Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24137 Araucaria Posted by Simply_Simon July 24th 2007

Posted by neildubya on July 24th, 2007


4ALNMOUTH This was my start point. It looked like an anagram, and that gave me 21 across.
12 PRE SIGNIFY Y setting of ” gins if”gave me the anagram, and then prey sprang to mind.
14 TYNE It was only after I put it in that I saw it came from twenTY NEarly.
18 FOUR LEGGED Again I got the answer before I saw the anagram of rule in the midst of fogged.
21 NOR THUMBER LAND. Being a well brought up boy I got the Norland reference quickly!
25 SCHEDULE as in shed yule.
26 ALS T O N, also about t(ime) followed by Northumberland’s first.

1 CASH After an initial panic that my first crossword to solve for the site was by Araucaria, I got this as my starter and calmed down (briefly).
2 QUEENIE, nearly quiet about e’en.
3 EX PL I C IT – one in Plc, in exit.
5 L IN DIS FAR NE having guessed this I had to check what Dis is, and, as everyone else knows, he’s the Roman God of the Underworld.
7 UNREADY Dounreay, minus do (party) and insert the Roman number D.
8 HINDER END Hindered with N inserted.
12 CAN NON MET AL I started from canal for waterway, and the rest fell into place.
13 PECUNIOUS anagram.
15 PELL MELL PM with two ells inserted, an ell being an old measure of cloth – a yard and a quarter.
17 MORPETH, made me laugh. Inserting R into a lisping Mopes gives the town name.
19 GUNSHOT. I assume the clue refers to ‘0’ size buckshot?
22 O MEN which is a presignifier, and a greeting to a lot of chaps!.

13 Responses to “Guardian 24137 Araucaria Posted by Simply_Simon July 24th 2007”

  1. AlanR says:

    Nice puzzle – I found it quite easy, perhaps because I grew up in 21!

    I assumed 19 was simply an anagram of ‘noughts’.

  2. Shirley says:

    26 Ac – sorry to be picky, but I thought Alston was in Cumbria not Northumberland. The reference to 21 implies it is in Northumberland not just the first letter of it? Or that’s how I read it anyway.

  3. Simply_Simon says:


    You’re right – I didn’t spot it, and, having got gunshot because of the letters in place worked back to, what turns out to be, the wrong reason for the answer.

    Shirley, yes, but there is another Alston in Northumberland……

  4. muck says:

    My 1974 atlas shows Alston in Cumberland, but almost surrounded by Northumberland. “Alston, Northumberland” appears to have postcode CA9, so presumably is in Cumbria now.

  5. Simply_Simon says:

    I think that CA refers to Carlisle, rather than Cumbria………..but I agree there seems to be an element of confusion, and the town features on a website called

  6. mark says:

    A few words I’ve never heard and aren’t in my dictionary but i guessed.

    Simon – can i humbly request that when you post answers you explain fully for those of us slower on the uptake.

    Still baffled by
    1D – CASH – is that C=cent A=and (?!)and then SH (not just S?) for shilling. And why is cash a forerunner?
    22D OMEN – how is O MEN an address to lots of chaps? YO MEN, HI MEN (plenty of wordplay from both I realise) but O (as in Oh?) Men.

    Finally, 21 A I got it but I wasn’t well brought up. What/Who is NORLAND

    Thanks and sighs

  7. Debbie says:

    The forerunners (first letters) of 1D) Cents And Shillings Have are CASH.
    I thought omen 22D was OK.
    Norland is a training college for nannies.
    And, yes, I thought Alston was Cumbria too.

  8. mark says:

    Thanks Debbie for those explanations. CASH is very good and, sigh, so obvious when you see it.

    I’ll not be convinced on OMEN though!


  9. Stan says:

    Mark – “O Men” is like “O Calcutta” or “O what fools these mortals be”. It’s a bit of an old crossword cliche – it’s not usual for Araucaria to hand out gimmes like that.

  10. Colin Blackburn says:

    Hmm, I sometimes think Araucaria’s geography is a bit suspect. I know of no Alston in Northumberland—at least nothing that makes it into a decent sized gazetteer—and living in the North Pennines we definitely cross the border into Cumbria when going to Alston.

  11. Debbie says:

    After posting my comment above, I looked at an online gazetteer and there were several Alstons, not one of them in Northumberland.

  12. muck says:

    Today’s Guardian ‘Correction & Clarifications’ admits that “A geographical error crept into cryptic crossword No 24,137 … Alston … is not in Northumberland but in Cumbria”.

  13. mark says:


    Thanks for your modest reply

    A gimme hey.

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