Never knowingly undersolved.

FT 12497/Mudd – nourishing

Posted by ilancaron on June 29th, 2007


Even though his name is Mudd here – it’s Paul in the Guardian. I definitely solved this more quickly than the typical Paul – so maybe there is something to the theory that FT puzzles are pitched somewhat lower. Seemed to be a mild food and drink theme (9a, 12a, 19a, 7d, 11d, 17d, 24d, 27d) which is probably more than my imagination. And, as an American, I appreciate that the Britishisms are kept to a minimum.


1 TICKER – two (colloquial) meanings
4 B,LIGHTER – our “vessel’s” a LIGHTER and I suppose a BLIGHTER is a kind of (benign) “rat”.
9 AU LAIT=”Ole” – nice multi-cultural food/drink-themed homophone
10 SPANKING – two meanings – at first I wanted SM,ASHING to be the answer…
12 STRAIGHT – two meanings. Honest!
15 PATE – two meanings: our next food clue. The first spelling pâté has a couple of accents that are ignored in crypticland.
21 WIN,O – I like this: to lose everything is the same as to win nothing, i.e. WIN,O.
25 [ant]IGUA,NA – ref. the Caribbean island ANTIGUA (conquered by the US a few years ago I think? or was that Grenada?).
29 RE,TINA – “bit of a looker” is a touch cryptic so a question-mark would have been in order I think. TINA’s our “girl”.
31 S,ELECT – as in “President ELECT”, e.g. the guy who’ll be waiting to take over in January 2009 from Bush…


2 CELE[b]RITY – our “star” is just a CELEBRITY. Good consistent astronomical surface.
3 E,LICIT – nice consistent surface again: def is “draw out”, and “within the law” is simply LICIT (no containment etc.)
5 [s]LOPE
6 GANG,LION – a GANGLION is in fact a mass of nerve tissue.
7 TRIFLE – two meanings: another food clue.
11 RHUBARB – another food clue: cryptic def for the word that actors use to simulate background chatter (I guess it’s the universal homophone!)
14 A,NAG,RAM – clever analogy clue for the term describing the relationship between (cheat)* and (teach)*.
18 LIFELINE – another clever clue: double def (one cryptic). It’s what palm readers pay close attention to.
19 F(ORE)CAST – ORE (“raw material”) in facts*
22 PINCER – not sure about this: “little clap” is C, def is “nipper” but what about “ceremony”? “Nipper provides a little clap in ceremony”. Testy notes its hidden in “calP IN CERmony”.  I suppose “provides a little” is an acceptable hidden indicator.  Well, perhaps not.
24 CHEESE – ref. Big CHEESE (a VIP). Our second to last course.
27 MINT – two meanings: our meal ends with a “sweet”.

11 Responses to “FT 12497/Mudd – nourishing”

  1. Bradman says:

    No one bother with my FT on Thursday?

  2. neildubya says:

    No. We don’t have enough bloggers to cover every day of the week for the FT.

  3. Bradman says:

    Pity – but I’d be interested to know whether the missing days are merely accidental

  4. ilancaron says:

    Bradman: does the FT have regular days? (e.g. is Thursday alway you?)

  5. neildubya says:

    I’m not sure what you mean by “merely accidental”. We have 3 FT bloggers plus myself. One person can only do the Saturday prize puzzle which he blogs on a Thursday; I assign the others on a rotational basis so that each bloggers gets to do a different day each week. I don’t know which setters will appear on a given day, if that’s what you mean.

  6. Bradman says:

    ‘Accidental’ would mean that it was hit and miss which days were omitted, depending on the vagaries of solver availability. Your answer (for which many thanks) suggests that the omissions are ‘systematic’. In answer to Ilan’s question, Bradman appears cryptically once a month, usually on a Thursday or Friday.

  7. Testy says:

    I would have liked to see a post for yesterday as I’m afraid I struggled with it.

    Regarding today’s Mudd – 22D is a hidden word: “claP IN CERemony”

    I solved 14D with a groan (of appreciation).

    However, I thought that CLIMATES seemed to require a pretty minimal amount of anagramming to get CLEMATIS.

    This is also one of those dodgy FT grids again with the four corners looking fairly isolated and the four central clues linking them being less than 50% checked. As a result I struggled to get into a couple of the corners. Although the theme was admirable it unfortunately didn’t assist me at all with the solving.

  8. ilancaron says:

    Yeah — i hate it when I miss hidden clues — they’re so obvious :) thanks!

  9. smiffy says:

    I found the use of “in waiting”=elect very innovative. Incidentally I suspect that the junior senator for New York might take exception to your example of “the GUY who’ll be waiting to take over from Bush”! (With the Spice Girls having just re-formed, we’d better not write-off Girl Power quite yet?)

    I belatedly solved yesterday’s Bradman’s puzzle this morning. So, if he’s still checking in here, I offer my plaudits for a real humdinger of an offering – albeit, one that featured a couple of TV/radio “Britishisms”.

  10. Bradman says:

    Thank you very much. I don’t have any friends at all to give me feedback on my FT puzzles (though a surprising number in Oxford take the FT), so never have any idea how they are going down!

  11. Rufus says:

    My puzzles appear on alternate Mondays under pseudonym Dante. I hope I am learning from the Guardian blogs although I have sent off puzzles well into the autumn for both so any changes rewsulting from the blogs will take time! It’s the only way I can keep on top of the Gdn, FT and a weekly DT, plus other minor outlets. Possibly you may see improvements – or possibly not!

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