Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,747 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on July 28th, 2011

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of July 16

I thought this Mudd was a bit drab with a bunch of uninspired double definitions. I did like 10A (UNDERDOG), 5D (NONE THE WISER) and 17D (GENDARME) — even though the first and last of these have rather obvious clues.

1. SNATCH – double definition
4. SNAFFLED – FANS (ventilators) backwards + FLED (escaped)
9. GOOGOL – GO (attempt) + LOGO (design) backwards
10. UNDERDOG – anagram of GROUNDED
12. CHIP – double definition
13. CONTAGIOUS – C (cold) + ON (on) + IO (ten) in TAGUS (river)
15. TWENTY TWENTY – TWENTY (score) + TWENTY (score)
18. WATERING HOLE – anagram of TEARING in WHOLE (unit)
21. CLODHOPPER – double definition. I was puzzled by this at first because I thought “fool” clued CLOD and wondered where HOPPER came from. I was unaware that CLODHOPPER can itself mean fool as well as boot.
22. PLOD – double definition
24. ELOQUENT – QU[e]EN in [h]ELOT (serf heading off)
25. SHOWER – double definition
26. MUSKETRY – anagram of TURKEY M[ilitary]. Good surface here!
27. GROYNE – reverse hidden word

1. SAGACITY – SAGA (soap opera) + CITY (urban)
2. AGONISED – SINO (Chinese) backwards in AGED (elderly)
3. CHOW – double definition
6. FREIGHTAGE – F (strong) + EIGHT (figure) in RAGE (fashion)
7. LUDLOW – L (learner) in LUDO (game) + W (west)
8. DIGEST – DIG (enjoy) + anagram of SET
11. BOTTLE OPENER – BOTTLE (balls) + OPENER (cricketer)
14. STEAKHOUSE – anagram of HAS TO USE K[nif]E
16. HOLLOWAY – HOLLOW (depression) + AY (yes)
17. GENDARME – anagram of DANGER + ME (me)
19. SCREAM – double definition
20. JOYOUS – YOU (solver) in JOS[h] (brief joke)
23. CHAR – double definition

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,747 by Mudd”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Pete for a wonderful analysis, as always.

    However – unlike you – I did enjoy this puzzle which only proves different strokes for different folks. Many thanks Mudd.

    I thought BOTTLE OPENER and WATERING HOLE were good; I didn’t understand how ELOQUENT worked – until now; and I struggled in the NW corner after entering SCALES for 1a. There’s nowt like a mistake to make things interesting!

    When I finally unravelled SNATCH, it took me way back to my own weight-lifting days when – age 20 – I bought a set of weights with the hope of developing a Charles Atlas-type physique. At the time, I was very disappointed when I started losing weight, as if I wasn’t thin enough … Now, I’m glad because I’ve stayed slim whereas all my beef cake buddies has seen their muscles transformed into fat and, fortunately, I sold my weights at a profit.

  2. Jan says:

    Thanks, Pete, I agree, the puzzle lacked Mudd’s usual sparkle.

    I was going to query CHOW, thinking it was the dog which doesn’t bark but I remembered that’s the Basenji.

  3. Pete Maclean says:

    Bryan, I never did weight-lifting but in my youth I did buy a chest expander device called a Bull Worker. It did not do much for me and I remain to this day a nine-stone weakling — and now very contentedly so!

    Jan, Ah I never thought about whether chows bark or not.

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    SNATCH (1ac) was our last entry, but I’m afraid that I still don’t fully understand the clue. I know that a ‘snatch’ is a weighlifting move, but what about the first part of the clue? According to your blog, Pete, it is a double definition. Can you please explain?

    BTW, in the end we decided that it was a cryptic definition, the clue suggesting that one had to eat a couple of (eg muesli or Marts) bars to gain in weight. :)

  5. Pete Maclean says:

    Sil, “A bar or two” refers to a fragment of a piece of music which is often referred to as a snatch.

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