Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,735 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on July 14th, 2011

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of July 2

I enjoyed this relatively easy Mudd. Easy except that 24A (EVERTON) stumped me for a good while. My favourite clue is 11A (DISAPPOINT) while I am unsure about 22D (AGONY?).

Across
1. FACTOR – F (strong) + ACTOR (player)
4. WIZARD – double definition
8. INGRESS – anagram of SINGERS
9. SLATING – double definition
11. DISAPPOINT – cryptic definition (dis-appoint)
12. SEED – double definition
13. JUNTA – JUN (month) + TA (volunteers — Territorial Army)
14. TIDINESS – anagram of INSISTED. “It’s” seems to get in the way a bit.
16. SMASHING – double definition — although one that seems hardly cryptic — or maybe just too easy
18. ROAST – R[ecipe] + OAST (oven)
20. OSLO – hidden word
21. BRANDY SNAP – RANDY (hot) + NS (partners) in BAP (roll)
23. BATTERY – double definition
24. EVERTON – VERT (green) in anagram of ONE
25. TENDER – double definition
26. SLINKY – NIL (nothing) backwards in SKY (blue)

Down
1. FUNGI – GNU (animal) in IF (poem) backwards
2. CERTAIN – ER (Queen) + T[ied] both in CAIN (murderer)
3. OESOPHAGI – anagram of A HOOP IS EG
5. ISLET – IS (is) + LET (occupied)
6. ARTISAN – [p]ARTISAN (supporter beheaded)
7. DINNER SET – [fla]N in anagram of INSERTED
10. HISTOGRAM – anagram of MIGHT SOAR
13. JUMP-START – JUMP (flinch once) + START (flinch again)
15. DAREDEVIL – LIVE (breathing) + R (right) in DEAD (then not [breathing]) all backwards. So “surfacing” is a reversal indicator? I do not get that.
17. SHORTEN – SH (don’t say a word) + OR (or) + TEN (number)
19. ALSO-RAN – A (a) + LSO (orchestra) + RAN (managed)
21. BARGE – double definition
22. AGONY – ???. I guess the definition is “pain” and the answer AGONY but I cannot make sense of “try cutting a small amount of”. Please see comment 1 below for the explanation.

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13,735 by Mudd”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Hi Pete, once more thanks for your blog.
    I have to say that I didn’t enjoy this Mudd that much.
    Especially in the SW there were so many of these annoying double definitions (BATTERY, BARGE, TENDER, SMASHING) that I almost threw in the towel.

    Your probably last one (EVERTON – 24ac) was for me the Highlight of the Crossword.

    Also good to see that INGRESS (8ac) wasn’t, for once, that French painter + S.

    In 15d (DAREDEVIL) I have no problem with ‘surfacing’ as a reversal indicator. It is a down clue and therefore ‘surfacing’ means ‘going to the surface’, so upward.
    However, in that clue I am not very happy with ‘breathing’ for LIVE. I think, when you’re ‘breathing’ you are ALIVE.

    Re your problem with 22d (AGONY):
    it is GO (try) inside (cutting) ANY (a small amount).

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    So, “any” can mean a small amount? Oh, right — it can indeed! Thanks, Sil.

    I remain not too happy with “surfacing” as a reversal indicator but I find “breathing” okay for LIVE: Here is a live specimen. Here is a breathing specimen. Not perfect but okay.

  3. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Pete & Mudd

    This was so easy for a Prize Puzzle that, once again, if I’d been able to beg, borrow or steal a stamp from somewhere then I would have really fancied my chances of a prize.

  4. scchua says:

    Thanks Pete and Mudd.

    This was a relatively easy Mudd, and enjoyable as the solving was at a steady pace. Favourites were 14A DISAPPOINT, 7D DINNER SET and 3D OESAPHAGI. I thought “live”=”breathing” and “surfacing” as an indicator were okay. Also, I think that 12A is SHED, double definition of “drop” and “something in the garden”.

  5. Bryan says:

    Thanks to Scchua @ 4, I now see that I had DINING SET for 7d and SINK for 12a.

    I’m sure that everyone (including Mudd) will agree that my solutions are better.

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    I agree with scchua about 12ac.
    Just saw that I also had SHED (for the same reasons).

  7. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Oh, and I think for 22d I should have been a bit more precise:
    GO (try) inside ANY (a small amount of). So, with “of”.

  8. Pete Maclean says:

    I too initially had DINING SET for 7D.

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