Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,539 / Aardvark

Posted by Gaufrid on November 10th, 2010


A relatively gentle solve today though I am not 100% sure that I have the parsing of 17ac correct and so would welcome any other suggestions.

1 BONESHAKER  ONE (single) SH (mum) in BAKER (bread retailer) – an early type of bicycle.
7,7 ALAN AYCKBOURN  *(RACY ANNUAL BO[o]K) – this writer.
9 HISS  hidden in ‘tHIS Spectator’
10 SEERSUCKER  SEER (one predicts the future) SUCKER (straw) – a thin crinkly Indian linen (or cotton) striped or checked fabric.
11 SIMMER  SuMMER (season) with ‘u’ changed to I (with another ingredient)
12 YOGI BEAR  YOGI (spiritualist) BEAR (tolerate)
13 GRAND CRU  G (good) RAND (bread {money} in Durban) homophone of ‘crew’ (workmen)
15 UREA  hidden in ‘bUREAucracy’ – carbamide, a substance found in mammalian urine, the chief form in which nitrogenous waste is excreted and the first natural product to be synthesized.
17 GONG  ON (cooking) in GG (George repeatedly) – I am assuming that on=cooking as in “the dinner’s on/cooking”. So far as I am aware, G is not a recognised abbreviation for ‘George’, other than in GR for George Rex, which I why I am a little uncertain about this parsing. The altenative is N in G[e]O[r]G[e] (George repeatedly) but I cannot equate ‘N’ with ‘cooking’ and ‘repeatedly’ does not seem to me to be a good indicator for ‘every other letter’.
19 SURINAME  *(IS MANURE) – this country.
22 PASTRAMI  I (international) MARTS (markets) AP (before meal {ante prandium}) reversed – a smoked, highly seasoned (esp shoulder) cut of beef.
23 PARODY  ROD (staff) in PAY (wages)
25 BROWN BETTY  BROWN[ie] (hob that is scrubbed) BETTY (Elizabeth) – an American baked pudding containing apples and other fruit.
26 DOER  DO[rm]ER (initially rescues man out of extension window)
27 AXES  dd – the first being the coordinates on a graph.
28 BENCH PRESS  BENCH (court officials) PRESS (crowd)
2 OLIVIER  O (old) LIV[l]IER (comparatively energetic omitting line) – this actor.
3 EPSOM  EP (recording {extended play}) [studio]S OM (decoration {Order of Merit}) – the Surrey town with a famous racecourse.
4 HIS GRACE  *(CIGARS) in HE (cardinal {His Eminence})
8 AVERAGE  VERA (woman) in AGE (time)
14 NIGHT OWLS  homophone of ‘knight’ (man on board) *(OWLS)
16 TRIPTYCH  TRIP (stumble) T[in]Y CH (church) – a set of three tablets, painted panels, etc, hinged together as one work of art.
18 ORATRIX  RAT (rogue) RI (state {Rhode Island}) in OX (beef)
20 MADNESS  DAM (embankment) reversed NESS (headland)
21 BAOBAB  A BOA (a snake) reversed in BB (bees) – an African tree seen in some of David Shepherd’s paintings.
24 RIDER  RID (delivered) E[lectronic] R[etailer]

13 Responses to “Financial Times 13,539 / Aardvark”

  1. Andrew says:

    Thanks Gaufrid. In 17ac I thought it was “George repeatedly” = “G ON G”, but then I can’t see where “cooking” comes in. I think we’ve had discussions before about whether G=George is acceptable, and more generally whether it’s OJK to extract part of an abbreviation in this way.

  2. Andrew says:

    PS there’s a slight typo in your explanation if 3dn (and of “OK” in my previous comment).

  3. Andrew says:

    On more reflection I now think it’s:
    George repeatedly = GG
    wins = contains
    cooking = ON.

    Which is probably what you meant in the first place..

    (And another typo in my previous comment!)

  4. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Andrew, typo corrected.

    I too went down the ‘G ON G’ path but forgot to mention it in the blog. I ruled it out because the ‘wins cooking’ isn’t accounted for.

    There has been previous discussion regarding G=George but I cannot remember which post it was in.

    Doesn’t my parsing above say “ON (cooking) in GG (George repeatedly) – I am assuming that on=cooking as in “the dinner’s on/cooking””?

  5. Rishi says:

    Chambers XWD: A Dictionary of Crossword Abbreviations has George against G
    G against George
    in the two relevant sections.

  6. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Rishi.
    Now that you mention it, I seem to remember that you posted a similar comment previously. I don’t have a copy of that publication and so only look for confirmation of abbreviations in Collins, Chambers and COED.

  7. walruss says:

    It is not a very good clue whichever way you read it, in my opinion! G for George is not right unless it is part of the relevant king’s full latin abbreviation anyway, and we’ve had that discussion here before. It’s not in Chambers dictionary on its own, as you’ll see, and I guess that would be why! But I agree with Gaufrid that it is ON in GG. An interesting discussion point too.

  8. mike04 says:

    Hi Gaufrid

    I’m not too sure about a couple of Aardvark’s definitions in today’s crossword.

    In 27 ac, Coordinates: ‘Numbers that define the location of a point with reference to a system of axes’.
    So coordinates are numbers – not lines.

    In 14dn, Night Owls: ‘People who are, or prefer to be, up and about late at night’.
    Their sight doesn’t get a mention in any of my dictionaries!

  9. Gaufrid says:

    Hi mike04
    I’m inclined to agree with you but this is not unusual judging by the previous Aardvark puzzles I’ve covered.

  10. mike04 says:

    Night owl: an exclusively nocturnal owl.
    Apologies, Aardvark, I missed that!

  11. Tony Welsh says:

    I had a real problem with a knight being someone on a board, until I realized it was a _chess_ board! I had also never heard the term ante prandium. Nor had I heard of brown betties, nor of either a hob or a brownie meaning a fairy. So I learned a lot today and don’t feel so bad about having spent so long on it!

  12. bamberger says:

    Enjoyed this though most of the Southern hemisphere was blank.
    Couldn’t get Alan Ayckbourn despite having most of the checking letters. He is yet another person who falls into my “who he?” category.

    Baobab, ante prandium , brown betties and suriname were all unknowns.

    I didn’t get triptych though I do remember the horse by that name.

    Wordplay for patrami too hard for me I’m afraid.

  13. Lenny says:

    I found this quite straightforward but I was not happy with “another ingredient” to indicate the I for U substitution in simmer. Also I did not like “attracted by” as an inclusion indicator in Baobab. Some of the surfaces were a bit clunky, particularly in the clue for seersucker. I think I would have described Alan Aykbourn as a playwright rather than an author. Still, gong did not bother me.

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