Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,776 / Mudd

Posted by shuchi on August 19th, 2011


Great fun with Mudd’s trademark humour on display in 20a and 14d. I found this a gentle solve without being a walkover, just the right level of difficulty to challenge without giving me anxiety.

1 FACADE A CAD (scoundrel) in Fe (Iron)
4 MARMOSET (SOME)* in MART (market) – this monkey.
10 INNINGS top ie remove the head of WINNINGS (prize)
11 PUNJABI PUB (drinking house) around (JAN)* 1. A resident of the state of Punjab, India. I like the way “Jan” and “1” need to be pried apart for the wordplay.
12 GIDE hidden in ‘conflictinG IDEas’. Refers to French author Andre Gide (1869 – 1951), winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947.
13 BLITHERING BLITHE (happy) RING (group). Harry Potter fans will recall Professor McGonagall’s retort to Filch in the last Harry Potter film – “They are supposed to be out of bed you blithering idiot!”
16 MAGNUM MAG (issue) NUM[ber] – a large wine bottle having a capacity of two ordinary bottles.
17 STROPPY PORT (left) reversed, in SPY (spot)
20 SOAKING SO A KING My last answer in, and I loved it!
21 HARROW somewhere between cd and dd – harrow is a tool that pulverizes the soil, and the name of a school for boys in the town of Harrow in north-west London.
24 ANEMOMETER A MOMEN[t] (short second) reversed, (TREE)*
25 FOUL sounds like FOWL (bird)
29 SHEBANG SHEBA (old kingdom) N (not) G (good)
30 NOONTIME (MINE ON TO)*. And here I was trying to fit the answer of 12a GIDE into the clue! Very clever.
31 DEFECT dd


1 FAIR GAME AIR (song) G[rate], FAME (musical)
2 CANADA GOOSE CASE (patient), around NADA (nothing) GOO (gunge) – this bird.
3 DINK DIN (racket) K[eeper]
5 APPETITE PET (dog or cat, perhaps) IT, in APE (gorilla)
6 MINNESOTAN (MENTIONS AN)* A Minnesotan is a “Statesman” in the sense of “man of US State” :)
7 SPA SPA[m] (meat, endless). So far I knew of spam as unwanted email, I now learn that Spam is a trademark for canned precooked meat.
8 TWINGE TWIN (double), EG (say) reversed
9 PSALM S[ung] in PALM (tree)
15 CUCKOO PINT CUCKOO (bananas i.e. mad) PINT (a measure of liquid) – a flowering plant of the genus Arum.
18 UNDERARM M (maiden) RARE (unusual) opening letters of ‘Deliveries Not Upsetting’, all reversed.
19 TWILIGHT W (west) I (one) L[over], in TIGHT (close)
22 WANTON continue to desire = WANT ON
23 TENSE dd The first is a definition by example of the verb tense.
26 PEKE sounds like PEAK (top)
28 ADO A DO (social event)

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,776 / Mudd”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Shuchi & Mudd this was most enjoyable.

    Spam – the meat – became famous in the UK during WWII when food was scarce and rationed.

    I’d never heard of CUCKOO PINT but I guessed it after getting SOAKING which is my COD.

  2. crypticsue says:

    Thank you Schuchi. I am with you on this one, gentle, not too easy and great fun. Big thanks to Mudd too.

  3. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Mudd for an enjoyable crossword and shuchi for the blog. SOAKING (20ac) my favourite clue as well, with PUNJABI (11ac) a close second and many other delights.

    My only adverse comment is that I do not like grids that split almost entirely into halves (as this one does) or quarters. In today’s case, the witty clues more than compensate.

  4. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, shuchi, and Mudd for the puzzle – great stuff, as has been said.

    Spam became well-known to people who had never had to eat it from the Monty Python sketch:,
    in which the word ‘Spam’ is used ‘at least 132 times’ [Wikipedia:, later causing the name to be given to unwanted email.

  5. MikeC says:

    Thanks shuchi and Mudd. I thought 14d was absolutely priceless – the clue sounded frightfully rude but, correctly understood, was completely “harmless”. Vintage Mudd/Paul.

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