Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times no.13,923 by AARDVARK

Posted by Ringo on February 9th, 2012


I don’t think I’ve encountered many Aardvarks before in my Thursday slot; in any event, there was nothing here to drive me to echo Edmund Blackadder’s furious  exclamation: “If I ever meet an aardvark, I’m going to step on its damn protruding nasal implement until it couldn’t suck up an insect if its life depended on it.” A decent puzzle.


1. BRIGHTON ROCK  Bright [quick-witted] + (libraria)n within anagram of crook to give the Graham Greene novel

8. CHUFFED  Huff [the sulks] within reversal of Dec [December, the last month]

9. COCKLES  CO [Commanding Officer] + c(hec)k + les [the definite article in French]

11. TRAMCAR  Ram [animal] + c [caught] within tar [marine, sailor]

12. RETSINA  Kind of wine, hidden in regRETS IN Afternoon

13. EASES  Leases [contracts] minus [Liberal]

14. BOBSLEIGH  Sounds like Bob’s [man’s] lay [unprofessional]

16. BILL ODDIE  Bill [account] + OD [overdrawn] + die [long, as in ‘I am dying to see this film’] to give the well-known birdwatcher or ‘twitcher’

19. SNAFU  Reversal of fan [enthusiast] within of us [you and me] to give the wry acronym Situation Normal, All (ahem) Fouled Up [meaning an error or ‘bloomer’ has occurred]

21. AERATED  (Regg)ae + rated [classified] to give a word meaning carbonated or fizzy (‘as [like] pop’)

23. ZATOPEK  Z [twenty-sixth letter] + anagram of to peak to give the great Olympian Emil Zátopek

24. NUCLEAR  Unclear [blocked] with UN reversed

25. BAUXITE  U [open for everybody, Universal] within anagram of taxi within b(ottl)e to give the aluminium ore

26. CLAPPERBOARD  The film director’s tool sounds like one who applauds [clapper] the ‘board’ [meals]


1. BAUHAUS  A + U [university] + regular letters of h(e)a(d) within bus [coach] to give the architectural school

2. IN FOCUS  Info [data] + u [text-speak for ‘you’] within CS [Chartered Surveyor]

3. HYDERABAD  Hyde [split personality: Edward, the other personality of Henry Jekyll in RL Stevenson’s novella] + Rab [Robert] + ad [advert, bill] to give the Indian city

4. OSCAR  Os [the metallic element Osmium] + car [banger] to give the award handed out annually to ‘players’ [actors]

5. RECITAL  Time-honoured anagram of article

6. CELLINI  LL [fifties in Roman numerals] within anagram of ice in to give the Italian sculptor

7. SCATTERBRAIN  Reversed clue: ‘scatter brain’ might be a clue for in bar

10. SWASHBUCKLER  Wash [clean] + [buckle [section of footwear] within s(howe)r

15. BEELZEBUB  (Patro)l + zebu [Asian bovine] within Beeb [the BBC] to give the Lord of the Flies

17. LYRICAL  Ric(e) [lyricist Tim, best known for collaborating with composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber] within anagram of ally

18. ON THE UP  Anagram of then within OUP [Oxford University Press]

19. SATSUMA  Sum [add] within sata(y) [peanut-based dish]

20. APPLIED  I [one, 1] within Apple [make of computer] + D [department]

22. DIRGE  Reversal of Eg [Exempli gratia, for example] + rid [deliver]

3 Responses to “Financial Times no.13,923 by AARDVARK”

  1. Wanderer says:

    Thank you for explaining HYDERABAD, which I only got from the crossers and couldn’t parse at all. Robert/Bill took me straight to the former Defense Secretary and the Microsoft man, and I spent ages trying to think of an Indian city with GATES in it. I presume this is what Aardvaark intended me to do, and I fell for it…

    Thoroughly enjoyed this one.

  2. MikeC says:

    Thanks Ringo and Aardvark. I got there, just about, but needed help/correction with some of the parsing. Good puzzle!

  3. Bamberger says:

    I found this frustrating. I gave it forty minutes but had only solved 5d,22d and 24a despite really trying to understand each clue. I can usually get threequarters through Cincinnus and Dante before giving up or reaching for aids and over half way through the Don’s offerings. While it doesn’t account for all the clues, having answers of Zatopek Cellini, Beelzebub all of whom I’d never heard of and needing to realise that Tim was supposed to trigger Rice didn’t help. Thought that needing Rab=Robert was also hard. No doubt once the better solvers had several crossing letters in place, the answers to the others became easier.

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