Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24161/Araucaria – the full monty

Posted by ilancaron on August 22nd, 2007


My Sheffield education was provided to me by the movie “The Full Monty” and the occasional Eurosport broadcast of an endless snooker match at The Crucible. Oh yes there are a couple of football teams there and once upon a time a steel factory or two. But according to The Full Monty none of the latter are left… Anyway, that pretty much sums up this puzzle. Except for The Full Monty, which was just poetic license.

There are a couple of wordplays that remain mysterious…


7 LO(GO,MA)CH,Y[our] – nothing like reasonable wordplay to teach you a new word meaning “verbal sparring”, i.e. argumentation.
8 DRILL – I’m assuming this is ref MANDRILL (a type of “monkey”) but not sure how “in khaki” removes MAN? What’s the drill here? (Yeah, ‘training’ I know).
9 W[eek],EDNESDAY=(and seedy)* – nice clue linking start of week (W) to its middle, namely WEDNESDAY. (And it’s one of the Sheffield teams).
10 CHUCK – two meanings where the second refers to DRILL (8A): a CHUCK is the thingy that holds the bit of drill. Honest. I read it in Wikipedia.
12 UNITED – the other team in Sheffield. And take untied (“loose”) and reverse the “inside” letters (since they are queasy) and you get UNITED.
13 RE,WARDER – “screw” is Brit slang for a prison warder.
14 SNOOKER – so it’s what snooker players try to do to the other guy (at “The Crucible”, 20A)… not so sure about “Object of cocker (?)…” though.
17 P.S.,ALTER – groan – only got this as we speak: “I should have written” had I remembered, therefore I’m forced to write a P.S. – and our book is a PSALTER.
20 CRUCIBLE – I got this because I guessed at the Sheffield/snooker theme earlier and I feel like I could work the wordplay with refs if I really wanted to. But… I’m lazy. Anyone? “Company with Thorndike for audience at SHEFFIELD THEATRE”.
24 JAMMY – Brit slang for lucky: jammy but I wonder about the clue: “Fortunate to ….” – something else going on (snooker/Sheffield related)? There’s no follow-on clue.
30 SHEFFIELD – it’s our city but the rest is beyond me (a euphemism for not understanding the clue): “Attempt to muzzle Euphemia would come to the city”. I assume that “would” produces ‘D but the rest?
26 B,LAD,E – don’t understand def: ref. Sheffield United? Nickname?
27 TWO-LEGGED – (we get gold)* — def is well-hidden, being “being”.


4 THEATRE – hidden in “sufficienT HEAT REmaining” – def is ref. using a surgical BLADE (26) in an operating THEATRE.
5 ART,HUR (MIL[e])LER – he wrote the play “The Crucible” (Salem witch trials) – and a classic meaningless contrived Araucarian surface – I mean, HURLER for 10-er=CHUCKER?
11 OWLS – slow* — I’m guessing nickname for Sheffield Wednesday.
16 ELBA – able* — grateful was I ere I saw Elba…
18 LASHINGS – two meanings
21 COME,D[a]Y – ref. The COMEDY Theatre (4) in London.
22 RAF,FLE – rev(elf, far)

19 Responses to “Guardian 24161/Araucaria – the full monty”

  1. Stan says:

    20a. Crucible sounds like “Crew” “Sybil” (as in the actress Sybil Thorndike)

    24a. “Jammy” was my guess too, but the reason escapes me

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    I think 30ac is EFF (short for Euphemia) in SHIE (attempt) with ‘LD (would.) However, EFFIE is also short for Euphemia so there might be another route to the answer.

    14ac Cock a snook leads precariously to SNOOKER being the object of COCKER?

  3. Barbara says:

    Could someone please explain the wordplay for 3dn? … Passed
    Got through old time report (6)

  4. neildubya says:

    It’s a homophone clue: “Passed” means “got through” (e.g passed an exam) and it sounds like “past” (old time). “Report” is the homophone indicator.

  5. ken owen says:

    Sheffield United are known as the Blades

  6. Stan says:

    My personal take on 30a. was that it was “sh !” (attempt to muzzle) “effie” (short for euphemia) “‘ld” = would

  7. Chris says:

    Why does LD (or D) = ‘would’?

  8. neildubya says:

    Because (say) I’D is I WOULD.

  9. Colin Blackburn says:

    Stan’s spot on with 30ac. I jumped to the assumption that SHIE was a spelling of SHY (=attempt) but it isn’t. And, EFFIE is listed in Chambers while EFF isn’t!

    As well as “I’d” shortening “I would” so too does “I’ld”. Although this latter shortening for would, could and should is less common in contemporary usage. Was the ‘ld form originally used to distinguish it from “I’d” shortening “I had”? And, were constructions like “I’ld’ve’d…” ever seriously used for “I would have had…”, etc.?

  10. Stan says:

    I spotted ” we’d’ve ” in one of the Harry Potter books – it kind of jumped out at me, so it can’t be that common.

    Still not understanding why 24a. is “Jammy” – unless it’s just because it’s South Yorkshire slang.

  11. Jim says:

    RE: 24a (JAMMY) the ellipsis …. points you to the next clue/answer. So, “fortunate” to Sheffield is “jammy”.

  12. Ron says:

    Am I alone in thinking that this puzzle is a tad unfair? LOGOMACHY with most of the checked letters being vowels, and with the majority of the clues in a difficult puzzle having unchecked first letters. I’ve recently come back to cryptic crosswords after many years, and it seems to me that this sort of diagram with more unchecked than checked letters and unchecked first letters seems to be coming more common than previously, or am I just getting old and grumpy?

  13. muck says:

    A ‘Sheffield’ sh’ld be the name for a clue everyone got but no one understood – unless Arau cares to explain

  14. Peter Osborne says:

    8A – A drill is agnother baboon in its own right (smaller than a mandrill, would you believe). That still leaves ‘in khaki’ lurking with no obvious intent, unless it indicates the military nature of the training.

    21D – Dragging in the Comedy Theatre in London seems to me a red herring, as it leaves no work for ‘work'; a comedy (small c) is a theatre work.

  15. Stan says:

    Was Wednesday’s Brummie crossword too easy to be worth blogging ? I’ve got the answers if anyone is climbing the walls.

    Don’t know if you need another 15squared solver, but I’m willing so long as you don’t give me a “Paul” first time.

  16. Shirley says:

    Any clues as to where Brummie has gone? We need help on 2 Down please?

  17. Chris says:

    2 down is as follows:

    “Bad atmospheric conditions reportedly make water cool” = PEASOUPER

    “Bad atmospheric conditions” is the defintion – it’s old RAF slang, I think, describing heavy rain and poor visibility.

    And it’s a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of “pee super”, or “water cool”.

    It wouldn’t be out of place in a crossword by Brummie’s alter ego, Cyclops, that one.

  18. John Hooper says:

    Rover’s puzzle of Thursday has an error in it. 6 Down is 8,7 not 15.

    I spent the last half hour trying to fit a fifteen letter word in. I assumed I had got some of the across clues wrong. In the end I realised it was two words and the typesetter had got it wrong.

    24a is my clue of the week.

  19. John Hooper says:

    A “peasouper” is a very thick fog – especially a London one.

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