Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,698 / Bradman

Posted by shuchi on May 20th, 2011


A solid puzzle from Bradman, which was mostly a comfortable solve 3/4th of the way. A hasty wrong answer at 26a kept me stuck in the bottom-right of the puzzle, till I got 21d and was forced to rethink.

My favourites of the day: 1d, 18d. I can’t quite see the wordplay for 22a, help is welcome.


1 GAGGLE GG (gee-gee) in GALE (high wind); a gaggle is a flock of geese (when not flying, as opposed to skein – a flock of geese in flight)
4 APOPLEXY POP (father) in ALE (booze), X Y (unknown characters)
9 SNAFU U (united) FANS (supporters), reversed
11 ATISHOO sounds like ‘a tissue’ (alternative to a hanky). ‘Atishoo’ is onomatopoeia for a sneeze.
12 HOISTED IS TED (Irish father) below HO (house)
13 PITT PT (point, in brief) around IT (Italian) – William Pitt (1759-1806) was a British PM.
14 PENDANTS END (finish) in PANTS (underwear)
17 ROMAN LAW The word ‘lex’, Latin for ‘law’, is hidden in the answer for 4a – apopLEXy. Really enjoyed this.
19 BRAT B[rought] RAT (rodent)
22 CHASSIS Update: CHAS-SIS i.e. Prince Charles and his sister Princess Anne. Thanks to Bracoman for the explanation.
24 TRAMPLE T[y]R[e] AMPLE (sufficient)
25 ISOGAMETE (1 GOES TAME)*. A reproductive cell of the same shape and size as its pair.
26 PLUMB sounds like ‘plum’ (very good). A wrong answer here gave me a hard time – I had entered SOUND at first.
27 PRETENDS PRE (before) TENDS (nurses)
28 STREAK dd; the most public form of streaking is running nude at sporting events, an act the police do not take kindly to.


1 GAS LAMPS SLAM (bang) in GAPS (passages); gas lighting is used in passages. Interesting clue, I like how ‘passages’ is invoked again in the wordplay.
2 GLADIATOR GLAD (happy) I (one) A TOR (hill)
3 LOUCHE L (learner) OUCH (that hurts) [colleg]E
5 PITCHED BATTLE ED (journalist) in PITCH and BAT (two cricket features), (LET)*
6 PORTION PORT (left) IN around O (oxygen)
7 EDICT EDIT (change) around C[onservatives]
8 YIELDS [pla]Y (SLIDE)*
15 SCRIPTURE SURE (certain), around R.I.P. (final message) in CT (court)
16 STEENBOK (BOTH KNEES)* – H (hospital). Not an animal I knew, and so had to wait for all the checking letters to come into place before I could make guesses. Steenbok is a common small antelope of southern and eastern Africa, sometimes known as the Steinbuck or Steinbok.
18 MISTAKE I’M (Bradman’s) reversed, STAKE (pole). To be “up the pole” is to be in difficulty. What a wonderful clue!
20 SCRIMP SCRIBE (old-fashioned secretary) – BE + MP (politician). I’m a bit confused here…”Old-fashioned secretary has to be dismissed”: doesn’t this give SCRIBE – TO BE rather than SCRIBE – BE? Or can “TO” simply be ignored?
21 RAJPUT PUT (place) after JAR (conflict) reversed. A Rajput is a Hindu warrior.
23 ABODE A B (second-rate) ODE (poem) – I loved the surface.

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,698 / Bradman”

  1. Bracoman says:

    Thanks for the blog.

    Re 22a, it refers to Prince Charles and his sister – Princess Anne – – CHAS-SIS.

  2. Steve says:

    Thanks shuchi – I enjoyed this although the north half went in much faster than the south for me. Just for completeness on 13 across, there were of course two William Pitt PM’s – ‘the Elder’ and his son ‘the Younger’ (to whom you refer).

    12 across made me reminisce about that great comedy series and the sad, premature demise of Dermot Morgan

    Agree with your comment on 20 down.

  3. Richard says:

    Thanks for the blog. I’m afraid I run out of patience with this on the train home. I was never going to get rajput, steenbock or isogamete despite having worked out the construction.

  4. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Shuchi & Bradman.

    As promised, I came to this after struggling with Bradman’s alter ego in The Grauniad and, fortunately, I found this rather easier except that I failed to get 21d RAJPUT. I opted for MAOPUT which surely must be a word. Isn’t it?

    I didn’t see how ROMAN LAW worked until now.

    Regarding 20d SCRIMP – my take is Scribe less BE + MP.

    I did like 22a CHASSIS but I’m not sure if the Royal Family will be amused.

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Having four (even, five) crosswords on the same day in the broadsheets is quite an achievement. So, many well-deserved congrats to Mr Manley.

    I did both the Guardian puzzle and this one.
    And again, I have to confess that I like Bradman more than I do Pasquale (that is, if I háve to make a choice).
    Maybe Pasquale’s one step up, but Bradman is just a bit lighter and brighter.
    Very attractive, in the same way I do prefer Loroso to Anax.

    This was not very hard, but extremely well clued.
    And so many great surfaces to admire: 4ac, 9ac, 10ac, 12ac, 24ac, 16d, 18d, 23d.

    As with recent Bradmans this just felt right to me.
    And (at least) two gee-gees in one day …. :)

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