Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,219 (Sat 27 Oct)/Araucaria – Dusty answers

Posted by rightback on November 4th, 2007

rightback.

Solving time: 25 mins, two missing (26ac and 8dn).

The ‘cloth hats’ referred to in the preamble were all reptiles (REP = ‘cloth’, TILES = ‘hats’), though unless KOMODO DRAGON at 19dn/29ac (my favourite clue in this puzzle) counts as two answers I can only find 11 (asterisked below).

Music (14dn): Crocodile Rock by Elton John.

* = anagram.

Across
*1 IGUANA; rev. of ‘AN AUG 1′ – August 1st is Lammas Day.
9 PETER HAIN; (HER)* in PETAIN – Henri Pétain of ‘ils ne passeront pas’ fame, although according to Wikipedia it was someone else who actually said this.
*11 [i]S NAKE[d]
12 METHYLENE; ME + THY + “LEAN”
13 DICTION[aries]
15 READER; (ARE RED)*
*17 GO(R + G)ON – who had snakes for hair.
19 KALENDS; KALE and ENDS merged – the first day of the month. According to Chambers, ‘telescope’ can mean ‘to slide into one another like the movable joints of a telescope’.
22 AMORPHISM; AMO (= ‘I love’ in Latin) + (SHRIMP)*
*24 GEC + KO
*26 S + KINK – I didn’t know this lizard, but should probably have got ‘kink’ from ‘peculiarity’.
27 GO + D(STRUT)H – the lesser-used Lawrence, behind T.E. Lawrence.
28 CHE V. RON – nice clue.
Down
3 NURSELING; (GUNNERS)* around LI[ttle]
*4 MONITOR (double definition) – also a type of lizard.
5 DUSTY (double definition) – as in the phrase ‘a dusty answer’, meaning ‘a bad answer’.
*6 CH + AME(LEO)N
7 MUGGER, from ‘facer’
*8 CAIMAN/CAYMAN – I couldn’t get this without electronic help. I should probably have concentrated on the definition (which I knew was ‘a reptile’) rather than the wordplay, as I have heard of this animal but still can’t explain the clue (“Grand place for a bank account!”) – some reference to the Cayman Islands, perhaps?
*14 CROCODILE – as in, “See you later, alligator/In a while, crocodile”
*16 ALL + IG(AT)OR – ‘at heart’ meaning ‘put ‘AT’ in the middle’ is horrible.
18 NAIL GUN; N + (LINGUA)* – terrible clue. How on earth can ‘lingua franca’ be interpreted as ‘anagram of LINGUA’?
*19/29 KO + MO + DO + DRAG ON – I love, and strongly empathise with, this clue’s surface reading.
20 SI(OB + HA)N – a little easier if you have a sister called ‘Siobhan’ than if you don’t.
25 C + LUNG

6 Responses to “Guardian 24,219 (Sat 27 Oct)/Araucaria – Dusty answers”

  1. Geoff says:

    7dn: A mugger is also a sort of Indian crocodile – there’s the last reptile

    8dn: Cayman Islands are rather well known as a tax haven for offshore accounts. Made more obscure because crossword solvers aren’t usually rich – we spend too much time in non-profit making activity!

    18dn: ‘Lingua franca’ originally meant ‘language of the Franks’ but franca in Italian also means open (frank) or ‘free’ – hence Araucaria is using it as a highly unusual anagram-signalling word. Unorthodox, as one might expect from the good reverend, but I rather liked it – as I did the ‘at heart’ trick in 16dn. I’m always pleased to see novel ways of signalling in cryptic clues.

  2. muck says:

    7dn: MUGGER is ‘a broad-snouted Indian crocodile’ according to Chambers. That makes 12 reptiles.

  3. muck says:

    8dn: the CAYMAN islands are also known as ‘Grand Cayman’

  4. rightback says:

    All becomes clear. I think you’ve just about persuaded me that ‘lingua franca’ isn’t as bad as I claimed, although I’m unmoved regarding ‘at heart’ meaning ‘AT at heart’. Thanks to both commenters.

  5. stilt says:

    Interesting to learn about “mugger” being a croc; post-solving, I spent a couple of minutes googling random answers to try to find the 12th reptile, and came up with something called a CHEVRON skink. It seems to be rather an obscure creature, however (I don’t suppose it’s in Chambers); I’m sure “mugger” was what Araucaria intended.

  6. senddata » Blog Archive » Guardian 24219 (Sat 27 Oct)/Araucaria - Dusty answers says:

    […] read more here […]

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