Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,358 / Jason

Posted by Agentzero on April 13th, 2010


There was a bit of a theme here with words for various kinds of frivolity. However, I’m afraid this puzzle was not as much of a “lark” or a “hoot” as it might have been.  Too many clues had no discernible surface meaning.  I also have questions about some of the definitions, noted below.

1 GAMBOL MB (doc) in GAOL (prison)
4 PRIVET PR (pair) IVE (I have) T (starting to “trim”)
8 CATCALL CA (about) + C (clubs) in TALL (giant)
9 TRACING I think this is CART reversed + IN G (in good).  Not sure why CART = “whack the ball.”
12 LARK [c]LARK (Kent, as in Superman)
13 CLOWN CROWN (monarchy) with R changed to L
14 BIFOCALS B (bachelor) IF (provided) [l]OCALS (pubs)
16 COMPOSER COM (prefix? don’t know why) POSER (someone out to impress)
18 CHAFF dd
20 HOOT H (Henry) + TOO (also) reversed
21 OVERCHARGE dd, I think: one of the many meanings of “do” is to cheat or swindle
23 MANHOLE AN H (hour) in MOLE.  A mole is “a large solid structure serving as a pier, breakwater, or causeway,” but Collins and COED do not support defining it as a “building” (“a structure with a roof and walls”).  I don’t have Chambers available to me, maybe it is more generous.
24 FOCUSED *(F[ine] CO-EDS + U[niversity]).  I don’t think a fill-in-the-blank definition is very elegant.
25 ESTATE EST (“is,” in Lyon) ATE (put away)
26 WHEEZE dd
1 GRATE G (grand) RATE (price).  I think G is acceptable as an abbreviation for “grand” (think of gangsters and money), so “reduce” is unnecessary.
5 RERUN reverse hidden in maNURE Regularly
6 VOCALIC VOCAL (outspoken) + [n]IC[e]. 
7 TENOR CLEF TENOR (character) CLEF[t] (all but cut).  Not sure who McCormick is; the Irish tenor John McCormack may have been meant
10 KIMBERLEY *([c]LIMBER) in KEY (main)
13 CHOCOLATE H (hot) in COCO (Chanel, say) + LATE (after hours)
15 FACECLOTH FACE (deal with) CLOT (twit) H (husband).  Is a facecloth a “dial wiper”?
19 AS A RULE AS (when) + U (upper-class) L (lines) in ARE
21 OWLET O (old) W (women) LET (check)
22 GREBE hidden in oGRE BEcomes

10 Responses to “Financial Times 13,358 / Jason”

  1. Ferret says:

    Also struggling with 9a, can’t see how cart is whack the ball?

    Dial is slang for face as with a clock.

  2. pat says:

    CART is a cricketing term, meaning slogged all round the ground. I would have said it was more passive than active, as in the bowler was carted all round the ground rather than the batsman carted the bowler….

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi pat
    I am not doubting your interpretation but that definition of ‘cart’ is not supported by any of the usual references. Equally, I don’t think that ‘tracing’ is synonymous with ‘design’ so, all in all, rather a poor clue.

  4. Pogel says:

    Not sure, but I read “com” as being “prefix with” – as in com-pany, com-mitment etc

  5. Agentzero says:


    I suppose that is what is meant (I thought of .com, but that is better defined as a suffix), but if so I think it is pretty weak. Why not simply define “composer” as “noun” and be done with it?

  6. JamesM says:

    Hi Gaufrid

    Pat is spot on although I would define “cart” as a cricketer’s term rather than a cricketing term. If a batsman is carting the bowling, he is slogging the ball to all parts.

    I think that “tracing” refers to tracery which is an architectural term for a design.

  7. Mike04 says:

    Hi Gaufrid and JamesM

    Chambers gives ‘to plan’ for the verbs ‘trace’ and ‘design’.
    The noun TRACING for the noun DESIGN seems OK to me.

  8. Gaufrid says:

    Hi JamesM
    As I said previously, I wasn’t doubting Pat. However, the fact remains that this definition does not appear in any of the three standard references (Chambers, Collins and COED). As the FT is intended to appeal to a worldwide audience, as can be seen by the fact that only one of the FT blogging team is a UK resident, it is rather unfair to use a term that will not be familiar to someone who either isn’t interested in cricket or is resident in a country where the sport isn’t played.

    I agree that ‘tracery’ is a design and to trace can mean to produce as tracery or to cover with tracery but then the definition in the clue should have been ‘designing’ and even so I am not sure that ‘to produce’ or ‘to cover’ equates with ‘to design’.

  9. Paul B says:

    FYI cricket is allowed in the FT by order of the management.

    ‘Cart’ in this sense goes back many a year, although I’m used to hearing it in terms of the bowler or bowling being ‘carted’ all over the place: thus I would not personally feel comfortable in using it in isolation to mean ‘whack the ball’.

  10. Agentzero says:

    Hi Paul

    “Back many a year” indeed:

    Partridge and Beale, A dictionary of slang and unconventional English:

    3. To hit vigorously at cricket: Public Schools’: from ca. 1890. V.i. in P. G. Wodehouse, A Prefect’s Uncle, 1903: v.t. in id., Tales of St Austin’s, 1903.

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>

two + = 5