Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,307 (Sat 9 Feb)/Araucaria – Water torture

Posted by rightback on February 16th, 2008


Solving time: About 30 mins; two missing, one wrong.

I made an absolute pig’s ear of this puzzle. After a slow start I unravelled most of it, but with some very dull moments like solving clues but forgetting they had to go into the grid (especially OCTET), not understanding wordplays (DRAY), not spotting anagram fodder (ARTISTS IN CRIME) and writing in wrong answers (‘egregious’ for EROGENOUS).

But three clues were a complete catastrophe: KINGSTOWN, VIENNA and WASTING WATER on the right-hand side. See below for the full dissection of my stupidity, but it doesn’t make pretty reading.

Music: Given my travails on that clue it really has to be the 80’s classic Vienna by Midge Ure’s Ultravox; and as QUIZ SHOW and MIFFED were two oher answers, it’s probably worth asking: Which novelty single kept this track off the #1 spot? (Answer below.)

Answers are in normal clue order; * = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

C CRI DU CHAT SYNDROME; CHATS in (NO RUDDY)*, all in CRIME – ‘the RAs in A’ used in the wordplay refers to the artists ‘in crime’ in clue A. I only realised that once I’d come up with the answer, which I’d never heard of; luckily the crossing ‘U’ of DU suggested a French phrase with ‘au’ or ‘du’, or I might not have got this.
J JOHN BULL – allegedly a Spoonerism of ‘Bonjour’ll’, but I’m not convinced.
A ARTISTS IN CRIME; (SIC TRAIN TIME’S R)* – refers to this book, but with a helpful extra definition.
S SEMI + T + IS + M
V VIENNA; VI + rev. of ANNE – what a disaster. I looked at the definition (‘…where the river’s blue’), thought “This means nothing to me” (it refers to the Blue Danube, of course), then thought of ‘Edna’ (instead of ‘Anne’), which gave the plausible answer ‘viande’ which I wrote it in lightly. Unfortunately the crossing N then gave me LEMON, “confirming” the answer, and I didn’t look at it again. In fact ‘viande’ (French for ‘meat’) isn’t even a word; the English version is ‘viand’ or ‘viands’.
O OCTET; rev. of T(ETC)O – having solved this clue, but unable to write it in straight away, I forgot about it, only realising much later.
R RODE O (= ‘rode nothing’) – ‘on Shanks’s mare’ meaning ‘on foot’.
K KIN + G(ST)OWN – I parsed the wordplay correctly here (lacking only clothing = ‘gown’); thought separately of ‘Kingswood’, ‘Kingsmoor’ and ‘Kingstown’ (sic) from the crossing letters (of which I had all but the last); knew in the back of my mind that Kingstown was the capital of St Vincent; and still failed to get this until I Googled ‘St Vincent’, whom I had assumed must be a person. Absolutely hopeless.
M M + IF + FED
Q QUIZ SHOW; (Z + WISH + QUO)* – ‘last’ = Z is a regular Araucarianism; see clue Z.
X XENOTRANSPLANT; (NEXT PORT ANNALS)* – the first clue I solved, and I took a 50/50 guess and wrote it straight in (correctly) – but only after a false start in an answer of the wrong length. It went downhill from there.
Y YEA-SAYER; YE (= ‘customers’, as in ‘solvers’) + AS + AYE + R
I INTIMATED; NT (= ‘books’) in II (= ‘two’) + MATED (= ‘concluded game’)
J JOSS + STICK – Joss Ackland was unknown to me.
H H[ot] AND [[c]old]
B BARRICOES; CO[oks] in BARRIE’S – I don’t like ‘some cooks’ for CO but know to look out for it in Araucaria’s puzzles. And I do remember ‘some citizens’ indicating ‘ITI’ in a Listener a good while back.
L LEMON – this is a pun on ‘sharp’, and refers to the phrase ‘The answer is a lemon’. We’ve had previous discussions about this phrase – see here and here.
W WAST(IN + G)WATER – my first, forgivable, error here was thinking that the answer must be an English lake. My second, unforgivable, error was to spot WATER and (incomprehensibly) think that the initial ‘W’ was taken care of. I puzzled over Derwent Water, Grafham Water, Rutland Water and others before banging my head on the desk. But even then, the incorrect crossing ‘E’ from clue V (see above) prevented me from solving it (and I never considered ‘Conduct ungreen’ as the definition). Wast Water is the lake at the base of Sca Fell in the Lake District.
E EROGENOUS; ([g]EORGE)* + NOUS – not my initial entry ‘egregious’, which neither means ‘exciting’ nor fits the wordplay. Again, hopeless.
G GUN + RUNNER – one of very few moments of inspiration for me in this puzzle.
T TOOTH MARK; TOOT + (HARM)* + [drin]K – like ‘use’ in clue C, ’caused’ seems an unjustifiable anagram indicator.
F FRERE – refers to Bartle Frere. A guess from ‘Brother’ for me.
Z Z + I + PUP
Y DRAY; rev. of YARD – I thought of ‘dray’ (although didn’t know the phrase ‘beer dray’, meaning a horse-drawn cart carrying beer casks), but despite knowing what NIMBY means (‘not in my back yard’) I still couldn’t see the wordplay for ages.

Answer to quiz question: Shaddup You Face by Joe Dolce Music Theatre.

8 Responses to “Guardian 24,307 (Sat 9 Feb)/Araucaria – Water torture”

  1. Amnesiac says:

    Well done for ploughing on through it! I had my usual Araucarian reaction to this one – much irritation at the sloppiness of the sloppy clues and much admiration for the inspired ones. What I’d like to know is, does Araucaria know that some of the clues are iffy but leaves them in due to time (and in this case rhyme) constraints, or does he see something completely different in them to mere mortals such as myself?

    By the way, is there an online version available somewhere? My last Saturday’s paper has disappeared to become rabbit litter tray lining and the Palm download site wasn’t working when I tried last week and so I don’t have that copy either. I’d like to check some of the answers…

  2. Comfy Settee says:

    Pure unadulterated monkey puzzling – lots to admire here. CRI DU CHAT SYNDROME was a new one on me, but not too hard to work out (sounds like a nasty condition no?). WASTING WATER came rather easily – I do love the Lakes. The one that caused me most strife was HAND – even after writing in the answer, I had a complete mental block on the “C for cold” bit. A forehead-slapping moment when the penny dropped!

    Amnesiac – I think I still have my copy in the recycling pile, so if you let me know which ones you want to check I can dig it out….. save you rummaging amongst the droppings…!

  3. Amnesiac says:

    T and Y please!

  4. jetdoc says:

    Like Amnesiac, I had a typically mixed reaction to this

    Your link for ARTISTS IN CRIME (which I had never heard of) took me to your quiz answer (for which, thanks a bunch. Not). I think the ref is to this film or this film“>this book

  5. jetdoc says:

    Sorry, got my mark-ups wrong! Try this film or this book

  6. jetdoc says:

    Amnesiac, I can email you a PDF if you wish.

  7. Amnesiac says:

    That would be much appreciated.


    Matthew at faupel dot org

  8. Robert Zara says:

    Artists in Crime is the title of a book by Ngaio Marsh

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