Never knowingly undersolved.

FT 12826 / by Jason

Posted by C G Rishikesh on July 22nd, 2008

C G Rishikesh.

This crossword was not uploaded in time so I could not write my blog earlier.

The top left quadrant proved a little difficult in that it contains two unusual words from the world of flora and fauna. Scattered throughout the grid there are other plants and animals.


1 POLECAT – two def. – I was able to get this only after some crossings were in. The animal def.

poses no difficulty, but the other does. I know of pole dancing itself (there is one in the recent Tamil

film Dasavatharam) but the fact that a person who does it is called polecat is new to me.

5 OPEN-AIR – anag. of “opera ‘in'” – An easy clue that is a starter for the solver – Enclosing the word

in in quotation marks is useful but is not strictly necessary in my opinion.

9 WEARY – w(E)ary

10 CHINKAPIN –  chink, a, pin (v. from ‘trap’ as a verb) – the dwarf chestnut of the U.S. (one of

some U.S. connections in this puzzle) – chincapin and chinqapin are variant spellings

11 AFFLUENCE – a f(flu)ence – all very well. but is the surface reading plausible?

12 OBESE – O B, e, s, e – Excellent surface reading so forget any strict rules as to indications for

starters. “starts to” go only to ‘enjoy’ and ‘sugar-free’. The final e is derived from “cake finally”. Be

thankful that the British honour is left alone or ‘bees’ are not subject to any maltreatment. 

13 GONG – go(-i)ng – a slang term for ‘medal’

15 CANONISE – C,anon, is,E – ‘saint’, v., is the def.

18 ASSAILER - hom. of ‘a sailor’

19 SURF - two def. – When we surf, we browse and we may do it, I suppose, with certain aims. In my opinion, “aimlessly” in the def. part of the clue is gratuitous.  As for surf resembling ‘white horses’, references exist in Tamil poetry of more than 2,000 years ago.

22 TOADY – to(ad)y – in ‘trailer’ we have a good def. for ‘ad’ (departing from ‘bill’, ‘plug’, ‘poster’, ‘publicity’ and so on.)

24 GLISSANDO - anag. of ‘load’ and ‘signs’

26 DIALOGUES – I solved this from the def. “conversations from two”.  I don’t understand the first part – the reference to British exchanges.

27 CROCI - croc. (“little snapper”), I (1)

28 EXALTED – …..ed? – ….Ted? – I didn’t solve this in early stages. What is the ‘guitar’ that is ‘thrown back’?

28 SCEPTRE – anag. of ‘respect’ – good surface reading in a clue that employs a wellknown anagram.


1 PAWPAW – P.A.,w.,pa,w. – I solved this from the easily accessible wordplay while the fruit itself is new to me.

2 LEAPFROGS – leap, frogs – I have my own reservations about the definition ‘bypasses’, though.

3 COYPU – coy, pu(-p) – One gets the word from parsing even if one does know it already – Surface reading is not quite satisfactory (if my interpretation is correct) – For one, one is young or not young; one cannot be “mostly young”. I am not sure if the tail-off that I have indicated is right.

4 TECHNICAL – anag. of ‘catch line’ – This word reminds me of a friend of mine who was my colleague. He was (and, at 60plus, is still) a bachelor. Decades ago when the idle talk at the office inevitably changed to women and sex, he would detach himself from the swirling conversation saying these matters were “technical” for him.

5 OLIVE – o,l, I’ve

6 ELKHOUNDS – anag. of ‘should Ken’ – The question mark is in its own right.

7 APPLE - a(pp)le

8 RENNET – rev. of ‘tenner’ – Till now I knew only of the enzyme for cheesemaking.

14 GRAVY BOAT – I see this as a straightforward def. with some cryptic elements about it and I think that ‘coaster’ has nothing to do with vessel but only means ‘mat’

15 NARCISSUS – straightforward def.

17 STRUNG OUT – st(rung)out – I solved this from wordplay – A person who is ‘strung out’ is a person who is an addict, who can’t say ‘no’ to something

20 STODGE - anag. of ‘gets do’ – In the surface reading, does the word ‘do’ mean ‘party’?

21 MOBILE – This answer suggested itself to me by the crossings and given ‘cell phone industry’ in the clue. I don’t get the drift, though.

22 ANANA – (-b)anana

24 GOURD – O in ‘gurd’, rev. of ‘drug’

25 SUCRE - With my little knowledge of French I solved this, with all that lengthy def. helping me along. The second part … just a minute… is it a ref. to sugar being drug, prob. from Columbia famous or notorious for that stuff?

5 Responses to “FT 12826 / by Jason”

  1. Octofem says:

    Commiserations – it’s distressing if that happens when you are time-tabled to blog. The postings are very erratic, it seems.

  2. Paul B says:

    Still not up at 11pm!

  3. Geoff Moss says:

    26a Dialogue is defined as ‘a conversation between two or more people’ or ‘an exchange of views’. ‘British’ is included to differentiate the answer from the North American spelling ‘dialog’.

    28a AXE (slang for guitar) reversed + L (little) + TED (Edward)

  4. Geoff Moss says:

    3d Your interpretation is correct. Mostly (most of) ‘PUP’ is ‘PU’

    21d Mobile is a city in Alabama USA

    25d Sucre is the legal capital of Bolivia and is also a Department in Columbia (capital Sincelejo)so it is possible that Jason got his geography slightly mixed up.

  5. Geoff Moss says:

    With all those ‘fruits’ we certainly had our ‘five a day’.

    For those from outside the UK reading this, ‘five a day’ (portions of fruit and vegetables) is a current Government slogan for the promotion of healthy eating.

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