Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,059 / Mudd

Posted by shuchi on April 24th, 2009


Pleasing puzzle from Mudd as usual.

Some nifty definitions (especially liked 2D, 21D) and more than one define-by-example style of clue (23A, 3D, 8D). I have two small questions about the wordplay (1A, 5D). (Updates to 1A, 5D, 6D based on comments below. Thanks!)


1 HANDLE HALE (well) around ND (state – North Dakota)
4 ORGANISM ORGASM around IN reversed
9 NOTIFY OT (books) IF in NY (Queens is a county of New York). I was a little late in solving this, was thinking of cards for “Queens etc.” initially.
10 SOFT SPOT our prize = FT’S POT
12 SOHO O (nothing) in SHOP – P
13 GREEN dd Isn’t a golfer’s aim the hole and not the green?
14 BRIE BRIEF (ephemeral) – F (strong)
17 MULLIGATAWNY While solving I had parsed this as: GA (a bit of the fish GAr) I MULL , word order reversed, plus TAWNY (brown). The better explanation strikes me now as I write: A GILL (bit of fish) UM (let me think) letters reversed, plus TAWNY
20 BLATHERSKITE KITE (bird) follows B(L)ATHERS (swimmers round lake). New word for me.
23 OPEN O (zero) PEN (shut in, the imperative verb form), and this is an open question.
24 STERN dd, means both hard and back. The last one entered into the grid. I had almost written in STORE instead (hard-disk backup of computer data)
25 FINE dd
29 DENIER dd
30 CO-WORKER CORKER (very good thing) around OW (cry of pain). Deft use of ‘smother’ as c/c indicator.
31 MAYHEM MAY (girl) HEM (edge)


1 HANDSOME Nice dd, brought Rufus to mind.
2 NUTSHELL dd “in here, concise” and “location of Brazil (nut)” both lead to nutshell.
3 LEFT ‘pushed to one side’ = LEFT, and LEFT is one side.
5 RIO DE JANEIRO R (one of the 3 R’s) I (single) ODE (poem) JANE (girl) IRO (biro – b)
6 ALTO WALTON (English composer) with ends removed.
7 IMPART IMP (monkey) ART (talent)
15 BILLY dd a metal can used in camp cooking, and a male goat.
18 DIMINISH MINI in DISH. I had misread the clue as ‘drop card into …’ in the first pass – that is the more intuitive surface in my view.
19 TELEGRAM ELEG (short of elegy) in TRAM
21 ZODIAC cd
22 YELLOW dd
26 TSAR S (penguins ultimately) in TAR. Another well-crafted c/c clue, neat surface.
27 LEDA LED (ruled) A

11 Responses to “Financial Times 13,059 / Mudd”

  1. Octofem says:

    Hello Shuchi. I was puzzled by 1 across too. I had ‘Hale’ for ‘well’ but could not see how the ND was ‘state’ Also had ‘alto’ for 6 down, with Walton as the English composer.

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Suchi. I really enjoyed this.

    1ac: it’s N[orth D[akota] inside HALE [well].

    If it’s the ‘R’ you’re querying in 5dn, I took it as meaning one of ‘the three Rs’.

    I’ve just seen Octofem’s blog and I agree with her interpretation of 6dn.

  3. C G Rishikesh says:

    5ac: ‘Writing possibly’ because it refers to one of three R’s – reading, writing, arithmetic

  4. C G Rishikesh says:


    At 13ac I too had the same doubt that you have raised. Maybe someone will come along explaining.

  5. C G Rishikesh says:

    17ac: Perhaps I may say it’s an Anglicised form of the Tamil milagu (pepper) and thanneer (water), both of which go into what we call rasam.

  6. Agentzero says:

    Hi Shuchi, and thanks for the blog. Thanks for clearing up 17ac–I had the same parsing as your initial one, and wasn’t happy with it, but A GILL UM backwards works perfectly.

    I think 13ac is fair. When you are on your tee shot, for example, whilst you wouldn’t mind getting a hole in one, at that point you are basically aiming for the green, with the hope that you will then have one or two putts on the green to finish the hole, and I think this is common parlance among golfers and golf commentators.

  7. shuchi says:

    Thanks everyone for the helpful comments.

    I was overcomplicating the wordplay for 1A and 6D wasn’t I :P

    Agentzero: Thanks for explaining the golf reference. About time I learnt more of the game, if only for solving crosswords.

  8. Dave H says:

    First time participant on this site so please excuse any errors in etiquette. Can someone explain why 6d is anto which I do not understand its meaning and not alto as I also had wALTOn

  9. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Dave
    Welcome to 15². The correct answer is [w]ALTO[n], as indicated in comments #1 & 2.

  10. Dave H says:

    Hi Gaufrid,
    Thanks for the reply and I will read the other blogs more carefully in future

  11. shuchi says:

    Hi Dave
    Your answer is correct as Gaufrid says. I’ve now updated the right answer for 6D in the post.
    Keep visiting.

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