Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,653 / Mudd

Posted by Agentzero on April 7th, 2011


FT Prize Puzzle of Monday March 28

Good wordplay here, with some well-disguised definitions (16 across, 31 across).  Nothing too hard, although it took me a while to spot the wordplay in clues like 17 down and 23 down.

1 CICADA I C (see) in CAD (rat) + A
4 ELEPHANT *(THE PLANE) There were opportunities for a stronger surface here, I think:  maybe “One bearing a trunk off the plane”?
10 FAIR PLAY F (loud) AIRPLAY (radio exposure)
12 LIMERICK LIME (green) RICK (strain)
13 BENIGN G (force) in BENIN (African country)
15 RAIL dd
16 VAMOOSE MOO (low) in VASE (urn)
20 DEVIANT VIA (through) in DENT (depression)
21 URGE hidden in reverse in greasE GRUesome
25 ANIMAL LAMINA (plate) reversed
28 FRICTION R (conclusion of “war”) in FICTION (lie)
29 UPHILL U[niversity] + H[ospital] in PILL (medicine)
30 ETHEREAL E (beginning to “erase”) + THE + REAL (concrete)
31 PRETTY R[ight] in PETTY (minor)  Amusing, coherent surface, and a definition (“quite”) well hidden by appearing to be part of a common phrase (“quite right”)
2 CHOW MEIN The Reverend might have been linked to the Glorious Leader by a MAO CHAIN
3 DREARY EAR (attention) in DRY (stale)
5 LEAR dd, ref. Edward Lear
6 PERVERSE A poet might be paid on a PER VERSE basis
7 AU LAIT [p]AULA (girl skimmed) + IT
17 DECANTER CAN (container) in DETER (stop).  The clue reads “Container plugs to stop bottle;” I persuaded myself at first that “to stop” was the container indicator, and so spent some time looking for a word meaning “plugs” in a word meaning “bottle”
18 ORGANIST OR (however) + *(A STING)
19 MENTALLY MEN (people) TALLY (make sense)
22 WAFFLE dd
23 FINISH IN in FISH (angle).  Very deceptive to have IN as the contained word, rather than the container indicator
24 BUMPER dd
27 IOTA A TO I (first nine characters of the alphabet) reversed

2 Responses to “Financial Times 13,653 / Mudd”

  1. bamberger says:

    Solved all the top half but had many gaps in the bottom half.
    25a I’m sure this be on old chestnut , but first time for me.
    26a Hadn’t come across this word .
    31a Just couldn’t see this.
    23d Fish =angle never occured to me
    24d Got fixated on jumbo =elephant and while trunk wouldn’t fit , there had to be another part …

  2. Emma says:

    17D is really awesome. One of the very few constructions where all four components can be a containment indicator (i.e., Container, to stop, plugs, bottle).

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