Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,900 / Aardvark

Posted by shuchi on January 13th, 2012


It’s pretty unusual for Aardvark to make a Friday appearance and it made for a pleasant change. A gentle, enjoyable crossword with clever misdirections and natural clue surfaces.

1a isn’t fully explained, help welcome.

I’ll be taking a blogging break from Fifteensquared the next week onwards. I thank all of you who read and comment on my posts, for making blogging so much fun. Special thanks to Gaufrid for his constant support. Will see you again hopefully after a few months. So long!


1 JACKDAW JACK (man in navy), DAW? Is wad = entrance? // Update: Hat-tip to Eileen – ‘picked up’ indicates a homophone of DOOR (entrance).
5 CACHET CAT (Tom) around CHE (revolutionary)
8 MARMALADE MARE (horse) around MALAD[y]. Good clue.
9 SLEEK LEEKS (vegetables) with ‘S’ moved to the front.
11 SCOPE S[hooting] COPE (manage)
12 ALICE BAND LICE (insects) NAB (collar, as in lay hold of) reversed, in AD (commercial)
13 AMNESIAC (MAN)* (IN CASE)* – N. Nicely worked wordplay.
15 CODDLE COD (fish), [p]E[e]L[e]D reversed
17 FIASCO F1 (Formula 1) ASCO[t] (horseracing venue)
19 MOMENTUM MO (doctor), ENT (hospital department) in MUM (quiet environment)
22 EPICUREAN NAPE (part of neck) reversed, around I (one) CURE (remedy)
23 DEMON DON (scholar), around ME (author) reversed
24 DELHI DELPHI (ancient city – archaeological site in Greece) – P (parking)
25 IN A MOMENT (MAIN)* MEN (soldiers) in [cen]OT[aph]
26 FENNEL KENNEL (doghouse) – K (constant) + F (fellow)
27 HIPSTER HI (welcome) POSTER (‘message-boarder’, such as a placard for advertisement) – O (love)


1 JAMES GARFIELD JAM (crowd) (RAGES)* FIELD (area). Former President of the US.
2 CARDOON (DOOR)* in CAN (toilet)
3 DRAKE D[ally] RAKE (playboy)
4 WEAR AWAY WEAR (English river) first letters of ‘Afternoon Walk’ AY (agreed)
5 CRETIN C[olour]R ET (film) IN (at home). Charlie is slang for a foolish person.
6 CASSEROLE ASS (5d i.e. cretin) LORE (knowledge) reversed
10 KIDDERMINSTER KID (child) (MINDER)* STER[n] (strict, contracted). A town in Worcestershire in West Midlands.
14 SECLUSION SEC (secretary) [f]L[o]U[t]S, NO. 1 (boss) reversed
16 JOHN NASH JOHN (toilet). I’m assuming NAS is the acronym of a British hospital, so NAS and H = two hospitals.
18 AXILLAE AXE (river) around ILL (rough) A (area). Plural of ‘axilla’, technical name for armpit.
20 TEMPEST [sep]TEM[ber] PE (training) S[lee]T
21 SERIAL sounds like ‘cereal’
23 DROOP POD (school) around OR (gold), all reversed

5 Responses to “Financial Times 13,900 / Aardvark”

  1. Eileen says:

    Hi shuchi

    Thanks for this blog and all the others – I look forward to your return. ;-)

    In 1ac, ‘picked up’ indicates a homophone of ‘door’ [entrance].

    Re 16dn: ‘hospital’ in crosswords often indicates SAN: is there any way that ‘drawing alongside’ could indicate a reversal? [‘Alongside’ doesn’t make much sense otherwise in a down clue.]

    [You seem to have left the explanation of 4dn unfinished.]

  2. shuchi says:

    Thanks Eileen. My pronunciation of ‘door’ and ‘daw’ are not alike, no surprise this didn’t strike me (1ac).

    16dn: That seems like the probable explanation. I share your doubt about ‘alongside’.

    Have completed 4dn now. Thanks for noticing.

  3. Eileen says:

    Hi shuchi

    I sympathise: Guardian solvers know that I no longer comment on such ‘homophones’. ;-)

  4. mike04 says:

    Many thanks shuchi. I hope you enjoy your blogging break.

    Before reading any of today’s comments, I intended to write the following:
    “DAW sounds like DOOR?”. Give us all a break!
    (or maybe some sort of homophone warning?)

    Without the help of checking letters, I thought there were quite a few
    tricky clues today. I’d mention ALICEBAND, AXILLAE and AMNESIAC.
    I think the last of these is a good “& lit.”

  5. maagran says:

    Thanks for the blog. In 6D I think you need to put it all in CE (Church of England)

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