Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,039 (Sat 31 Mar)/Araucaria – And the band played on

Posted by rightback on April 7th, 2007


Solving time: Resorted to references after 30 mins with five clues left (starred below), and a mistake.

Following hot on the heels of Paul’s Beethoven-themed crossword last week comes a homage to Mozart from Araucaria, but the operatic knowledge required this week was much trickier – Zerlina and Tito, and the composer Salieri, were all new to me. Nonetheless I was probably a bit hasty in giving up, should really have been able to get 4dn and 6dn (and would then have managed 14ac, if not 17ac). I also can’t explain 3dn.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

9 ICEMAN; (CINEMA)* – I think this refers to the play The Iceman Cometh.
10 COS + I[n]FANT + UTTE[r] – a fluky cold solve of this helped me to spot the theme.
12 FIGARO – ‘man with pole’ refers to the barber’s pole and Figaro’s other incarnation as the Barber of Seville.
*14 I + DOME + NEO – I’d heard of this but didn’t know it was by Mozart. The construction seems a bit contrived (‘first’ = I, ‘a new start’ for the prefix NEO-).
15 PRE[s]SAGE – can’t see how ‘loss of heart’ can mean ‘with one of the two central letters removed’.
*17 Z([b]ERLIN)A – a character from Don Giovanni. ‘In extremis’ has to be translated literally as ‘in extremities’.
20 TRI[a]L + EMMA
22 ME + DICO (= Latin for ‘I say’) – curiously I put ‘modico’, thinking ‘physician’ might be MO.
23 AUSTE[n] + R(L)ITZ – a French military victory (sic).
24 TITO (double definition) – refers to Mozart’s The Clemency of Titus, which I didn’t know, and Josip Tito, whom luckily I did.
*25 SENLAC; rev. of CALNE’S – I couldn’t get this, knowing neither Senlac Hill (site of the Battle of Hastings) or the town of Calne, where apparently Joseph Priestly discovered oxygen in 1774.
3 A TEMPO – ‘a tempo’ is a musical instruction to revert to the previous or original speed, but why ‘Up Guards and ____’?
*4 PENGUIN – should really have got this, but unfortunately I made ‘seagull’ fit the two letters I had.
*6 WELL-HEELED (double definition) – I had WELL-????ED but couldn’t get the middle bit. Not very sharp.
7 BAT + TLE (= (LET)*)
16 GIM (= “JIM”) + CRACK – ‘a worthless knick-knack’.
18 NICOTINE; “NICK” + (10 TEN)*
19 SALIERI – Antonio Salieri and Mozart were rumoured to be hostile to one another. Another lucky guess for me, chosen ahead of ‘Gabieri’, ‘Patieri’ etc.
22 MOZART; OZ in rev. of TRAM – Mozart wrote The Abduction from the Seraglio (see clue to 1dn).
24 TOW + [londo]N

5 Responses to “Guardian 24,039 (Sat 31 Mar)/Araucaria – And the band played on”

  1. says:

    I enjoyed this even though (or maybe because) I found it a bit easier than most Saturdays; solving the thematic clues pretty quickly presumably helped a lot. 3 is a reference to the phrase “Up Guards and AT ‘EM” (often just heard as “Up and at ‘em”), a probably apocryphal order given by Wellington at Waterloo. PO is then the (postal) order.

    My first comment here, by the way, but I’ve read the blog for as long as it’s been going. Many thanks to all who work on it–as a relative cryptic newbie, it helps me a lot.

  2. says:

    Ah, thanks – I’ll claim that ‘order’ is doing double duty in the clue (PO in the wordplay and part of the definition ‘order to revert to set speed’), but then this is Auracaria so I should be wary of such things!

  3. says:

    Re. 19d, you’ve obviously never seen the film Amadeus!

  4. says:

    Indeed I haven’t. The problem with watching films is that I find it hard to sit still for two hours at a time, so I tend not to see many. But if it’s holding back my solving…

  5. says:

    My clue for 22 down was simply
    which quite frankly had me bamboozled
    how does one get Mozart from that?

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