Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian, 24310/Araucaria

Posted by manehi on February 13th, 2008


A toughie for my first blog – I’ll be busy most of the day so I’m posting this early. I’ve filled in the grid and everything looks more or less right, but I’m still unsure of quite a lot of the wordplay.

Solving time : 47m

1 ULTRAVIOLET – (EX)ULT- RAVIOL(I) -ET; ultraviolet light is invisible.
11 MINE OWNER – (WOMEN IN)* ER; not sure about the last part of the clue, can anyone help?
12 CHALK – used on snooker tips, and the “opposite” of 20d
13 PERU – PERU(SE), and thus “A lot of reading”. Is Peru opposite China on the globe?
14 ROLLS ROYCE – “high quality” and (SORRY CELLO)* …is there more to this clue?
16 LIVING WAGE – a living is an ecclesiastical position, but surely one can live at (not necessarily above) the subsistence level?
22 IRASCIBLE – (BLAIR IS CE)*; “to cross” seemed a bit iffy as a definition here.
24 SKIR- RE -T; “RE” enters SKIRT = circumvent. Skirret is an edicble water plant
25 PRI- N -CES; “given new heart” meaning “given N as a heart”, rather than “given E”
26 LUDGERSHALL – LUD(ICROUS) GERSH(WIN) ALL; I’d never heard of it, but it’s in Wiltshire
1 UNCONTROVERSIAL – UNC- ON T ROVERS -IAL: referring to Uncial script and Roy of the Rovers.
2 TANGO – TAN = “effect of sun”, GO, I’m not sure where the definition is.
3 ANT ON IO from the Merchant of Venice. I put OTHELLO, until I spotted what 1a was.
5 LO NICE RA, another name for woodbine
6 TETRASYLLABICAL – (CABS LITERALLY AT)*, the first clue I got, and a lovely anagram.
7 CLAM UP – U for university inside CLAMP
15 INFRARED – INF RARE D; infrared is at the opposite end of the spectrum to ultraviolet. I’m guessing that INF is short for inferior = “below”.
18 [edit] GRAM PUS, which can be a whale – gram is the weight and pus is matter.
23 CHINA – cryptic definition?

11 Responses to “Guardian, 24310/Araucaria”

  1. Matthew says:

    11A – On January 1 1947 the coal industry was nationalised in the UK, so I suppose that the Queen became a mine owner on this day

    13A – The southernmost part of China and the southernmost part of Peru are antipodes, but I didn’t like this very much

    14A – Rolls and Royce were two men, which I think the “fellow with fellow” is referring to, as well as rhyming with “cello”

    22A – I think that the definition is just “cross”

    18D – This is GRAMPUS which can refer to a whale, GRAM is a weight, matter=PUS

    23D – China (plate) is Cockney rhyming slang for mate

  2. Michod says:

    Surely nationalised industries are/were owned by the public? The Queen already owns quite enough of the country, its swans etc without getting her mitts on our pits too. Rant over.
    The definition for TANGO is in the clue number: “2… are necessary” i.e. it takes two to tango. Nice clue.

  3. manehi says:

    Thanks for the comments, it’s a rather nice puzzle now that I have the time to appreciate the wordplay. I’ll edit 18d.. I was in a rush earlier and just forgot about grapple clashing with 26a.

  4. Paul B says:

    And very well done on your first blog too. That puzzle is a full-on Monkey, with much rope-grabbing and swinging through trees.

    If you know what I mean.

  5. Paul says:

    10ac Slow swimmer to take up position at opening of a hole (7)

    Doesn’t the cryptic part of this clue suggest MAN-AT-TEE rather than MAN-A-TEE?

  6. manehi says:

    Paul B: thank you.

    Paul & 10ac: if you take up a position at at a tee, I think that you can say that you man (as in work at) a tee.

  7. tuck says:

    I think man means take up position, as in “man the lifeboats”

  8. muck says:

    Well done, manehi. It was a tough monkey today!

  9. Amnesiac says:

    15D “inf.” is an abbreviation for “infra” (below, beneath), which appears in the answer itself… I actually read this clue as unusual day = RED (as in red letter day, a special day that appears in red on the calendar) following INFRA (as a whole, not an abbreviation). Not sure which of these interpretations was intended, but they both work!

  10. muck says:

    Belatedly, surely Elizabeth Windsor was only a princess on 01-01-47. She didn’t become queen until the death of her father in 1953.

  11. manehi says:

    I noticed that too, Muck, and it did throw me while I was trying to solve the puzzle. After seeing it explained, I suppose I let it pass on the grounds that her mother was Queen (Consort) at the time, but, assuming that it was referring to her instead, it’d even more of a stretch to refer to a Queen Consort as the owner of a nationalised industry and to expect a solver to think of her first when confronted by “Queen”. Not a particularly helpful definition – surely something like “…(as one became on January 1 1947?)” would have been more satisfying with little loss of surface? [“one” referring to a member of the general public, rather than “some Queen”, although that kind of works too]

    [clue was, just in case anyone was wondering: Women in bother with Queen (as she became on January 1 1947?) (4,5)]

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