Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,692 / Mudd

Posted by shuchi on May 13th, 2011


A puzzle with many laugh-out-loud moments and not much struggle except with 20D and 22D. 14A, 4D, 7D and 19D were supremely funny. I had a great time solving this.


1 ROSE BUSH BE SO (very) reversed, in RUSH (grass). Rush is a grass from the genus Juncus.
5 ICICLE I (single) CI[r]CLE (ring, not right)
10 AVOCADO O (duck) after A V (very) O (old) CAD (rat, slang for scoundrel)
11 AGAINST AGAIN (repeated) ST (way). ‘V’ is the symbol for ‘against’, especially used between names of competing teams/players in contests.
12 OASIS O (oxygen) A SIS (relative). An oasis is a place of beauty or happiness amidst difficulties.
13 GELIGNITE hidden reversed in ‘meETING I LEGitimised’. Nice to see a long word hidden so well in the clue. Gelignite is an explosive, also known as blasting gelatin or jelly. Gelignite as well as dynamite were invented by Alfred Nobel of the Nobel Prize fame.
14 BEANS ON TOAST BEAST (savage) around NS (partners at the table, from the game of bridge) ON TO A. Lovely clue.
21 PARTRIDGE EG (say) DIRT (mud) RAP (hit), reversed
23 SAUCE dd
24 OCTAGON O CON (kid) around TAG (name). ‘Kid’ and ‘con’ both mean ‘trick’ but are they exact synonyms? AFAIK to kid is harmless, to con is not.
25 TRACTOR T (time) + CART (one vehicle) reversed, OR. Vehicle = CAR was my first assumption, it took a while to see the correct parsing.
26 YONDER Y (one of the axes i.e. X and Y) ON RED (bloody) reversed
27 NAMELESS (SALESMEN)*. I’m assuming the anagrind is ‘hopeless’, but what is the significance of the definition?


1 REASON SON (issue) below REA[l] (genuine, cut)
2 SPOUSE SOUSE (steep) around P[rice]
3 BRASSIERE BRASSIER (more cheeky) [concubin]E
4 SHOTGUN WEDDING (SUDDEN THING GO)* around W (wife). A shotgun wedding is one necessitated/hastened by a pregnancy.
6 CLANG CLAN (family) G[el]
7 CANNIBAL CANAL (duct) around NIB (pen)
8 ENTREATY ENTRY (admission) around EAT (worry)
9 HALLE ORCHESTRA cd. I got the word ORCHESTRA early on, needed to figure out the name. My thanks to Google for leading me to
16 SYMPHONY S[a]Y M[ahler] PHONY (sham)
17 AU GRATIN AUG (month) before RAIN (fall), around T[errific]. The definition is “with breadcrumbs”; a dish cooked au gratin is covered with breadcrumbs and browned in an oven.
19 AUNTIE A UNTIE (loose)
20 DES RES hidden reversed in ‘advertiSERS EDition’. This was new to me – des res is a real estate marketing term, short for ‘desirable residence’.
22 ROGUE BROGUE (shoe) without the top. To top as in to remove the top e.g. to top carrots.

8 Responses to “Financial Times 13,692 / Mudd”

  1. crypticsue says:

    Thought it was going to be a struggle to start with but it soon fell into place. Agree that it was great fun – just difficult to laugh out loud when you are pretending to work in a shared office!

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, shuchi

    As you say, this was a real fun puzzle and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    I agree with all your favourites [especially 14ac!] and would add 18ac.

    Re 27 ac: I took it as meaning that if salesmen were hopeless, in the sense of useless, they would wish to ‘remain nameless’, as the saying goes.

    We’ve been very lucky today [Friday 13th!] – three super puzzles. :-)

  3. Geoff says:

    Thanks, shuchi.

    Good entertainment, this one. I particularly enjoyed 7d and 19d.

    Strictly speaking, a RUSH (see 1a) is not a ‘grass’, but a plant from a different, though related family. And it was traditionally the reluctant groom who was forced into marriage at the point of a shotgun, rather than the pregnant bride! But these are mere details, and didn’t serve either to mislead or to spoil the fun.

  4. Bryan says:

    Very many thanks Shuchi this was a real treat.

    Having been born and brought up near Manchester, I have been to concerts given by the HALLE ORCHESTRA, so this came easily but I did wonder how other more distant puzzlers would fare. Well done!

    I have enjoyed 2 great puzzles today (this and The Grauniad) but I now have to wonder where is the third that Eileen raved about in 2 above?

    Also, many thanks Mudd for this and also for last Saturday’s Prize Puzzle in The Grauniad. That, too, was excellent.

  5. Eileen says:

    Hi Bryan

    Are you joking? It’s the third one blogged on this site:

    It’s by Nimrod [Enigmatist]if you’ve really never tried an Indy.

  6. jmac says:

    Another wimmer from Mudd. When this setter is on his game (as here) it’s a privilege to solve his puzzles – so much fun for free!

  7. Bryan says:

    Eileen @ 5

    No – I wasn’t joking.

    Many thanks for the enlightenment.


  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    After I printed out the puzzle this morning, the clues for 3d and 4d were inescapable, making clear that Mudd had his Paul-hat on today. Great fun puzzle, just like Punk’s in the Indy a few days ago. Mr H must be a happy man at the moment! :)

    Agree with all your favourites shuchi, but I would like to add 17d (AU GRATIN).

    Friday the 13th? Well, not in Crosswordland!
    Just done the Crucible – also very fine – ‘and now for something completely different': Nimrod [nicked the paper from college for that reason].

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