Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23968/Audreus – queenly

Posted by ilancaron on January 8th, 2007


I think this is the first time we’ve encountered Audreus – at least lately. Or at least first time I have on a Monday which is typically Rufus’s slot. I found myself filling in many of the clues without fully understanding the wordplay: probably an indication of somewhat too obvious definitions. Hardly a cryptic definition in sight which had my Monday-brain confused.


6 PA(V+E)D – I think that clue should just read: “Covered animal’s footprint…”, i.e. singular PAD unless in the plural “footprints” are collectively referred to as PAD? “Covered” is simply the definition rather than indicating containment which is served by “without”. V is a familiar sign made by two fingers indicating… well, you pick.
9 SUCH SWEET SORROW – (cur show sore, wet)* — ref. Romeo & Juliet (Act II, Scene ii): “Parting is SUCH SWEET SORROW”. Not a great fan of these longish contrived anagrams unless the surface somehow surprises which this doesn’t.
11 [l]ASSES+SOR[e] – again a weakish surface: I guess it’s hard to sensibly link “loss adjustors” and “topless girls”.
14 MAT+RIM+ON+Y[uppie] – straightforward charade for “marriage” that I only worked out when I wrote these notes.
15 A+LONG – it’s A LONG way to Tipperary (I discovered this was true this summer when driving down from Dublin – but all distances are ridiculous in Ireland given the state of the narrow 2-lane national roads with a speed limit of 100k if you’re willing to risk dying a gruesome death). You’re “in company” if you go ALONG with someone.
18 KING+C(RAF)T – Another wordplay that I decoded while writing this. It’s Billie Jean KING of tennis fame which makes the surface nice and consistent: all terms can be related to tennis: “ruling”, “service”, “court”.
20 IG+NORA+NT – rev(GI=”soldier”) followed by NORA (our “girl”) and N[igh]T: removing the contents is indicated by “discontented” which is a nice trick.
25 ROO+M (TEMP+ER)ATURE – first I solved – I don’t think my parents ever let the heat go over 65F (which is, what, about 18C) at home – 22C seems awfully luxurious! ROO is short for Kangaroo and my parents become more “mellow” as they MATURE.
26 H(IKE)R – another “wordplay solved while writing this” clue: IKE is the ex-Pres (Eisenhower) and HR is “time”, “out” indicates containment.
25 NEGLIGE+NT – NT (popular cryptic religious tract as opposed to operating system) replaces trailing “e” (a note of the A-G scale) of negligee.


1 F.O.S.S.E. – acrostic of “Foreign operas…”: FOSSE is a new word for me meaning ditch or moat. Good example of pseudo-understanding for the wrong reasons: Bob Fosse was a well-known American musical choreographer (I saw “foreign operas” and “sings”…).
2 RECEIPT – one of the v. few cryptic definitions.
4 REED – rev(deer=”buck”) with “up” the reverser in a down clue. A broken REED is a “weak” ineffectual person.
5 SA(TI+S.F.)YING – Another post-solution wordplay clue: “filling a need” is the definition: SAYING (“saw”) contains rev(IT=”Italian”) and SF for “Science Fiction”. Another weakish surface.
6 PR(OVEN)ANCE – And yet another “solve first, understand later” clue. Definition is “source”, “caper” can mean to PRANCE around and a “potential hot spot” is your OVEN. “Potential” misled me for a bit but I suppose your oven is really only hot if you actually turn it on.
7 VERISMO – hidden in “…cleVER, IS MOving”. VERISMO is an Italian literary theory (so “art” here is the general sense). I like learning new words this way: easy wordplay.
12 SIGN+WRITER – slightly weakish surface redeemed by the fact that “Leo” Tolstoy was a WRITER – perhaps his Zodiac sign was Leo as well. I’m not going to check.
13 WO(R+KING)MAN – pretty clever wordplay actually: I kept looking for two names of monarchs: definition is just “hand”.
14 MATRIARCH – (armchair, t)* — I’m not completely sure I see how “fitting” as an anagrind applies to both “armchair” and “T” though. By the way, I fell into the trap of initially putting in patriarch (assuming I’d just work out the wordplay later!) –betraying both my sexism and my sloppiness.
17 KIN(FO+L)K – yes, I worked out the wordplay later: KINK for “oddity” contains rev(“of”) and L for “fifty”.
22 TREAT – double definition: both meanings are a bit obscure: TREAT can mean to negotiate a settlement or contract and to “stand” someone to e.g. drinks means to TREAT them to a round.
23 BE(R)G – Alban BERG was an Austrian composer who makes the occasional cryptic appearance. Someone with a Chambers at hand can let us know if R is a standard symbol for “Roger”: Collins doesn’t think so.

5 Responses to “Guardian 23968/Audreus – queenly”

  1. says:

    Some further quibbles/queries:

    4d – I would not take the word ‘REED’ per se to mean something weak and ‘broken’ should have been included.

    12d – Should this have been ‘for examples’ as two different examples were given (Leo for sign and novelist for writer)?

    23d – Last clue I got as I finally decided ‘Roger’ = R. Looked up Acronym Finder and it isn’t there; the phonetic alphabet I know has Romeo for R but I have heard ‘R for Roger’ and wonder if this is what is meant.

  2. says:

    Roger = R = “received” comes from a predecessor of the Alpha Bravo Charlie alphabet.

    As with the current “phonetic alphabet”, you usually can’t look up R and find Roger because its the other way round – Roger stands for R, just as November stands for N.

    I don’t usually like things that rely on knowledge of word origins, but it’s well-known that “Roger” represents recieved, so you might manage to work out that it does so via R.

  3. says:

    4D: I’ve always associated the adjective “reedy” for instance with being somewhat weak and faltering, thus obviating the need for “broken”.

  4. says:

    I think you’ll find that, apart from being the mother of the Guardian compiler Shed, Audreus isalmost the lnogest serving compiler on the Guardian panel after Janus.

    Fine dependabkle puzzles that have a nice touch of humour in them!

  5. says:

    Longest serving setter: The Azed A-Z book says Araucaria has been setting Guardian xwds since 1958. It doesn’t give a start date for Audreus but the details for her imply that she started Guardian setting after 1959. Don’t know about Janus – there’s no entry for him/her.

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