Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24280/Araucaria

Posted by linxit on January 9th, 2008

linxit.

This was tough, and certainly I wouldn’t have been able to solve it on the train! However, I’m between jobs at the moment so I was able to attack it with Chambers and Bradfords (although 19D required TEA as well). The theme appears to be phrases that mean the same as 11,1 but only in a tongue-in-cheek way.

Across
1 MIST,AKE (“ache”) – second half of the thematic phrase which you need to solve 3 or 4 other clues. I’d solved half the puzzle before I got this.
5 COVE,RUP(ert)
10 ROUTINEER – “route in ear”. New word for me, meaning a person who follows a routine.
11 DELIBERATE – easy double definition, but I didn’t get it for ages.
12,14 SLIP OF THE TONGUE (hot soup gentle if)* – I worked this out before getting 1A; in fact it led me to the answer.
18 A,SEPT,ICISED=(is dice)*
21,27 JU(ST,TES=set rev,TIN)G
22 DEPORT,MEN,T – I’m not too keen on model=T (as in the old Ford), but a lot of setters use it lately.
25 INCUNABLE – INCURABLE with the middle letter changed. Another new word – I’ve heard of incunabula (books printed before 1501) but didn’t know it could be anglicised.

Down
1 MA,LADY – took me ages to work out the wordplay. At first I thought LAD in MAY, and where’s the aristocrat?
3 ANNE BRONTE (near bent on)*
4 (t)ERROR
6 VEIL – I think this refers to Hamlet’s “Get thee to a nunnery!” speech to Ophelia.
7 RHEOLOGY – theology with change of first letter.
13 GOOD,STRAIN
15 TUC(cut rev),KERB,AG
16 BAN,JOIST – I’ve seen a very similar clue somewhere else recently.
17 BE(DSO)CKS
19 ZEN,ANA – an Indian or Iranian version of a harem. I don’t think I’d have got it without TEA.
20 A(TWO)RK
24 ANTI – “auntie”. I think “maybe related” makes this work as a homophone, as it gets round the “not in my accent” criticism.

7 Responses to “Guardian 24280/Araucaria”

  1. mick h says:

    I agree this was very tough. Following my weekday rule of not resorting to solving aids, I was stumped by ANTI and ZENANA, and had INCURABLE for 25ac. I think the wording in 25 is a bit unfortunate – whereas ‘might’ would suggest ‘it means x but would mean y if changed’, I don’t think ‘may’ does.

  2. muck says:

    Toughest Arau for ages. Gave up on it.

  3. Marian says:

    The couple of missing answers…

    8d – pork pies (lies/hats)
    26a – alamo (a-la MO)

  4. Stan says:

    Glad I wasn’t the only one that found this tricky

    btw. 23d mOREADo – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oread

  5. AlanR says:

    What is TEA?

  6. neildubya says:

    This is TEA: http://www.crosswordman.com/tea.html

  7. David R says:

    Glad to hear others found it as tricky as I did!
    First for ages that I’ve not been abkle to complete

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