Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24324/ Araucaria Friday Fun

Posted by neildubya on February 29th, 2008


I thought this was a terrific crossword, witty, entertaining and erudite. The bad news was that though I solved it I feel that sometimes I had answers without full understanding. So, more than usual, I look forward to comments and explanations from those that have them and would be good enough to post them.  
1  SEANCES – amusing clue which was just the start of a really entertaining puzzle.

5  TI PST ER – which is a tier around post minus ‘o’, love. A tipster is someone who sells tips on sporting results on which one is prepared to gamble , and, therefore, loosely, a financial adviser, possibly as dodgy as a Northern Rock lending policy.

9  UNDERTONE – anagram

10 GRACE – G(ood) and race, for people.

12 ETHOLOGIST – anagram of ‘TO’ ‘LT’ ‘HIS’ and ‘EGO’

14 CYPRUS, concealed within the clue.

15 SCHE M ER – the Admiral was Scheer, and Bond

16 SICKERT – the Model referred to is the Model T, and Sicker is not so well in front. He was an EnglishImpressionist painter, and currently has an exhibition at the Courtauld, in London.

18 FULL OF THE JOYS OF SPRING20 RADIOGRAPH. The artist is RA (Royal Academy), DIOgenese was the Cynic, and RAPHael is the forepart of an artist. A radiograph is what you get when you take an X Ray.

25 I TINE RAN T – a tine is a prong of a fork, ‘ran’ is managed, and the whole infiltrating ‘IT’

26 ESS AYER  a feminine form of a profession often ends in ESS, though now Political Correctness means that actresses would rather be known as actors, goodness knows why…and an essayer is one who attempts.

27 GU TL ESS which is guess, the Americanism for ‘think’ around the letters that stand for Thallium. 


1,2 SOUND AND FURY I am confused as to how all the elements of this clue come together. Maybe someone cleverer than I can explain. The long and sad tale refers to the Mouse’s tale in Alice in Wonderland, which Alice misunderstands to be a ‘tail’. The reference to “full of sound and fury (and signifying nothing)” is from Macbeth, where he describes life as  “a tale told by an idiot, full of etc.”So could someone now join those two references together?

3   This refers to a quote from W H Davies, the Tramp Poet of Newport who wrote “What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare?”‘Many are’  corroborates with ‘c’(100) followed by ‘are’


6   PI GEO NHOLE – anagram of ‘ego’ within ‘pinhole’

7   T SARIS M – Saris are the costumes and TM is Turkmenistan, which used to be part of Russia.

8   RE E NTER – renter around an ‘e’

13  GRUESOMELY – anagram of ‘me + your + legs’

16,22 “(Full of) STRANGE OATHS” is a quote from the Seven Ages of Man speech in ‘As You Like It’. ‘Oaths’ is also an anagram of Athos.

17  CAD DIES – A cad is not a gentleman, dies = succumbs, and caddies are the assistants on golf courses, who carry the player’s clubs.19  (y)OU TRAGE(dy).

23  MEET = come across, and (1 down) sounds like meat, which is a reference to Mercutio’s line ”Thy head is as fun of quarrels as an egg is full of meat”

9 Responses to “Guardian 24324/ Araucaria Friday Fun”

  1. muck says:

    Erudite & entertaining, but not easy. I guess the theme is Shakespeare: not my best area of expertise. 18ac,5dn was obviously the key, and untypical of Arau.

  2. Kieron says:


    The Fury is a character in the Mouse’s tale – not that I knew it was a cat but it must have been. So, ‘stable’ [sound] with ‘cat from The Mouse’s Tale’ [Fury] …gives you what the “tale told by an idiot” in Macbeth was apparently “full of”: “sound and fury”.

  3. Geoff says:

    Nice one from the good Rev.

    I had MEAT for 23dn. The clue hangs on the meat/meet homophony but there is an ambiguity as to which of the two words is the solution. I read it as ‘sounds like “meet”‘ rather than vice versa – this gives the word from the Shakespeare quotation as the direct solution, which seems in keeping with the rest of the puzzle.

  4. Berny says:

    An ethologist is a student of behaviour (animal and human) in its natural context rather than the laboratory. The father of ethology is Konrad Lorenz who discovered the phenomenom of imprinting in birds and followers of him were Jane Goodall and Barbara Fosse who both studied primate behaviour in their wild natural habitat.

  5. Kamintone says:

    Alas, Homer has nodded – Fury was not a cat, but a dog. “Said the mouse to the cur …” – see

  6. R&R says:

    Can someone please explain 19dn?

  7. Amnesiac says:

    Hamlet, say = TRAGEDY, then yOU TRAGEdy, partly gives you the answer. I worked this out very post hoc; it’s a bit obscure as a cluing strategy.

  8. Jill and Tamzin says:

    At 23 you say thy head is FUN of quarrels – hee hee!

  9. Simply_Simon says:

    Sorry about the typo on 23. For some reason I had enormous problems getting my post onto the site (which doesn’t excuse the typo) and you will see there are still a couple of formatting problems.

    The site is smarter than I am.

    Apologies for ‘fun’ instead of ‘full’.

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