Never knowingly undersolved.

FT 12,889/Mudd

Posted by smiffy on October 3rd, 2008


This puzzle seemed, frankly, a little underwhelming compared  to Mudd’s usual standard. Not that there is anything wrong with it, per se; just seems a tad light on imagination or inspiration. I suppose that’s the down side of publishing setters’ identities – it can start to frame certain expectations in the longer run.

1 DESERT – double def’n.  I wasted a minute or so here, looking for an answer ending in sere (“dry”).
4 DRESSING – A “saucy” surface reading, if you’ll pardon the pun.
10 SEA(U)RCHIN[-g]
12 REED – Deer(rev)
13 SEWAGE FARM – E(nergy) in (a few grams)*
15 TRAIPSE – (pirate)*
16 KA,RATE – I’m willing to indulge “chopping” as the definition here, but the leeway is only because it clearly works best with the intended surface.
21 H(ADD)OCK – “reckon”=add, as in a ready-reckoner.
23 PIL,LOW,CASE – Lip(rev), “blue” = mopey/low, “instance”=case (of).
25 CHIN[-a] – put me in mind of the old (and probably politically incorrect) barb; “He’s got more chins than a Chinese telephone directory”.
27 EG,RE,T
28 ANALOGISE (lose again)*
30 COCK UP – double def’n. As in the catchphrase of Geoffrey Palmer’s character in the Reggie Perrin series. “Bit of a cock up in the […..] department”.

1 DISCRETE – homophone of  “discreet”.
3 RARE – double def’n.
6 SLAVE TRADE – (dealers + VAT)*
7 IN,DIA[-gram]
8 [-i]GLOO,MY
9 WHEEZE – double def’n.
14 SPIN DOCTOR – a clever idea, but perhaps too transparent?
17 TOO,TH(P)ICK – gets my vote for the clue of the day.
20 HECTARE – (teacher)*
24 LARVA – homophone of “lava: (which, I would pedantically point out, is only “hot stuff” in its molten state).
26 POLO – double def’n.

3 Responses to “FT 12,889/Mudd”

  1. Geoff Moss says:

    May I please have a quibble about the definition in 22d?

    ‘Upkeep’ is defined as ‘maintenance’ or ‘the cost of maintenance’ which would equate to ‘running repairs’ or ‘running costs’ not simply ‘running’.

  2. Eileen says:

    14dn: may be transparent but did Mudd have prior knowledge of Mandy’s return today?

  3. smiffy says:

    I had the same reservation about whether “running” necessarily implies “running costs”. Am still a floating voter on that one.

    I had not seen the news until your comment prompted me to investigate, Eileen. Spooky indeed!
    It must be manna from heaven for the journos at Private Eye – already looking forward to the next edition…

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