Gradle 1.12 seems to have re-opened the following issue (or a similar one): GRADLE-2984
When a project has a compile dependency on a remote aar file in maven, builds fail with A problem occurred configuring project ‘:’. >
Artifact ‘.jar’ not found.
Adding @aar to the dependency clears up the problem and resolves the build. This same build without declaring @aar on the compile dependency worked just fine in version 1.11.