Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,396 / Mudd

Posted by smiffy on May 27th, 2010


A steady and gentle jog-trot today.  No brain-busting vocab requirements, and I think the xwd editor was wise to slot this one into a Thursday, rather than the weekend edition (where Mudd’s more time-consuming puzzles typically reside).

1 SIMILITUDE – Homophone of “you” inside (“impressed”) (is limited)*.
6 AFAR – a (RAF)<.
9 REPUBLICAN – pub in relic + an.  Following on swiftly from 1A, another high impact insertion device (“punches”).
10 HELP – double def’n.
12 ARTFUL DODGER – (Old fart urged)*.  The anagram fodder was probably irresistible; but could we have somehow used “Rudge” instead of “urged”?
15 ALL BLACKS – (ball)* + lacks.
17 LOTUS – double def’n.
18 RUMBA – Rum baba – BA.  People of a similar vintage to myself may be pleased to see that the aforelinked Wiki page also makes reference to Rum Baa Baa “the most evil sheep in the world and the arch-nemesis of Henry’s Cat”.
19 PENDRAGON – pen + dragon.  Almost straying into Les Dawson territory with regards to mothers-in-law.
24 AMEN – a + men.
25 KNICK-KNACK – Homophone of “Nick” + knack.
26 APSE – hidden.
27 BRANDY SNAP – B + randy + snap.

1 SORE – (Eros)<.
2 MOPE – mope{d}.  Nice misdirection from the economical wordplay.
3 LIBERAL PARTY – One of those ‘Marmite’  (i.e. you’ll either love it or hate it) puns.
4 THIEF – I in (the F{ellow}).
5 DEADLY SIN – (lady dines)*.
7 FREIGHTAGE – Fr + eight + age.  I like the “father figure” combo/device.  And enjoyed the clue more than one for the same word that cropped up in The Times just the other day.
8 REPHRASING – (Seraph)*in ring.
11 HOWLER MONKEY – howler + (K in money).
13 LA TRAVIATA – RA in Latvia + ta.
14 OLD MASTERS – (seldom star)*.
16 CO-PARTNER – Op in car + (rent)<.
21 BACON – double def’n
22 YARN – ditto.
23 SKIP – double ditto,

9 Responses to “Financial Times 13,396 / Mudd”

  1. Ferret says:

    Hands up, I couldn’t tie together mope from the definition of moon in 2d? I thought it might be a typo for mood? Anyone care to explain?

  2. Dave H says:


    I took it to be one of the meaning’s of to moon is to pass time aimlessly ie mope around.
    Also it took me some time to see the wordplay.
    Thought this was a very smooth puzzle from my favourite setterand liked the double meaning of misshapened ball for a rugby side

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Chambers has a slightly closer connection:
    Moon – to wander about listlessly
    Mope – to move aimlessly and listlessly

  4. Tony Welsh says:

    I have a problem with “co-partner.” I got it, by default, but is it a word? Would a fellow primate be a co-monkey by the same logic? It also seems tautological; isn’t a partner always “co”?

  5. smiffy says:

    I take your point, Tony. As a real world business observation, I have encountered the term co-partner on many occasions, and interpret it as denoting distinct equality of ownership or vested interest. Of course, whether such status is real or imagined is often a moot point (as with Hollywood’s use of the word co-star, the device is often a mere ego-stroking device).

    So probably not a complete tautology, but a pretty redundant word in most of the contexts it inhabits.
    No doubt Gaufrid will have some kind of dictionary evidence that contradicts my opinion!

  6. Ferret says:

    Thanks all

    Definitions accepted.

  7. Jan says:

    I am way beyond the response date for this puzzle but I don’t visit very often; doing the Xwords en bloc from print outs.

    Smiffy, thank you for the blog and I believe that you will still see my message? Maybe you or another could respond by email.

    I finished the puzzle but was totally bewildered by ‘relic’ for ‘cobwebby type’ in 9. Am I missing something obvious? It wouldn’t be the first time. :-)

  8. smiffy says:

    Hello Jan – better late than never!

    The ‘cobwebby’ type (admittedly not an everyday word) is simply meant to indicate at ‘relic’ as an old/undiscovered item from the past (which could, conceivably, have become covered in cobwebs). It’s quite an abstract/indirect indicator, so I probably should have illuminated it at the time.

  9. Jan says:

    Ffanks, Smiffy. :)

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