Coming to the Rescue

G Q has written to me the following:

In the dark ages one could freely download crosswords from The Age for consumption at a later date.

2007 wasn’t a bad year, but we recently uncorked one from 21 December which left a little residue after we’d finished our meal:

14D Mate with answer (5)

I’ve looked it up but can’t see how it works – SERVE.

Can anyone help?

I can’t help — the answer makes little sense to me.

Can anyone lend G Q a hand?

7 thoughts on “Coming to the Rescue

  1. to ‘serve’ is to ‘mate with’ as i just found out via google. never knew that

    as for ‘answer’ if you ‘serve’ someone, then i guess you ‘answer to’ them, but the necessary ‘to’ means either this isn’t the right explanation, or the clue is a bit dodgy

  2. As the others have said, to “serve” is to “mate with”. As for the “answer” part, maybe it refers to giving someone a “serve”, as in answering-back? Just a thought.

  3. In racing parlance – actually, “racing parlance” is racing parlance – horses are put into stud so that they can “serve” the mares.

  4. I remember a humourous poem about a country boy listening to a politician promising to give service to the community, then going home to where is dad was getting the bull to service the cows, and how it all suddenly made sense to him.

    As for the answer part, I’m thinking of a rather old-fashioned use; imagine Maturin, the naval surgeon in one of Patrick O’Brian’s novels, treating a constipated seaman: “I believe a good dose of rhubarb will answer well enough.” Serve could be substituted in that sentence quite easily.

  5. “Have you been served yet?”
    “Yes, the waitress/teller/shop assistant/police officer over there is looking after it.”

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