Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,182 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on December 19th, 2012

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of December 8, 2012

I became very stuck in the lower-right quadrant of this puzzle and had to turn to some crossword buddies for help. I had answered 25A wrongly which meant I could think of nothing that fitted for 23D. My favourite clues are 21A (SLUG PELLET), 22A (ZOLA), 7D (INGRID) and 19D (PSYCHO).

Across
1. BIGAMY – BIG (great) + A[bomination] + MY (setter’s)
4. FLEETING – TEE (golfer’s assistant) backwards in FLING (brief relationship)
9. TURKEY – double definition
10. STRANGER – ST (way) + RANGER (one wandering)
12. WINO – WIN O (lose everything…so “win nothing”)
13. NAIL-BITING – double definition
15. NO MATTER WHAT – MATT (dull) in anagram of OWNER + HAT (pork pie)
18. LOVE INTEREST – anagram of NOVELIST TREE
21. SLUG PELLET – SLUG (one bullet) + PELLET (a second bullet)
22. ZOLA – [gorgon]ZOLA (extracting monster from cheese)
24. CABLE CAR – anagram of ACCRA BEL[ize]
25. BOXING – XI (team) in BONG (sound as a bell). My first answer was RACING (AC for team, thinking of AC Milan, in RING) but that did not fit with 23D. I think this is an unfortunately weak clue, mostly because there are so many words that can be used for the sound of a bell: bong, clang, ding, dong, ping, ting, ring and maybe more.
26. OMELETTE – OME (‘ouse) + LETTE[r] landlord endlessly
27. BEAT IT – BE A TIT (learn to fly?)

Down
1. BOTSWANA – OT (books, i.e. Old Testament) + SWAN (Shakespeare) together in BA[g]. I guessed BOTSWANA easily enough once I had some checked letters but initially could not figure out how ‘Shakespeare’ could clue SWAN as appeared must be the case. I suspected it had something to do with one of Shakespeare’s theatres but it turns out that it comes from a memorial poem in which Ben Jonson called Shakespeare “Sweet Swan of Avon”. This is a bit too obscure for my liking.
2. GERONIMO – MINOR (child) + EG (say) all backwards + O (old)
3. MEET – homophone (“meat”)
5. LITTLE WONDER – LITTLE (shrunk) + WONDER (Colossus of Rhodes perhaps)
6. ERADICATED – anagram of ID CREATED A
7. INGRID – IN GRID (as part of the completed crossword)
8. GARAGE – RAG (jazz music) backwards + AGE (time)
11. BAKEWELL TART – BAKE WELL (possible advice to pastry chef) + TART (bitter)
14. ATMOSPHERE – anagram of METAPHORS + E (English)
16. HEDONIST – DON (Spanish gentleman) in HEIST (robbery)
17. STRAIGHT – double definition
19. PSYCHO – anagram of COP SHY
20. RUMBLE – double definition
23. ZONE – Z (the last) + ONE (one)

6 Responses to “Financial Times 14,182 by Mudd”

  1. Bamberger says:

    I found this straightforward apart from
    22a. I spend ages thinking of types of cheeses and then suddenly gorgonzola came straight to mind.
    25a I had rowing -team sport and ring . Couldn’t think of how ow worked but by then I’d had enough.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Ah, yes, I considered ROWING as well!

  3. John Newman says:

    Thanks Pete. I also got stuck with the bottom right corner but for different reasons. Like Bamberger I put ROWING for 25A and for 23D I put POLE. Sort of works doesn’t it? There were a couple of others I didn’t get either.

    Couple of beefs! Win nothing doesn’t mean lose everything and how does LEARN work in being a tit? A tit knows how to fly.

    I liked 15A – the Boyzone Andrew Lloyd Webber song which I tried to sing in my Karaoke bar in Singapore. And like you INGRID made me smile.

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    John, I did not mention it but I thought that 23D was a weak clue — especially given that it intersected with 25. And that is amplified by your pointing out that POLE roughly fits it.

    I strongly agree with your observation about winning everything and losing nothing. I neglected to mention that too but it struck me at the time of solving. The BE A TIT clue was not great either but I may be more accepting of it than you; birds may fly naturally but baby ones still have to learn, in some sense, how to do it.

  5. Keeper says:

    Thanks for the blog, Pete.

    Minor correction on 15a: It should be MATT, not MATTE (for dull). Otherwise, you have an extra “E”.

  6. Pete Maclean says:

    Keeper, Thank you. I am so used to ‘matte’ being spelled that way that I missed the extra E.

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