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on December 30th, 2010

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of December 18
Another fine Mudd with, what was for me, a slightly difficult top-right corner. My favourite clues here are 13A (AFORESAID), 28A (NO FEAR) and 20D (LULU).

Across
1. DISGRACE – S (son) in DIG (like) + RACE (people)
5. ULSTER – anagram of LUSTRE
9. ATOM BOMB – A (a) TOMB (grave) + O (old) + MB (doctor)
10. BRUNEI – [Isambard Kingdom] BRUNEL (engineer) with last letter switched to I (amending conclusion)
12. TO LET – TO[i]LET (little room to evict one)
13. AFORESAID – “a four said” (cryptically, a number — i.e. homophonically)
14. EGRESS – SERGE (durable material) reversed + [fabric]S
16. SHINGLE – H[oles] in SINGLE (sole)
19. OPTICAL – TIC (little movement) in OPAL (gem)
21. PETARD – [chai]R in anagram of TAPED
23. CABRIOLET – B (black) in CAR (itself) + [v]IOLET (purple – not very)
25. MAIZE – I (individual) in MAZE (elaborate system)
26. SQUEAK – double definition. The clue deviously smells of being a homophone.
27. PHEASANT – H[arp] in PEASANT (low chap)
28. NO FEAR – anagram of ONE FAR
29. FRAILEST – anagram of AS TRIFLE

Down
1. DEARTH – [yea]R in DEATH (extinction)
2. SPOTLIGHT – POT (bank) in SLIGHT (insult)
3. RABAT – TABAR[d] (short jacket) reversed
4. COMPASS – COM[e] (arrive not complete) + PASS (visa)
6. LARCENIST – anagram of IN SCARLET
7. TANGA – A (a) + GNAT (fly) reversed
8. REINDEER – if “sun cheap” then “rain dear”
11. NOUS – NO US (Obama’s lack of involvement)
15. ENCHILADA – anagram of I HAD LANCE
17. GERMINATE – G[reenhouse] + anagram of A METER IN. Tricky because one may suspect that “meter” clues M.
18. MOCCASIN – double definition. The snake referred to is, I believe, more usually called a water moccasin. But just “moccasin” is adequate.
20. LULU – double definition
21. PITCHER – homophone “picture” (drawing). Clever use of “drawing” but not an exact homophone.
22. SEXTET – EX (old lover) in STET (let it be)
24. BLUFF – double definition
25. MIAMI – hidden word

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,572 by Mudd”

  1. bamberger says:

    Failed on 11d . Stared at ?o?s for ages. Tried solvers but couldn’t spot it. If “nous” appeared , I probably saw it as the French “we”.

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Another good puzzle by Mr H.
    Some really original clueing here, like in 10ac (with the ‘amending’ bit), 13ac (the reversed homophone), 8d (REINDEER) and also 11d’s NOUS.

    Thanks, Pete, for your blog.
    But I think you missed an O in 9ac (ATOM BOMB).
    That O must come from ‘old’, so therefore “MB (doctor) visiting A TOMB O (a grave, old)” can only be seen as “A TOMB O + MB”, so nót an insertion of MB.

    In my notes I put a question mark to 14ac (EGRESS).
    I read it as EGRES (reversal of ‘serge’) + [fabric]S, but was slightly puzzled by ‘on the way out’ as the definition.
    EGRESS is either a verb or a noun, in which case ‘the way out’ cóuld be the definition. But then, what about ‘on’?
    Mudd is a very precise setter (and there is no question mark at the end of the clue, too), so I think there must be more to it.
    Maybe ‘on’ is part of the “+S” bit: EGRES with S (ultimate in fabrics) attached to it [=on]?

    Apart from this an enjoyable crossword which wasn’t the easiest of Mudds [which is good].

  3. Pete Maclean says:

    Bamberger, 11d took me a good time as well. Like you I resorted to a solver but then, for me, NOUS jumped out.

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    Sil, Thanks for your corrections. 9ac was a mistake in writing up the explanation while 14ac I parsed wrongly.

  5. Jan says:

    Thanks, Pete and Mudd, a very enjoyable puzzle. My notes include the words, ‘very subdued and straightforward for Mudd – lovely surface readings’.

    11 was one of my favourites. In working it out I came across, Notus (Latin) for the south wind, (Notos in Greek). A similar reference to Obama would give, not only, ‘not US’, but also, ‘not us’.

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