Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23983/Araucaria – Notes from the Underground

Posted by ilancaron on January 25th, 2007


A puzzle about the tube from Araucaria that probably could be done on the tube. Not all the lines showed up but at least my favorite did (the District, which is what I took to school every morning: Earl’s Court to Ravenscourt Park).

The theme was pretty easy to spot once CIRCLE fell because of repetition of “line” in so many clues. But I have a couple of questions about wordplay – see below.


1 J(UBILE)E – it’s a tube “line” and it’s JE containing (blue, I)*. Where JE is supposed to be the French “translation” of “my” (hardly). Maybe there’s another way to read this? If I’m right then “translation” does double duty – literally and as the anagrind. Perhaps “I” serves double-duty: once as part of the fodder and then in “translation” as the container?
5 [di]STRICT – “I had” becomes “I’d” which “otherwise” (anagrammed) is removed from the DISTRICT “line”.
9 H(ILLS)IDE – a kind of “inclination”.
10 CIRCLE – double definition: and the first tube “line” I solved. At first I thought this was a rather weak cryptic definition… then the penny dropped.
12 MET,ROPO,LITAN – poor* followed by Latin*. My second tube “line” and convinced me I had the theme.
15 IN,I(TIA,TIO)N – The first IN is “into”, the second one is “home”, while “houses” indicates containment of two of the few Spanish words I know.
20 JACK HORNER – From the nursery rhyme: he sat in the corner and among other things removed a plum with his finger. Our musical experts will tell us if someone who plays the horn will answer to HORNER. Actually Chambers has HORNER as archaic ‘horn player’. 
22 RIDING HABITS – “those who are up” on horses RIDING have strange HABITS no doubt if they live in “Yorkshire” which has three ridings
26 ALL,E,GE[t] – definition is “say it was”, and “get” docked yields GE.
27 BA(K,ER)LOO – Another tube “line” and BALOO is Hindi for “bear”. I was pretty sure of the answer but had to check Chambers for BALOO.
28 A,NY[l]ON,E – This time “line” isn’t on the tube – just a line abbreviated to “l” –and removed from nylon (“material”). Definition is: “never mind who”.


1 JOHN BULL – Definition is “English type”. Wordplay refers to Bakerloo (27A) but not sure how it works. Thanks to loonapick: End of Bakerloo is loo which is a JOHN and BULL is “blunder” in the sense of a BULL in a china shop.
3 LIST,ERIA – Another kind of “inclination” followed by rev(Aire). LISTERIA is a type of bacteria identified by Dr. Lister himself (he of antiseptics)
4 EIDER=”Ida” – at least if you’re non-rhotic. Ref “Princess Ida” by G&S.
7 IN(CITE,ME)N,T – “Local” pub or INN and “model” T.
8 TWEE,NAGERS – TWEE (“pretty”) followed by angers*. Def is “precocious kids” who are engaged in, what Chambers most accurately indicates, “exasperating their parents”.
11 U,PLOOK – where plonk (for “wine”) has had N (“name”) replaced by O (“nothing”).
13 VICTORIA,NA – Another tube “line”.
14 PICC=”pick”,A,DILLY – And another “line”.
18 NORTHE,RN – Throne* followed by RN (Royal Navy still has “ships”) and it’s a tube “line”. “Ships of the line” is a nice nautical redherring.
23 BRAND – double definition: a BRAND is “hot” when used to make a mark and it identifies something’s “type”. BenIngton points out that the online and offline clues are different: “Hot type of play?” and “Hot Ibsenian play” where the “play” in question is Ibsen’s BRAND.
24, 25 B(LUE M)OON – BOON (“present”) contains mule*. I get these kind of clues once in a BLUE MOON.

2 Responses to “Guardian 23983/Araucaria – Notes from the Underground”

  1. says:

    Enjoyed the puzzle, BUT

    1 ac – agree that I is being asked to too much, and you can’t use JE for “my translation”.

    4dn – don’t like homophones that depend on the “er” at the end of the words being pronounced as if there is no “r”. As a Scot, I always pronounce the “r”, therefore eider and Ida do not sound alike.


    20ac – has HORNER as “one who winds or blows the horn” (obsolete)

    1,2dn – end of 27 is “loo”, another word for JOHN or toilet, followed by BULL=blunder (force, shove?)

    23dn – haven’t a clue!

  2. says:

    Re 23d – once again, I wonder if online and paper versions of the clue are different.

    Paper version is “Hot Ibsenian type” giving a double definition of BRAND (“Brand” is a play about a priest by Henrik Ibsen)

    Enjoyed this puzzle hugely but my definition of Northern Line would have been:

    “A hell not even Dante could have imagined”.


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