Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,585 / Mudd

Posted by shuchi on January 7th, 2011


A gentle, entertaining puzzle with high number of double definition clues, many that we need to “lift and separate” to read the definitions independently (27A, 5D). The bottom half of the grid makes enough food and drink references to whet your appetite, though it’s probably coincidence rather than a theme.

Mudd isn’t as adventurous in FT as in his Guardian avatar but we do catch glimpses of his humour in clues like 11A, 29A, 19D.


1 LAUNDERETTE LATTE (coffee) around UNDER E (where “Espresso” perhaps listed). I checked in vain if the French word for coffee shop is “undere” before the penny dropped – the word “Espresso” will be listed under the letter E.
7 COB dd
9 TOTEM TO MET (short for Metropolitan Police), reversed
10 LIMOUSINE I MOUS[e] (rodent, tail cut), in LINE (rank)
11 ANTENATAL A N[ubile] TEN (figure) initial letters of ‘Appear Tubby And Large’
12 AMASS AM (PM’s predecessor in the context of time) ASS (wally, a stupid person)
13 GUESSED sounds like ‘guest’ (visitor)
15 REIN RE – “theological” subject ie esoteric way of saying “subject”, IN. I hope this parsing is right as I found it really amusing. //Update: RE = Religious Education. Thanks to Ramasamy for setting that right.
18 LIAR RAIL (line) reversed; with a cryptic-style definition. This was my last answer of the puzzle and it seemed so obvious after all.
20 TINTYPE TIN (preserve) TYPE (kind)
23 PLONK dd; “plonk” is inferior wine.
24 FLAGEOLET dd; a green baby lima bean, and also a flute.
26 HOT POTATO HOT POT (dish) TOMATO (fruit) – TOM (cat)
27 TABLE dd
28 TIE dd
29 BUNNY RABBIT BUN (cake) (RAN BY)* BIT (chewed on)


1 LETHARGY (GREATLY)* around H[ippo]
2 UNTETHER UN[i]T ETHER (number)
3 DEMON DEMO (march) N (November)
4 RELATED RED (coloured) around LATE (yet to arround)
6 EDUCATION (AUCTIONED)*; I’m reminded of Mark Twain’s classic line – “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education”
7 CLIMAX CL (150) IMAX (films shown here)
8 BREAST BREST(French port) around A
14 STINK BOMB T[errorist] in SINK (pot), BOMB (slang for a lot of money)
16 SYLLABUB BALL (party) reversed, in (BUSY)*. A dessert of beaten cream flavoured with wine.
17 SEAT BELT (TESTABLE)*; a lovely clue – no better test of a seat belt than a crash.
19 REFRAIN REF (referee, who whistles) RA (painter) IN
20 TEA COSY (EASY TO C[onceive])*
22 BOTTLE dd. “Grit” and “bottle” both mean daring.
25 EXTRA dd

12 Responses to “Financial Times 13,585 / Mudd”

  1. Ramasamy says:

    I thought in 15A theological subject = RE Religious education. 18A was my last as well. 2D and 18A stood out as the best.

    A minor quibble is the use of N = November in 3D.

  2. shuchi says:


    RE Religious education Doh. Of course. Thanks!

    November = N is in the dictionaries, so it’s fair I think.

  3. Ramasamy says:


    Sorry for the previous comment. N=November is perfectly fine, as it is a radio code! Remembered just now.

  4. crypticsue says:

    Very entertaining.

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Indeed, a nice and not too challenging puzzle from Mr H.
    Last one to go in was UNTETHER (2d), after which I was looking and looking and looking why. But your blog, shuchi, made it all clear – in fact, a very nice clue.

    “November = N is in the dictionaries, so it’s fair I think”?
    Whén it’s in there, yes.
    But in which dictionaries?
    I cannot find this abbreviation in Chambers 11th, nor in the Oxford Dictionary of English [nor in Collins Online].
    I am not saying it’s wrong, especially since Ramasamy suggests that it is a radio code [but I’ve never heard of it], also knowing that Mr H is usually very precise.

  6. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Sierra India Lima

    Regarding N=November, try the NATO phonetic alphabet:

  7. jmac says:

    For me an ideal sort of weekday puzzle – fun clues, all very fair, testing but not difficult. Thanks for your helpful blog Shuchi.

  8. nmsindy says:

    N = November, Sil van Hoek at 5, further to Gaufrid’s comment at 6, it’s under November, not N, that you need to look in dicts for it. It’s the reverse of an abbreviation in a way.

  9. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks to you all.
    Got it now.
    [and learnt something today]

  10. bamberger says:

    If I’d got 1a , it would have opened up the NE. As it was I got about 40% out.
    20a a new word for me
    24a I didn’t know a flageolet was a flute as well as a bean.
    2d I’m sorry but I still don’t get this. Release is untether. A whole number is a unit and we take i out-but how do we get ether, please?

  11. jmac says:

    Bamberger @ 10, re 2dn, the type of “number” is not of the 1 to ten variety, but an anaesthetic, i.e. “makes you grow numb”, thus “ether”.

  12. bamberger says:

    Thanks jmac -one for me to remember -brilliant misdirection.

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