Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23987/Araucaria

Posted by linxit on January 30th, 2007


An enjoyable puzzle today from Araucaria, which either means that there wasn’t too much non-Ximenean shenanigans going on, or that I’m actually getting used to his style (however, the wordplay escaped me on a couple of clues). I’m pretty sure that the online version has a typo in 13ac though – if not, ignore the first sentence because that makes no sense at all! [Although I now take it back, having seen michod’s comment]

1 CARMART,HENS,HIRE – nice easy start, obviously going to be a county – didn’t take long to see which one.
9 SATISFIED – I don’t get the wordplay on this one. [SAT,IS,FIE(l)D, thanks loonapick, but I can’t see how SAT is “much of day”. Hmph!]
11 O,DON,A,TA – luckily I remembered this from another recent puzzle. It’s the dragonfly genus.
13,16,18 & 24 – DIS,CON,TEN,TED – opposite of 9ac, easy enough. But the clue in the online version reads “13, 16, 18, 24 26 6 10 and 8 are not 9 (3)”. What are the last four clue numbers about? INFERNO SWINDLE IN TOW and EDWARD THE FOURTH. Makes no sense to me – I think somebody did a cut-and-paste from another clue and forgot to edit it afterwards. [But see michod’s comment below – actually that’s brilliant, but I think the online version didn’t do it justice – the way it was presented just looked like a mistake]
17 STEW,ART – I was sure the royal family name is spelt “Stuart”, but according to this it was changed from “Stewart” in 1548.
19 IKEBANA – hidden in lIKE BANAnas, the Japanese art of flower-arranging.
22 INST,YLE=Ely rev.
28 INDIA – I’d heard of the rubber and the ink, but not the paper. According to Chambers, India paper is a fine quality paper of Chinese or Japanese origin!
30 MAR(RIED=ride*,INCH,UR)CH – not keen on time=March, one of my few grumbles though.

1 COSMOPOLITANISM (plot,a commission)* – had to write out the letters to get this one.
2 RAT,10 – wasted a bit of time trying to work out what it had to do with 10ac.
3 AB,STAIN – the first two letters, that is.
4 TRIB(AD)E – not a word I’d ever come across, but the wordplay was pretty simple.
6 S(outh)WIND,LE – liked the definition here, “a fast one”.
7 INTEST(AC)Y – i.e. (isn’t yet)* around AC, “out” is the anagrind.
20 A,LIZAR(d),I – the fact that it had its tail removed made me think of lizard. Alizari is one of those words that I knew existed but didn’t know what it meant. Now I do – it’s a type of madder (the plant).
22 IDI AMIN – another one that I don’t understand the wordplay of. Looks like DIAM must be “lot of stones”…? [Of course it is! DIAM(onds) – how did I miss that?]
27 RADA,R – Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, correctly=right=R

7 Responses to “Guardian 23987/Araucaria”

  1. says:

    9ac – SAT (most of day)-IS-FIE(L)D – “Field” being remaining horses as in “to bet against the field”.

    22dn – a lot of DIAMonds – typical Araucaria, I’m afraid.

    I don’t get the 13ac thing either, although I wonder if it has something to do with first letters, I,S,I,E,T,F, maybe TED or A (EdwArd the Fourth?), all of these being bits of the word SATISFIED, but I just can’t work it out??

  2. says:

    13A confuse me as well — I assumed there was some long anagram going on but i think you’re right that it’s a mistake.

    9A: SAT,IS,FIE[l]D — where “field” as in the runners in a horse face (L[eft] leaving is a nice touch).

    I don’t get IDI AM,IN either — is there a weight involved?

  3. says:

    Hmm… “lot of rocks” would have been more recognizable for DIAMonds in my case.

    Incidentally we saw two relatively unusual words for homosexual in the last week: BARDASH (last week’s Gordius) and TRIBADE (today).

  4. says:

    13 etc was quite clever actually, but sounds like it may have been unclear online. In the paper clue, 13, 16, 18 and 24 are in bold, forming the lights clued, while 26 6 10 and 8 are normal, forming part of the clue, which then gives: 26 (inferno) =DIS; 6 (swindle) =CON; 10 = TEN (!); 8 (Edward the Fourth) =TED (the weakest link, really).

  5. says:

    Thanks for the explanation michod. I’d be surprised if anyone picked that up from the clue as it was presented online. Maybe they’ve never heard of the <b> tag? Actually it’s probably a limitation of the crappy software they use – the special instructions of most Azed puzzles usually contain something like last Sunday’s: 23 down – “The word ‘proper’ should be in italics. It’s just plain old HTML – it’d only take a minute for someone to edit it manually.

    Thanks also to loonapick for explaining 9 and 22 – didn’t like SAT=much of day. “Some of day” or “Part of day”would have been better without affecting the surface. I should have seen DIAMonds though, no excuses there.

  6. says:

    Off topic – but can anyone more experience advise me whether I should get the 2006 edition of Chambers, or go hunting for the old 2003 version?

    Thanks in advance.

  7. says:

    2006 doesn’t appear to be a major revision. I recently picked up a 2003 Chambers (as a spare) in a bookshop for £6.99, so keep your eyes peeled.

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