Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23935/Araucaria – no good deed…

Posted by ilancaron on November 28th, 2006


No good deed goes unpunished. I volunteered to do Tuesday’s cryptic thinking that I’ll probably get someone tractable like Shed, Quantum, etc. – but no… and we’re left with four wordplays I can’t work out (thanks to Loonapick and michod and Peter Owen below we have all of them resolved now).

I really don’t see how this Araucaria can be done without a reference of some sort: I certainly needed one to resolve several clues – thus quite a few wikipedia refs below. Wordplays I didn’t get: 9A, 1D, 14D, 20D. One that took me forever to work out (5D), an obscure religious figure and a Dickens reference. That said, there’s always a thing or two or three I learn from an Araucaria puzzle.

I’m using our new anagram indicator: fodder* means anag(“fodder”)


4 D. E. B. R. I. S. – first letters of the first 6 words: with 80th actually “eightieth”. He could have used 85th since that’s how old Araucaria himself is.
9 WAR+MTH – subtraction: “time’s not on”= M(on)TH [thanks loonapick]
11 BE(A+RER B+O)NDS – A fine example of Araucarian surface! BENDS contains rev(“O br’er a”) as in Br’er Rabbit.
17 H(OT C)AKE – As in: “the paper must be selling like hot cakes today with this puzzle.
22 PHRYG+IAN – The things you learn: anyway, PHRYG=”fridge”, IAN comes from Scotland (though I thought that the canonic Scots spelling was Iain) and Phrygia was a cold remote country in the olden days in Turkey.
24 DO+MINI+CA(r) – “Docked” indicates subtraction. “Suit” is one of the many meanings of DO.
25 FI+SH+ER – Had no idea who St. John Fisher was – now I do. In this case I managed to work it out from the wordplay: rev(if = provided) + SH for quiet + ER our gracious queen.


1, 23 LITTLE DORRIT – By Dickens! Wordplay: LITT (degree of “Letters’)+LED(“induced”)+OR(“alternative”)+RIT(abbrev(ritardando)=”go-slow” in musicalese).
2 BIR+MING+HAM – rev(rib = bone), indicated by back. Sir Menzies Campbell is nicknamed MING and an amateur’s a HAM. How did I work this out? I saw rib and thus had BIRM?N?HAM so the answer was obvious – I thought amateur at first was “am” and simply googled “Campbell Mingh” – no luck and tried “Campbell Ming” next.
4 DEWS+BURY – Yorkshire village. Worked out from the wordplay.
5, 16 BER+NAR+DO OH+IG+GINS – Bernardo O’Higgins was first leader of independent Chile and has interesting parentage. Rev(reb=rebel)+rev(ran=controlled)+rev([robin] hood=outlaw)+rev(GI=soldier)+(GINS=traps). No comment.
8 (ar)T+ATE – Not bad: though you could argue that the wordplay and def overlap since Tate was specifically a sponsor of art (Tate galleries)
12 BREAD SAUCE – (abused race)*: at first I looked for anagrams of “race harmed” since “abused” seemed like a more likely anagram indicator. I guess it’s the gravy you use on fowl.
13 BAM+BURG+H – rev(mab = Fairy Queen) + rev(grub = food) + H(ot). Worked this out from the wordplay and looked up BAMBURGH.
14 B(EE) EATER – It’s a bird. A whisk’s a BEATER. “slips aside” is abbrev(errors excepted=EE)  Peter Owen below reminds us that when in doubt, look it up in Chambers.
20 S(PU)D – Murphy’s a type of potato and Murphy’s Law is similar to Sod’s Law — now replace love (O) in sod by rev(“up”) indicated by “turning”.  Piece of cake.  [thanks michod].
21 TRAM(p) – last one I got: probably because it’s a subtraction clue, my bete noire.

8 Responses to “Guardian 23935/Araucaria – no good deed…”

  1. says:

    Wordplay for 9ac – MTH = MONTH without ON (“time’s not on”).

    Still working on others.

  2. says:

    1,23 LITTLE DORRIT – a bit convoluted, but here goes:

    LITT (as in Litt D – Doctor of “Letters”)
    LED (“induced”)
    OR (“alternative”)
    RIT (“go-slow” – rit. is short for ritartando in music)

    Hope that helps.

  3. says:

    14D Best I can offer you is that the Northern English exclamation “ee” might be used as an aside. My mother’s folks came from Lancashire and a couple of her sister’s children once took great delight in secretly recording their father’s exasperated “Ee by gum lad” (“eebargoomlad” roughly) and playing it back on a circular bit of tape.
    Or in the words of Gracie Fields:

    In Lancashire and Yorkshire
    Ever since the world began
    This is the expression of a strong and silent man
    ‘Ee By Gum, ‘Ee-hee By Gum
    The only thing he ever says is ‘Ee By Gum

    He says it when he’s happy
    And he says it when he’s glum
    He means an awful lot when he says ‘Ee-ee By Gum

  4. says:

    I grappled with the bottom corner for some time, though without reference works. I wanted it to be spud, but couldn’t see why, but eventually got there:
    SOD (Murphy’s alternative lawman, as in Sod’s law) with PU (turning up) in place of O (love).
    But ee?

  5. says:

    Cool! Not surprised that Sod’s Law didn’t occur me (I was thinking beer and potatoes not Murphy’s Law and sods aren’t American. Other than you know who, the guy in the White House).

    We might have to buy Peter’s EE.

  6. says:

    Ee lad!, Tha’ll be winding oop ‘t residents of Dewsbury no end if tha calls it nowt but a village.

  7. says:

    EE = errors excepted = slips aside

    See Chambers.

  8. says:

    Good call – only knew of E & OE

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seven + = 14