Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14,269 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on April 4th, 2013

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of March 23, 2013

While this puzzle has a couple of excellent clues, I think it also has a couple of slightly weak ones. My favourites are 10A (PLUTO), 17A (LENTO), 18A (ONE) and 8D (COVENTRY).
Across
9. PTEROSAUR – P[ower] + anagram of EUROSTAR
10. PLUTO – P (quiet) + LUTO[n] (airport incomplete)
11. CHOWDER – CHOW (food) + RED (like a tomato) backwards
12. SCROOGE – anagram of CROS[s] + EGO (identity) backwards
13. DIE – double definition. Is a die really a croupier’s assistant?
14. RECONSTRUCT – anagram of NUTS CORRECT
17. LENTO – LENT (fast) + O (circuit). Perhaps a somewhat obvious clue but still a very nice one.
18. ONE – hidden word. I originally missed the fact that this is a hidden-word clue and criticized it as being hardly cryptic. (Hence the first comment which set me right.) Now I see its true nature, I think it is a very clever clue.
19. WELLY – double/cryptic definition. The second definition here I take to refer to the use of ‘welly’ in such expressions as “give it some welly” meaning something like “put your foot down”. I am at a disadvantage in that I am unfamiliar with this usage but I can find no substantiation for its meaning precisely what the clue says (“showing great commitment”).
21. STEAMROLLER – MAE (Ms West) backwards in STROLLER (itinerant)
23. SET – double definition
25. LESOTHO – SOT (lush) + H (hot) together in LEO (sign)
27. HOLBEIN – HOL (brief break) + BEIN[g] (livin’)
28. SPEAR – SP (sp) + EAR (spike). The second ‘spike’ in the clue refers to its meaning as an ear of corn.
29. INDOCHINA – anagram of C[ol]D IN HANOI

Down
1. SPACED – S (second) + PACE (step) + D[own]
2. MELODEON – ODE (poetry) in MELON (fruit)
3. POWDER ROOM – double definition
4. FAIR – double definition
5. PRISON CELL – anagram of CONSPIRE LL (pair of rookies)
6. SPUR – SPUR[t] (gush endlessly). The definition ‘egg’ serves as in the expression “egg on”.
7. SUDOKU -US (America) backwards + DO (fix) + UK (Britain) backwards. Surely ‘boxing contest’ is a marginal definition? A crossword puzzle is as much a boxing contest as a sudoku puzzle and a contest is usually something between rivals, not a solitary affair.
8. COVENTRY – COVEN (group engaged in spelling) + TRY (test)
15. CHOCOHOLIC – cryptic definition. This definition is clever but is it enough for one to be certain of the answer without checked letters?
16. TOWER BLOCK – anagram of ROCKET BLOW
17. LISTLESS – double definition
20. LISTERIA – anagram of [v]IRAL SITE
22. EASTER – [maggot]S in EATER (apple). Did you know that ‘Easter’ probably derives from the name of a pagan goddess, Eostre?
24. TIN CAN – T[ikal] + INCAN (old South American)
26. TART – double definition
27. HIDE – double definition

8 Responses to “Financial Times 14,269 by Mudd”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks Pete, as ever, for the blog.

    Yes, you do miss something in 18ac (ONE).
    It is a hidden solution: [tw]O NE[xt] with the indicator “That describes it”. A very clever clue, in my opinion.

    Re 19ac: a WELLY is short for ‘Wellington boot’ ie ‘one going on foot’.

    In the SUDOKU clue Mudd is alluding to a Sudoku being a challenge (‘contest’) to fit numbers into boxes. I agree, ‘boxing’ is a bit of a stretch, but that’s what he means.

    We thought RECONSTRUCT and TOWER BLOCK were two of the very best in this enjoyable puzzle.

  2. Pete Maclean says:

    Thanks, Sil! I sure missed the point of the ONE clue. I now consider it very clever as well.

    >> Re 19ac: a WELLY is short for ‘Wellington boot’ ie ‘one going on foot’.

    This was clear to me. Should I have spelled it out in the blog? I assumed it was clear enough.

  3. HKColin says:

    Thanks Pete. I came here to find out what that second part of 19ac is about. I see you know more than I do but are not wholly convinced either. I hope someone who uses the expression, whatever it is, drops in.

  4. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Pete
    There are two definitions in Chambers for ‘give it some welly’. The first (“To put one’s foot down heavily on the accelerator”) you have already covered but the second, “To put all one’s efforts and energy into what one is doing” more aptly fits the ‘showing great commitment’.

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Sorry, Pete, I didn’t read your query welly enough.
    I think Gaufrid’s explanation is the one we are looking for.
    Cheers.

  6. Bamberger says:

    I have been unable to find my attempt but I recall that after an hour I had the SE completed , about 5 other clues solved and had ground to a halt. I had a look on the answerbank where others had asked for the solutions to 7d, 10a and 19a. I looked at the answers and thought that I would never hanve got any of those in a month of Sundays and gave up.
    1a I just never saw the anagram.
    9a I thought of places on planet earth not outer space
    11a Food =chow I’d still be trying to get now
    13a I got this didn’t think there was a problem
    17a Too obvious for me I’m afraid. I thought only of fast as rapid.
    18a Arrgh -should have got this .
    19a I know the expression “give it some welly” but more in the sense of give it a clout rather than “commit more” .
    21a I wouldn’t have got stroller=itinerant. I don’t doubt that it is in a dictionary but I’d associate itinerant with a tramp and stroller as someone out for a gentle walk.
    27a I wondered what was going on with livin’ -now I know.
    28a Again I had no idea what was going on.
    2d I simply didn’t know this and didn’t have enough letters to help.
    3d I thought a magazine was what bullets were held in so I don’t get the room bit.
    5d I never thought of a pair of rookies as being ll.
    15d If anyone got that without any checkers, well done!
    22d Didn’t know apple = eater though I would have known cooker.

    My limitations cruelly exposed -did others find it much harder than the usual non Cinephile fare?

  7. Pete Maclean says:

    HKColin, Thanks for commenting. Gaufrid has provided the confirmation we both needed.

  8. Pete Maclean says:

    Bamberger, Thanks for your comment. It is interesting to see another solver’s detailed view of the puzzle.

    > 9a I thought of places on planet earth not outer space

    I bet most people started off the same; I certainly did. PULAU? PORTO?

    > 17a Too obvious for me I’m afraid. I thought only of fast as rapid.

    Ah, yes, ‘fast’ cluing LENT is a frequently used device. A good one to keep in mind.

    > 19a I know the expression “give it some welly” but more in the sense of give it a clout rather than “commit more” .

    I have heard the same from one other person.

    > 2d I simply didn’t know this and didn’t have enough letters to help.

    MELODEON is one of those words that is firmly stuck in my brain but I have no idea why or from where.

    > 5d I never thought of a pair of rookies as being ll.

    It’s a very British device and one I am not fond of. But we have to live with it.

    > 15d If anyone got that without any checkers, well done!

    Hear, hear!

    > Did others find it much harder than the usual non Cinephile fare?

    I found it of fairly typical hardness.

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