Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,158 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on November 22nd, 2012

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of November 10, 2012

I found this to be a somewhat mediocre and lacklustre Mudd (which is fine; not every one has to be a gem). The only clues I can single out for special praise are 19A (CLAPTRAP) — which took me a while to get as I forgot that ‘chops’ can mean ‘mouth’ — and 20A (DEFLATE).

Across
1. RIPEST – PI (good) backwards in REST (sleep). ‘Pi’ here is short for pious.
4. ABDICATE – CID (investigators) backwards in ABATE (decline)
10. PAK CHOI – PAK (homophone of “pack”) + CHO[p] (cut shortly) + I (one). This Chinese vegetable is more commonly called bok choi (or bok choy) in the US.
11. WOTCHER – TOW (drag) backwards + CHER (singer). I have been familiar with this greeting since I was a boy but, until I looked it up after solving this clue, I did not know what the word derived from. It turns out to be a corruption of “what cheer?”.
12. OGRE – ERGO (therefore) backwards
13. NAPOLEONIC – anagram of PLACE [s]OON IN
15. CLAMMY – double/cryptic definition
16. LEGLESS – double definition (“out of it” being one)
20. DEFLATE – D E-FLAT E (run of notes). I don’t know how chromatic fits in presumably because I am not a musician.
21. SCHOOL – double definition
24. MANIPULATE – anagram of UP NAIL in MATE (spouse)
26. SNIP – S (small) + NIP (bite)
28. AMERICA – A (a) + M (male) + ERICA (girl)
29. ADMIRER – A (a) + MIRE (difficult situation) in DR (doctor)
30. MEDITATE – T (a little time) in MEDIATE (act as arbitrator)
31. DOLLOP – DOLL (model) + OP (work)

Down
1. REPROACH – PRO (for) in REACH (contact)
2. POKER FACE – POKER (pusher) + FACE (cheek)
3. SOHO – SO (very) + HO[ly]
5. BOWL OVER – BOW (homophone of “beau”, one sweetheart) + LOVER (second sweetheart)
6. IN THE BLACK – double definition
7. ASHEN – SHE (woman) in [t]AN (brown removing hat)
8. ENRICH – anagram of CHI[ld]REN
9. LILAC – I (one) in CALL (name) backwards
14. SMALL PRINT – MALL (shopping area) in SPRINT (dash)
17. SCOUNDREL – UND (and German) in SCORE (twenty) + L[egions]
18. STALWART – ALW[ays] in START (open)
19. CLAPTRAP – CLAP (give it up) + TRAP (chops — meaning mouth)
22. EMBALM – MB (doctor) in anagram of MALE
23. STEAL – homophone of “steel” (sword)
25. NO END – anagram of NONE + D (500)
27. AMMO – hidden word

4 Responses to “Financial Times 14,158 by Mudd”

  1. Bob Cumbow says:

    I think the run of notes in 20a is specifically chromatic because it includes the E-Flat. The traditional diatonic scale contains just the “white-key” notes (C,D,E,F,G,A,B); the chromatic scale also includes the “black-key” sharps and flats that lie in between. I don’t know a lot about music either, except as a listener; so my terminology might be a little off.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Ah, that fits very well. Thanks, Bob.

  3. Bamberger says:

    Couldn’t get 1a (should have done), 11a -not a word I’d ever use and 16a.
    Otherwise no problems.

    Thanks for the blog.

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    Hi Bamberger. ‘Wotcher’ is a word I must have used a few times in my youth but would not use these days. Likewise I doubt I have ever used ‘legless’ but it is a term I come across occasionally.

    Thanks for commenting.

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