Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,947 by Aardvark

Posted by Gaufrid on December 10th, 2008


For a change, a ‘straight’ crossword on a Wednesday, with no theme or gimmicks. Some of the anagram and insertion etc indicators were unusual (to say the least) but they could all be justified by one of the definitions in Chambers.


1 LAPTOP  APT (liable) in LOP (cut off)
9 DISARRAY  ARRAS (tapestry screen) reversed in DIY (self-assembly)
10 BRUNCH  R[easonably-priced] in BUNCH (group)
11 GATEAU  ATE (consumed) in GAU[l] (ancient France)
12 OLEANDER  LEAN (unproductive) in ODER (European river)
14 ARISTOPHANES  STOP (quit) HAN[d] (clapping abruptly) in ARIES (stars) – a comic playwright of ancient Athens
18 CHARLES ATLAS  CHAR (domestic) *(TALES) LAS (US state’s) – Edit: Thanks Smiffy for the correction regarding the last three letters
22 SWIMWEAR  W[h]IM (fancy, less hot) in SWEAR (promise) – ‘don’ in this case meaning ‘to assume’ rather than ‘to wear’
25 NICKEL  C[ollapse] in NIKE (sports company) L (left)
26 HERNIA  HER (lady’s) *(IAN)
28 IN CREDIT  IN (at home) C[leaner] *(TRIED)
29 AXEMAN  A (active) X (drawn, as on football pools?) NAME (handle) reversed – Edit: I am not at all happy with X=drawn but I can see no other way of obtaining the ‘X’ since the only other superfluous word in the clue is ‘when’

2 ANIMAL  IM (Aardvark’s) in [c]ANAL (waterway) – ‘water’ is completely superfluous in the clue
3 TRADE FAIR  ART (skill) reversed DEF (3 successive characters) AIR (broadcast)
4 PORCUPINE  CUP (trophy) IN (at home, again!) in PORE (tiny opening)
5 BOYCOTT  CO (company) in BOY (youth) TT (races) – ‘sports’ is both unnecessary and, to an extent, misleading since the Tourist Trophy is connected with motorcycle racing
6 OMBRE  [s]OMBRE (serious) – a game played with a pack of 40 cards, usually by three players
7 CHURN  CH (check) cUrReNt
8 MACKEREL  ACKER[s] (mostly bread, money) in ME (this person) L (line)
13 ASH  AS (so) H (hard)
16 ASSOCIATE  SO (such) CIA (spies) in *(EAST)
17 CHOW MEIN  HOW (for what reason) in *(MINCE)
19 LOW  dd
20 APRICOT  APRI[l] (30 days unfulfilled) COT (accommodation)
21 GENEVA  GEN (information) AVE (avenue) reversed
23 MINOR  MIN (short time) OR (alternative)
24 ELAND  [ir]ELAND (Eire dodging taxmen, Inland Revenue)

9 Responses to “Financial Times 12,947 by Aardvark”

  1. Eileen says:


    29ac: I’m sure you must be right about X = drawn. It was the A = active that I was more concerned about, until I checked it.

    [I took 27ac as a straight charade, rather than a cd.]

  2. Octofem says:

    Good morning, all. Are you happy with the equation of ‘hernia’ with ‘tear’? I think of it as more of a breaking through?

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Eileen
    Re 27a. I viewed this as ‘how to grab a school’ being a cryptic indication for ‘cast a net’ hence the ‘cd’ annotation. To me a charade is when two or more words (or parts of words), separately clued, are concatenated.

    Hi Octofem
    Simple answer, yes. More complex answer:

    hernia = rupture
    rupture = breach = an opening
    tear = a hole torn in something

    I think it is reasonable to equate an opening with a hole.

  4. smiffy says:

    G’day all,

    I think you are one “L” short in your parsing of 15A.
    It’s CHAR,(LES AT),LA’S – with the LA’S equating to Louisiana’s (“US state’s”).

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Smiffy
    You are right of course. My only excuse is that it was still dark when I solved this puzzle and I was having difficulty reading the clues on the poor quality printout of the gif file, not to mention what I had written, under artificial light.

  6. Agentzero says:

    Thanks. Some random thoughts:

    2d – I was getting ready to complain about this, accusing the setter of defining a general with a specific, then realised that the definition of ANIMAL was WILD (as an adjective). And I suppose we can grant him that the “C” on a tap stands for “cold water.”

    Why should we accept “constantly” to mean “every other letter” in 7d? (Seems more like “intermittently” to me!) I understand “constantly” can mean “evenly” in one sense, but that doesn’t mean it equates to “evenly” in the other sense.

  7. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Agentzero

    You have a very valid point regarding the use of ‘constantly’ in 7d (with or without the additional ‘used’). I didn’t give it any thought at the time because it is a device I have seen used previously for this purpose.

    The antonyms for ‘constantly’ given in Collins, and which I append below, clearly indicate thats its meaning is the exact opposite of that required to indicate alternate letters.

    Antonyms for constantly (Collins):

    (every) now and then, every so often, from time to time, intermittently, irregularly, now and again, occasionally, off and on, periodically, sometimes

  8. Agentzero says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid.

    IMHO, if the clue had been written with a more defensible indicator, it actually would have had a better, more natural surface reading, e.g.: “Check current periodically for diary equipment.”

  9. Agentzero says:

    Um. That would be “dairy” equipment.

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