Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,042 / Mudd

Posted by shuchi on April 3rd, 2009


Some well-concealed hidden words (21A, 26A) and amusing wordplay (1A, 12A, 17D) in this one. I was very entertained with the puzzle overall. A couple of clues look a little questionable to me (14D, 18D), maybe they have better explanations than what I gathered.

All the pudding/fruit references have made me hungry. Off for lunch now.


4 SHORT CUT SHOUT (call) around RTC (‘erotica’ with odd letters removed)
10 CURRANT sounds like ‘current’
11 NOVELLA NOV (a month) ELLA (girl)
12 MOPE MOP (cleaner) E (energy)
13 SCHOOLROOM S (half ‘so’) H (hot) inside COOL ROOM (walk-in freezer)
15 TRIFLE cd
16 VERTIGO VERT (green) I GO (move off)
20 UGANDAN (-m)UG (face defaced) AND A (with a)
21 HONEST Hidden in brusH ONE’S Teeth. Lovely clue.
24 ANTIMATTER A NATTER (talk) about TIM (boy)
26 ETON Hidden in camE TO Nothing. It took me a while to spot the hidden word even after I’d thought of the answer, and was marvelling at the boldness of the cd till then.
30 ESPRESSO. ESSO (petrol company) around PRES(-s) (battle without the lead of ‘such’). I’m guessing battle=press in terms of pushing forward, is that what the clue is looking for? The surface is a bit convoluted. [Edit: The inner word is (-y)PRES (battle to remove lead). Thanks Geoff.]
31 BETTER dd


1 DECIMATE MICE (animals) reversed in DATE (fruit)
3 ROAN RAN (galloped) around O (circuit)
5 HANGOVER HAN (dynasty) GOVER (govern – n)
6 REVOLUTION dd. An easy one that gave a gentle start on the NE side of the grid.
7 CELLO CELL (little room) O (ring).
8 TRAUMA RA (artist) in TUM (stomach) A. Very nicely constructed clue.
9 STICK dd
14 BLANCMANGE BLANC (from Mel Blanc, the voice of Elmer Fudd) MANGE (skin disease). Is it OK to define BLANC as “creator of wabbit”? Seems debatable to me. [Please see Agentzero’s comment#2, which I think resolves the debate.]
17 GREAT AUNT GRUNT (comment from pig) about EAT (devour) A
18 WAITRESS IT (computer technology) in WARES (items for sale) S (second). ‘second server’ is nicely deceptive but put together the surface doesn’t make logical sense.
22 CASTLE cd
23 DERBY dd
25 TROOP O (nothing) in PORT (left) reversed
27 ROSE dd

4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,042 / Mudd”

  1. Geoff Moss says:

    As you say, an enjoyable puzzle.

    I parsed 30a as [y]PRES (battle to remove lead) in ESSO (petrol company)

  2. agentzero says:

    Thanks, Schuchi, I enjoyed it as well.

    I thought “creator of wabbit” for BLANC was clever and deserving of some setter’s licence. Apparently, though, the original voice of Elmer Fudd and creator of his Brooklyn accent was Arthur Bryan. Mel Blanc took over the role later. So the clue isn’t quite right unless “creator of wabbit” means “original voice of Bugs Bunny, the ‘wabbit’ character,” which is Mel Blanc.

    By the way, I think 22dn is a dd: “keep” and “this on board.”

  3. shuchi says:

    Hi Geoff and Agentzero,

    Thanks for your comments.

    30A: I had to look up Ypres…not a battle I knew about. What a clue-friendly word.

    14D: “original voice of Bugs Bunny, the ‘wabbit’ character,” – the wordplay makes sense when read this way, that must be the setter’s intended meaning. It took me some leap to think of it, thanks Agentzero.

    22d: I had paused to consider dd or cd before posting it. I thought ‘this on board’ wasn’t by itself substitutable for CASTLE, so called the clue a cd. Clues that are sort-of dd, i.e. one or both definitions not straight/cleanly independent, invariably put me in this dilemma.

  4. John in USA says:

    28A I found the anagram, but what has ‘trounce’ to do with ‘stuff’? The dictionary meanings don’t seem to overlap at all.

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