Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,050 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on July 19th, 2012

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of July 7, 2012

A couple of tricky clues here and three especially good ones in 4A (ESCARGOT), 20A (DECIMAL POINT) and 23A (CIAO).

Across
1. DEPART – TRA[p]PED (caught, having missed middle) backwards
4. ESCARGOT – anagram of C STORAGE
9. ASCENT – AS (seeing that) + CENT (money)
10. MINISTER – IN (home) in MISTER (bloke)
12. RUMP – RUM (odd) + P (soft)
13. WHOLE – homophone (“hole”)
14. LEGO – hidden word
17. BOUNCY CASTLE – anagram of CLEAN CUT BOYS
20. DECIMAL POINT – anagram of DOT IN PLACE IM
23. CIAO – CIA (investigators) + O (nothing)
24. AGILE – reverse hidden word
25. ANON – [c]ANON (standard won’t begin)
28. EPIDEMIC – DEMI (half) in EPIC (legend)
29. THICKO – HICK (provincial type) in T[revis]O
30. MANDRAKE – MAN (one male) + DRAKE (a second male)
31. GREENE – GREEN (juvenile) + E (English)

Down
1. DIATRIBE – AID (charity) backwards + TRIBE (family)
2. PICK-ME-UP – double definition
3. RING – double/cryptic definition
5. SHILLY SHALLY – homophone (“silly sally” as possibly spoken when intoxicated)
6. AXIS – A (a) + SIX (boundary) backwards. I became involved in some discussion about the definition here (‘a turning point’). Usually an axis is thought of as a line rather than a point but, if one considers turning something two-dimensional, then surely the axis of that rotation must be a point. So the definition may not be the best but I think it works. However, since a boundary can hardly be a point, another definition might have improved the surface reading.
7. GUTTER – G[eneral] + UTTER (complete)
8. TURBOT – TO (to) + BRUT (dry) all backwards
11. SHOCKING PINK – KING PIN (bowler’s target) in SHOCK (hair)
15. SCREW – double definition
16. SLOPE – SLOP (sustenance for the swine) + E (European)
18. PINNACLE – [hul]L in PINNACE (boat). A pinnace, which I had to look up, is a boat for communication between ship and shore.
19. STANHOPE – anagram of PANT[i]HOSE
21. SCREAM – S[tand-up] + CREAM (best)
22. FABIAN – FAB (great) + IAN (Scot)
26. BEER – BE E.R. (rule the Commonwealth). Well, Her Majesty does not exactly rule the Commonwealth but she is head of it so I think this clue is fine.
27. CHAR – double definition. I fancy I have seen this clue, or one very like it, before — not that there is anything wrong in that.

3 Responses to “Financial Times 14,050 by Mudd”

  1. Richard says:

    Thanks for the blog, Pete.

    I did like 5, groaned when I got 11, and was completely thrown by 26.

  2. Bamberger says:

    The top half was ok but I couldn’t get
    18d Pinnace -well I never
    19d Stanhope will always be a place in County Durham to me.
    22d
    25a You’ll have to help me out here -canon =standard?
    28a
    31a Green = juvenile never occured to me.

    Glad you were blogging that and not me.

  3. Pete Maclean says:

    Richard, Thanks for commenting. 26 is crafty for sure!

    Bamberger, A canon can mean a standard text for some subject. Not a common use but one I managed to find lurking in a deep recess of my mind.

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