Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 12,988 / Bradman

Posted by Gaufrid on January 30th, 2009


I found this generally up to Bradman’s usual high standard, with some good clues, but unfortunately there appears to be one significant error (4a). I am also not too happy with the wordplay in 22a.

1 SAMITE  SA (it) MITE (small creature) – a kind of heavy silk fabric
4 ALCALDES  *(A SAD CELL) – as mentioned above, there appears to be an error here. Chambers defines ‘alcalde’ as ‘formerly, a Spanish judge or magistrate; a Spanish mayor’. The governor of a Spanish fortress, or Spanish jailor, is ‘alcaide’ or ‘alcayde’. Collins and COED confirm that an ‘alcalde’ is a magistrate or mayor.
9 BLUNT  dd – Anthony Blunt, better known for his espionage activities
10 FIVE-SCORE  dd – ‘five-score’ is one hunderd
11 THERMAL  THE [no]RMAL (usual number missing)
12 RAMBLER  AMBLE (gentle pace) in [su]RR[ey]
13 GARB  BRAG (boast) reversed – ‘special’ serves no purpose other than to justify a reason for bragging
14 TENNYSON  NY (part of America) in *(SONNET)
17 PROVERBS  PRO (publicist, Public Relations Officer) VERBS (certain words)
19 SWAN  SWAN[k] (show off endlessly)
22 CHAOTIC  CHA (tea) OTIC – ‘otic’ is ‘of or relating to the ear’ so I don’t see the ‘in an organ’
24 CATWALK  cd
26 CUT-UP  dd – according to Chambers ‘cut-up’ is ‘to makes jokes’ rather than the person making them but Collins gives ‘a joker or prankster ‘
27 PRESTIGE  REST (sleep) in PIG (animal) E (little energy)
28 MOMENT  MEN (fellows) in MOT (witty saying)

1 SABOTAGE  A BOT (bottle) in SAGE (herb)
3 TATAMI  *(A MAT IT) – a Japanese mat made from rice stalks
6 ASSUMES  UM (hesitation) in ASSES (fools)
7 DROLL  [brothe]R in DOLL (girly toy)
8 SHERRY  SHE (female) RR (bishop) [part]Y
10 FALSE TEACHING  dd – ‘cheating’ is an anagram of ‘teaching’
15 NEWCASTLE  NEW (fresh) CAST (players) L[ose] E[verything]
16 SNAKE-PIT  NAKE[d] (with almost nothing on) P[ray] in SIT
18 OUTPOST  OUT (unfashionable) POST (job)
20 ICE CAP  I (one) C (cold) PACE (walk) reversed
21 STUCCO  CUTS (gashes) reversed CO (company)
23 AISLE  hidden in ‘rabelAIS LEwd’

7 Responses to “Financial Times 12,988 / Bradman”

  1. Eileen says:

    Hi Gaufrid

    Thanks for the blog: I hope the overtime rate is good!

    13ac: even with your explanation, I can’t see the point of ‘special’.

    19ac: I can’t remember hearing [of] the word ‘swank’ since I was a child!

    22ac: I’m not sure I see your problem: ‘in the ear’ and ‘of the ear’ seem to me pretty much the same. The online medical dictionary gives ‘otic: of, relating to, or located in the region of the ear’.

    28ac: I have never seen ‘mot’ without ‘bon’ to mean a witty saying. I see that Chambers gives it – with exactly the same definition as ‘bon mot’.

  2. Bradman says:

    I fear that I misread the lower-case I of ALCAIDE in Chambers for a lower-case L, understandable I hope with a small-print sans serif typeface. That and ISSACHAR last month — have mercy!

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Bradman
    I had originally included a reference to ‘Isaachar’ (FT 12,959) in my draft blog for this puzzle but deleted it because I didn’t want to highlight two errors in recent FTs :-)

  4. smutchin says:

    That’s an unfortunate and excusable error in 4a – and one that the crossword editor can take equal blame for!

    I vaguely recall that the otic ganglion is “in the ear”, so that seems fine to me.

    A scrupulously fair puzzle and I can only admire the variety and overall balance. As a relatively inexperienced solver, I still have trouble spotting crosswordese devices such as “RR” for bishop and “SA” for it, but that all comes with practice, I’m sure.

  5. Uncle Yap says:

    We always do the Indy one day later and we just had a whale of a time with some of Bradman’s clues, especially 10Across Six batsmen got ducks? That’s one very rare century (4-5) My clue of the day

    15Down seems prophetic … what a pathetic team it is now compared to its former glories in the early 50″s. I do not remember Nucasel United winning any trophy in the last half century

  6. Paul B says:

    They won the Cup three times in the 50s: 51, 52 and 55, and on three previous occasions. Last time they won the League was 1927.

    But shurely Yap, you cannot have forgotten the recent triumph in the UEFA Intertoto Cup (2006)? Nor the Anglo-Italian Cup (1973) and Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (1969)?

    Haway man.

  7. Paul B says:

    (They’re all Magpie solvers up there, of course.)

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