Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,640 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on March 24th, 2011

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of March 12
I polished off most of this puzzle fairly quickly but for 23A (TELEVISE) I had to resort to a pattern-look-up utility! It’s a fine clue but tough especially since the checked letters are mostly Es. While some clues strike me as uninspired (26A, for example), I applaud 12A (BENDER), 24A (UNDIES) and 13D (EAST BERLIN).

Across
1. CATACOMB – CAT (animal) + A (a) + COMB (groom)
5. CLOSET – S[af]E in CLOT (Charlie)
9. AIREDALE – AI (the main road, i.e. the A1) + RED (wine) + ALE (beer)
10. HARLEM – L[emons] in HAREM (concubines)
11. BLAIRITE -LAIR (den) in BITE (taste)
12. BENDER – B[art]ENDER (artless landlord)
14. RAGAMUFFIN – anagram of GAM[e] + RUFFIAN
18. CAPRI PANTS – CAP (top) + RIP (tear) + ANTS (soldiers)
22. ODENSE – O (old) + DENSE (thick)
23. TELEVISE – LEVIS (trousers) in TEE (peg)
24. UNDIES – anagram of IS NUDE
25. ALL RIGHT – double/cryptic definition
26. ARDENT – A (a) + R (river) + DENT (hollow)
27. SNOWDROP – double/cryptic definition

Down
1. CRABBY – double definition
2. TURBAN – BRUT (dry) backwards + AN (an)
3. CEDARS – anagram of SACRED
4. MILITIAMAN – M[ao] + anagram of INITIAL A[i]M
6. LEAVE OUT – anagram of TO VALUE [furnitur]E
7. SOLIDIFY – LID (top) + IF (if) in SOY (sauce)
8. TAMARIND – TAMARIN (monkey) + D (died)
13. EAST BERLIN – anagram of N LIBERATES
15. SCROFULA – anagram of FOUL SCAR
16. SPLENDID – L (fifty) in SPEND (fork out) + ID (passport)
17. EINSTEIN – [snakebit]E + IN (in) + STEIN (beer mug). I like the definition here, an old-fashioned expression I fancy given that I rarely hear it these days. Reminds me of Dalziel referring to Pascoe as “clever clogs”.
19. HEBREW – HE (man) + BREW (drink)
20. WINGER – cryptic definition
21. BELT UP – double definition

6 Responses to “Financial Times 13,640 by Mudd”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, Pete.
    This wasn’t one of Mudd’s very best – a rather ordinary puzzle, with for me UNDIES (24ac) as the absolute highlight.
    At 23ac (TELEVISE) I did put a question mark.
    I liked the surface and the construction is clear, but in what sense is ‘put on’ synonymous to ‘televise’?

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Pete I enjoyed this.

    It was nice to meet The Grauniad’s Paul in one of his other guises.

    TELEVISE was my last entry and, for me, the best clue.

    Here’s mud in your eye.

  3. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Pete.
    I agree not one of Mudd’s very best but still an enjoyable puzzle.
    Have to agree with you pick of best clues 12,23 and 24 across and particuarly 13 down.
    Sil,re. TELEVISE – the following is from The Free Dictionary –
    televise [?t?l??va?z]
    vb
    1. (Communication Arts / Broadcasting) to put (a programme) on television

  4. jmac says:

    well I enjoyed it. I suppose that when a setter is capable of the most brilliant puzzles, anything less can seem flat by comparison. I quite like having a few clues like the one that gives us ARDENT as it means I can make a start – very important for moderate solvers. Thanks for the blog Pete.

  5. Pete Maclean says:

    jmac, Thanks for commenting. I too value having a few relatively easy clues to get me started. In this puzzle, if I remember correctly, the first answer I got was to 22A (ODENSE).

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Scarpia @3, yes, TELEVISE means ‘to put on air’ or similar but for me nót just ‘put on’.
    In Mudd’s clue there is no allusion to something more than ‘put on’, so I am not convinced (yet).
    That said, the Chambers Thesaurus gives us ‘put on’ for TELEVISE, but nót the other way around. I would say, of course not – it is not synonymous.
    Mudd just needed this for a splendid surface and thought to get away with it, thanks to the Almighty Thesaurus.
    Well, I do not let him :).

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