Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,592 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on January 27th, 2011

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of January 15
I had trouble finishing the lower-left quadrant of this puzzle and maintain a reservation about 17D (EGYPTIAN). My top clues here are 28A (BEGRUDGE) and 8D (LEMONADE).

Across
1. WITHDRAW – WITH (using) + DRAW (attraction). I note that WITHHOLD fits the clue as well.
5. AT WILL – A (a) + TWILL (woven fabric)
10. IN-OFF – [w]INO (alchoholic blowing top) + FF (very string). The definition, pot, refers to snooker where an “in-off” is a pot made by hitting one ball into a pocket off another.
11. CLINGFILM – LING (whole fish) + FI[sh] in CL[a]M (seafood without a)
12. GREEN BELT – GREEN (unsophisticated) + BELT (hit)
13. TIMON – TIM (Little Dickensian character, i.e. Tiny Tim) + ON (working)
14. STATUS – TAT (rubbish) + SUS (Texas). I guess Texas clues SUS as South United States although I have not come across this before.
15. LEOPARD – POE (author) backwards in LARD (fat)
18. GURNARD – RAN (managed) in DRUG (dope) all backwards
20. CHERRY – HER (that woman’s) in CRY (call)
22. PLANT – PLAN (strategy) + [governmen]T
24. MARGARINE – GAR (fish) + IN (in) both in MARE (sea)
25. INDOCHINA – IN (popular) + DO (party) + CHIN (hit) + A (a). How does “hit” clue CHIN?
26. KENYA – [truc]K + ENYA (singer)
27. NUTMEG – NUT (fanatic) + MEG (girl)
28. BEGRUDGE – anagram of BUGGERED

Down
1. WHINGE – [somethin]G in WHINE (complain)
2. TWO-SEATER – W (wife) in SOT (drinker) backwards + EATER (diner)
3. DEFINITE ARTICLE – TEAR (rent) in anagram of DECLINE IF IT
4. ARCHERS – [m]ARCHERS (heading off demonstrators)
6. TIGHTROPE WALKER – anagram of THE LAW PORK in TIGER (wildcat)
7. IDIOM – I (one) + O (nothing) in DIM (stupid)
8. LEMONADE – A (article) in LE MONDE (foreign newspaper)
9. PISTOL – SIP (drink) backwards + TO (to) + L[ips]
16. ARRAIGNED – anagram of DANGER AIR
17. EGYPTIAN – GYP (trouble) in ET (film) + IAN (boy). Does “mummy” really define EGYPTIAN? I cannot see how. True, mummies are, in the popular mind, associated very much with Egypt but are far from unique to that country.
19. DOMAIN – DO (act) + MAIN (leading)
20. CORSAGE – SAG (dip) in CORE (heart)
21. SEWAGE – WAG (humour from this person) in SEE (diocese)
23. AUDIT – AUDI (car) + [sea]T

11 Responses to “Financial Times 13,592 by Mudd”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    We all experience solving crosswords in a different way, but we had a lot of fun with this puzzle.
    A bit more depth than an average Mudd, and plenty of smiling surfaces.

    BEGRUDGE (8ac) was a favourite, as was (the very Paulian surface of) SEWAGE (21d) ['Product of toilet humour from this person in diocese'].
    ‘Act leading the field’ for DOMAIN was another clean-cut clue.
    Unlike you, Pete, we didn’t have any problem with ‘Mummy’ for EGYPTIAN (17d).
    The somewhat unusual definition adds to the fun (and that of the surface, in particular).

    We have seen SUS for ‘South United States’ before in ‘that’ infamous Nimrod crossword in the Indy, in which the other John H referred to more than one state – Mudd’s Texas is, in our opinion, not enough. So not very keen on this.

    14ac (MARGARINE): we took this as ‘gar’ in ‘marine’, as an adjective meaning ‘sea-‘ (like in seafood).
    25ac (INDOCHINA): ‘to chin’ is to hit on the chin, it’s both in Chambers and the ODE.

