Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,057 (Sat 21 Apr)/Araucaria – A hard day’s night

Posted by rightback on April 28th, 2007


Solving time: 42 mins; one missing (1ac).

A common feature of Araucaria’s puzzles is the inclusion of very long phrases spanning multiple clues with very complex wordplay. This week’s complementary phrases were SOMETHING OF THE NIGHT and YOU CAN’T GET THE STAFF THESE DAYS, though the connection only occurred to me after solving. I needed plenty of checking letters before solving the second phrase which made this puzzle slow going before then.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

1 MAN + SARD + R + OOF (Yiddish for ‘money’) – a roof with two different slopes. I eventually remembered OOF for ‘money’ but couldn’t get SARD[inian] and didn’t know the architect. See here for more.
14 TESTIMONIAL; “TESTY MOAN EEL” – just about works as a homophone.
18 HER + MEN + EUTIC (= (CUTIE)*) – I made this up but if I’d thought about it I might have realised that the word comes from the Greek messenger god Hermes.
21/11/9 SO + METHIN[ks] + GO + F(THEN)IGHT – ‘kings’ for KS is questionable.
22 GLU(TEN + F + RE)E
25 A + C(T + U + A + L)ITE
26 GOUDA; DU[tch] in GOA – dubious wordplay.
27 F(ORES)EE – this is the clue that I should have got far earlier, as I’m sure I’d have then got 13/16/23/24dn if I had, which might have halved my solving time.
1 MINUTE; “MY NEWT” – but ‘minute’ = ‘note’ is pronounced “minnit”. Very strange.
3 A + L + TOG (rev. of GOT) + ETHER
6 EDAM; ‘MADE’ up
8 MAN + IF + OLD – I’m sure the sexagenarians in the audience will have been delighted by this clue…
13/16/ 23/24 (THEY DON’T AFFECT US AS THEY STAGE)* – I’m really not a fan of answers which span so many grid entries, as they tend to make the puzzles a slog beforehand and a breeze afterwards (as here, apart from 1ac and 20dn), but I have to say this is a very good anagram which fooled me into thinking the definition was ‘They don’t affect us’.
15 SHE’LL LIKE – I liked this clue.
17 PROMOTER – a nice cryptic definition but I think this clue would have been better with wordplay as well.
18 GROUSE (double definition)
20 LEVANT (double definition) – this took me at least 5 minutes at the end. I was expecting some kind of pun on ‘orient’ = E[ast] and nearly guessed ‘depart’ (E PART = Eastern part?) but got there in the end, though I only vaguely knew ‘levant’ = ‘decamp’.

4 Responses to “Guardian 24,057 (Sat 21 Apr)/Araucaria – A hard day’s night”

  1. says:

    As regards 6 down – is there a way one can decide which way up these answers are? I couldn’t figure out if this was MADE or EDAM.

  2. says:

    6dn: Dutch product cryptically invented? (4)

    This one has to be EDAM, with the split in the clue between ‘product’ and ‘cryptically’, so the last two words indicate that the answer can be read cryptically as ‘”made” up’. If the answer were MADE the split would have to come between ‘cryptically’ and ‘invented’, but “Dutch product cryptically” can’t mean ‘”EDAM” up’ (though it could have indicated “MADE UP” if the answer had been (4, 2)).

    But there are certainly some clues which are ambiguous; in those cases you have to work it out from the crossing answers. Sometimes even that isn’t sufficient, e.g. a pair of homophones differing by only an unchecked letter, and with those clues you just have to decide which is the ‘better’ answer (sometimes this is arguable).

  3. says:

    I finally (May 7) allowed myself to look at your solutions. I still don’t understand ACTUALITE – 25 across – as connected to its clue (With which one may be economical in a quote about “time to turn first left”) – could some maestro please unpick it again for me? (Thanks for your previous generous help a while ago.)

  4. says:

    ‘Actualité’ is French (and facetious English) for ‘truth’, hence ‘with which one may be economical’. The wordplay is:

    A + CITE (= quote), all around (T (= time) + U (= turn, as in U-turn) + A (= first) + L (= left)).

    The letter A clued by ‘first’ is standard in the Guardian, and superfluous words like the ‘to’ in this clue are common in Araucaria’s clues.

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