Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24117/Araucaria (Sat Jun 30) – flighty

Posted by ilancaron on July 7th, 2007


Avian theme. 14D (CHAFFINCH) was my way in. I solved this twice. The second time took as long virtually as the first since I’d forgotten most of the birds already.


9 PORTIA=”Porsche” – is there another PORTIA other than Shylock’s? The clue says “ladies”.
10 FIELD,FARE – my last clue. Didn’t know it was a bird.
12 PERE,GRINE=”green” – ref. PEREGRINE falcon. Apparently can be pronounced to rhyme with “green” which takes care of saving the planet. Not sure about “a drink” though?
17 DEN – two meanings &lit I suppose if one accepts that a DEN is squalid.
19 H(OTC)AKE – as in, selling like HOTCAKES. OTC=”Over the Counter”.
20 OAK GALL – a slightly indirect anagram: (AKA, log, L)*
21 EBB – two meanings: turns out it’s Elizabeth Barrett Browning who’s our poetess. Yes, I googled.
27 C,OR,M,OR,AN,[i]T – another bird. Our numbers are Roman C and M.
28 IND[i]ABA – replace I for “one” in India with AB for “sailor” to get an African “conference” – which I didn’t know but the wordplay was clear.
29 P,HAL,A,ROPE – another bird. Ref. Prince HAL.
30 CAVE,L,L – ref. Edith CAVELL (British WWI nurse) and CAVE is derived from the Latin “beware”. Trivia: Edith Piaf was apparently named after her.
31 BRAMBLING – another bird (implied two meanings).


2 ARISEN – (is near)* — Not sure I understand the part of speech here – can “come up” and ARISEN be used interchangeably?
5 GIRONDE – ref. the French river and I think the relatively mild revolutionary Girondists?
6 CORN,C,RAKE – and another bird
7 P(TAR,MIG)AN – another bird: MIG’s our Russian “aircraft” and “black stuff” is TAR.
8 B(ALD)EAGLE – lad* in BEAGLE for a bird.
14 CHAFF,IN,CH – my first undefined clue: clear wordplay and once I got it everything fell into place pretty quickly.
15 STO(C,K,DO)VE – I don’t really like “Note – £1,000 note” indicating the contents here. But it’s a bird. Stilt notes that C and DO are the same note.
16 R(A,ZORB[a])ILL – a bird again. Ref. “ZORBA the Greek” so no need to qualify with “for example”.
17 DEE – two meanings: the river and the letter.
22 B(R)OTHER – another “stream”: this is R (others were RILL and DEE and GIRONDE).
25 C,RURAL – new word for me: means “relating to the leg or knee”.
26 IN[ch],SPAN – SPAN is literally an old measure of nine inches. And I think the def is “get ready for a trek” if you’re a yoked ox.

9 Responses to “Guardian 24117/Araucaria (Sat Jun 30) – flighty”

  1. radchenko says:

    Why is 5dn GIRONDE and not GARONNE?

    I checked through my atlas and the only two rivets I could find that would fit were these two. I could not make either mean mildly revolutionary though. However the distionaary claimed the former as an estuary and the latter as a river. So I got it wrong.

    Grrr after slogging through all those obscure birds (fieldfare, phalarope, brambling, …)

  2. radchenko says:

    Whoops. “distionaary” indeed. Typing all to pot as well. Sorry.

  3. roland says:

    This may be heresy, but I didn’t like PEREGRINE at all- in fact I just put it in because I had some of the right letters. Maybe I am tone-deaf where “sounds like” clues are concerned…

  4. stilt says:

    I thought this was considerably tougher than usual. There’s a Portia in Julius Caesar as well (Brutus’s wife). The drink in 12 is perry. I think “a problem has come up” and “a problem has arisen” means 2 is fine (though it seemed seriously dodgy to me until I thought of this a minute ago). And I’d really like to see the end of “note” = “anything from A to G”, but I’m not holding my breath.

  5. stilt says:

    Actually, on reflection, since one of the notes in 15 is C and the other is DO, and these are the same note… well, maybe it’s witty or something. Makes it a bit less annoying than usual, anyway. I’ll let him off.

  6. ilancaron says:

    yeah you’re right about 15D — I miscounted the O’s — so the wordplay is: STO(C,K,DO)VE indeed.

  7. ilancaron says:

    5D: if you read you’ll find that they were in fact moderate radicals (if that’s not an oxymoron).

  8. radchenko says:

    Thanks (or merci) for the enlightenment. I’ve read the article, of course the answer then makes sense. But it still seems to me that one of the Girondists is a Girondist, or, according to the article, a Girondin, not a Gironde, which in any case is an estuary more than a river.

    It still seems rather obscure though. Maybe it because I are an enjinear and aint got no klassikal educashun.

    So while it is good the know the answer, Grr rather than Grrr.

  9. Paul B says:

    Re 16dn had this friend called Mimis Domassos (or something like that) way back. He drank like a fish.

    ‘Abzorba’ we called him.

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