Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,505 / Mudd

Posted by shuchi on October 1st, 2010


Mudd’s puzzle brims with wit and laugh-out-loud moments. The top-right gave me with some moments of anxiety with words for Portmouth and Ireland that I didn’t know, and 4A took a long time to crack – but it was nothing that good old Google couldn’t rescue. The rest of it fell into place quite gently.

My favourites today: 14a, 19a, 5d, 10d


1 HUSSAR US (American) in (RASH)<
4 STOPPAGE POTS (many) reversed, PAGE (messenger)
9 MEANT MEAT (Turkey, say) around [legislatio]N
10 CAMEMBERT MEMBER (clubman) in CAT (whip). ‘Cat’ is short for cat o’ nine tails.
11 MEGATON paste => NOT A GEM, reversed
12 ELECTOR E LECTOR (reader); ‘one with an X’ because X is the mark for a vote.
13 DOZE DOZE[n] (almost twelve)
14 TUNA FISH (FU[ll] TIN HAS)*. Great clue.
17 REPAIRED PAIR (couple) in REED (plant). How is repaired = retired? // Update: ‘repair’ can mean to return or withdraw. Thanks Eileen.
19 ITEM dd. Informal word for a romantic couple.
22 HOMERIC HOME (in) RICHARD (Shakespearean king) – HARD. ‘in’ here looks like a link word but it isn’t so.
25 PIMPERNEL IMP (demon) ERNE (flier), in PL[ace]
26 RABBI RABBI[t] (abridged ‘talk’)
27 YEASTIER (IS EATERY)*. What an interesting way of defining the word: ‘more redolent of bread’.
28 COARSE sounds like ‘course’ (programme)


1 HOME-MADE DAME (American woman) M (married), in HOE (weed, verb)
2 STARGAZER STARER (someone looking) around GRAZ (Austrian city) – R (runs)
3 ASTUTE AS (when) TUT (old king) [wis]E
5 TEMPERAMENTAL TEMPERA (method of painting) MENTAL (bananas)
6 POMPEII POMPE[y] (slang for ‘Portsmouth’) II (two)
7 ALERT hidden reversed in ‘debutanT RELAxed’
8 ENTIRE NT (book) in EIRE (nation, Irish name for ‘Ireland’)
10 CONCUPISCENCE (CCCC + ONE SUPINE)*. Mudd’s at his best when he’s being risque.
16 IMBECILE I (single), BEC[k] (wave, briefly) in MILE (distance)
18 PORTENT POTENT (telling) around R[oad]
20 CHIPPY C (cat’s principal) HIPPY (long-hair)
21 QUARTO ART (drawings etc) in QUO (in which, from Latin), with ‘frames’ indicating the containment
23 MAMBA MA and BA (degrees) around M[an]

7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,505 / Mudd”

  1. Eileen says:

    Hi shuchi – thanks for the blog.

    Re 17ac, ‘repair’ can mean to return or withdraw.

    Very enjoyable puzzle. I’d add 11 and 22ac to your favourites.

    [I do think the RABBI[T] could be retired for a while.]

  2. shuchi says:

    Hi Eileen

    Thanks, didn’t know that meaning. Found it after looking carefully in the dictionary.

  3. Tokyocolin says:

    Thanks Shuchi. I think 24ac is TOUGH (yob) + IE (that is).

    My favourite was 11ac – I guessed that it might be MEGATON but couldn’t see the “paste” connection and then chuckled as I read off “Not a gem”.

  4. bamberger says:

    After my alloted hour, the NW was complete (though I couldn’t work out the wordplay for megaton), the SW and SE had bits in them but the NE was blank.Main problem was not being able to get 5 & 10d.
    I have never heard of tempera and in any case with bananas I was looking for an anagram of something.I doubt if I would ever have got get 10d except via a solver.
    10a Didn’t know what a clubman was -thought it might have something to do with an eater of club sandwiches given the reference to cheese (not that cheese is an ingredient of club sandwiches)
    22a The only Shakesperean king I could think of was Lear. Having been forced to do “As you like it” for O level, I have hated said man with a vengeance ever since. Unfair perhaps but a year of having to study and be examined on that wretched play has put me off that man for life.
    24a I assumed it was an anagram of “that is a”. In any case yobs are not necessarily hard men- in fact many are puny louts.
    25a Looked for an anagram of “ll tin has” -never occurred to me that there could be a gap in the letters ie that you take fu but not ll. Erne is new to me .
    28a I do find homophones (and for that matter spoonerisms) hard. Any tips, please?
    Disappointed not to get 6& 7d.

    Outclassed today.

  5. shuchi says:

    Hi Tokyocolin

    Thanks. Yours looks like the parsing Mudd intended; ‘that is’ fits better with it. That TOUGH could be a noun didn’t strike me earlier.

  6. shuchi says:

    Hi bamberger

    So I wasn’t alone in my struggle with the NE!

    10a I didn’t get the clubman = member connection immediately either. Got the answer and later worked out the wordplay.

    22a I haven’t studied Shakespeare but the main characters are useful to know for crosswords. Bottom the Weaver is another one to remember.

    22a ERNE is a bit of crosswordese; you’ll often find it fit ‘bird’ in the wordplay

    14a ‘half-full’ is to be parsed before the letters are jumbled. If you read it in that sequence, there is no gap. Sometimes the fodder may even be separated by a joining word e.g. ‘mixed nuts and tea’ = ATTUNES.

    28a The solver’s advantage with homophones/spoonerisms is that the indicators are pretty obvious. Even if we can’t solve them in the initial pass, we can figure out what to look for. It’s a matter of working with the checking letters from there on.

    Mudd’s style takes some getting used to, I’m sure you’ll do fine the next time.

  7. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Here’s another one that ended up in the NE [ALERT and STOPPAGE were the last ones to go in].
    A few days ago I was a bit negative about Mudd’s recent prize puzzle – because I found it very, very dull.
    This one was surely a different kettle of fish.

    This was as close as Mudd can get to his alter ego Paul – within the World of the FT.

    10d (CONCUPISCENCE) would have been a jewel in the Guardian, just like splendid 12ac (ELECTOR).

    I particularly liked the football related clues 6d (POMPEII) and 15d (HIT THE BAR) – indeed, easy, but immaculately clued.

    And to be even more positive today, I will add MEANT (9ac), TUNA FISH (14ac) and 5d (TEMPERAMENTAL) to my favourites.

    Even RABBI (26ac) can’t change my verdict: very good crossword!

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