Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,628 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on March 10th, 2011

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of February 26
Two weeks ago someone asked me how long it took me to solve the puzzle. I had not kept track and had little idea of how long I had worked on it. I will not make a habit of doing so but I decided to time myself with this puzzle and recorded 43 minutes. I often take much longer.

In this puzzle, I especially like 10A (MISSTATE) and 18D (COVENTRY). And I am baffled by 26D — I am not even certain that I have the correct answer (LUDO?). (So maybe I should not claim 43 minutes as I am not sure I have even finished it?!)

I am curious about 2D (WINNEBAGO). As a resident of the US, I am very familiar with this brand name but I wonder if people living in Britain and elsewhere are.

Across
1. COWPOX – W (wife) in COP (catch) + OX (bovine)
4. CLEMATIS – M[ade] in anagram of ELASTIC
9. BANGER – double definition
10. MISSTATE -”Miss Tate”! (modern art’s beauty queen)
12. RHETORIC – HR (time) backwards + anagram of EROTIC
13. SALAMI – SALA[d] (vegetarian option not finished) + I[']M (Mudd’s) backwards
15. THAI -homophone (“tie”)
16. SMATTERING -MATTER (stuff) in SING (carol)
19. PRONOUNCED – double definition
20. OSLO – O (old) + S[weden] L[atvia] O[man]
23. NUGGET – EGG (food item) in TUN (barrel) all backwards
25. SPARKLER – double definition
27. ACANTHUS – A (a) + CAN (vessel) + THUS (just like that)
28. MAGNUM -double definition
29. TEDDY BOY – D (died) in anagram of BODY YET
30. TAVERN – A (a) + V (number of gold rings — as in the 12 Days of Christmas) together in TERN (bird)

Down
1. CABARET – C (note) + A (a) + BAR (piece of music) + ET (film)
2. WINNEBAGO – WIN (get) + BAG (item of luggage) in NEO (new)
3. OREGON – anagram of GOONER
5. LAIR – [b]LAIR (former PM is guillotined)
6. MUSCATEL – anagram of CUT MEALS
7. TIARA – A (a) + RAIT[a] (dish from India cut) all backwards
8. STEWING – ST (canonised) + EWING (J.R. — as in “Dallas”)
11. PIGMENT – PIGMEN (farmers) + T[ractor]
14. ATTEMPT – AT (at) + TEMPT (draw)
17. INSOLENCE – IN (popular) + SOLE (fish) + N[i]CE (nice to leave one). I am not totally comfortable with “nice to leave one” when a more standard expression would be “one to leave nice”.
18. COVENTRY – COVEN (bad spellers) + TRY (go). Delicious!
19. PENDANT – END (resolution) in PANT (gasp)
21. OARSMEN – R (river) in AS (as) all in OMEN (warning sign)
22. ARCANA – hidden word
24. GRAND – double definition
26. LUDO – O[rient] + ??? (See comment 1 below)

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13,628 by Mudd”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Funny enough, Pete, I found this Mudd relatively tough.
    Even though there were a few Easy Starters like 20ac (OSLO), 29ac (TEDDY BOY), 1d (CABARET) and 3d (OREGON).

    I liked the playfulness of STEWING (8d) and PIGMENT (11d).

    LUDO (26d) was the last the go in.
    Quite tricky, indeed.
    My parsing is:
    ‘rowdy’ is LOUD, then ‘Orient’s heading’ [O] goes down (‘relegation’), leading to LUDO (definition: game).

    Clue of the Day: WINNEBAGO (2d).
    Never heard of this vehicle before, but a great surface.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Aha! That wordplay for LUDO is very clever. Thank you, Sil.

  3. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Pete.
    Another excellent prize puzzle from Mudd.
    COWPOX,STEWING and COVENTRY were all brilliant,as was my last entry LUDO.
    This took me nearly as long as all the rest of the puzzle.Using Orient was a nice bit of misdirection,I spent a lot of time trying to fit JUDO or SUMO before eventually hitting on the correct answer.

  4. bamberger says:

    Did a lot better than the last three Mudds but defeated by 11d, 16a & 26d. Perhaps could have got the first two but 26d just seems silly rather than clever.

  5. Pete Maclean says:

    Scarpia, bamberger, thanks for writing. I am very glad to know that I was not the only person to have trouble with 26D!

  6. anax says:

    What I love about Mudd/Punk/Paul is that he lulls you into a false sense of security. As with so many of his puzzles I whizzed through much of this thinking ‘Nah, bit of a walk-over’ but then, as ever, he hit me with some real trickery. 26d was my last too, but the -U-O pattern offered very few possibilities. LUDO stood out as the main contender because it matched an apparently valid definition in the clue but it took me ages to spot the wordplay – at which point I had the delicious ‘Aha!’ pleasure of seeing it, and for me that makes a puzzle exciting and satisfying.
    The ‘relegation’ trick is quite popular with setters – it’s even had quite a few outings in the ostensibly Ximenean Times puzzle. I think it only caused problems here because there rest of the clues were, generally, nowhere as tough. But it’s completely fair and a clever little sting in the tail.

  7. Coffee says:

    Obviously I’ve spent too much time across the pond, as Winnebago was the first one in – never got 27A or 26D. Quite a few that I got without knowing why, so thanks for the blog.

  8. Pete Maclean says:

    Coffee, Thank you for commenting. I have mentioned this before but one of the key differences I have found in being a blogger is that I have to figure out the full working of every clue. If I can! Previously I would frequently solve clues without really knowing why.

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