Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,455 / Aardvark

Posted by Gaufrid on August 4th, 2010


Not a lot of variety today with only a couple of clues that didn’t involve a charade and/or an anagram. If my memory serves me correctly this is something I have remarked upon previously when covering a puzzle by this setter. Perhaps it’s for this reason that I don’t seem to enjoy this setter’s puzzles in the FT as much as I do those by his alter ego, Scorpion, in the Indy.

There were some pleasing clues (eg 13ac & 24ac) and one (9dn) that was right up my street (literally), but I have to take issue with the definition in 3dn which, if my (and Wikipedia’s) knowledge of geography is correct, is simply wrong since the only town having this name is in Western Australia.

1 SADLERS WELLS  S[uperb] ADLER (harmonica player) SWELLS (is heaving) – a reference to Larry Adler
10 LEAFIER  LEA (educational department) IE (that is) in FR (France)
11 TOGGERY  EGG (food) reversed in TORY (party)
12 ANDES  *(AS[c]END)
13 ARBROATH  *(BAR) [manage]R OATH (promise) – a reference to the Arbroath Smokie
15 INNKEEPERS  PEEK (spy) reversed in INNER (private) S (quarter)
16 ATOM  O (old) in ATM (hole in the wall)
18 TIDY  [tha]T [tax]I [quaffe]D [whisk]Y
20 ARISTOCRAT  TAR (seaman) COTS (accommodation) IRA (militants) reversed
22 EYESIGHT  YES (agreement) in EIGHT (crew)
24 IN FUN  F (female) U (you texted) in INN (pub)
26 I ASK YOU  A SKY (TV company) in IOU (evidence of debt)
27 AINTREE  AIN’T (isn’t) EER (always) reversed
28 ROLLER HOCKEY  ROLLER (limousine) HOC (this Roman) KEY (important)

2 ALADDIN  ALA (like) DD (clergyman) IN
3 LEINSTER  IN in LESTER – a reference to Lester Piggott – but Leinster is an Irish province not a town!
4 RORY  R[elative] O[verseas] RY (tracks)
5 WATERCRESS  ER (royal) C (canine) in WA[i]TRESS (female servant spilling one)
6 LAGER  LA[r]GER (run out of extra stout)
7 STEWART  EW (opposite directions) in START (beginning)
9 LYTHAM ST ANNES  *(SH[a]NTYMAN TALES) – an easy one for me as I live here!
14 OPERA HOUSE  OP (work) HARE (sprint) reversed OUSE (river)
17 NO PICNIC  PIC (photograph) [ve]NI[ce] in CON (party) reversed
19 DRESSER  d&cd
21 REFEREE  RE (on) E[ssex] in FREE (complimentary)
23 IDYLL  D[ecenc]Y in ILL (wicked)
25 HATH  HAT (pork pie) H (husband)

7 Responses to “Financial Times 13,455 / Aardvark”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Gaufrid, you made it very clear that you don’t like this setter that much, but I think it’s a bit unfair to put him away as someone who merely uses charades and/or anagrams.
    There were at least 8 clues in which the device was ‘insertion’ [with some words reversed], plus 4 others that don’t belong to either of these categories (18ac, 6d, 8d, 19d).
    Well, maybe, I did another crossword today …. :)

    I have never tried an Aardvark, but I found this puzzle toughish.
    Needed Wiki for that beautiful English seaside town, and for LEINSTER which is indeed just a county.
    Well, we all make mistakes.

    I liked [ánd like :) ] LAGER (6d) because of the nice surface, also the use of ‘waitress’ in WATERCRESS (5d) and – even if it’s a (reversed) charade – ARISTOCRAT (20ac). And SADLERS WELLS wasn’t bad either.

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Of course, I meant to say “to neither of these categories”.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Sil
    You were right the first time! 😉 It’s either ‘don’t belong to either …..’ or ‘belong to neither …..’.

    I would class a clue using the initial or last letters of several words in sequence as a charade. I feel the same about the insertion of a word or letter(s), reversed or otherwise, into another word which is little different from concatenating them. So that just leaves 6, 8 and 19dn as non-charades/anagrams.

    You say “….. and for LEINSTER which is indeed just a county”. No! As I said in my analysis it is an Irish province and it contains twelve counties.

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    OK, Gaufrid, you win …… :)

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Sil
    No, I didn’t ‘win’ since there wasn’t a contest. I simply outlined my view of what I consider to be a charade. Other people might think differently, which they are perfectly entitled to do.

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    I know, Gaufrid – it was just a quick answer [I was in a hurry] to make clear that I don’t want to make a Big Thing of it.

    However, I think, when you throw “A inside B”, “take the begin/end letters of” etc on the big heap called Charade, then there’s not that much left.
    For example, in Paul’s Guardian puzzle there were 24 clues of which 18 could be called Charade and/or Anagram according to your definition. That’s quite a lot too [which doesn’t surprise me]. Paul had 2 cd’s, 2 dd’s, 1 hidden and 1 one complete word in reverse – and that’s it. Not that much different from here [although Aardvark didn’t offer us a hidden answer].
    Paul’s surfaces were just thát bit more exciting which livened up the crossword.

    Thanks for enlightening me on “[n]either” – won’t make that mistake again (I hope) :)

    And yes, a province is not a county. And certainly not a town [which is a real mistake].
    BTW, is it reasonable to clue LESTER with ‘Old jockey’.
    For me, it’s just a first name – or was that how people called him [in his glory days]?

  7. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Gaufrid.
    I often seem to find Aardvark “ard vork”,not that there is anything wrong with the puzzles,I just have difficulty getting on his wavelength.
    Didn’t spot the mistake with LEINSTER,which I should have being a rugby fan.
    Sil – I see your point but must admit that Lester was the first name that sprung to my mind when looking at the clue,maybe because I can remember cashing in a few bets on his mounts!
    Didn’t really like 8 down,but did particularly like 13 across(great definition),20 across and 5 down.

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