Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,950 – Mudd

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on March 22nd, 2012

Sil van den Hoek.

Monday Prize Crossword/Mar 12

An enjoyable prize puzzle by Mudd which I didn’t find very hard. If I remember well, I found it even a bit blandish during solving – but that said, when writing the blog I was impressed by the variety (and cleverness) of the cluing.


1 SLAPDASH Careless hit and run
    SLAP (hit) + DASH (run)
5 ASHORE Unprocessed metal behind tree on the beach
    ORE(unprocessed metal) coming behind ASH (tree)
10 MILKSOP Weak type manipulates work
    MILKS (manipulates) OP (work, opus)
11 UKULELE One’s played with Duke, Lulu and Madeleine’s hearts
    [d]UK[e] + [l]UL[u] + [mad]ELE[ine]
12 RANGE Cooker in sight
    Double definition
13 RED CARPET Ferrari typically leading favourite, those privileged enough to step on it?
    RED CAR (Ferrari, typically) + PET (favourite) – this is, in my opinion, an ambiguous definition, but apparently it is just the ‘it’ bit that we need here
14    CASTLE HOWARD     King, say, welcomes moving to a Welsh country house
    CARD (King, say) around (TO A WELSH)*
18 NINE OUT OF TEN One unit failing regularly – given this high score?
    (ONE UNIT)* + OFTEN (regularly)
21 MISERABLE Being sad, reveals retreating into the distance
    SERAB (reversal of BARES (reveals)) inside MILE ((the) distance)
23 SUEDE Fabric affected when pronounced
    Homophone of SWAYED (affected) [with thanks to Wanderer]
24 TOASTIE Warm snack required, having to drink last of coffee
    TO + ASTI(drink) + [coffe]E
25 VAGRANT Bum elderly relative squeezed into barrel
    GRAN (elderly) inside VAT (barrel)
26 RED HOT Sexy queen put back on short loincloth
    RE (reversal of ER (Queen)) + DHOT[i] (‘dhoti’ (loincloth), short of its last letter)
27 ESOTERIC Nothing in secret, I suspect, is secret!
    O (nothing) inside (SECRET I)*
1 SOMBRE Grey hat, a quarter sliced off
    SOMBRE[ro] (‘sombrero’ (hat) minus a quarter of it)
2 ASLANT The Lion King, tale’s introduction at a particular angle
    ASLAN (The Lion King, ie The Great Lion in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series) + T[ale]
3 DESPERADO Border guards peer suspiciously round back of lorries, seeing criminal
    DADO (border) around (PEER)* which in itself goes around [lorrie]S
4    SEPARATE TABLES     Beastly accommodation hosting a repeat, awful theatrical work
    STABLES (beastly accommodation) around (A REPEAT)* – a play by Sir Terence Rattigan
6 SOUSA Composer from America, hence that country?
    SO (hence) +USA(that country,America) – John Philip Sousa, best known (but not only) for his march The Stars And Stripes Forever
7 OPEN-PLAN How the office set out golfing strategy, perhaps?
    Double definition, I guess, the second one being cryptic
8 EVENTIDE Competition I’d entered, only beginning at the end of the day
    EVENT (competition) + I’D + E[ntered]
9 BUNDLE OF NERVES     Wreck observed with funnel cracked
15    OVERSIGHT Shrug one’s shoulders through obvious mistake
    Double definition, I guess Guessed it wrongly [thanks again to Wanderer] – it should be: SIGH (shrug one’s shoulders) inside OVERT (obvious)
16 ANIMATOR Film maker shifting main schedule up
    (MAIN)* + ATOR (reversal of ROTA (schedule))
17 INKSTAND Stink bombs accompanying writer’s assistant
    (STINK)* + AND (accompanying)
19 REPAIR Fix on brace
    RE (on) + PAIR (brace)
20 HECTIC Very busy time’s ending in long climbing campaign, for a start
    [tim]E inside HCTI (reversal of ITCH (long)) + C[ampaign]
22 RETRO Reliving the past, drink lifted, though not the first!
    RETRO[p] (reversal of PORTER (drink))



4 Responses to “Financial Times 13,950 – Mudd”

  1. Pete Maclean says:

    Hi Sil, I enjoyed this puzzle but failed to understand the wordplay of 24A. Thanks for the explanation. I am not happy with the definition in 13A.


  2. John Newman says:

    Hi Sil

    I communicated with Pete, who will be blogging the other MUDD for the week, on this one because I couldn’t get 2D (didn’t know Aslan),24A and for a while 17D. So thanks also for the wordplay on 24A which I couldn’t see. Dreadful word though, eh? TOASTIE. I see google has it everywhere but I had never heard of it in my life. Even us Australians who shorten everything and then put “ee” on the end say “Toasted sandwich”.

    Thanks also for the explanation of 13A. But as Pete says it still doesn’t work. Surely the comma should be a “for” or an “of”?

    I thought 14A and 18A were excellent clues.

  3. Wanderer says:

    I agree that this was at the easier end of the scale for Mudd/Paul, but an enjoyable crossword nonetheless. Also agree that the definition for RED CARPET seemed a little loose. Ticks for SOUSA, CASTLE HOWARD and NINE OUT OF TEN.

    Two small points: 23, SUEDE, I read as a homophone of SWAYED. And 15, OVERSIGHT, I read as SIGH (shrug one’s shoulders) contained by (through) OVERT (obvious). So: OVER(SIGH)T with mistake on its own as the def.

    Many thanks to Mudd and Sil.

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks folks, for your comments and not liking the definition of 13ac. There is somewhat more I would like to say about this clue (in relation to Mudd’s other disguises) but I am not allowed to do so yet.
    Another thing that I didn’t mention was the fact that Mr H is apparently in a “I suspect” mood recently because it cropped up [thanks Boatman :)] in a recent Punk too, and in a Paul that still has to be blogged.

    Special thanks to Wanderer.
    You’re absolutely right about SUEDE and OVERSIGHT [one that I couldn’t really parse and thereafter ‘binned’ as a double definition].

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