Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times no. 13,727 by AARDVARK

Posted by Ringo on June 23rd, 2011


A great puzzle this: some splendidly misleading definitions, plus a smattering of general knowledge (not everyone’s cup of tea, I know, but certainly mine) and a few beautiful charades.

If I’m a little later than usual, it’s because it took me about half an hour to parse 19ac…


1. ROYAL OAK Roy [of the Rovers] + a (c)loak [outer garment, minus C(harlie)] to give a typical British pub name

5. MAROON M(ale) + AR [RA, or Member of the Royal Academy – i.e. artist – ‘withdrawing’] + oo [i.e. zero zero, ‘love’ scores in tennis – Aardvark uses this device twice today, but it’s Wimbledon fortnight so perhaps we can forgive it] + n(avy) to give the chestnutty red-brown colour

9. COCK-EYED Co(-)ed [co-educational academic insitution] containing c(ollege) + key [locker]

10. JAGUAR Jar [slang term for a drink, typically a pint of beer] containing agu(e) [a fit of shivering caused by fever]

12. LATCH Hidden in fLAT CHarge

13. INTESTINE Test [quiz] + I [one, 1] held in inn [pub] + e(astern) to give a section of the alimentary canal [the first of a number of devilish definitions in this puzzle]

14. PLOVER P(ester) + love [a score of 0 is ‘love’ in tennis, and a ‘duck’ in cricket] + r(esistance) to give one of various species of wading bird

16. BEGONIA Ego [‘I’ in psychological terminology] in an anagram of bin + a(rea) to give the widely-cultivated tropical plant

19. COBBLER BB [very soft: referring not to music but to very soft black pencil-lead] within col [pass] + (ov)er to give an American term for a fruit pie

21. KARATE a + rat [shop, as in betray to the police] within (Ber)ke(ley) to give the Japanese martial art [or Oriental-style chops – another fantastic definition]

23. BOB BEAMON Bobb(l)e + am [a.m., in the morning] + on to give the long-jumper who set one of the most astonishing world-records in athetics history at the 1968 Olympic Games [a maddening clue for non-sports fans, I expect, but I think it’s great]

25. PEPYS The name of the great ‘journalist’ [i.e. one who writes a journal] sounds like ‘peeps’ [looks furtively]

26. AFGHAN FGH [three successive characters: not a huge fan of this device, although I suppose the fact that all three are consonants makes it noteworthy [I’d be most unhappy if it indicated, say, STU or DEF]] within A(utomobile) A(ssociation) [motor company] + N(orth) [compass bearing] to give a fur-trimmed coat once popular with hippies

27. CREOSOTE O(lympics) + so [thus] within Crete [the Greek island] to give the stuff you might put on your fence [fencing gear]

28. DITHER D(istribute) + IR [Irish] surrounding the to give the verb ‘stew’ [i.e. dither or fret – a questionable one, this, I think]

29. EDMONTON DM [MD, or Doctor of Medicine, ‘retired'; I for one wouldn’t mind if all abbreviations for ‘doctor’ were summarily retired by all cryptics setters – is there a more tiresome device?] + on [broadcasting] within Eton [college] to give a city in Canada


1. RICHLY Ich [‘I’ in German] within RLY [railway]

2. YACHT CLUB Anagram of clutch within yab [bay, or ‘gulf’, ‘capsized]

3. LEECH Leeh [heel, a part of the foot, raised] incorporating c[old] to give leech in the figurative sense of a freeloader, parasite or sponge

4. ATELIER Anagram of earliest minus s(oprano)

6. ALAN SUGAR Ragu [Italian sauce] + Sn [chemical symbol for tin] + á la [in the style of], ‘promoted’ to give the obnoxious abrasive British entrepreneur – a lovely charade, this

7. OCULI OI [10, lifted] containing Cu [chemical symbol for copper] + l(atitude) to give a word for eye-like circular windows

8. NORSEMAN SE [south-east England, the area around London] within Norman [one of those who invaded Britain later than the Norsemen – or Vikings – did]

11. STAB Bats [sticks, as in a hockey stick or a cricket bat] raised ‘up’, to give ‘go’ as in ‘Have a stab/go at it’

15. VOLTE-FACE V(ictory) + o [circle or loop] + anagram of left + ace [top pilot, as in ‘flying ace’] to give the French term for an about-turn

17. NOT UP TO IT Anagram of point out [‘avalanched’ is a very novel anagram indicator] + (summi)t

18. SCABBARD S(heffield) + c(ontralto) + ABBA [the inescapable Swedish pop group] + rd [road] to give the ‘home’ of a sword or dagger [steel], and another top-notch charade

20. RIME I(nterview) + m(any) within RE [Royal Engineers, or soldiers]

21. KINDRED Kid [joke] containing (A)ndre

22. ASTERN (P)astern(ak) [the Russian writer minus p(iano) and a K [a grand, i.e. a thousand]

24. BEGAT Beg [appeal] + (h)at(s)

25. PROMO Pro [for] + MO [another damn doctor: Medical Officer, this time]




8 Responses to “Financial Times no. 13,727 by AARDVARK”

  1. crypticsue says:

    Of all the major cryptics today, this one took me the longest time to finish. Agree that there are some great clues – I was impressed that I remembered 23a. I always forget the pencils when trying to solve clues like 19a, more often than not we seem to need p for piano for soft. Thanks to Aardvark and Ringo

  2. Ferret says:

    Failed today – couldn’t get 9A for love nor money. Thanks for putting me out of my misery.

    Little quibble with 27A, easily solved but does a liquid count as “gear”. Is petrol classed as motoring gear?

    The double usage of love might be a forewarning of Courtier’s annual outing?

    I remember seeing a great picture of Bob Beamon during his world record. At the height of his “long jump” he is considerably higher than an official sat just behind him.

  3. Thomas99 says:

    I agree that this was difficult – very difficult in places. I only got Bob Beamon from the wordplay; had to google to find out who he was. But I see he was a major sporting hero and maybe we should thank Aardvark for raising his profile. I always defend Araucaria when he alludes to literary classics etc. that are in danger of being forgotten and I suppose this is the sporting equivalent.

  4. Thomas99 says:

    Aagh! I mean he IS a major sporing hero, of course. Currently a valued member of staff at Chicago State University, I see.

  5. scchua says:

    Thanks Ringo for the blog, and Aardvark for a really good workout.

    One of those puzzles where you have to keep at it, but savouring each clue and answer as you got it. Favourites were 13A INTESTINE, 21A KARATE, and 27A CREOSOTE, all with lovely definitions. 23A BOB BEAMON, thanks for the reminder Aardvark – not only do you have to be a sporting fan, but also of a certain generation to recall that fantastic feat :-)

  6. scchua says:

    Sorry, sports fan!

  7. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was good, thanks, Aardvark, and Ringo. Favourite clues COCK-EYED and NORSEMEN.

  8. Abby says:

    Cobbler is American in reference to pies? Didn’t know that, but being American, guess I have an excuse.

    Cobblers are a sort of pies- the top crust is very, very thick (and the main point of the dish), and there’s usually not a bottom crust. I thought they came here from England with the early settlers.

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