Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24186/Araucaria definitely today!

Posted by linxit on September 19th, 2007

linxit.

Solving time approx 30 minutes.

I didn’t see any answers on my first glance through the clues, but managed to work out the anagram at 27ac and worked upwards steadily from there. As usual from Araucaria, some very inventive clues, and some of the cryptic indications are more word-fun than wordplay.

Across
1 DODGE THE COLUMN (month, cuddle ego)* – not a phrase I was familiar with, and even after correctly identifying the anagram fodder quite early, I could make nothing of it until I had nearly all the crossing letters.
9 OVERT,”I’M ER”
10 WAND,A – not sure where the flower comes in, but the fish is from the film “A Fish Called Wanda”
11 IBSEN – replacing U,PROF with S in Ibuprofen.
13 TOREADOR – i.e. To read or not to read?
17 E,S,PIED – using “in” as “next to”, a favourite Araucarian trick. I think there’s some justification in the dictionary, but I can’t remember it at the moment.
19 THREE-PLY – varies slightly from “the reply”.
22 COOK,STOUR – The Cook Strait splits the North and South Islands of New Zealand. Strange to have this answer again so soon – it was also in yesterday’s puzzle.
26 CRITERION – double meaning/cryptic definition. Touchstone is a character in As You Like It, which might be on at the Criterion Theatre (although not recently).
27 LONG IN THE TOOTH (light not hot one)* – first one I got!

Down
1 DROP IN THE OCEAN – I had ?C?A? for the last word very early, but couldn’t get SCRAP out of my head. One of the last ones I put in.
3 EXTENUATE – EX=from,TEN(10),U(-turn),ATE(8 (say)) – I suppose the circumstances also affect the order of the wordplay!
6,4 LE,WIS/H,A,MILTON – currently leading the F1 Championship, if anyone’s wondering “Who?”
8 PAR,DON,MY FRENCH – “mon” being French for MY.
16 S(HARP,IS)H
18,20 P(ROB,ON,O/P)UB,LICO(coil*) – took a while to realise that the PUB at the front of PUBLICO wasn’t the tavern in the wordplay.
21 TOUCAN – “Two can”…

14 Responses to “Guardian 24186/Araucaria definitely today!”

  1. Paul B says:

    I haven’t seen the clue at 1 across, but it might be a wand flower reference.

    http://www.arhomeandgarden.org/plantoftheweek/articles/Pink_Wand_Flower.htm

  2. linxit says:

    10a – Stick a flower to a fish (5)

    You could be right. I was thinking WAND=stick + A, and where does flower come in? Now I can see it as an instruction to stick WAND to A to make a fish.

  3. Colin Blackburn says:

    It could also be double word play, ie WAND+A twice via two routes.

  4. Judy Bentley says:

    Dodge the column is not a phrase I’ve come across before (what does it mean?) and I had nothing towards it but after writing the anagram words backwards as is my custom, ‘dodge’ sprang out and from there it was easy. So glad to have discovered other Grauniad crossword fans!

  5. beermagnet says:

    I had never heard of “dodge the column” and when googling for a definition this site was returned as the number one hit!

  6. Testy says:

    It doesn’t seem to be a very common expression and it’s new to me but it does appear to be genuine one with an origin in the armed forces. If a column of men were asked to perform a task anyone “dodging the column” was trying to get out of doing the task.

  7. David says:

    (Judy, try this!
    http://talk.guardian.co.uk/WebX?[email protected]@.ee73ec9)

    10a “A Fish Called Wanda”

  8. muck says:

    1ac: “Dodge the column” is in Chambers

  9. nmsindy says:

    Yes, I’ve heard it a lot, but not so much in recent times, perhaps.

  10. David says:

    (sorry, linxit, posted No. 7 before reading your blog!)

  11. Stan says:

    Didn’t solve 26a – but I think I understand it – a “touchstone” is a basis of comparison (a criterion) and there’s a theatre called The Criterion.

    Don’t mind being beaten by 21d though – lovely clue

  12. AlanR says:

    I loved Ibsen! At first I was wondering how such a long clue was going to lead to a five-letter word and finding it made me laugh out loud on the tube!
    Still haven’t got 2 down though… Is it dresser? If so, why?

  13. linxit says:

    AlanR – A Welsh dresser is a type of cupboard with shelves above, and a dresser is someone who dresses up the actors in the theatre.

    I also thought the clue for Ibsen was brilliant, although I got it quite quickly by thinking U,PROF for posh professor, and it just dawned on me in a flash.

  14. Judy Bentley says:

    Thank you David.

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