Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,092 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on September 6th, 2012

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of August 25, 2012

For a variety of reasons, I am late in posting this blog entry. I apologize for the tardiness. Sorry.

I found the lower-right quadrant of this puzzle to be rather difficult, as I know some others did. I also had trouble with 1A since I have little knowledge of the needed parlance. I think Mudd has three excellent clues in 18A (EX-CON), 15D (DREAMBOAT) and 19D (CROCHET), while I have some concern about 26A (STITCH).

Across
1. BRAHMS – double/cryptic definition. The use of ‘Brahms’ to mean drunk comes from Cockney rhyming slang where ‘Brahms and Liszt’ is used, rhyming with ‘pissed’. Not that I knew this until I looked it up!
4. GROCER – homophone (“grosser”)
8. CAPRICE – CAP (hat) + RICE (grains)
9. BARCODE – COD (swimmer) in BARE (nude)
11. COMPLIMENT – anagram of LIP in COMMENT (remark)
12. NICE – double definition, the resort being Nice on the French Riviera
13. SUSHI – SUS (Texas, as South US) + HI (greeting). I am not sure I like SUS being clued this way but I have seen it before.
14. IN DETAIL – anagram of NAILED IT
16. DISPATCH – SPA (tub) in DITCH (channel)
18. EX-CON – cryptic definition
20. BULL – double definition
21. DISEMBOWEL – M (male) in anagram of BODIES + WEL[l] (not entirely healthy)
23. SPINACH – PIN (leg) in SAC (bag) + H (hot)
24. POCHARD – COP (policeman) backwards + HARD (tough). I don’t recall hearing of this bird before.
25. RARITY – R (river) + IT (it) together in RAY (marine fish)
26. STITCH – double definition. So the first is a by-example definition suggesting that STITCH is a kind of back. I find this hard to see. For me, BACK is more a kind of STITCH although I think even that would not stand as a firm definition by example. Unless I am missing something, always possible, I fancy Mudd compromised on the wordplay for what is certainly an excellent surface.

Down
1. BEANO – hidden word. I guessed this easily enough although I was unfamiliar with BEANO meaning party. I happen to be on holiday and do not have all my usual dictionaries at hand; the one that I do tells me that beano is a kind of party game rather than a party per se.
2. APROPOS – A (a) + PROP (rugby player) + OS (huge, i.e. Out-Sized)
3. MACHINIST – A (a) + CHIN (feature) together in MIST (film)
5. ROAST – double definition
6. COCONUT – COCO (Chanel) + NUT (aficionado)
7. REDUCTION – ED (journalist) in RUCTION (trouble). Here’s a useful word to know, ruction — which I happened to, vaguely.
10. FETISHIST – anagram of SHIFTIEST
13. SKI JUMPER – anagram of UMPIRES J[o]K[e]
15. DREAMBOAT – anagram of OR BAD MEAT
17. PILSNER – L[oving] + SN (partners, as in bridge) together in PIER (Brighton feature)
19. CROCHET – CRO[t]CHET (note wasting time)
21. DUCAT – A (a) in DUCT (canal)
22. EARTH – double definition

6 Responses to “Financial Times 14,092 by Mudd”

  1. crypticsue says:

    You obviously didn’t solve the DT cryptics back in the late 60s early 70s. The POCHARD was a regular visitor to the crossword, so much so that when I ever saw one, I used to refer to it as the crossword puzzle duck.

    Tricky but nice – a perfect Saturday puzzle, thanks to Mudd and Pete

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Hello crypticsue. Thank you for commenting. I may have tackled a very few DT cryptics back in the early 70s, probably without completing any clue for POCHARD.

  3. James says:

    For the “more disgusting retailer” at 4A, I had ICKIER which caused me no little trouble with the down clues.

  4. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Pete & Mudd.

    This was very enjoyable and, even though I had opted for BRAHMS in 1a, the double meaning of the clue escaped me.

    Your research, as always, is impeccable.

    Naughty but impeccable.

  5. Wil Ransome says:

    26ac seems to me to be OK, Pete: there are various types of stitch and one of them (I assume) is a back stitch, so to say ‘For example, back’ is to say ‘One example of a stitch is a back stitch’.

    Where I went wrong was to assume in 4ac that a fowler (“fouler”) was a retailer, someone who sold fowl; but he’s really more someone who catches fowl, I think.

  6. Pete Maclean says:

    Wil, I think now that I was a bit mixed up about 26ac. Looking at it again in light of your comment it does seem more reasonable. Thanks.

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