Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,346 – Mudd

Posted by Uncle Yap on April 8th, 2010

Uncle Yap.

Monday Prize Crossword on 29 March 2010
What a pleasant surprise to have Mudd in this Monday slot. For the uninitiated, Mudd is John Halpern, said to be a libertarian setter who also compiles for the Independent (as Punk) and for the Guardian (as Paul). Mr Halpern has his own very interesting website at

As expected, Mudd is challenging as well as entertaining. However, the last time I blogged Mr Halpern, he made two mistakes. I wonder whether he has made another  one here (see 28 Across).

1 COHABITED Ins of HABITE (Ins of A BIT in HE, man) in COD (swimmer)
6 BRASS dd Necessary is slang for money or brass
9 AGGRO Ins of GR (George Rex, old king) in AGO (in the past)
10 SNARE DRUM Cha of SNARED (caught) RUM (peculiar)
11 THIRD PARTY Ins of D (500) + PAR (average) in THIRTY (figure)
12 SWAB Cha of SW (south-west for Cornwall as SE is for Kent and NE for Newcastle-upon-Tyne) AB (able-bodied seaman, sailor)
14 BEDSORE Cha of BEDS (Bedfordshire where Luton is in) ORE (raw stuff) I got stuck here for a while when I wrongly thought this was OUTLINE (raw stuff) being *(LUTON + I.E., that’s)
15 EARACHE E (ecstasy) + ARACHNE (spider) minus N (nitrogen)
19 BIPLANE Ins of I PLAN (a single idea) in BE
20 TRAP Rev of PART (bit)
22 BAYONETING Cha of BAY (shout) ONE THING minus H (hard)
25 WAKEFIELD Cha of WAKE (sober occasion) FIELD (special interest) This reminds me of the demise of an old doctor friend some months ago. He was a regular at our watering hole at the Club and at his wake, he specifically left instructions that after the ceremony, his wife was to open a few bottles of single malt for his friends. We did not go home very sober that night :-)
26 UNION ONION (tear-jerker) with U substituted for O
27 ROWDY ROW (queue) DY (DaddY gutted, without middle bits)
28 TIN OPENER *(peer into + N) Have I read this wrongly or has Mudd made a mistake? His word-play appears to be T + *(peer into). Since both the N’s are checked (part of another solution), I am fairly certain ….

1 CRAFT dd Chambers support ships in the plural
2 HAG-RIDDEN Cha of HAGRID (Rubeus Hagrid is a fictional character in the Harry Potter  book series written by J. K. Rowling) + DEN (hideout)
3 BLOOD DONOR cd allusion to the fact that people with O type blood are also known as universal donors.
4 TESTATE Cha of TEST (try) ATE (the Greek goddess of mischief and of all rash actions and their results) Bonxie in the Guardian recently had Willing to try stewed tea (7)
5 DRAFTEE Sounds like draughty (cold)
6 BREW Ins of R (last letter of spider) in BEW (rev of WEB, its trap)
7 ARROW (n) arrow
13 TRIPLE JUMP Ins of L (first letter of launch) in TRIPE (rubbish) JUMP (start)
14 BELL TOWER Ins of T (first letter of tinnitus) in BELLOWER (one who shouts)
16 COALITION COAL (fuel) + *(into + I, Italy)
18 NEATEST Ins of EAT (dine) in NEST (home)
19 BROADEN Ins of ROAD (means of access) in BEN (mountain)
21 ASKEW ASK (invite) EW (rev of WE, the Financial Times)
23 GONER ha
24 IFFY IF (providing) FY (FishY gutted, without its content) Mudd must have forgotten that he had used this identical device in 27Across.

Key to abbreviations
dd = double definition
dud = duplicate definition
tichy = tongue-in-cheek type
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

One Response to “Financial Times 13,346 – Mudd”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks again, Uncle Yap, for your fantastic blog.

    To come straight to the point:
    Yes, 28ac (TIN-OPENER) must be a mistake. Indeed, for the second time fairly recently in a Mudd [remember TERMINATE – wasn’t that also a N/T thing?].
    I think the editor should have noticed it, but apparently not.
    Well, let’s say, we are all human beings :).

    Just like you, I didn’t find the double use of “gutted” very elegant, especially since both parts of the words (DY and FY) are crossing each other at Y.

    And what a coincidence that the day before this puzzle was published, Bonxie had TESTATE with the same idea (‘Willing to try …’). But then, these things happen.

    Apart from all this, I thought this was a very good crossword with many fine surfaces as well [something I appreciate].

    Highlights for me:
    19ac (BIPLANE), 22ac (BAYONETING), 2d (HAG-RIDDEN), 18d (NEATEST) and – yes, unbelievable, a cd! – 3d (BLOOD DONOR).

    Maybe, I should make the storytelling BELL TOWER (14d) my Clue of the Day.

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