Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23933/Araucaria

Posted by neildubya on December 2nd, 2006


Typically Araucarian puzzle with a theme of coloured butterflys. There was a nice bit of deception in the note above the puzzle which said that the four undefined clues “were connected with a comma”. At first I thought this meant that the answers could be paired together in some way form a phrase or phrases but the penny dropped once I’d solved a couple – a “comma” is also a butterfly.

1 RINGLETS – a ringlet is also a type of butterfly but it’s not brightly coloured, which is why I think it’s only “less closely connected” with the others.
9 MOUSETRAP – I guess this is a reference to the long running West End play.
12 LABOUR LEADER – very good &lit clue.
15 A,XI’S – team is (e.g.) “first XI”.
16 (tum lips are)* – the third division of a ruminant’s stomach. You never know when that piece of knowledge might come in handy.
19,2D RAVE,NOUS – I like “party sense” for RAVE and NOUS but the surface doesn’t really do it for me. How can you be “starving in the party sense”?
21 (marple’s mento)* – we’re being asked to accept “miss” as an anagram indicator but I’m struggling to see how it could be.
25 PURR in LAING – I loved “purr” for “satisfaction voiced”. RD Laing was a Scottish psychiatrist, famous for his unorthodox views on the causes and treatment of mental illness.
4 TORTOISESHELL – the first undefined thematic clue. Lots of elements to put together here: TORT (wrong)+O(love)+IS+ES (two compass points)+HELL(DAMNATION) – but again, what’s the surface reading doing?
6 (seem)* in HORN
8 (h)EART RUM PET – hmm. “Funny” is “rum” – fair enough. But that means “one” is meant to be “pet”. I think we’re supposed to assume that “one” refers back to “endearment” so rum pet is a funny endearment. Some people might not like that.
10 PURPLE EMPEROR – another thematic clue. Purple is associated with kings and emperors.
13,20 CAMBERWELL BEAUTY – the last thematic clue. SE5 is the postcode for the area in London.
14 (politic mad)*
22 CITY – from the capital letters of those cities. Sort of leapt out at you really.

One Response to “Guardian 23933/Araucaria”

  1. says:

    Got the butterfly theme but had to look up TORTOISESHELL to see if was one. Thanks for the ‘comma’ clue Neil – I missed it completely – never heard of it! A typical Aracauria, full of fun.

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