Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,213 (Sat 20 Oct)/Araucaria – A lemon tree, Watson

Posted by rightback on October 28th, 2007

rightback.

Solving time: 14:15

Not too difficult this week from Araucaria, with no monster phrases or multiple cross-references. The top right corner held me up at the end, as did the long down clue which still baffles me a bit. I don’t understand the definition for 7dn.

I’m sorry this appears a day late; I’ve been busy over the weekend doing the OMM, and I bet I’m not the only reader of this blog who was there.

Music (24ac): Nimrod from Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations; this performance dedicated to that Solti guy who appears in crosswords quite often, but not often enough for me to remember his name.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

Across
5 SHELLAC; SHE + rev. of CALL – a gramophone record, some of which used to be made from shellac.
11 SPHINX + MOTH[er] – ‘largely mum’ nearly persuaded me to write MATE[r] for the second word. A death’s-head moth, like the sphinx moth, is another term for the hawk moth; I knew none of these three phrases.
13 SOLE + NO I.D.
16,3 GRAND LODGE; (DANGER + GOLD)* – something to do with masonry, I think.
19 INFLUENCE; (FUNNEL)* in ICE – ‘set’ as an anagram indicator?
24 NIM + ROD
26 TOO + TH(PAST)E
27 RAKE (double definition) – crosswordese for ‘debauchee’, though I’ve never heard the word used in this context.
29 IN (= ‘home’) + FLAT + E
Down
2 H + ORATIO[n] – another character from Hamlet.
4 C/ESS + PIT – questionable use of ‘outside’, meaning here the first and last three letters.
6 HANDLE (hidden) – I find hidden clues with no indicator wholly unsatisfactory; ‘for’ just isn’t good enough.
7 LE MONTRE + E – ‘incorrect’ because ‘watch’ in French is ‘la montre’, not ‘le montre’. I don’t understand the definition (“…will provide answer”) – something from a nursery rhyme?
8 AN(T,L,I)ON – an ant-eating fly.
9 CHESS + CONGRESS – but the definition part (“…16s (15) at a time”) doesn’t seem to make sense. 16ac is GRAND and 15dn is TWO-MASTER so I think it’s a pointer towards ‘grandmaster’ but I can’t really justify it.
16 TWO (= ‘company’) + MASTER
18 CARP + O + RT
20 L + ANTE + R.N.
21 CROCKET[T]
22 CHAPEL – “a dissenter’s place of worship, as of Nonconformists in England”, hence the definition.
25,12 M(E(RY)LSTREE)P – I didn’t know Elstree Studios so worried about the spelling of ‘Meryl’ for a while, and would never have got it if I hadn’t heard of her. Shouldn’t the clue really say ‘actress’?

7 Responses to “Guardian 24,213 (Sat 20 Oct)/Araucaria – A lemon tree, Watson”

  1. Testy says:

    7D, this refers to the phrase “the answer is a lemon” although I’ve no idea what that actually means (see comments at FT 12,532).

  2. rightback says:

    Thanks. Does anyone know how/where this phrase originated?

  3. Shirley says:

    I believe the phrase “The answer is a lemon” refers to the benefits found to sailors by eating lemons to eliminate scurvey.

  4. jetdoc says:

    Shouldn’t the clue really say ‘actress’?

    No — female actors say that they find the term sexist and demeaning.

  5. kornblow says:

    Could someone please tell me why -and I assume it’s the final E – the E at the end of 29ac. is called the “boring” point? why not just “point”? Why “boring”?

  6. beermagnet says:

    Kornblow, the way I parse 29A:
    Put air into home at boring point (7)
    IN-FLAT-E where IN=home; boring=FLAT; E=point

  7. FlutterBy says:

    I wonder if the clue for 9d (CHESS GONGRESS) was somehow transposed.
    If it said “… 15s (16) at a time” that would be TWO MASTERS (GRAND) at a time.
    Which sort of makes sense… each match involving two grand masters.

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