Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,081 / Aardvark

Posted by Gaufrid on May 20th, 2009


It seems quite a while since I’ve had any significant quibbles about a puzzle but today has changed that. One faulty clue (29a) and some questionable wordplay (5a, 9a, 2d, 4d, 11d, 22d). I didn’t find this puzzle particularly inspiring. I can’t say it was a chore to complete it but it didn’t give the same amount of enjoyment that some other recent puzzles have done. Perhaps this was me having an off day so I will be interested to hear what other solvers thought about it.

1 STALLION  TALL (unlikely) in SION (ideal place)
5 BATHOS  BATH (city) OS (map) – OS is not ‘a map’ or ‘to map’, it is an abbreviation for the noun Ordnance Survey meaning the preparation of maps of Great Britain and Northern Ireland by the Ordnance Survey (Department)
9 ALICANTE  I (individual) CANT (lingo) in ALE (beer) – I can find no support for I = individual
10 CHEESE  cd
12 MICAH  CI (chapter one) in HAM (amateur) reversed
13 PAY HOMAGE  P (priest) AY (agreed) AG (silver) in HOME (residence)
14 RUMPUS  RUM (odd) SUP (drink) reversed
16 ERITREA  TIRE (exhaust) reversed RE (on) A (major road)
19 ESTUARY  STUAR[t] (house that’s endless) in YE (the old) reversed
21 AYE-AYE  homophone of ‘eye-eye’
23 TESTAMENT  *(MATES) in TENT (temporary accommodation)
25 BROTH  ROT (tripe) in B[ritis]H
27 DAYBREAK  D[uties] *(A BAKERY)
28 AT EASE  hidden in ‘operATE AS Expected’
29 SYMPOSIA  MP (politician) OS (very big) in SY[r]IA (Middle East country) – though ‘runs’ appears in the clue there is no removal indicator

1 SHAMMY  SHAM (not genuine) MY (wow)
2 AGINCOURT  A GI (a soldier) N[earby] COURT (chase) – I’m not sure that, strictly speaking, ‘court’ can be equated with ‘chase’
3 LOATH  [f]LOAT (drift aimlessly missing fine) H (husband)
4 OCTOPUS  C[oast] TO in OPUS (work) – ‘fish’ has to be read as per the definition ‘loosely, any aquatic animal’ because an octopus is actually a cephalopod (the highest class of molluscs)
6 APHRODITE  homophone of ‘afro’ (hairstyle) *(DIET)
7 HYENA  YEN (hankering) in HA[nds]
8 SKELETAL  LATE (departed) LEKS (money from Albania) reversed
11 TYPE  dd – not really a dd because ‘kind’ and ‘sort’ are synonyms
15 PHALANGES  LANG (long, in German) in *(SHAPE)
17 ROY ROGERS  [builde]R GORY (bloodstained) reversed in *(ROSE)
18 VERTEBRA  VERT (green, in French) B (black) in ERA (period)
20 YVES  V (playing) in YES (definitely)
21 ACTUARY  ACTUALLY (in fact) with LL (pounds) changed to R (rupees)
22 CHUKKA  homophone of ‘chucker’ (one throws) – some may question whether this is a true homophone
24 SALVE  L (left) V[et] in SAE (envelope)
25 BEBOP  OBE (award) reversed in BP (birthplace)

7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,081 / Aardvark”

  1. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    In 9ac, perhaps it’s individual = one = 1 = I

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Rishi
    I had considered that possibility but it is one step too many for my liking, though I have no doubt that this was what was intended.

  3. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    21d: Chambers does have R = Rupee(s).

    But, in India we don’t use the abbr. R for rupees or even rupee.

    The popular abbr. is Rs.(for rupees) which precedes any figure in cheques or other instruments/documents used by people.

    The abbr. for ‘rupee’ is Re. but one rupee is so small an amount that you rarely write a cheque for Re. 1.

    Financial institutions use INR where, one might argue, R stands for ‘rupees’.

    BTW, typos in the anno. need to be fixed.

  4. Gaufrid says:

    “BTW, typos in the anno. need to be fixed.”

    Sorry Rishi, you need to be more specific. I cannot see the typos to which you refer.

  5. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    That last sentence related to the clue on hand.

    Shouldn’t the anno be

    ACTUALLY (in fact) with LL (pounds) changed to R (rupees)

  6. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Rishi. I must be having an off day because I read that several times without noticing the error.

  7. smiffy says:

    Hello gents,

    To me this one felt that strange sensation you occasionally experience while driving. I clearly recall starting the puzzle and the solving the last several clues, but (worringly) I seem to have little detailed recollection of the intervening moments!

    Notwithstanding my lack of attention to detail, I had no concerns over OS, which was also defined as “map of sorts” a couple of weeks ago in the Times (#24,218). But thanks for highlighting the tautology at 11D – that one was beyond the pale for me.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

four × = 8