Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,955 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on March 29th, 2012

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of March 17, 2012

A couple of people I correspond with did not like this puzzle but I did. Indeed I think that Mudd is getting better and better. I particularly like his set of four, dually intersecting cryptic definitions (MUGGY and BUGGY, and PARKY and SARKY). I also applaud the simple but clever 12A (TEEM) and 16A (DETOUR). I understand that some people had difficulty with 1A (DIWALI); I got it right away but, even with the initial W, was stumped for a good while by 2D (WINNEBAGO).

Across
1. DIWALI – I (I) + LAW (rule) + ID (documentation) all backwards (turned over). Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, one that I have enjoyed myself in India.
4. BEACH BUM – BE A CHUM (act as a friend)
10. PINOT NOIR – RI (US state, i.e. Rhode Island) + ON TO (fully aware of) + NIP (chill in the air) all reversed (when backing)
11. MUGGY – double/cryptic definition
12. TEEM – MEET (come across) backwards (coming across). The definition, ‘come down’, refers to rain.
13. TROGLODYTE – anagram of GOD LOTTERY
15. SPARROW – SPAR (punch) + ROW (line)
16. DETOUR – anagram of ROUTED
19. FOX CUB – X (unknown quantity) in FOCU[s] (the spotlight, almost) + B (born)
21. FINE ART – NEAR (touching perhaps) in FIT (suit)
23. IMPALPABLE – P (power) in IMPALA (antelope) + BL[u]E (a shade less classy)
25. STIR – double definition
27. SARKY – double/cryptic definition
28. EDINBURGH – DIN (the noise) + R (right) in BUG (listening device) all in EH (what?)
29. MAYORESS – anagram of SAYS MORE
30. SEND-UP – END (bottom) in SUP (drink)

Down
1. DEPUTISE – SIT UP (exercise) backwards (upright) in DEE (river). (Explanation corrected.)
2. WINNEBAGO – WIN (accomplishment) + BAG (net) in anagram of ONE. This was a difficult one! The definition is ‘brave’.
3. LATE – LATE[x] (source of rubber virtually)
5. ENRAGED – RAG (what’s lost when angry) in anagram of NEED
6. COMFORTING – FORT (stronghold) in COMING (approach)
7. BUGGY – double/cryptic definition
8. MAYHEM – MAY (tree) backwards + HEM (edge)
9. BORROW – ROB (take) backwards + ROW (the argument)
14. BRICKLAYER – double/cryptic definition
17. UNALTERED – anagram of UNRELATED
18. STARSHIP – STARS (puts in a performance) + HIP (with it)
20. BRALESS – BRA[in]LESS (foolish, homeless)
21. FILLIP – homophone (“Philip”)
22. DIM SUM – DIM (stupid) + SUM (maths problem)
24. PARKY – double/cryptic definition
26. ABLE – [t]ABLE (surface of furniture planed)

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,955 by Mudd”

  1. Wanderer says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this. Agree with you entirely about MUGGY/BUGGY/PARKY/SARKY — struck me as Mudd at his most playful and wittiest. Also had a big tick for BEACH BUM. Hardest for me was WINNEBAGO. I only know this word as a US motor home and had no idea of its original meaning, so that was something new for me.

    I have a slightly different reading of DEPUTISE — I think ‘Stand in’ is the definition, and the word play is SIT UP (exercise) reversed in DEE.

    Many thanks to Pete and Mudd.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Wanderer, Thanks for straightening me out on 1D — I have corrected the explanation. WINNEBAGO was the hardest for me as well. I think it is a tough clue in many ways. Fortunately the first and last letters are checked and there are not too many words starting with W and ending with O.

  3. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks Pete.
    I certainly do not agree with the “couple of people” you correspond with.
    Just like you I think this was an excellent Mudd, although I do not believe that he is getting better and better.
    John Halpern is more some kind of constant factor in Crosswordland.
    What I especially liked about this crossword (according to my notes) was the fact that some definitions were very well hidden by the surfaces, like for example “Stand in” in 1d and “Brave” in 2d.
    I’ve noticed that Mr Halpern recently used similar things in puzzles published in various disguises.
    Only a couple of weeks ago Mudd used “I suspect” in a clue – he did the same thing in a recent Paul and in a recent Punk.
    As Mr Halpern is not a setter to copy himself, I was rather surprised to find BRALESS (here at 20d) in his recent Guardian Prize Crossword.

    That said, I liked this crossword very much.
    12 Across (TEEM) is my CoD.

  4. Bamberger says:

    Huge gaps even with solvers -just too tough for me.In fact this was the hardest Mudd I can remember. I get the impression that the Saturday FT is getting harder.
    Winnebago was one of the few I got simply because I’d seen it before.

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