Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,239 / Mudd

Posted by shuchi on November 20th, 2009


Mudd gives us many amusing clues today with his trademark tongue-in-cheek definitions. Lots of fun.

Favourite clue: GLADSTONE (14a)


1 PETER SELLERS The actor best known for his role as Chief Inspector Clouseau in the original Pink Panther series. A  clever cryptic second half of the clue – buyers requiring security would probably not approach ‘peter’ ie. dwindle-and-stop sellers. A great clue I thought, marred slightly by the shift in singular/plural form on the surface.
8 UNNERVE hidden in ‘rUNNER VErtically’
9 HOODLUM HOOD (cover) LUM (Scottish word for ‘chimney’)
12 ROE DEER sounds like ‘row, dear’ :)
13 ARRAY ‘ARRY (‘Harry’ in an East End accent) around A
14 GLADSTONE GLAD (happy) STONE (administer biblical justice). What a creative way of clueing ‘stone’.
16 REMBRANDT R.E.M. (pop group) BRANDT (German chancellor, Willy Brandt)
19 MAGOG M[onster] AGOG (all ears)
21 ORATORS (ROSTRA)* around [fl]O[or]
23 INSULAR RANI (Indian queen) reversed, around half of SULtan. I don’t think ‘standing’ works too well as reversal indicator for an Across clue, but it does lead to a lovely surface.
24 TADPOLE TAD (little) POLE (support)
25 DIOCESE (ICE DOES)*. ‘See’ is the jurisdiction of a bishop. A crisp, clever clue.


1 PUNSTER PUNTER (better) around [joke]S
2 TURNERY TURNER (artist, the English painter) Y (variable). Since ‘turner’ is also someone who operates the lathe, I’m not quite a fan of the way the charade is assembled.
3 REED ORGAN REGAN (Lear’s daughter) around RODE (carried), reversed.
4 ETHER ER (face on stamp) around THE. ‘number’ in the sense of ‘that which causes numbness’. I like the ‘face on stamp’ bit!
5 LIONESS L[uncher] IS around ONES
6 RELIEVO LIE (place, as in animal’s haunt) in OVER (above), reversed. ‘outstanding style’, because in the RELIEVO style of sculpture, the modelled form is raised from a plane surface.
7 LUTON AIRPORT (TRAIN LOU)* PORT (left). ‘virtually’ => almost, ‘abandoned’ indicates the anagram.
10 MARKET GARDEN (GERMAN RAKED)* around T (tons)
15 ATTAINDER A + TINDER (means of lighting fire), around TA (thanks). The surface made me laugh.
17 MEANDER MENDER (repairman) around A (area)
18 ROOT OUT ROO (Australian native) TOUT (spiv)
19 MISS OUT SOU (money) in MIST (haze)
20 GALLERY R in GALLEY (kitchen)
22 SUETY SUE (girl) T[ubb]Y

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13,239 / Mudd”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, shuchi – as you say, lots of fun.

    In 1ac, I think there’s a reference to the ‘safe’ meaning of ‘peter’.

    I had the same thoughts as you about ‘standing’ in 23ac.

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    No Brummie for us today, but a Muddie.
    And a good one it was.
    Great surface reading ánd fun in ROE DEER.
    A very well-hidden solution in 8ac, where we first thought of “rattle” inside “runner” , with “vertically” as the definition. Knowing that it started with a U, we went for “upright” (but didn’t enter it in the grid).
    Smooth clueing in the well-constructed 11ac (ON THE GO).
    And in 4d (ETHER), one of our favourites – seen ETHER very often in crosswords, but this one was particularly good.

    Only one minor question.
    HOODLUM (9ac) is a noun, but can the definition “rough” be a noun too. Is there a person you can call “a rough”?

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Sil
    ‘rough’ in Chambers is defined as ‘a hooligan, a rowdy’, amongst many other things, so I think it can equate to ‘hoodlum’.

  4. shuchi says:

    HOODLUM (9ac) is a noun, but can the definition “rough” be a noun too. Is there a person you can call “a rough”?

    The dictionaries sanction it. Chambers has “rough” as noun, meaning “a hooligan; a rowdy”.

  5. shuchi says:

    Hi Gaufrid

    Saw your comment after posting mine – sorry for the duplication!

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thank you, both (and especially shuchi for the blog).
    I don’t have a Chambers, I am just relying on (several) i-sources, including Chambers. But it’s clear now.

    BTW, don’t you (both) think there’s something wrong (or to win) when so many people respond to Paul crosswords, while at the same time there are only 5 posts so far for a very good Mudd?

  7. shuchi says:

    …when so many people respond to Paul crosswords, while at the same time there are only 5 posts so far for a very good Mudd?

    I’ve wondered about that too. In general, FT’s comment space is oddly barren when compared with the Guardian’s. Is it because FT solvers are fewer, or quieter, or something else altogether?

  8. mhl says:

    shuchi: thanks for the post – we missed RELIEVO, annoyingly, since I’d seen the word very recently. Excellent puzzle.

    On the Paul vs Mudd issue, I agree it’s surprising – I’d always guessed that it was due to most solvers doing the puzzle in the dead tree edition, and a discrepancy between their circulation numbers, but the FT actually has a larger circulation:

    I don’t know where one would get figures on the relative popularity of crosswords in each paper, but the Guardian crossword definitely has its distinct identity and reputation – if I remember correctly, it gets a number of entries to the prize crossword a bit below The Times, which is what you’d expect from the circulation figures if the crosswords were approximately as infamous as each other :)

    Of course, there’s also something self-perpetuating about having so many people commenting on each Guardian post here.

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>

three × = 12