Posted by loonapick on May 24th, 2007
When I opened the Guardian website today to see whose puzzle I’d be blogging, I had that familair sense of unease that comes from seeing the name “Araucaria”. Don’t get me wrong – I love his puzzles, and I can forgive his non-Ximenean style because he is fun to solve. My unease comes form the fact that Araucaria puzzles tend to be that litle bit harder, and the last thing you want to do is admit defeat when you are blogging. Thankfully, with the help of onelook.com on a couple of occasions and Google to check some of my answers, I did manage to complete it (took about 35 minutes).
1 JACK THE RIPPER – JACK-T(HER)IPPER – Tipper Gore is Al Gore’s wife, and almost as well known as her husband. The reference in the clue to 8 relates to 8dn (see below)
10 ACADEMY – A-CADE-MY – a very clever clue. Jack CADE led a rebellion against Henry VI in 1450. MY = “setter’s”
11 STRETTO – STRETTO(n) – there are various towns or areas called Stretton in England, and a STRETTO is a part of a fugue where subjects overlap – not being a musician, I hope that makes sense.
13 NEWSFLASH – NEW S(FL.)ASH – nice surface
16 MORE LIGHT – (mr goeth(e) L I)* – said to be Johann Goethe’s last words, and a supreme example of Araucasria’s skill.
18 IN THE WASH – “flowers in Beds” (i.e. rivers in Bedfordshire) would indeed end up flowing into The Wash. Slight piece of “nit-pickery” – the capitalisation of Beds, although necessary ruins the clue, and one wonders whether their may have been a way of starting the clue with “Beds” – can’t think of one myself…
19 OFLAG – OF LAG – another excellent clue; an OFLAG was a German POW camp for officers only.
20 KEYSTROKE – “one go at typing” and KEY = “crucial”, but I’m not sure of the relationship between STROKE and “Peterborough” (don’t know that there is any special link between Peterboroughand rowing or golf, for example)?
26 GLOSSECTOMIES – GLOSS-E.C.-TOM(m)IES – a glossectomy is the surgical removal of the tongue. E.C. is the postcode which covers most of the City of London, and a “tommy” was a colloquial name for a British soldier.
3 KNELL – K-NELL – as in a death knell – the NELL refers of course to Nell Gwynn (or Gwyn or Gwynne), “girlfriend” of Charles II.
4 HAYDN – (handy)*
5 RUSHWORTH – RUSH is “hurry”, but can’t see what WORTH has to do with “desert” – in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, Rushworth is a wealthy man who becomes engaged to Julia.
6 PORTFOLIO – (<=oil of trop) – surface isn’t up to Araucaria’s normally high standards.
8 WALTER SICKERT – W(ALTER-SICKER)T – British painter whose name has been linked to Jack the Ripper. Some people even contend that he was an accomplice of the mass murderer.
9 NO PHOTOGRAPHY – (op op Hogarth)* in N.Y. – excellent surface
15 ELECTRICS – (set circle)* – slightly non-Ximenean, but fun.
16 MEADOW RUE – (we made our)*
17 GELIGNITE – GE-LIGNITE – GE is a variant of Gaea, the Greek personification of Earth.