Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,209 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on January 24th, 2013

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of January 12, 2013

I found the top-right quadrant of this puzzle to be tricky, especially 4A (CROSSBAR) and 6D (SHRINK WRAP). My favourite clues are 20A (WINDSOR) and 14D (MOUNTAINEER).

Across
1. CHOUGH – H (hot) in COUGH (splutter). A chough is a type of crow but is not, I believe, a commonly known bird. I was lucky in being very familiar with the word from frequently passing a pub in Blandford Forum, Dorset called “The Three Choughs”.
4. CROSSBAR – CROSS (pass) + BAR (save). This was one of the last clues I solved. Both the wordplay and definition (“some goal” meaning a part of a goal) are hard.
10. MACHETE – anagram of CAME THE
11. AIRLESS – double/cryptic definition
12. SILK – S[eparate] + ILK (sort)
13. BARKING MAD – cryptic definition. Barely cryptic though…
16. LOAFER – double/cryptic definition
17. BLOW-OUT – double definition
20. WINDSOR – double definition. What a beautiful, serendipitous clue! The answer jumped right out to me.
21. MATTER – double definition
24. PINA COLADA – PIN (secure) + A (a) + CO (company) + LADA (car)
25. MINI – hidden word
27. DETROIT – ET (visitor from afar) in DROIT (right)
29. EXPRESS – double definition
30. RAPESEED – APES (simians) in REED (grass)
31. CLARET – CLARE (college) + [spil]T. Clare is a Cambridge college. I figure the definition, ‘blood’, refers to colour.

Down
1. CAMISOLE – CAM (river) + I (one) + SOLE (fish)
2. OSCILLATION – anagram of COLONIALIST
3. GHEE – G[oat] H[as] E[aten] E[verything]
5. ROAD KILL – anagram of A KID in ROLL (butty)
6. SHRINK WRAP – anagram of I SHARK PR[a]WN
7. BYE – double definition. ‘Extra’ defines BYE as a cricket term.
8. RESIDE – RE (on) + SIDE (edge)
9. DECAF – FACED (opposed) backwards
14. MOUNTAINEER – anagram of ENUMERATION
15. MENDACIOUS – END (close) in MAC (coat) + I (I) + O (love) + US (you and me)
18. ROULETTE – LETT (Baltic native) in ROUE (playboy). ‘Lett’ is an old-fashioned term for a Latvian. And a good word to keep in mind as it comes up in crosswords occasionally.
19. TRAIN SET – IN (popular) in anagram of TREATS
22. SPIDER – double definition. A spider is a type of rest as used in snooker and billiards while house and money are types of arachnids.
23. ADIEU – DIE (something cast) in AU (gold)
26. OPAL – O (old) + PAL (China)
28. TIP – PIT (hole) backwards

6 Responses to “Financial Times 14,209 by Mudd”

  1. John Newman says:

    Thanks Pete.
    An enjoyable puzzle. But I thought the definitions for three clues were a bit suspect. Crossbar you have mentioned. Barking MAD and CLARET.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Hi John, As I remarked, I think that the BARKING MAD clue is a weak one in general but I do not see a problem with the definition per se. I was unsure about the CLARET definition but have just now looked up the word in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary and found that it is given as a slang term for ‘blood’ from the 17th century. So, technically it may be passable but, if that is the only justification, then I have to agree that the combination of its being slang and that archaic makes it more obscure than I like to see.

  3. Bamberger says:

    Failed on 6d, 9d & 21a. They don’t look too hard now.

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    I took a long time to get 6d!

  5. Wil Ransome says:

    Strictly speaking, Pete, 6dn is I in the anagram. But not a big deal.

  6. Pete Maclean says:

    Yes, good point. Thank you, Wil. When it is a single letter I think it hardly makes a difference but nevertheless I do like to be accurate.

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