Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23,960, Araucaria: Tutu much?

Posted by michod on December 29th, 2006


Actually, fairly mild stuff from the octogenarian enfant terrible today – two of his trademark multi-word linked entries, and only a handful of  clues to wind up the purists. But I’m not sure I like reviewing Araucaria – his clues are often better enjoyed without deconstruction. 


1. HEREDITARY PEER. HERE + DI(T)ARY PEER. Nice clue – House of Lords reform means they will die out eventually. ‘In the Guardian’ = here.

10. LOW TOBY. ‘Talk of cattle’= LOW (i.e. moo), TOBY is a dog. Had to look in Chambers for LOW—- words for this, to me, unfamiliar word.

11. (s)ICILY. With I—Y I put Islay – I slay, which is giving someone the chop in a very unfriendly way, but would have been an outrageous and unsound clue, unlike this one!

15. COWES. Sounds like ‘cows’, and means a kind of sail, which sounds like ‘sale’.

17, 6, 9. BATTERSEA POWER STATION. TATE BR* + SEA POWER + STATION. Dodgy. No  anagram indicator in sight – I suppose ‘that of’ is meant to refer you back to ‘building’ from the definition… I would prefer ‘redevelopment of Tate Britain’ or some such.

20, 13. RIGHT, LEFT AND CENTRE. RIGHT (just), LEFT (abandoned) AND (with) RECENT*. Good straightforward clue.

22. FONDA. FOND = A. Letter for ‘A’ is weak, but it’s not hard to get there. ‘From Henry to Jane’ is not a greatr definition either. ‘Henry or Jane’ would be better.

23. ECOLOGY. (th)E + LOG in COY. Company’s usually co, so easy to forget it can be coy.

24. NUNNERY. An old-fashioned non-cryptic literary allusion, unless I’m missing something.


1. HOSPITAL CORNER. As in corner the market, and that special way they have of making the beds – good double meaning.


4. TUNE OUT. ONE TU TU*. Sounds like 1 2 2 if you pronounce it like Archbishop Tutu.  Indirect anagrams are generally frowned on – is this one? We’re given tu tu in two different ways, though it should really be ‘said like the archbishop’.

7. EVOCATE. CAT in EVOE. Evoe’s the kind of word that crops up now and then in advanced cryptics, less often in dailies.

8. SYSTEMS ANALYST. NASTY, MESSY + LAST*. Nice anagram. Might there have been a better anag indicator than (possibly)?


16. WIGTOWN. T + OWN under WIG. A town in Galloway. Does ‘more hair’=wig?

17. BYE-BYES. Vales as in Latin for farewells, I believe.

18. TITIANA. TITIAN with I moving + A, ref (Midsummer Night’s) Dream. Enough with the play already – was this a clue left over from the special? 

2 Responses to “Guardian 23,960, Araucaria: Tutu much?”

  1. says:

    Other allusions to the Christmas special in 14a and 24a – perhaps they really were left over clues!

    Usual enjoyable (and rule-stretching) Aracauria…

  2. says:

    Quite a bit of discussion elsewhere about 14A: “Fancy 2,500 sheets?” producing DREAM (D+REAM for two versions of 500). However, I just looked at the current online version which now reads: “Fancy 250,000 sheets?”, i.e. 500×500 of them.

    Interesting that this was deemed an error egregious enough to warrant a modification. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before.

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