Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,722 / Mudd

Posted by shuchi on June 17th, 2011


Mudd with a geographical bent in this fun crossword. I got the answers in a rush at first but ground to a halt in the bottom-left corner, only to realize that my answer RWANDA for 22d was wrong. Specially enjoyed the creative wordplay at 25a and the chuckle-worthy surface of 31a.


1 TIP-OFF dd
4 OPEN FIRE dd; the second definition comes from the Christmas tradition of roasting chestnuts on an open fire, as in this Christmas song.
9 MALADY LAD (boy) in MAY (spring)
10 WEREWOLF FLOWER (the blooming thing) EW[e] (sheep, almost), all reversed
12 HUNK dd; ‘stud’ and ‘hunk’ both mean a handsome man.
13 MINIM A palindrome.
14 IDLE dd
17 WICKETKEEPER WICKER (twigs) around E[nglish] T (time), PEEK (look) reversed
20 POTTY-TRAINED POTTY (crazy) (TRADE IN)*. Trademark Mudd clue!
23 LOUT L[oose] OUT (blooming)
24 ASSAM MASS (service) [bell]A, reversed
25 MAYO April 30 is like May 0  :)
28 MANDRILL MAN (chap) DRILL (bit on one) – a bit is a removable boring head used on some types of drills.
29 MIDGET MG (car) around ID (identification), ET (he phoned home) – in the film E.T., they make a device for E.T. to “phone home” by using a Speak & Spell toy.
30 PLAYMATE (MY PAL)* ATE (consumed)
31 WARREN dd – a warren is a place where rabbits breed.


1 TOMAHAWK TOM (cat) A HAWK (bird) According to etymology details online, the word comes from Algonquian (probably Powhatan) tamahack meaning “what is used in cutting”.
2 POLO NECK (ONCE)* in POLK[a] (dance, endlessly)
3 FIDO hidden in ‘itselF I DOubt’. Fido is an abbreviation of Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation, a system used for dispersing fog
from an airfield to ensure safe landings for airplanes. I didn’t enjoy this clue very much as the words in the abbreviation are used directly
in the clue.
5 PRESIDENTIAL P[arliamentary] RESIDENTIAL (living)
6 NOEL NOVEL (book) – V (volume)
7 ISOLDE IS OLD (has aged) [tim]E
8 EIFFEL F[rench] + IE (that is) reversed, Fe (iron) L[andmark]. Refers to Gustave Eiffel, designer of the Eiffel Tower, the iron landmark of Paris.
15 TENOR dd
16 TEXAS AXE (cut) in ST (street), all reversed
18 ENDANGER END ANGER (calm down)
19 EDMONTON ED (my i.e. the setter’s boss) MON (a day – Monday) TO N (name)
21 CLAM UP LAM (hit) in CUP (gold hole)
22 GUINEA dd; a guinea is an old British coin worth 21 shillings (£1.05).
26 DRAM DAM (stop) around R (right); “dram” = “short” is a small drink of liquor.
27 DIVA AVID (keen) reversed

12 Responses to “Financial Times 13,722 / Mudd”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Shuchi & Mudd, this was very enjoyable.

    My last was WARREN which is also my COD and this just edges out GUINEA where, at first, I thought it might be EU related.

    I also liked POTTY-TRAINED and LICKETY-SPLIT – neither of which I recall having seen before in Xwords.

  2. Bamberger says:

    Found this very hard and got less than half out, not helped by having 1a as “off cue” which made 1,2&3d unsolvable.
    I saw that wicketkeeper fitted 17a but I only had letters e&e at 9 & 11 and couldn’t see why it could be correct.

  3. Quixote says:

    Bradman in Quixotic IOS guise can offer you his own previous clue for POTTY-TRAINED: Being able to control output in trade?

  4. shuchi says:

    @Quixote: Thank you – that’s a very funny clue!

  5. lenny says:

    I usually expect Mudd to be gentler than his alter egos but this was quite a workout. I had a similar problem to Bamburger, essaying Hot Tip for 1A, although probably only Hurricane Higgins would have a hot tip. I finished with some tricky 4-letter answers. I had to go through the alphabet to get Dram, having been tempted by Trim. Last in was Fido. I get really angry with myself when the hidden word is the last in. I loved Lickety Split and the trade mark humour of Potty Trained.

    I got Guinea on the £1.05 definition. If it is a DD I do not understand it.

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Lenny, the currency in (formerly, French) Guinea – a country in Africa – is still the ‘franc’.

    Just like you I was initially tempted by Trim, but.

    I particularly liked OPEN FIRE, WICKETKEEPER [said the one who doesn’t understand anything about it], MAYO [although I am pretty sure that I have seen this before – in a Paul?], WARREN and POLO NECK.
    MIDGET was one of my last. The combination of half vague definitions (‘One’s little’ and ‘he phoned home’) didn’t convince me though.
    My Last One In was IDLE (14ac)- couldn’t be anything else other than that, but perhaps my knowledge gaps in English idiom are too big to understand the first part of the clue. Is it a dd? The second part feels like a cd.

    Many thanks shuchi!

    PS, I do like Quixote’s alternative even more than Mudd’s 20ac.

  7. scchua says:

    Thanks shuchi and Mudd for an enjoyable puzzle.

    Favourites were 20A POTTY TRAINED, held back a while thinking “crazy” was the anagrind, 25A MAYO, clever cryptic and 10A WEREWOLF. 27A AVID was helped by coincidentally just having read Mudd/Paul’s blog on his Cryptica website where there’s a more Paulish and amusing clue for the same.

    Hi lenny Guinea also refers to former French Guinea, a colony where and when the currency was the franc.

  8. lenny says:

    Thanks for the enlightenment on the currency of Guinea, Sil. If I may return the compliment, Idle is, indeed, a DD. When an engine is turning over it is idling.

  9. lenny says:

    Thanks too Scchua, your posting crossed with mine

  10. scchua says:

    Sorry Sil, crossed with yours.

    Your query re 14A IDLE: “turn over” refers to eg. an engine that is idling.

  11. scchua says:

    Sorry lenny. Tonight’s the night for “crossings”!

  12. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, lenny and scchua.
    Thought that it would be like that, but I don’t know anyone with engines …. :)
    Or, wait a minute. Of course, my friend Thomas …. :)

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