Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,623 / Mudd

Posted by Agentzero on March 3rd, 2011


Financial Times Prize Puzzle of 21 February

A typically creative and clever puzzle from Mudd.  I liked the way the surface sense of the words making up the wordplay fit in with the definitions in 23 across and 30 across.   I also enjoyed the humour in 21 down and 24 down.

1 LUMMOX LUMM[e] (“good gracious,” not entirely) OX (bovine) 
4 CROSSBOW CROSS (put out) BOW (the front)
11 LA PAZ LAP (orbit ) + A, Z (extremes)
12 OMEN O (round) MEN (hands)
13 HENRY TUDOR *(ROUND THEY) + R (“rectangular,” initially)
15 SEVERED SEVE (Ballesteros, the golfer) RED (blushing)
16 PLAYAS SAY (for instance) ALP (mountain), all reversed
19 NERVES R (beginning to “return”) in SEVEN (figure) reversed
21 CURRANT homophone of CURRENT (up to date)
23 PROPAGANDA homophone of PROPER GANDER (which might take a “real goosestep”).  Getting “Goebbels” and “goosestep” to work together in the clue was brilliant 
25 LYRA Y[ea]R in LA (Hollywood).  “Hollywood” doesn’t define “LA,” though.
27 TUTTI TUT (old king) + T, I (“Turkish” and “Israeli” leaders), “tutti” referring to a “piece [of music played] together”
28 MALAYALAM is a palindrome, and therefore may be read “from the east”
29 MISHEARD SHEAR (cut) in MID (centre)
30 EDISON hidden in doubtED I SO Nearly
1 LACROSSE ACROSS (sort of clue) in L[in]E (“line, losing in”)
2 MANOEUVRE U (you) in *(OVEN) in MARE (female)
3 OVID first letters of Omit Verbs In Dictionary
5 RAT TRAP PART (some) TAR (sticky stuff), all reversed
7 BIPED I (single) P (page) in BED (plot).  Kudos to Mudd for using “Man, say” to mean something other than “isle.”
8 WIZARD dd.  OED gives as one of the meanings of “wizard” “adj. slang. Excellent, marvelous, very good.”
9 LEGEND d&cd; LEG END = afoot
14 TRVIALISE TRI[p] (short journey) + I (one) in VALISE (case)
17 AMARYLLIS A + SILLY RAM (stupid animal) reversed
18 STRAW MAN reverse hidden in VietNAM WAR TSar
20 SLAMMER d&cd; the reference is to Hilaire Belloc’s poem, “Rebecca (Who Slammed Doors For Fun And Perished Miserably)”
21 CUDDLE DD (large breast size) in *(CLUE)
22 SPUTUM PUT (stuck) in SUM (problem)
24 OATHS H[usband] in OATS (covered in porridge).  I laughed at this one.
26 BYRD BY R[oa]D (the way).  William Byrd (1540 – 1623).

3 Responses to “Financial Times 13,623 / Mudd”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks Agentzero, for your fine blog.
    I shared your reservations about LA being ‘Hollywood’ in an otherwise excellent puzzle by Mudd.

    And did you say “I also enjoyed the humour in 21 down and 24 down”? Indeed, I had to think of his Alter Ego.

    Not yet having 1d ánd 2d, 15ac was the one that held me up for a while.
    What to do ????RED, when ???? must be ‘golfer’?
    I tried ‘Lowe’, even ‘Shea’ – could both have given ‘cut’.
    ‘Shea’ was quickly ruled out as it appeared in 29ac, and after finding 1d (LACROSSE) I opted for ‘Seve’ as the golfer. Never heard of this person, though.

    In 27ac’s TUTTI, you say TUT = old king. Why?
    Short for Tutankhamun (or something like that)?. But he was a pharaoh, not exactly a king.
    Or is it King Tut, a character from Batman (and a song by Steve Martin)?

    Clue of the Day: 14d (TRIVIALISE) – great surface.

  2. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Agentzero.
    I seem to have lost my copy of the completed puzzle but I do remember thinking it was up to Mudd’s usual high standard.
    Looking through your blog I remember 1 and 23 across and 17 down as being particular favourites.
    Sil – KING TUT is a long accepted name for the boy king
    Also surprised you have not heard of Seve,you obviously agree with Mark Twain’s description of golf! :)

  3. bamberger says:

    I found this Mudd very hard as I did the previous weeks.
    1a Never heard of this.
    15a I must say that Seve hardly sprung to mind.
    16a Another unheard of.
    17a And another
    27a Had heard of it but didn’t know its meaning
    28 Good grief another unknown
    2d Why does U=you, please?
    14d case =valise is hard
    17d Now I think this is phenominally hard to the point of being unfair. You have to get stupid=silly and animal=ram simultaneosuly out of all the possibilities for stupid and animal.
    26d I will no doubt be told that he is very famous but I’ve never heard of him .

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