Posted by Pete Maclean on April 4th, 2013
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).
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
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