Posted by Pete Maclean on June 16th, 2011
Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of June 4
Here is a fine Mudd only with a couple of clues that I am not completely sure about my reading of. My favourites are the cleverly misdirecting 2D (BEESWAX), the delightfully simple 8D (COLERIDGE) and the nicely cryptic 23D (DRAKE). I had the unusual experience of coming up with wrong answers at first for four clues; fortunately it was fairly clear that they had to be wrong.
1. PUBLIC BAR – PUBLIC (known) + BAR (staff)
6. FRANC – RAN (was valid) in FC (Liverpool, for example). I think the sense of “ran” here is a legal one.
9. CLEAVER – [but]C[her] + LEAVER (one going)
10. GENERAL – double definition
11. TOWER – TOW (tug) + ER (perhaps)
12. BIG DIPPER – ??? I wonder if I am missing something here. “Ride monster” seems to be a reasonable, somewhat cryptic definition but “one which flies” does not seem relevant. (And see comment 1 below.)
14. TAX – homophone (“tacks”). Faced initially with __X, I figured this had to be LOX (homophone “locks”) but that sure does not fit with “demand”!
15. ELASTIC BAND – anagram of ITS BALANCED
17. WARTS AND ALL – WAR (fighting) + SAND (beach) in TALL (unlikely — as in tall story)
19. CUE – homophone (“Q”)
20. CAMBRIDGE – MB (doctor) + RID (free) both in CAGE (trapped)
22. BROAD – double definition
24. INNINGS – double definition. Thought this might be STRETCH at first.
26. CHIMERA – CHIMER (one rings) + A (a)
27. REEVE – double definition. I was not familiar with reeve meaning to thread (as a rope through a ring).
28. AT ANY RATE – double definition
1. PICOT – CO (firm) in PIT (hole). Picot means a loop in lace.
2. BEESWAX – W (western) + SEE (view) both backwards in BAX (composer). I wonder how many people looked up lists of Polish composers?
3. INVERNESS – IN (popular) + VERNE (author) + SS (ship). One of my favourite places in Scotland!
4. BIRD-BRAINED – double/cryptic definition
5. RAG – double definition
6. FUNDI – FUND (finance) + I (individual)
7. AGRIPPA – homophone (“a gripper”). Of a number of Agrippas, I guess this clue refers to Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa — and definitely not the only Agrippa I ever knew (who was a cat).
8. COLERIDGE – COLE (cabbage) + RIDGE (line). I had not known that a cole is a type of cabbage.
13. GUTTA PERCHA – GUT (empty) + TAPER (narrow) + CH (church) + A (a)
14. TOWN CRIER – homophonic spoonerism (“crown tire”)
16. CELEBRITY – B (black) in CELERITY (speed)
18. ROMANCE – double definition? The two meanings seem a bit too similar for this to be a simple double definition. Am I missing something?
19. CHOLERA – HOLE (break) in ARC (line) backwards
21. RINSE – hidden word
23. DRAKE – double/cryptic definition
25. SPA – SPA[n] (short bridge). I initially guessed TAP for this one, TAP being short for the Tappan-Zee Bridge — but that is hardly well known.