Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13,970 / Aardvark

Posted by Gaufrid on April 4th, 2012


PeeDee is busy today which has given me the opportunity to return, briefly, to what used to be my regular Wednesday FT slot.

This took me longer than usual for an FT puzzle, mainly because I had never heard of 15ac and 16dn. Part of the wordplay for 7dn was also unfamiliar, assuming I have parsed the clue correctly. 27ac and 14dn gave me cause for concern as indicated below.

1 PLAINTIVE PLAIN (frank) V (Victor) in TIE (clothing)
6 GUSTO hidden reversal in ‘forgOT SUGar’
9 MARIMBA MA BA (graduates) around RIM (lip)
10 LOOKOUT L (50) O (overs) OK (fine) OUT (dismissed)
11 SWAMP SWAM (crawled) [snarl-u]P
12 CAMEMBERT MEMBER (arm) in CAT (moggy)
14 AWE W (women) in AE (hospital department)
15 ABERTILLERY ABE (Lincoln) TILLER (farmer) in RY (track) – no, I hadn’t heard of this place either.
17 CONNECTICUT CON (MP) [h]ECTIC (‘urried) in NUT (teachers)
19 BOD DOB (date of birth) reversed
20 ASIA MINOR SIAM (that’s now Thailand) in anagram (broadcast) of ON-AIR
22 ÉCLAT C[lass] in TALE (pork pie {lie}) reversed
24 MAESTRO MAO (chairman) around anagram (to play) of REST
26 ALMANAC [b]AL[l] MAN[i]AC (nutcase – one to avoid)
27 DREAD DEAD (lifeless) around [mo]R[ning] – Chambers gives “(in pl; informal) dreadlocks” and COED has dreads=dreadlocks (Collins doesn’t include this meaning). I haven’t found any confirmation that this word can be used in the singular to mean ‘hairstyle’ but there again I haven’t looked further than the usual references.
28 DYSENTERY D[oz]Y SENTRY (guard) around [receiv]E
1 PUMPS double def.
2 AIRBASE AI (first-class) anagram (wielded) of SABRE
3 NAMEPLATE NAM (war) EP (record) LATE (recent)
4 ISAAC NEWTON C (college) in anagram (waving) of ETONIAN WAS
5 EEL [k]EEL (part of ship neglected constant)
6 GLOOM GROOM (husband-to-be) with R changed to L (swapping hands)
7 STONE ME TONE (Tony?) M (Mike) in SE (London area) – is Tone an abbreviated form of Anthony?
8 OUTSTAYED O (old) T (tenor) in anagram (rendition) of TUESDAY
13 METACARPALS TA (terriers) CARP (fish) in MEALS (perhaps dinners)
14 ACCLAIMED CA reversed (accountant converted) anagram (figures) of DECIMAL – I do not see how ‘figures’ can be an anagram indicator. If the indicator is ‘converted’ then there is no reversal indicator for CA and ‘figures’ is redundant.
16 LETTERMAN T (tense) TERM (period) in LEAN (unproductive) – I had to resort to my copy of Webster’s to confirm that this American word exists, though Webster’s defines it as “an athlete to whom a letter has been awarded”. I can find no reference that states that this word is of particular relevance to Yale so ‘Yale’ must simply be an indicator that the ‘student’ is American.
18 NAIVETÉ I (one) in NAVE (centre of church) T[eenag]E – ‘the utmost’ to indicate first and last letters? I suppose in the sense of ‘outmost’ or most distant from the centre.
19 BALANCE BALA (Welsh lake) [s]N[a]C[k]E[d] – some might be happier with ‘oddly ignored’ rather than ‘oddly ignoring’.
21 MUTED MED (European water) around U (classy) [touris]T
23 TACKY double def.
25 OK’D anagram (refurbished) of [s]KOD[a]


8 Responses to “Financial Times 13,970 / Aardvark”

  1. crypticsue says:

    Tougher than usual for an FT for me too. Took me longer to solve than several of today’s other cryptic offerings. I got 15a quite easily it having appeared in a crossword I blogged a couple of weeks ago. I did need a number of Gaufrid’s explanations, thank you to him and Aardvark too.

  2. Steph says:

    I think there is a spelling mistake for 28 across

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Steph, now corrected. I must try to improve my proof reading skills!

  4. mike04 says:

    Many thanks Gaufrid and Aardvark.

    7dn: In my schooldays I remember ‘Tone’ being used as an abbreviation for Anthony.
    It gets a mention here:

    14dn: According to Chambers, the verb ‘figure’ used to mean ‘form or shape’.
    If that is the usage here, perhaps “figured” would be more suitable.
    But ‘decimal figures’ is used commonly in Mathematics (round to 3 decimal figures).
    Some poetic licence here?

  5. Bamberger says:

    Solved most of the NE & SW but the NW & SE were mainly blank.

    Unknowns marimba, slough as in swamp, eclat & letterman.

    The problem with 11a was that I had aber??????y but couldn’t think of which Welsh town it was as there are so many abers.

    Pedants corner -wasn’t Sir Issac a physicist and not a sums man?

  6. Molly says:

    I had a similar pattern to Bamberger, completing about 70%, though coming from Wales, got Abertillery quickly. I’m still quite new to cryptics and try the FT most days. I found this one a bit harder than average. On 25, I quickly got OK’D but thought it couldn’t be the answer because of the apostrophe. Does that mean that any apostrophed word can appear in a cryptic? Like I’D or WE’D or COULDN’T or SHOULD’VE??

  7. Chandamama says:

    Today’s CW is on a topical theme – The Master’s Golf Tournament under way this week (April 2-8) at the AUGUSTA NATIONAL GOLF PARK. It came as a pleasant surprise. All the eighteen holes here are named after flowering and/or aromatic trees or shrubs. The number in some clues referred to the number of the hole!

  8. Keeper says:

    Bamberger – Aside from his Laws of Motion, Newton is also known as, inter alia, the “co-inventor” (along with Leibniz) of calculus. So I think he can accurately be referred to as a mathematician (as well as a physicist).

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