Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 14016 Mudd

Posted by scchua on May 29th, 2012


In a break from the usual, Mudd, almost always, if not always, an FT Prize puzzle setter, takes the Tuesday spot to bring a message for a worthy cause.  The standard of difficulty is more that of a Prize puzzle, rather than the usual Tuesday, so thanks Mudd for an unexpected enjoyable challenge.  Best wishes in your Marathon endeavour. Definitions are underlined in the clues.  [[Each of the pictures at the bottom has an unidentified link to the crossword.]]


1 See 9

4 See 23

8 European outlaw stealing in, thus laid back (7)

BOSNIAN :  BAN(to outlaw) containing(stealing) reversal of(laid back) [IN + SO(thus,hence)].

9, 1 across Jack cut through pegleg, or fixed the 23 problem? (7,6)

JOGGER’S NIPPLE :  J(abbrev. for Jack, as in playing card notation) + [SNIP(to cut) contained in(through)  anagram of(fixed)  PEGLEG, OR ]. 

Answer: A 23across(which answer is “running”) problem,sore nipples caused byconstant rubbing against the shirt, especially if made of cotton, while running.  To prevent, Wiki advises “run shirtless whenever the law permits”.

11 Party girl has to crash after 5.30? (6,4)

FIANNA FAIL :  [ANNA(girl’s name) plus(has) FAIL(to crash)] placed after(after) FI(as time of day, 5.30 = half past five = half five = “fi”,half its letters).   Though in some other languages, half of six (or its equivalent) = 5.30.

Answer:  Irish political party.  I took a long time trying to parse “vienna ball”, having perfunctorily rejected political party because I couldn’t think of such a party fitting the checking letters  Until, I thought “think non-English – Irish”.  My COD for the clever device.  

12 Redistribution of 1/10 for workers in the field? (4)

OXENAnagram of(redistribution of) ONE(1)/X(Roman numeral for 10). 

Answer: Animal workers, perhaps,? in the field.

13 Legally check sauce, opening at the back (5)

ESTOP :  “pesto”(an Italian sauce) with opening letter, “p”, placed at the back

Answer: A legal term for preventing(checking) by estoppel, something you need a lawyer, not me, to explain to you.

14 Setter recalled club almost bandaging left arm (8)

EMBATTLEReversal of(recalled) ME(the setter, in contrast to you, the solvers) + [BATTE{“batter”(to club,beat repeatedly or hard) minus its last letter(almost)} containing(bandaging) L(abbrev. for ­left hand)]. 

Answer: Verb, to prepare for battle,arm.

16 Bitterness with which a friend welcomes single male (8)

ACRIMONYA + {CRONY(a close friend) containing(welcomes) [I(Roman numeral for 1,single) + M(abbrev. for male)]}.

18 Like a bird, perhaps, to be conceited (5)

COCKY :  Whimsical,perhaps way of saying like a cock(bird) by adding the suffix –y. 

Answer:  As the saying goes:  “Man who swaggers around with hands in pockets is feeling cocky.”

20 Four notes – though not picking them up? (4)

DEAF :  D,E,A,F(four notes out of the diatonic musical scale).

21 Old actress having tempestuous rage with Bogart (5,5)

GRETA GARBOAnagram of(tempestuous) [RAGE plus(with) BOGART]. 

Answer: Shouldn’t that be the late actress (or actress of old)?

23, 4 Managing pain, needle required for it (7,6)

RUNNING STITCH :  RUNNING(managing, say a business) + STITCH(a sudden sharp pain in the side of the body, viz. the ribs, which can be caused by, well, running). 

Answer: A basic type of sewing stitch.

24 Minister did you say? Come again? (7)

REVISIT :  REV(informal address for a member of the clergy,minister) + IS IT?(something one might say to someone to confirm what he/she has said,did you say….?). 

Answer: As one might also say “Come again” instead of “Is it?/Did you say…”, this is a WIWD(wordplay intertwined with definition) clue.

25 Hard time with Inland Revenue turning over capital (6)

RIYADHReversal of(turning over) [H(abbrev. for hard) + DAY(a period of time) plus(with) IR(abbrev. for Inland Revenue)]. 

Answer: Capital city of Saudi Arabia.

26 Worn out, ate, grabbing some sun (6)

FRAYED :  FED(having eaten,ate) containing(grabbing) RAY(one of sunlight,some sun).


1 Biblical woman from Messina omitted (5)

NAOMIHidden in(from) messiNA OMItted.

