Mudd and Mud

Dear readers,

I am Mudd in the Financial Times. After yesterday, by name and by nature. A trainer of the shoe variety and myself parted sweet company en route, midseas, fathoms deep within the gloop of a Kentish cross-country run mire.

I considered continuing. The few runners in the Eridge 10 mile run between myself and the back marker (traditionally the last five home are shot, barbecued and served to the winners) were hottish on my heels, albeit at virtual walking pace, and perhaps I could dispense with my B trainer too, and run home besocked, thus avoiding the hideous embarrassment of the barbecued-in-waiting splashing past me as I levered the offending item from the abyss.

But lever I did. It is at times like this I often think of crosswords. It’s payback time for the torturer. Safe within my home office I plan my most devious attacks on the defenceless. The victims cannot find me, in my cowardice. And yet sometimes I think they know who I am. Those who tread on my toes in the street, cut me up on the road, splash Mudd up my nostrils as I stoop to be conquered.

As a crossword setter I must aim to lose gracefully. If the solver has not won, I need to be more generous to you.

Yesterday I lost – yes, in style, but without grace. To those who defeat me, I salute you. Do pass the wet wipes.

Best wishes,

John (Paul)


2 responses to “Mudd and Mud

  1. John(Paul),
    Just a quick note to say what a big fan I am. I always look forward to your puzzles in the Guardian, especially on a Saturday. I’m currently (slowly) working my way through the compilation book of your puzzles. When I say slowly, I mean it’s been about two years and I’m on to number 57, having completed about 7/8.
    I sent a few entries to the clue competition on the cryptica site, it was a shame that stopped going. For what it’s worth, my favourite of your clues is ‘I want a thousand giraffes on my desk by tomorrow morning!’ (1,4,5). Sheer beauty.

    • Richard (famous name – I guess there must be many Richard Wilsons though!),

      Many thanks for this – and for picking this clue, one I really enjoyed writing, for its total silliness! So glad you’re enjoying the book too, and well done for working through it in such an orderly fashion!

      It’s such a pleasure to receive such a positive email too, which is really appreciated – often comments aren’t quite so generous, but I’m luckier than many of my colleagues in this respect!

      With much respect and many thanks,

      John (Paul)

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