Never knowingly undersolved.

FT No. 12,809 set by AARDVARK

Posted by Octofem on July 2nd, 2008


I found this puzzle quite tricky, and a complete contrast from yesterday’s yawn.  There were a good number of colloquialisms, but some clever twists and one or two clues  which defeated me, q.v below.


1.    – SERBIA  – (<res- bi -a{cres}
4.    – FLESH POT (I cannot explain this one.  Wanted to have ‘Pit’ as second word because of ‘strip’,
                                 but could not fit in the ‘r’,  Help please?
9.    –  COD WAR  -(< ra- w- doc.  The conflict between fishermen of various countries over their rights)
10.  –  EARRINGS – (e-a-rring-s)- erring around Ann’s first letter with ‘s’ from special
12.  –  MARZIPAN –  (m-ar-zip-an – feel that marzipan is only an addition to a cake, but am perhaps being  pedantic.
13.  –  FLEECE – (double definition)
15.  –  omitted
16.  –  APPEACH – ( someone will have to explain, please, why AP is a patronising label.  A nice archaic word. 20.  –  QUININE – ( quin-in-e {last letter of settee} )
21.  –   RILL – (< ll-ir from well-irrigated)
25.  –   HEANEY – (he-an -e -y)
26.  –  SEMILLON – (<no-l-lime-s – {l and s, 1st and last of Louis)
28.  –  TRIMARAN  – ( trim-aran ) – Aran sweater’s from Isle of Aran are very popular with boating people.
29.  –  COUPLE  –  ( coup-l-e – imagine the accent please in ‘coupe’..  A brace of people)
30.  –  PLEBEIAN  (- *be and alpine)
31.  –  CORTES  – ( escort with last two moved to front.  The legislative bodies of Spain and Portugal)

1.   – SYCAMORE – (s-y-cam-ore – should the clue have been ‘wound up’ around etc. or have I got the word-                               play wrong?)
2.   –  RYDER CUP -(Ryder – c-up {for excited} – communicating indicates ‘sound of’ rider. The golf  trophy        awarded every other year.)
3.   –  IN A FIX  –  ( *NAAFI without ‘a’,  plus IX for the team.)       
5.   –  LEAK- ( delicacy  prevents me from explaining!)
6.   –  SURPLICE  – (sur-*clip-e)
7.   –  PANZER –  (p- a-nz-e-r – PE around Australia and New Zealand, with last letter of war.  – the
                               tank developed in the 30’s by the Germans and used extensively in World War 2)
8.   –  TESTEE – (t-est-ee -) French for ‘is’, surrounded by tee- could be from golf or short for Tees river.)
11. –   omitted ( this time ‘cos I haven’t got the answer!)  
14. –  MEANDER -( me- and- ‘er )- a curving part of river also known as ‘oxbow’)
17. –  FUSELAGE – (fuse-lag-e ) – fusee needs the acute again – a kind of pyrotechnic lighting device.
18. –  LILLIPUT  –  (*tupil around ill)
19. –  FLANNELS – double definition
22. –  CHAT UP  –  (c-hat-up) -slang expression ‘ to pull’ – getting the lady between the sheets.                                      
23. –  DATIVE  – (dat-iv-e) – again, to date someone is to court in the old sense.
24 –  KIMONO – k-i-m-on-o (KO is to knock out in the boxing ring, hence ‘floor’)
27 –  HAKA – ( , New Zealand threatening chant before games – sounds like Hacker).

7 Responses to “FT No. 12,809 set by AARDVARK”

  1. Geoff Moss says:

    16a is ‘impeach’ or possibly ’empeach’. I too am at a loss as to the ‘patronising label’ part of the clue.

    11d is ‘jasmine’, a bush. ‘jas’ = jars (clashes with) with ‘r’ (Russia’s leader) removed (renouncing) + ‘mine’ (explosive).

  2. Octofem says:

    Thank you for that Geoff. 11d. I was trying to think of a Russian leader without perhaps HE. Always consider Jasmine as a climber rather than a bush. Any ideas on 4 across?

  3. Geoff Moss says:

    “Any ideas on 4 across?”

    Sorry, no. The nearest I have come is a double definition. ‘flesh pot’ can be a ‘blue club’ and also a pot in which meat is cooked. I have a vague recollection of seeing ‘strip’ defined as a piece of meat but cannot find this in any of the dictionaries I currently have available. The nearest I have come is an example of a thin piece which was given as ‘strips of beef’.

    There were several dubious clues in today’s offering and this was certainly one of them!

  4. smiffy says:

    A swift change of gears from the ridiculous (yesterday) to the sublime (today).

    I came to same conclusions as you, Geoff, on 4A. A little unsatisfactory but I guess it was a trade off between greater vagueness and a slicker surface reading.

    28A: I thought the structure was slightly different, having: TRIM,AR[-r]AN.
    Otherwise the “last to wear docking” seems redundant. That being said, in every day usage, I’d plump for Aran sweater (over the alternative Arran) every time.

  5. Geoff Moss says:

    Aardvark is obviously confused between the Isle of Arran off the west coast of Scotland and the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland from which the type of knitware obtains its name.

  6. smiffy says:

    I think it’s a fairly common misconception (and one that I was relieved of only a few years ago myself) – probably due to the fact that, geographically at least, the Scottish version is much better known.

    That’s what I was tring to allude to (that Arran is a false but oft-encountered alternative).

  7. don says:

    From the Aran Islands ownwebsite: “The Aran Jumper: The Aran (or Arran) jumper/sweater takes its name from the Aran Islands, was popular in the fishing villages on and islands off the West Coast of Ireland, or from the Isle of Arran off the west coast of Scotland.”

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