    Only major problem in this otherwise fine crossword: 27 ac.
    ‘Spice girl pursued by fanatic’ surely leads to NUT following MEG.
    Therefore, we are inclined to see the answer NUTMEG as wrong.

  2. Jan says:

    Thanks, Pete, I share your reservations about MUMMY – it’s the only one I circled. I now remember that I was also unhappy with the clue for NUTMEG, as was Sil.

    I remembered the verb ‘to chin’ someone from way back when but it isn’t in my Chambers – I must treat myself to the new edition. It doesn’t have pes, either, from the other week. I haven’t checked Collins.

    I thought it was ‘gar’ in ‘marine’ and BEGRUDGE was particularly good.

    All in all a very enjoyable puzzle – thank you Mudd.

  3. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Pete.
    A good,fun puzzle from Mudd.
    Like you,I wasn’t keen on mummy for EGYPTIAN but I suppose mummys are most closely associated with ancient Egypt…what I call an allusive definition.
    I agree with Sil,whichever way I try to read it,27 across is wrong.Also read 14 across in the same way as Sil.
    I think the question mark in 14 across makes it o.k.
    21 down was my favourite.

  4. bamberger says:

    I solved the fewest amount of clues in this than any other FT Sat/Mon puzzle since I started doing them last year.
    11a Out of all the fish in the world, ling is quite obscure and then you have to pick the correct shellfish. Hard.
    14a SUS new to me
    15a Very difficult having to get the correct author and the correct alternative to fat.
    18a Not a word I’ve come across.
    24a I would hardly call margarine an item of food-though I did once know someone who ate half a tub with a spoon rather than throw it out. And even then gar and mare aren’t obvious.
    20d Corsage new to me
    26a It wouldn’t have hurt to let us know if we wanted a male or female singer.
    8d Of all the foreign newspapers , you need this one. Surely we could have been told it was french or if that was too obvious, european

    Well done Pete-clearly a tough one.

  5. nmsindy says:

    I guess that competition puzzles, with more time to solve them before the deadline, can be allowed to be a little bit harder and, esp looking at bamberger’s comments at #4, I think that is what happened here. The clues seemed to me to be fair, but it took me quite a bit longer to solve than the FT normally would do on average. Have seen various US States used in the S US device in the past eg Florida (14 Across). Must admit that in 8dn when I saw ‘foreign newspaper’ Le Monde was the first that occurred to me. GURNARD was new to me too, but, when I’d the crossing letters, I guessed it tentatively from the wordplay and was then pleased to confirm it when verifying and have put it in my memory bank.

  6. Pete Maclean says:

    Sil, I realize I was wrong about 24ac (MARGARINE). I was thinking of MARE (as in Weston-Super-Mare) but there would need to be an extra insertion indicator for that to work! Thanks for the correction.

    I have seen discussions before about the use of “pursuing” as in 27ac (NUTMEG). I understand the reasoning of those who object to it but I think it works okay.

  7. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Pete, when you say ‘it works okay’, then I’m very curious to know how.
    Until then I can only read “MEG pursued by NUT” as NUT following/going after/chasing MEG.

  8. Pete Maclean says:

    Well, perhaps it comes down to the fact that such things can be understood to depend on the viewpoint of the observer. If MEG is moving from left to right across your field of vision and NUT is pursuing MEG then you will observe them with NUT on the left relative to MEG. Thus NUT+MEG. And perhaps it does not help, in this case, to think of pursuing as “following” since “following” has a broader meaning.

  9. Sil van den Hoek says:

    When this indeed was once a point of discussion, I’m glad I wasn’t part of it.
    And I think, Mudd would have been be pleased too.
    I think he was so much focused on “Spice (+) Girl” that he made a mistake.
    And a mistake it is, in my perception.
    I just do not want to understand what you’re saying in #8.
    If we allow this, then up=down, above=under, before=after – and so on and on and on.

  10. Wil Ransome says:

    Pete I think you’re absolutely correct on nutmeg, despite Sil’s fervent pleas.

  11. Pete Maclean says:

    Wil, Thank you for that. I felt strongly that it could not be a mistake on Mudd’s part and your confirmation makes my confidence very strong.

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