Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,884 / Mudd

Posted by shuchi on December 23rd, 2011


I had a fun time solving this puzzle. The grid has four nearly independent mini-grids and I worked through them starting from the top-left, going anti-clockwise, with 10a as my last answer in.  Especially enjoyed 25a, 18d.


1 CENOTAPH (AT ONCE)* P (quiet) H (hard)
5 MOPPET MOP (thick hair) PET (darling)
9 ROCKETRY T in ROCKERY (garden)
10 SWERVE SW (towards Cornwall, i.e. south-west of England) (VEER)*
12 SKEDADDLE [a]SKED (not initially, requested) ADDLE (go off, as in become rotten)
13 LLAMA LAM (hit) in LA (US city). South American ruminant, often used as a beast of burden.
14 MINX MIN (30 seconds = half of MINUTE) X (kiss)
16 BRIOCHE B (British) RIO (port) CHE (red)
21 WAND W (wife) AND (accompanied by)
24 BRIER BRIE (cheese) [gardene]R
25 CONSTABLE CON (criminal) STABLE (sure). A lovely semi-&lit.
27 JUNKIE KI[d] (short child) in JUNE (summer month)
28 FOXGLOVE G[uide] in FOX LOVE (affection between cubs)
29 TALENT TALE (story) NT (books)
30 BEGRUDGE BEG (seek charity) RUDE (impolite) around G (grand)


1 CORPSE PS (added line – post script) in CORE (heart)
2 NICKER dd. Nicker is one who nicks i.e. steals; nicker is also slang for a pound sterling.
3 THETA THETA hidden in ‘goeTHE TAboo’
4 PARADOX A (article) in PRADO (Spanish gallery) X (signed by illiterate). Incidentally, in India an illiterate person places a thumbprint instead of ‘X’ on legal documents from which is derived the Hindi colloquial term ‘angootha-chhap’ i.e. thumb-printer.
6 ORWELLIAN (ON AIR)* around WELL (bore). George Orwell’s style.
7 PARLANCE PAR (standard) LANCE (weapon)
8 TEENAGER (GREATEN + [figur]E)*
11 SERB BRES[t] (French city, endlessly) reversed
17 JUMBO JET JUMBO (elephant) squashing i.e. on JET (black)
18 REGIONAL (ANGLER)* around IO (moon).  Io is a moon of the planet Jupiter, famous in crossword circles as a pseudonym of setter John Henderson.
20 LOCO dd. Short for ‘locomotive’, also means mad. This reminds me of another excellent double definition clue by our setter for the same word: Potty train (4).
21 WINSOME WIN (land) SOME (a part)
22 ABROAD A BROAD (slang for US lass). Other than the fact that I dislike the word ‘broad’, I think it is a clever clue.
23 SEVERE SEVER (slice) [machet]E
26 TIGER TIER (layer) around [eg]G

7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,884 / Mudd”

  1. Bamberger says:

    The top half was fully solved but only got 19a,21a,15d & 22d from the bottom . I’m sure this was composed at different times with Mudd setting a higher standard in the bottom half.
    26d was very clever .

  2. MikeC says:

    Thanks shuchi and Mudd. I enjoyed this one. COD perhaps 14, which was particularly neat IMHO.

  3. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Mudd for an enjoyable crossword and shuchi for a clear blog.

    14ac: It seems to me that it involves a three-stage solving process to convert “30 seconds” into MIN, as follows:

    1. “30 seconds” = “half of a minute” (factually correct)
    2. “half of a minute” = “half of minute” (where did the “a” go?)
    3. “half of minute” = MIN (reinterpreting “half of” as a cryptic instruction)

    One can argue that step 2 is too trivial to worry about, and that the other two steps are easy enough, but I still think the process asked of the solver requires at the very least a question mark on the end of the clue.

  4. Molly says:

    I got to 16 across as Br (British) IO (Input / Output Port) and Che (Red)

    see I/O ports This component is known as an IO port.

  5. F.Durst says:

    The Prize Puzzle doesn’t seem to be showing on the FT website; perhaps they are removing crossword privileges for non-subscribers.

  6. Bamberger says:

    Re 5 I think they have forgotten to post it -there doesn’t seem to be anywhere else where it could be.

  7. John Newman says:

    Thanks Shuchi

    I thought this was a great puzzle. Was going to complain about 30 seconds until the penny dropped. I didn’t know IO was a moon and I had corpus as 1D, which stopped me getting 12A.

    I really liked 10A, 14A,21A, 17D and (sorry Shuchi) 21D. In fact 21D was so good I dreamt about it.

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