Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,267 (Sat 22 Dec)/Araucaria – Hardy lines

Posted by rightback on December 29th, 2007

rightback.

Solving time: 35 mins, three missing (14ac, 44ac, 35dn)

This Christmas special from Araucaria contained 6 works by Thomas Hardy. I started well enough, spotting the anagram at 18ac to crack the theme very early on, but slowed down towards the end. I couldn’t bring the title at 48ac to mind, and a mistake in the enumeration (in the online version, anyway) at 41dn helped to make the bottom right corner a bit of a trauma.

Any suggestions on 42ac, 44ac or 38dn would be most welcome.

Music (1ac): Hey Jude by The Beatles.

* = anagram, <– = reversal, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

Across
1 JUDE THE OBSCURE; ((DUET)* + HE) in JOB’S, + CURE
13 MARCONIGRAM; RAM<– + CON + GI<– + RAM
14 BRABANT + IO – this is Brabantio in Shakespeare’s Othello, and the Duchy of Brabant. Not exactly the most helpful wordplay, and I’m glad I didn’t waste too much time trying to solve this.
15 SPIN + OZ + A
16 CROESUS; “CREASE US”
17 HARDY (double definition) – as in Nelson’s “Kiss me, Hardy”.
18 UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE; (OUR TENDER EGO WE RENTED + H)* – somehow I solved this ‘cold’, otherwise this puzzle might have taken me a good deal longer.
26/24 FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD; (FOR THE FARM)* + M(ADDING + CROW)D
29/31 THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE; (FOOTY HAREM)* + CASTER + BRIDGE – ‘one who will throw game’ is very good for CASTERBRIDGE.
37 TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES; FOSSET<– + TH(ED)URBER + VILLES – the humorist is James Thurber.
42 BRAIN – can’t quite explain this clue (“Changing Blair to Brown needed central intelligence”).
43 WHIT + SUN
44 PETTISH? – this was my best guess (with P-T-I–) but I can’t explain it so will take a black mark. Clue: “Sulky start to reporter’s request?”
45 POME + RANI + A
48 T(HE)WO + O + D(L)ANDERS – this was the book title I wasn’t confident of, and I didn’t know ‘dander’, meaning ‘passion’ or ‘anger’, but I put it in eventually.
Down
1 JA(MESH)UNT
3 T[he] W[orsts] + OF + OUR – two-four is a time signature in music.
4 EVITA – I couldn’t explain this at the time, but it refers to Hardy’s The Return of the Native.
5 BIRD + CAGE
7 ROBES + ON – Paul Robeson, I think.
9 B(R + ACHY + DACTYL)Y – what a wonderful word, meaning ‘abnormal shortness of fingers and toes’.
12 PA(SS + DO)WN, i.e. IN PAWN
20/11 END OF STORY – (FORTY’S DONE)*
22 PAR + IS – I suppose Paris probably has its own county, but this seems a curious definition.
25 DAHL (double definition)
26 OPRAH; HARPO<– – refers to Oprah Winfrey and Harpo Marx.
28 F(ACE)T
32 BAT’S WING
33 GRUB (= ‘Food’) + SCREW (= ‘wages’, slang)
35 POST + HUM + US – my second piece of Shakesperean ignorance today, after 14ac. This time I was sure ‘letters’ must be PIS, so didn’t get much further, even having postulated an H from 44ac.
36 A + BIN IT + I + O
38 ST(AM + ME)R – no idea where the STR comes from. Clue: “A manner of speaking in which I speak of myself in body”
40 IN TRAIN – this is presumably a dig at the PC brigade’s objection to passengers being called passengers. Actually where our trains are concerned ‘customers’ is probably more accurate, as ‘passengers’ implies conveyance towards the destination.
41 LAICISE; (IS ALICE)* – in the online version this was incorrectly given as (2,5) which cost me probably upwards of 10 minutes on this corner of the puzzle. Eventually I spotted it, partly because ‘Alice is upset’ seemed such as obvious anagram and partly because the previous clue was also (2,5) which made me suspicious.
42 BI(PE[ople])D – ‘People’s tips’ for PE is clever…
44 PR + OWL – …whereas ‘Predatory start’ for PR is awful.

7 Responses to “Guardian 24,267 (Sat 22 Dec)/Araucaria – Hardy lines”

  1. Biggles says:

    42ac. Blair Blain Brain Brawn Brown.

    44ac. Pettish. Sounds like the start of petition.

    38dn. M-me (stammering) in star – a heavenly body.

  2. Paul Daniel says:

    42a
    Blair, Blain, Brain, Brawn, Brown

  3. Testy says:

    The Blair to Brown thing is reminiscent of Morph’s crossword in the the Indy (6457).

  4. Robert Zara says:

    22d
    See Romeo & Juliet Act 5, Scene 3: “Mercutio’s kinsman, noble County Paris!”

  5. Eoin Sharkey says:

    Hi,

    the published solution in today’s (paper) Graunaid gives

    ‘BRICHYDACTYLY’ ‘BRABINTIO’ and ‘TIPSTER'(surely should be BRACHYDACTYLY, BRABABTIO and TAPSTER).

    Shome mishtake shurely.

    Eoin

  6. Comfy Settee says:

    You mean BRABANTIO, shurely?

  7. Bogeyman says:

    4 down

    “Evita” is the first five letters of “native” backwards, ie: the return of the word native

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