Fifteensquared

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Financial Times 13,801 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on September 29th, 2011

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of September 18

Here we have a very clever puzzle from Mudd. I polished off most of it at a good clip but had a hard time cracking the top-left quadrant. I got 13A (RATE) quickly but did not feel sure of it until I had checking letters. In retrospect 11A (VIOLENT) was not hard but it took me a while. And while I figured 9A must be LISZT, I did not understand the clue’s wordplay. My clues of choice here are 11A (VIOLENT), 28A (BLIMEY) and 5D (PAGE THREE GIRL).

Across
1. DOUBLE – double definition
4. SPAMMING – MM (two miles) in SPAIN (the country) + G[rimsby]
9. LISZT – ???. I feel sure “scorer” must be the (cryptic) definition here and LISZT the scorer concerned but I can do nothing with “with his partner, drunk?” The mystery is revealed in the comments below.
10. CIGARILLO – anagram of [ca]R LOGICAL I
11. VIOLENT – [televisio]N in VIOLET (colour)
12. TACITUS – I (one) in TACT (diplomacy) + US (America)
13. RATE – double definition
14. FEARLESS – F[rench] + EARLESS (unable to take in conversation?)
17. DETAILED – DE-TAILED (Manx)
19. OGRE – ERGO (so) backwards
22. OBSCENE – BSC (degree) + [guil]E both in ONE (individual)
24. IGNORED – anagram of RIDGE ON
25. FORESTALL – FOREST (the trees) + ALL (everyone)
26. MELON – ME (setter) + LON[don] (half of capital)
27. HABANERA – A (a) + BAN (block) both in HERA (goddess)
28. BLIMEY – LIME (green item) in BY (times, as in multiplication)

Down
1. DELIVERY – DELI (shop) + VERY (really). “Chinaman” here refers to a kind of delivery in cricket.
2. UNSPOTTED – double definition. It is so long since I played dominoes that I forgot that one in a set is blank. I believe the thingies on dominoes are properly called pips, not spots, but I think this clue works just fine.
3. LITTER – double definition
5. PAGE THREE GIRL – EG (say) backwards + IR (Irish) both in anagram of TELEGRAPH
6. MIRACLE – A (a) + CL (small measure of liquid) both in MIRE (bog)
7. ISLET – I (I) + L (50) in SET (catch)
8. GLOSSY – LOSS (death) in G[or]Y
10. CATHERINE PARR – anagram of I REACH PARTNER
15. SUGARPLUM – PRAGU[e] (European capital almost entirely) backwards in SLUM (squalid district)
16. TENDENCY – TEN (a number) + C (a hundred) in DENY (refuse)
18. TREASON – [assailan]T + REASON (motive)
20. LOOFAH – OO (two whole circuits) in anagram of HALF
21. ANIMAL – LAMINA (plate) reversed
23. SHRUB – anagram of BRUSH

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,801 by Mudd”

  1. jmac says:

    Hi Pete,

    Thanks for the blog. I also found the north-west quadrant the trickiest.

    Re 9 ac. this is a reference to the rhyming slang, “Brahms and Lizst” = pissed.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    jmac, Thank you for that! I know some rhyming slang (“apples and pears”) but have never come across “Brahms and Lizst”.

  3. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Many thanks Pete for your blog.
    I really liked this Mudd, also because I did finish it unaided (something that – believe it or not – doesn’t happen all too often).

    Two remarks:
    27 ac should be HABANERA, a dance made famous by Bizet’s opera Carmen. The goddess is Hera.
    And 1d is not a double definition. It is DELI (shop) + VERY (really).

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    Sil, Thanks for the corrections. I need to check things better!

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