2 Seed in the air shot up (4,3)

PINE NUTReversal of(up, in a down clue) [TUNE(an air,song) + NIP(a small quantity,a shot of undiluted liquor)].

3 Dog has a parting drink thus (5,4)

LHASA APSO :  [HAS A] contained in(parting) [LAP(to drink, as a dog would, with its tongue) + SO(thus,hence – its second appearance here)].

5 Giant turtle’s head on bread (5)

TROLL :  T(initial letter,head of “turtle”) plus above(on, in a down clue) ROLL(a piece of bread). 

Answer: They come in two sizes, giant or dwarf.

6 Tower Bridge initially smothered in butter, half of tuna on top! (7)

TUGBOAT :  TU(half of the letters oftuna”) placed above(on top, in a down clue) [B(initial letter,initially of “Bridge”) contained in(smothered in) GOAT(an animal that likes to butt,a butter)]. 

Answer: A tower (and sometimes pusher) of ships.  Nice misdirection; another favourite.

7 Shenanigans, fooling around with a holy person? That’s not on! (9)

HORSEPLAYAnagram of(fooling around with) [A HOLY PERS{“a holy personminus(that’s not) “on”}]

10 Rescuer swimming fast around eastern river (6-3)

SAFETY-NETAnagram of(swimming) FAST containing(around) [E(eastern) + TYNE(river in NE England)].

Answer: Well, a sort of passive rescuer.. 

13 Queen admitting lines crossed over order for treasury (9)

EXCHEQUER :  ER(Elizabeth Regina, the Queen) containing(admitting) [X(lines crossed) placed above(over, in a down clue) CHEQUE(an order on paper for the bank to pay the payee).

15 Bronco just down the road, say, for pirate (9)

BUCCANEERHomophone of(say) “bucker”(a horse that bucks, which a bronco, a wild or only partially broken horse is apt to do) + “near”(just down the road from one).  I don’t know whether this is a perfect homophone (very few of those I think, strictly speaking :-) ) and whether there’s going to be a discussion similar to the one in yesterday’s Guardian Cryptic – hopefully not. 

Answer: This appeared in last Tuesday’s FT, and, as I often have this deja vu, I sometimes wonder if there isn’t an unseen hand placing crosswords with same/similar clues/answers within any 7-day period (editors’ perhaps?).

17 Trendy, like youth (7)

INFANCY :  IN(trendy, as in the “in thing”) + FANCY(like,wish to/for). 

Answer: One usually associates infancy with babies (as in “infants are not allowed in the theatre”), but no – it also means the period when you’re still a minor in the eyes of the law, ranging from 14 years in Armenia to 21, with most countries including UK (except Scotland) stipulating it at 18, covering the youthful years.

19 Kindness towards others – suspicious about it? (7)

CHARITY :  CHARY(suspicious,wary) containing(about) IT.

21 Private part of going on a diet (5)

GONADHidden in(of, or part of, if one allows “part” to double up) goinG ON A Diet

Answer and defn:  The ovary for a female and the testis for the male.  Strictly speaking “privates” or “private part” would only refer to genitals that are external, ie. can be seen, so gonad doesn’t quite fit, though “testis”/”testicle” has been used as a substitute for the visible scrotum. 

22 In the dark, Labour leader insecure? (5)

BLIND :  L(initial letter,leader of “Labour”) containing(in-) BIND(to –secure,tie).  Only last Tuesday in the Indy Punk(Paul/Mud) puzzle, there were comments about a device such as in/secure.  I’m with the libertarians on this – it is a cryptic crossword after all, and part of solving it is to decipher the code.




2 Responses to “Financial Times 14016 Mudd”

  1. Didcot Dave says:

    Great site, I’m new to cryptic crosswords but I am getting better thanks to this site. Definatly gets easier the more you do.

    Thank you

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Well, scchua, sometimes I do not understand the lack of posts at this place.
    This was perhaps the hardest Mudd puzzle ever during my cryptic life.
    Indeed, worth a Prize Puzzle, more than worth a Paul Prize Puzzle too.

    Exceptional clueing in 11ac (FIANNA FAIL), also full marks to 6d (TUGBOAT) and 8ac (BOSNIAN), to name just a few.
    X for ‘lines crossed’, another corker.

    No bums or bottoms this time, instead a private part …. :)

    Dear John , this was a crossword to treasure.
    I cannot be in London tomorrow to tell you this in person, but I will punish you for this hard work! I will pay you back!
    At http://www.virginmoneygiving/JohnHalpern , that is. :)

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