Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,198 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on January 10th, 2013

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of December 29, 2012

I made a good start on this puzzle, completing most of the upper half, then took a long time to finish the rest. One reason is that it contains a lot of colloquialisms, one of which I had never come across, HOICK (23D). So much slang makes a puzzle especially challenging for non-Brits as one of my correspondents made clear. My favourite clues are 21A (GOTCHA) and 9D (ASTON).

Across
1. NICKER – double/cryptic definition. Nicker is a slang word for a pound (in money) that I was dimly aware of.
4. UNSTABLE – [d]UNSTABLE (Bedfordshire town without capital)
10. GUBBINS – BUG (insect) backwards + BINS (discards). This is a word I knew although I am not sure that I have ever used it. It is one I like a lot!
11. GELDING – anagram of NIGGLED
12. TWIT – T[o] WIT (that is to say, loveless)
13. MONTEVIDEO – MONTE (game) + VIDEO (tape)
15. VOLLEY – anagram of LOVELY
16. CASSOCK – SAC (bag) reversed + SOCK (footwear)
20. STUTTER – ST (way) + UTTER (talk)
21. GOTCHA – C (cape) in GOTHA[m] (Batman’s home – almost)
24. LOCOMOTION – LOCO (ludicrous) + MOTION (suggestion)
26. TAXI – AT (at) reversed + XI (eleven)
28. SHORTEN – SHOR[e] (beach nearly) + TEN (figure)
29. CHEROOT – HERO (superman) in COT (bed)
30. TETHERED – T[abl]E + THE (the) + RED (snooker ball)
31. BUMPER – double definition

Down
1. NEGATIVE – EVITA (musical) + GEN (info) all backwards
2. CABRIOLET – anagram of ABLE TO CIR[cle]
3. EXIT – [r]EX (king lacking leadership) + IT (it)
5. NIGHTJAR – NIGH (near) + J (jam for a start) in TAR (something sticky)
6. TELEVISION – anagram of ON SET LIVE
7. BLIND – L (left) in BIND (bandage)
8. EGG-NOG – EG (for example) + GONG (an award) backwards
9. ASTON – A (a) + STON[e] (gem – not entirely)
14. CENTIMETRE – TIME (the enemy) in CENTRE (focus)
17. COCK-A-HOOP – COCK (male) + A (a) + HOOP (ring)
18. SENTENCE – double definition
19. CANISTER – IS (is) in CANTER (pace)
22. CLOSET – S[af]E in CLOT (fool)
23. HOICK – I (one) in HOCK (drink). I wonder if this word is a conflation of HOIST and JACK?
25. CLOUT – double definition
27. BEAU – homophone (“bow”)

2 Responses to “Financial Times 14,198 by Mudd”

  1. fearsome says:

    Thanks Pete and Mudd
    I remember taking a while over this puzzle, and taking a long time to convince myself it was hoick. No problem with the homophone for beau/bow here, unlike his recent Guardian (Paul) puzzle.

  2. Bamberger says:

    Quite a few I didn’t get 21a,28a,18d,19d & 23d.
    Thanks for blog

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