Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,925 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on February 23rd, 2012

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of February 11, 2012

I found this to be a moderately challenging, interestingly offbeat and very clever puzzle by Mudd. There are many clues I think are particularly brilliant, especially 12A (AFTERLIFE), 22A (MAMBA), 27A (ERRAND) and 3D (WATERLOO). Some people, I imagine, might take exception to 24A and 2D because they are not quite complete according to convention; there is however a tradition of clues in this vein and I think they are fine.

1. FISHWIFE – double/cryptic definition. A rare meaning of trout is an irritating or grumpy person, especially a woman.
5. ALMOST – AL[a]MO (heartless mission) + ST (the way)
10. ROOST – ROOS (Australian natives) + T[asmanian]. Roos is, of course, short for kangaroos.
11. REARGUARD – R (right) + (A (a) + R[evolutionary]) in anagram of ARGUED
12. AFTERLIFE – anagram of IF LATER + F[urther] + E[existence]
13. TWINE – TWIN (double) + [rop]E
14. JALOPY – LOP (cut) in JAY (bird)
15. SNIPPET – SN (metal, i.e. tin) + IP (1p) + PET (darling)
18. DRESSER – double definition
20. MAGNET – MAG (publication) + NET (score)
22. MAMBA – MA (one degree) + MBA (another degree)
24. BACKTRACK – cryptic definition: ‘liar’ is ‘rail’ reversed, or BACK TRACK
25. ATTRIBUTE – anagram of A BIT UTTER
26. INURN – [englishma]N + RUN (sprint) + I (single) all backwards. Inurn means to put cremated remains in an urn. I fancy I have come across the word before but I had to look it up to be sure.
27. ERRAND – [athlet]E + R (runs) + R (runs) + AND (and)
28. CEMETERY – [on]E + METE (hand) together in CRY (sob)

1. FORMAT – FOR (on behalf of) + MAT (flat item)
2. SHORTCAKE – cryptic definition: ‘eclai’ is ‘eclair’ abbreviated or SHORT-CAKE
4. FORTIFY – IF (provided) in FORTY (the supposed beginning of life)
6. LIGHTNING STRIKE – LIGHTNING (immediate) + STRIKE (action)
7. OMANI – IN A MO’ (very shortly) backwards
8. TED HEATH – anagram of HAD TEETH
9. CARESS – CARES (tends) + S (second)
16. PREMATURE – TAMER (more submissive) backwards in PURE (virgin)
17. ADAMS ALE – A DAM SALE (perhaps an occasion for buying females). Adam’s ale is a term for water. This is the second time I have come across it in a crossword recently.
19. RUB OUT – RU (rough sport, i.e. Rugby Union) + BOUT (boxing game)
20. MACHETE – CHE (revolutionary Argentinian) in MATE (china)
21. SKINNY – INN (local) in SKY (blue)
23. MOTOR – T[urn] in MOOR (peaty area)

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,925 by Mudd”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks Pete and Mudd.

    Interesting puzzle. My favourites were the 2 reverse clues, 24A and 2D with their aha! moments, even though they had no direct definitions. I thought, as you implied with “cryptic definition”, that there was a connection between BACKTRACK and LIAR, as the latter often does the former, or, to do the former makes the latter out of you.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    I was a bit uncertain how to classify those two clues. They are cryptic definitions in some sense but not in the usual sense. What particularly distinguishes them is that they do not have solutions that are obviously unique.

    I missed that connection between BACKTRACK and LIAR. Well spotted!

  3. Bamberger says:

    7d I thought that an Omani would be an Arab rather than an Asian. What is the dividing line between Asians & Arabs , please?

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    I don’t know how to state a dividing line between Asians and Arabs. Probably people think of Oman as being part of the Middle East or part of the Arab world more than of being part of Asia, but part of Asia it certainly is. Then, while many Arabs are Asians, plenty more are (North) Africans. Maybe using ‘Arab’ in the clue would make it a little easier, I think it does not make it any more precise. It could even be argued that it makes it less precise since there must surely be a few Omanis of other ethnic groups.

  5. watch says:

    Really nice, we need to contemplate! Namaaz is important than anything in the world!

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