Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,339 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on April 1st, 2010

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of March 20
A specially good puzzle from Mudd this time. I like 9A, 15A, 23A, 5D and 14D.

1. COMPASS – M (male) in COP (23) + ASS (charlie)
5. HOGWASH – HOG (pig) + WASH (lick)
9. ADDER – double/cryptic definition
10. FIRMAMENT – FIRM (unyielding) + AMEN (word of prayer) + T (time)
11. GALLANTRY – ALL (everyone) in GANTRY (overhead structure)
12. DEATH – hidden word
13. DRILL – double definition
15. UNSPOTTED – double/cryptic definition
18. WATERSHED – anagram of THREAD + SEW
19. MATCH – double definition
21. NYLON – NY (US city) + LON[don] (British city, half cut). This seems a bit awkward because only one of the cities is half cut.
23. POLICEMAN – P[otato] + anagram of MAIL ONCE
25. BOOMERANG – BOOM (sound of explosion) + E[cho] + RANG (resonated)
26. PHOTO – HOT (erotic) in PO (flower)
27. GREMLIN – GR (George — as in George Rex) + [gi]L[bert] in EMIN (modern artist)
28. THEREAT – [peopl]E in THREAT (menace)

1. CHANGED – C[riminals] + HANGED (executed)
2. MEDALLIST – anagram of STILL MADE
3. AORTA – A + (a) + OR (gold) + [s]TA[r]
4. SOFT TOUCH – double definition
5. HARDY – double definition. This may be a fairly obvious clue but I think it is a good one and it qualifies as an &lit.
6. GUARDROOM – U (bend) in DRAG (haul) + MOOR (Othello) both backwards
7. ARENA – A (a) + RENA[l] (kidney failing in the end). One might complain that renal is an adjective while kidney is a noun.
8. HITCHED – H (husband) + ITCHED (proved irritating)
14. LARYNGEAL – anagram of AN ALLERGY
16. SIDELIGHT – DELI (shop) in SIGHT (view). I quickly figured out that this was some kind of light. But moonlight? Limelight? Starlight? Took me a while!
17. TOTEM POLE – TO (to) + TEMPO (speed) + LE (the French)
18. WINDBAG – cryptic definition
20. HANDOUT – HAND (worker) + OUT (unavailable)
22. LOOSE – O (love) in LOSE (miss)
23. PLAIN – double definition
24. COPSE – S (sulphur) in COPE (manage)

12 Responses to “Financial Times 13,339 by Mudd”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, Pete, for us this was a very good Mudd too.
    Although we had the same two quibbles as you (re 21ac and 7d) – which altogether is not as bad as the setter making a real mistake, like in last Monday’s Prize Mudd -,
    there was an fair amount of just splendid clues.

    You already mentioned some, and I’d like to add:
    18ac (WATERSHED) [in which the angram was embedded in a particularly nice surface], 26ac (PHOTO), 1d (CHANGED) [bit rude, but 'great' surface], 8d (HITCHED) and 22d (LOOSE) [beautiful, again, because of the fine surface in combination with the devices used].

    Probably the best clue: the POLICEMAN of 23ac.
    Nicely misleading use of words.

    Pete, thanks & fully agree with you – good puzzle.

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Pete. I really enjoyed this, too.

    I initially had the same doubts about 7dn but it works [just] if you read it as ‘where a kidney’: Collins gives ‘situated near the kidney’ for ‘renal’.

  3. Mike04 says:

    Pete, thanks for the blog. I had doubts about 7dn too.
    Eileen, with your explanation, how is the first A of ARENA clued?

    For me, this is a suitable opportunity to ask a general question about language:

    If, for example, KIDNEY TRANSPLANT is the equivalent of RENAL TRANSPLANT,
    does this mean that any Noun can also be used as an Adjective?
    (I’m wondering if this is how the word KIDNEY is being used in 7dn).

  4. Pete Maclean says:

    >> If, for example, KIDNEY TRANSPLANT is the equivalent of
    >> RENAL TRANSPLANT, does this mean that any Noun can also
    >> be used as an Adjective?

    I am not a linguist so my answer may be far from authoritative but my understanding is as follows. Since English is what is called a “Germanic” language, any noun can indeed be used as an adjective in an appropriate context. Hence we can refer to kidney transplants, kidney stones and kidney beans. But this does not mean that “kidney” and “renal” are always interchangeable. Renal means “relating to, or in the area of, the kidneys” and, as far as I know, it is not quite right to talk of a “renal transplant” because a kidney transplant is a transplant of a kidney more than a transplant to do with a kidney. On the other hand, the situation can get murky, because the terms “renal failure” and “kidney failure” are both used — although the latter sounds better to me. But the artery that takes blood to the kidneys is, I believe, always called the renal artery never the kidney artery.

    So, as a noun-used-as-an-adjective, kidney means “of the kidney” or “like a kidney” while renal means “involving the kidney(s)”.

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Pete, that was an impressive explanation.
    But there’s one letter, the first of our alphabet, that makes the difference.
    Unfortunately (for you), Mike04 is absolutely right when he questions the A in the clue.

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    So(rry), Pete, probably I didn’t get what you were really saying.
    But I think we all (you and I and Mike04) fully agree: “kidney” is not equal to “renal”, even if the first is used as an adjective.
    And therefore the clue doesn’t work as it should.

  7. Mike04 says:

    Many thanks, Pete, for taking the time to reply so helpfully and comprehensively last night.
    I should have used ‘failure’ as my example!

    Thanks too, Sil, for your contributions on the subject. Without an explanation from the setter, I have to agree with your last comment.

  8. Eileen says:


    I’m sorry, I’ve only just seen your query – I wasn’t ignoring it! However, if I had seen it, I would have to have put my hands up, because, of course, you’re right: I hadn’t accounted for the missing A. I can only concur that it is a faulty clue – most unusual for Mudd.

    Congratulations, Pete, on your tour de force of an explanation!

  9. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Well, Eileen, ‘most unusual for Mudd’?
    Maybe, but not so very long ago he made a real mistake (remember TERMINATE?).
    And what about 28ac in last Monday’s Prize Crossword?
    [I know, I'm not allowed to tell anything more than that]

    Looking back at what I wrote in my posts #5 and #6 (and in yesterday’s Guardian blog, #31 and #32), I should stop writing posts after midnight, I guess.
    Although I meant the right things, they were formulated so very incoherently. :(

  10. Eileen says:

    Hi Sil

    I’d forgotten the egregious TERMINATE! But I did remember your comment #30 of yesterday [because I agreed with it - and, as you say, you should have left it there: it makes perfect sense!]:

    “Paul is a setter that you can hardly fault on grammar & precision.” Perhaps Mr H is less precise with his Mudd hat on?

    [Aside] I can’t, at the moment, see anything wrong with Monday’s 28ac. No doubt you’ll put me right next Thursday. :-)

  11. Eileen says:

    [Aside PS] This belongs in the Chat Room [sorry, Pete] – but I realise I was looking at the wrong puzzle! I do see what you mean – apologies!

  12. Mike04 says:

    Thanks for your reply. Happy Easter!

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