Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,999 / Mudd

Posted by Gaufrid on February 12th, 2009


Two enjoyable FT puzzles in a row, first Monk now Mudd. Some of the clues had me metaphorically scratching my head but then the penny would drop and I had to smile at the misleading nature of the clue. My only slight concern is with 24d where I assume the ‘many pairings’ refers to having a number of sexual partners but this is not a definition of ‘knave’ that is given in any of the usual dictionaries.

1 ALBUMEN  ALBUM (book) EN[d] (conclusion abridged)
5 LOST OUT  LO (look) STOUT (round)
9 LOG ON  LOGO (sign) N (name)
10 REVERSION  RE (on) VERSION (account)
11 TOTEM POLE  TO TEMPO (speed) LE (the, in French)
12 PANDA  PAN (god) D (died) A
13 RELIC  L (left) in REIC[h] (old German state incomplete)
18 PRESIDENT  cd P (premier leader) RESIDENT (in office) &lit – Edit: Thanks to Agentzero for pointing out the wordplay I had missed (see comment #1)
19 BRUSH  cd
21 BROOM  cd
25 INTENSIVE  IN TENS (decimal) [f]IVE (number not the first)
26 AROMA  M (motorway) in A ROA[d] (a street not entirely)
27 HANDS UP  dd
28 THEATRE  cd

1 ALL-STAR  ST (way) in ALLA[h] (god not entirely) R (right)
2 BAGATELLE  A GAT (a gun) in BELLE (beauty)
3 MINIM  MIN (little time) IM (Mudd’s)
5 LEVEE  LEVE[l] (almost flat) E (earth)
6 STRIP CLUB  STRIP (band) CLUB (bash)
7 ONION  ON (now showing) [l]ION (top cat)
8 TANKARD  TANK (military transporter) [h]ARD (‘efty)
14 CHIPMUNKS  I PM (lunchtime) in CHUNKS (pineapple pieces)
16 EXTROVERT  EX (old) ROVER (dog) in TT (races)
18 PUBLISH  B (book) LI (51) in PUSH (press)
20 HYDRATE  *(DRY) in HATE (don’t like)
22 OFTEN  NET (catch) FO (government department) reversed
23 BLIMP  B (second-rate) LIMP (less than rigid)
24 KNAVE  cd

5 Responses to “Financial Times 12,999 / Mudd”

  1. Agentzero says:


    I thought 18a was actually a charade: P (“premier leader”) + RESIDENT (“in,” or maybe even “in office,” which would make it an &lit, as in “the resident professor of XYZ”).

    Agreed, this was an enjoyable puzzle.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Agentzero, you are indeed correct! I looked at this clue a couple of times to try and find some wordplay but failed to see that which is now obvious :-(

  3. Uncle Yap says:

    This was a delightful puzzle with a variety of cryptic devices. Totally enjoyable. It’s a real pity not many are availing themselves of the FT puzzles.

    Can you please explain 24D Card in many pairings? (5) more fully. Thanks

  4. smutchin says:

    re 24d – I did wonder if “many”=K but I can’t think of any justification for “pairings”=NAVE. Something to do with the way cathedrals are laid out, perhaps?

  5. Gaufrid says:

    As I mentioned in my preamble, 24d was the one clue over which I had any concern because my interpretation of ‘many pairings’ was not supported by dictionary definitions.

    After finishing today’s FT (the third in a row to give above average enjoyment!) I revisited this clue and have found that one of the definitions of ‘pair’ in Chambers is ‘a pack (of cards; obs)’, and ‘pairing’ is a nounal derivative of ‘pair’, but I don’t think this takes us any further forward.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

+ 4 = five