Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,243 (Sat 24 Nov)/Araucaria – Black and white and read all over

Posted by rightback on December 1st, 2007


Solving time: 14:58

Another well-constructed alphabetical jigsaw from Araucaria. When I solved his last one I decided afterwards that I should have tried to fit answers into the grid more quickly, so I did that today, starting with T (1ac). This definitely worked, although failing either to cross off clue numbers or to write down answers I’d solved but couldn’t fit in striaght away proved a false economy. CHEMOSTAT and SCOTIST helpd me up for a couple of minutes at the end.

Music: Come Together by The Beatles, the opening track of 20ac.

* = anagram.

1 (T) THE JOKE IS ON ME; (JOHN SEE TO MIKE)* – I started this puzzle by looking for long multi-word answers and this one jumped out straight away. A quick check of the perimeter revealed the top row as the only sensible place for this to fit in, which was very lucky as it gave six other clue placements straight away.
10 (P) PAL + MIST – wither an inadequate definition (“to work on the hand”) or a kind of semi-&lit which doesn’t really work for me.
11 (V) V + ED-ETTE – a mounted sentry or boat for this purpose.
12 (U) UNCUT, from UNCUS – nice idea (shifting S by one letter) but the wording is questionable (“hook with next to last letter”).
14 (Y) YUSUF; “YOU SUFF[er]” – the Arabic name for the prophet Joseph, and a common Muslim name, as in Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens). Anyone with a teddy bear called Joe, watch out.
16 (C) CH(OP + LOG)IC – false reasoning, or a person who applies it.
19 (R) RODE + O; &lit – decent clue but far from original.
24 (S) SCOT(IS)T – my last entry. A Scotist turns out to be a follower of John Duns Scotus, a 13th century theologian and philosopher. Not a word I knew but I eventually made the leap from ‘great man’ to ‘[Great] Scott’. The origin of this expression is unclear – see here.
25 (L) LAM + PER + N – a type of lamprey. An unconfident guess for me, and I spent some time looking for an alternative answer using a word for ‘pole’ to fit ‘-E-N’.
1 (H) HAL + F.C. + ASTE (= TEAS*) – ‘club’ is worked in very well as an anagram indicator, but ‘supplies’ is totally superfluous as far as I can see – not satisfactory.
4 (K) KOTOW; rev. of WO(TO)K – but ‘return’ needs to be singular (i.e. ‘returns’) for the cryptic grammar to make sense.
6 (O) OLD SAILOR; (10 DOLLARS)* – refers to Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Very Araucarian, with no genuine definition of this phrase.
8 (X) X PLUS Y EQUALS Z – I resolved to work out the wordplay to this before stopping the clock, but forgot. Luckily it was right: X (= 10 in Roman numerals) + Y (= 39, the atomic number of Yttrium) = 49 (= the answer to clue F, written as Z in the clue’s answer).
9 (Z) ZEBRA CROSSING; ZEBRA + [cro]SS[ing] – a zebrass is the offspring of a zebra and a donkey.
15 (F) FOR + TYN(IN)E
16 (C) CHE(MOST)AT – my penultimate solve; I spent far too long here trying to fit a five-letter word for ‘culture’ with the last letter removed into CHEAT.
17 (G) GOD(LINES)S – cleanliness being next to godliness.
21 (B) BRO + N + X – another slow one for me, with time wasted concentrating on ‘relative’ when ‘unknown’ and ‘New York’ should have been ample.
22 (D) DEL(P)HI – ‘letter missing’ is a bit much for ‘remove an arbitrary letter’.
28 (N) NO + MEN

4 Responses to “Guardian 24,243 (Sat 24 Nov)/Araucaria – Black and white and read all over”

  1. muck says:

    X PLUS Y EQUALS Z: X (= 10 in Roman numerals) + Y (= 39, the atomic number of Yttrium) = 49 (= the answer to clue F).

    Sorry, I had “X+Y=” but the final letter is unchecked. I don’t see where “Z” comes from.

    Not too difficult otherwise.

  2. beermagnet says:

    Thanks for explaining UNCUT which I could not parse but now understand after looking up UNCUS definitely a new word for me (Biology: A hook-shaped part or process).
    As for X+Y=Z – when the penny dropped I loved it!

  3. Geoff says:

    Araucaria’s trick here is to use the word ‘solution’ – which in the normal course of crossword solving would refer to the solving of the clue, but in this case refers to the solution to the equation which is the answer to the clue.
    Definition is ‘Equation” – then clue indicates that if Roman numeral and atomic number are substituted, Z = F in the solution to the EQUATION. So there has to be a Z in the solution to the CLUE.
    So answer has to be X PLUS Y EQUALS Z – with substitutions 10 + 39 = 49 and thereby Z = (solution to clue) F
    Clever bit of arithmetical cross-clueing

    I knew the words CHEMOSTAT and SCOTIST, so got them straight away. LAMPERN was a new one on me, so took a bit longer!

  4. muck says:

    Thanks for the explanation of X+Y=Z, Geoff. Well, it was an alphabetic puzzle, so it’s an alphabetic answer.

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