Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24298/Araucaria

Posted by linxit on January 30th, 2008


Blimey, that was tough! It didn’t help that I’m nursing a hangover from last night (beer tasting event) but I think I’d have struggled anyway. Took about 45 minutes, but I had to use reference books to finish it.

1 TRIP,OD=do rev.
5 AP(PRO)ACH(e) – I totally misread this at first, looking for AC(e) inside a type of native American, meaning detail.
9 PARSI,FAL – an opera by Wagner. I had to look up Parsi, as I thought it was just a language. The Fal is a river in Cornwall.
10 RESCUE – R.E.’s cue.
11 CHAMPIONSHIP – as the English football 2nd division is now called.
13 ANNA – an obsolete Indian coin.
14 N(I,COT)INE – I had to check this in the dictionary – a cot is a small cottage.
18 PARE – sounds like “pair”, and an anagram of 2d.
20 NUCLEAR WASTE – hidden, but at first I tried to make it an anagram of “menu clear was”.
23 ETH(the*),I,OP – the capital of Ethiopia is Addis Ababa, but maybe it gets shortened to Addis. Would be odd though, as the name literally means “new flower”.
24 INFERNAL – i.e. FERN inside nail*
25 F(RAGMEN)T – which might get him into trouble with colleagues at the Guardian!

2 REAP – confirmed as it has to be an anagram of 18ac, but I don’t get the wordplay. As it’s Araucaria, my best guess would be A in REP, with REP meaning sure, but the dictionary doesn’t back that up. [ As has been pointed out, it’s hidden in “InsuRE A Possible” – d’oh! ]
4 DEFRA,Y – DEFRA is the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
5 A SLAP ON THE WRIST (whips as tolerant)* – not sure about “hardly” as an anagram indicator, but it makes for a good &lit.
6 PERFORCE – PERFORATE, with AT removed, around C (number).
8 C(AU,TIONA)RY – TIONA being (into a)*
12 INS,TRUC=curt rev,TOR
19 US,EFUL=fuel* – with source as the anagram indicator? Pfui.
22 WA(I)N

11 Responses to “Guardian 24298/Araucaria”

  1. M1kes says:

    2d Insu[ re a p]ossible = reap!

  2. Geoff says:

    2dn: This is probably the most libertarian clue in the puzzle because the word ‘harvest’ has a dual function – the definition of REAP and the indicator that the word is hidden in the rest of the clue.

    I also tried (MENU CLEAR WAS)* for 20ac until I found the hidden solution! Duh!

    Took me a little while to get into this crossword, but I progressed steadily once I had a bridgehead or two, without the need for dictionaries or reference materials – perhaps I was just lucky this time that the words happened to be in my vocabulary.

  3. diagacht says:

    5d Thanks for this. I did manage to solve the clue but only as an & Lit. I did not spot the rather good anagram.

  4. linxit says:

    2d: How did I not spot that?! Still blaming the hangover…

  5. beermagnet says:

    2D Insure a possible harvest (4) REAP
    Try reading it with the first word split: In suRE A Possible
    Though I agree that harvest can also imply a hidden word to be gleaned from the foregoing.
    Like Diagacht, I didn’t see that the big 5D was an anagram.
    I thought 20A was an excellent hidden for its length – I too tried to anagram “menu clear was” and found “nuclear” out of the letters, before realising.
    Linxit, should I be envious of your hangover?

  6. linxit says:

    Beermagnet, you should be – it’s a doozy! Finely crafted from 8 different beers from around the world, ranging in strength from 5% to 12.5%, and followed up by 6 bottles of Chimay Blue. I’m over it now though – Nurofen is a wonderful thing.

  7. Geoff says:

    Beermagnet’s explanation for 2dn looks like the complete one – I hadn’t spotted the ‘in-joke’ reading of INSURE…

    I did surmise 5dn was an anagram, but spent a while trying (YOULL HARDLY FIND)* – taking ‘whips’ as the anagrind – before the interconnecting letters pointed me to (WHIPS AS TOLERANT)* Good &lit!

  8. David R says:

    The answer to 26ac is definitely “LITANY”.
    Can anybody explain?

  9. linxit says:

    26ac – set off = LIT (as in fireworks for example) + ANY

    A litany is like a question and answer prayer where the priest asks for responses from the congregation. I haven’t explained that too well, but Araucaria should know, he’s a retired vicar.

  10. David R says:

    I suppose!


  11. diagacht says:

    I have to say that I wasn’t too convinced by this clue. A litany, in church terms, is a list of supplications or requests but not really questions. Nonetheless, if it comes from the pen of Araucaria it’s good enough for me.

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