Never knowingly undersolved.

FT 12,542 by Aardvark

Posted by smiffy on August 21st, 2007


I solved this one in fits and starts, although each quadrant of the grid fell into place pretty readily once I’d cracked the four “long” clues.  I use quote marks because no answer in this grid is longer than ten letters.  Not sure if that’s a low-water mark for a standard daily cryptic, but it must come close.  Anyhoo, Aardvark did a good job of playing the hand he was dealt (or chose?) by employing a well-balanced array of vocab and devices.

1 SAC,RUM – I couldn’t figure out how “Canine, for example” led to SAC (or maybe CAS “retrieved”), but this was still eminently solvable.
4 OB,STA(C)LE – A good-humoured surface.
11 UL,UL,ATE – I solved this puzzle over breakfast, so wasn’t expecting to encounter a surface based on “urinal”s.
12 A,JAX – Sailors=Jacks. A homophone clue that probably favours classical scholars over footy fans.
13 CHUCK BERRY – “has fling with Halle”. And I always thought he was happy enough just playing with his ding-a-ling
16 L,IN,COLN(e) – The last to go in for me, as I wasn’t familiar with the “Lancashire town” in question (Colne).
21 JE(EVE)S(-t)
26 DAD,A
29 WA(RT,HO)G – “Comedian”=Wag. A term that I’ve always read as being something of a backhanded compliment (see also: “wacky” or “zany” breakfast show DJs)
30 LARCENER – r in (cleaner)*
31 PUN(NE)T – “last pair occupying machine”=NE

5 BLUE C,HIP – a casino term, also used nowadays (without sufficient irony) on the stock market.
8 EVE,LYN – I assume the instructions here are simply, two women combine to make one.
14 DANISH BLUE (ideal buns h)*
17 LE(VIA,TH)AN – unusual to see “road” denoting the Roman version.
19 ESCARGOT – punning cryptic def’n.
25 OTT,ER – “Excessive”=Over the top (OTT)
27 URDU – sounds like ‘er do. This homophone reminded me of the old joke about Urdu being what Cilla Black goes to the hairdressers for (I’ll get my coat…).

One Response to “FT 12,542 by Aardvark”

  1. John says:

    And 23 down, BRA,W(eaken),L(eft).

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