Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24185/Araucaria – out of character

Posted by ilancaron on September 18th, 2007


Another out of character Araucarian opus – not cross-refs, not long anagrams and actually quite a pleasant puzzle with reasonable surfaces.


1 FR(EE)BIE – [w]EE[k] in brief*
5 CAT’S-PAW – had to wait for all the crossing letters for this
10 BLOODLESS – “Cold” and “war” separate def and wordplay.
12 GAL,A
18 MARK MY WORDS – two meanings
21 CUMMERBUND – v. misleading surface! “Centre” is your waist and DJ is dinner jacket.
26 P(HOT)O – HOT in rev(op=operation)
27 TATTIER – (treat it)* — not sure if this is an anag &lit… is the answer the anagrind? “In a worse condition? Treat it to get improvement”.
28 THES,EUS – [a]THE[n]S followed by use*.


2 EG,GNOG=rev(gong=medal=decoration)
4 EMBER – I see this is a pretty transparent cryptic def but maybe there’s something cricket related to “The Ashes” that makes this clever? ‘”The Ashes” piece is likely to be glowing”
5 COOK’S TOUR – (our cost OK)*. Ref. Cook travel tours (and the Bourdain book??)
8 WISE=”Y’s”,ACRE=care* – Y is our unknown quantity here (as in math) – but I thought that a WISEACRE was a smart-ass not a “sage” per se.
13 APOSTROPHE – a cryptic def worthy of Rufus himself!
15 DOWN-UNDER – two meanings: one cryptic (“feathers inferior”).
17 DRAG(O)NET – it’s a fish.
20 [mel]ODIOUS – I had to look for words starting with ODIOUS to solve this in TEA. MEL is “honey” in Chambers.
24 DEL,I=rev(I led)

13 Responses to “Guardian 24185/Araucaria – out of character”

  1. Testy says:

    I pray that you are spared the wrath of Paul B!

  2. Simply_simon says:

    Life???? Have you no sense of priority???

  3. Simply_simon says:

    When the answers are finally revealed I would be glad of an explanation for 20 Dn.

  4. Jim says:

    I think 20D is solved thus: MELODIOUS (ie:”sweet”)- MEL (honey) = ODIOUS.

  5. beermagnet says:

    Very out of character for Araucaria – despite being attributed to him by the online service, the paper has this crossword set by Quantum.
    Yesterday’s Rufus was attributed to Quantum online.
    I suspect tomorrow we will be treated to an A.

  6. Fred Dowson says:

    Am I the only one to notice that the newspaper version has 5) across given as 4-4 when there are only seven letters? (4-3)

  7. muck says:

    Never guessed this was an Araucaria, the paper version attributing it to Quantum!

  8. Fletch says:

    Am I missing something? Where does Ilan say anything about real life having taken priority over the blog?

  9. muck says:

    Ilancaron: are sure this was an Araucaria? I have emailed the Guardian Reader’s editor saying I’m not sure. Perhaps more likely to be the online attribution was wrong.

  10. Simply_simon says:

    Fletch, Now that Ilancaron has removed his explanation that he was posting late because something had come up – “life’s like that”, or similar, my comment becomes impenetrable. But that’s what I was referring to.

  11. Fletch says:

    Ah I see, confusing then because it says the blog was posted at 2.37 but I presume that was the time of the explanation it was going to be late. Anyway, thank you Simon, amusing you and Testy were straight in with appropriate comments!

  12. Ali says:

    I raced through most of this in a 10-minute Tube journey and it all seemed very non-Araucarian. It wasn’t until I checked the paper version in Tesco on my way home that I realised that there are issues with the website. Still, nice to see we’re in for fun and games tomorrow.


  13. ilancaron says:

    yes sorry about the “life interrupting” thing — can’t promise it won’t happen again. Life has a nasty habit of knocking on the door. insistently (often, at the risk of being sexist, in a female voice).

    Next time I’ll have the courage of my convictions and assert more firmly that I don’t believe Araucaria wrote this etc.

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