Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,235, Araucaria: Magma cum laude

Posted by michod on November 15th, 2007


Not for the first time, I did the crossword, checked the site for the blog, then remembered it was my day! Volcanoes the theme here, six of them, all in the acrosses. Good stuff, as ever, from the Monkey-puzzler.


1. VESUVI US (l)UVVIES*. I could see the form of this, but didn’t get it till I knew what I was looking for.

9. A RUM LILY. I think of adults only as X, but A is OK per the dictionary.

12. DELTA. Double def, ref 14. One pedantic point, but do streams have deltas, or do they have to be rivers? Probably they do, I’m no geographer.

13. S TROMBO(LI/ne). Lovely wordplay, switching one half of line (NE) for the other (LI) in ‘trombone’. It’s a volcanic island north of Sicily, where the sand is black.


18. DICK SHEP PARD. (SHIP DECK*) Now even as one with a certain amount of past involvement in CND and the like, I find this pretty obscure, but Dick Sheppard was the founder of the Peace Pledge Union. Why he was not a nail blower I have no idea.

21. MOUNT ETNA. (ANTE<). Good clue. Once I’d got the theme, I looked for a four-letter entry for Etna, but found none. Aha!

23. SAINT HELENS (SA IN THE LENS). This looked like an anagram, but wasn’t. St Helen’s is/was a centre of glassmaking (Pilkington’s), hence ‘where it was made’.  The volcano is not in Lancashire, of course, but Mt St Helen’s in Washington State.

24. ERE BUS. The fifth volcano.

27. KRAKA TO A. (hom. CRACKER). And the sixth.


1. VI ANDS. Adders for ands is nice.

2. SQUAL(or)L.

3. VOL CANOES. The theme word.

4. UNLISTENED TO. (OUTLINES TEND*). A term also unheard of, to me.

8. STERIGMA. A new pne on me, but clear once you’ve got 20.

11. TRA(i)NS PLANTER. Not difficult, since Barnard could only refer to the heart transplant pioneer, but an elegant clue.

15. TURNS BACK (BURN STACK spoonerised).

17. SCHUBERT – I assume, but don’t know why he’s namely Parry. Ah, hang on, SC = namely, so who’s Hubert Parry… another composer, OK – pardon my ignorance.

19. V IBIS T. Someone who plays the vibes.

20. STIG (GITS<), MA(rk).

9 Responses to “Guardian 24,235, Araucaria: Magma cum laude”

  1. Fletch says:

    18a I think refers to this:

  2. Geoff says:

    Well done, Fletch – I hadn’t spotted the ‘Love’s Labours Lost’ reference either.

    Some excellent words and phrases, and imaginative clues, as ever. I liked the reference to the legendary saxophonist Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker in 19dn.

    One quibble: Krakatoa is in the Indian Ocean, not the Pacific (and west of Java, not east, as in the film). Or is ‘Pacific’ more subtle? The 1883 explosion was not exactly pacific! After James Cook’s death in Hawai’i, the rest of his party called in at Krakatoa on the way back and described the inhabitants as ‘friendly’ = pacific?

  3. conradcork says:

    ‘And Dick the shepherd blows his nail’. So Dick Sheppard was not the nail blower.

  4. conradcork says:

    Sorry, in case that’s obscure here is a bit more context from the Bard.

    WHEN icicles hang by the wall,
    And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
    And Tom bears logs into the hall,
    And milk comes frozen home in pail,
    When blood is nipp’d, and ways be foul, 5
    Then nightly sings the staring owl,
    To-who!—a merry note,
    While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

  5. conradcork says:

    …and Charles Hubert Parry wrote the music to Blake’s ‘Jerusalem’.

  6. muck says:

    Superb puzzle: thanks to michod and others for explanations.

  7. Colin Blackburn says:

    From discussion elsewhere and looking at some other sources it’s not clear cut that Krakatoa is in the Indian Ocean. The boundary between the Pacific and the Indian Oceans is not formalised. Also, Indonesia is described as being in the South China Sea which is part of the Pacific. I think I’d give A. the benefit of the doubt here.

  8. Geoff says:

    The easternmost islands of Indonesia are certainly washed by the Pacific, but the western side of Sumatra and the south coast of Java, between which K lies, seem incontrovertibly to face the Indian Ocean (remember the tsunami?), unless there has been a lot of tectonic movement since my atlas was printed.
    But it’s no big deal and didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the puzzle!

  9. radchenko says:

    Very good puzzle.

    I’m not so sure about the wordplay in 13ac. I’m really not sure how you could get “replace the NE in trombone with LI” from “instrument with the wrong half line” until, as I did, I’d seen the theme and got enough crossing letters to realise, retrospectively, what you were supposed to do.

    Also, for 15dn I’d got TAKES BACK (“bake stack”) so even with DICK SHEP I couldn’t get 18ac. But the defn is not quite right for retreats or bake for “set fire to”, so…

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