Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24336/Araucaria – noblesse oblige

Posted by ilancaron on March 14th, 2008


This got postponed throughout all of yesterday as various things intervened. Anyway, a rather noble effort by Araucaria that had me looking up a few aristocratic references. Shirley has clarified things below…

1 BOW-W(IN,D)OW – I suppose BOW-WOW is how a dog asks for dinner? No, dinner indicates containment.
6 OPTIC – 22 is MISTY – so MISTYOPTIC makes for a very Araucarian Spoonerism of optimistic. I guess.
9 DEVONSHIRE CREAM – one of our noble clues: I guess our cryptic def is “County elite?” and the wordplay is (cheer, [o]ver Madison)*.
11 BY GEORGE – two meanings.
12 CAR(THOR’S)E – THOR’s in CARE (love) — I suppose there’s a kind of punch (in boxing) called a CARTHORSE? It’s a Surrey Punch — a kind of CARTHORSE!
16 VALE,T[he] – VALE is Latin “farewell”.
21 SCAM=rev(Mac’s)
25 INTERIM ACCOUNTS=(cost? I’m uncertain)* – def is “figures for now”.
26 HEATH – two meanings: ref. PM Ted and Macbeth (“blasted heath”).


3 IONA – wordplay? “Island of international importance”. Hidden in “internatIONAl”.
4 DAH=rev(had),L – ref. Roald.
5 WOR(RY BEA)DS – (by ear)* in WORDS.
6 ORCHESTRA,L – a familiar anagram: CARTHORSE*=ORCHESTRA.
8 C,YM=rev(my),BE,LINE – BE for “live” and our number’s C.
12 CHATS,WORTH – where D and D of Devonshire hold court.
13 DROP HAMMER – groan.
14 CA(VEND,I)SH – VEND I for “am I selling”. And I guess there was a CAVENDISH who was the first D of Devonshire.
17 LU=”loo”,CETTA=”setter” (me) – ref. the maid in “Two G. of Verona”. But I don’t see how LU is produced by “John” in: “John – me, say – as a Shakespearean maid”. John is LOO where I come from it turns out.
19 DE,CANAL – ref. something to do with a deacon. And I suppose DE is “of”.
22 MISTY – Def is “film with poor visibility” but “Roadhouse, perhaps, played”? M1 is our “road” and our “house” is a pigSTY!
24, 10 GOOD TURN – two meanings.

14 Responses to “Guardian 24336/Araucaria – noblesse oblige”

  1. Shirley says:

    It’s worth waiting for, though you will need to know something about English aristocracy!!

  2. Chris says:

    I know very little about English aristocracy which is probably why I’ve made little headway with this.

  3. Berny says:

    The indication of a Spoonerism for 6A and 22D was a very clever piece of wordplay but I thought that a Spoonerism was limited to the transposition of the initial sounds of words. This is definition that the Chambers Dictionary has. Is this correct?

    11A was very clever too but cannot understand the build up for 14A. Can anyone help?

  4. mhl says:

    Berny: I think it’s THORS for “God’s” in CARE.

    Chris: there are only two clues (or obliquely 3) clues that have that theme (12d and 14d).

    This was a good fun puzzle, I thought.

  5. radchenko says:

    MIST-Y OPT-IC is quite reasonably OPTIMISTIC as a Spoonerism, in my opinion. I wouldn’t pay too much definition to the dictionary definition. After all, if it says “initial sounds of words” then OPTIMISTIC is just one word, so…

    Very nice puzzle though, with lots of good clues giving that “aaaah” feeling when you get them.

  6. Geoff says:

    Was I just having a good day, or was this really much easier than the average Araucaria? I raced through it faster than Monday’s Rufus – and hence felt a bit short-changed, despite some good and imaginative clues.
    DEVONSHIRE CREAM appeared in another Guardian crossword recently (coincidentally, I’m sure – and differently clued), and the ORCHESTRA/CARTHORSE duality is practically a cliche…

  7. muck says:

    17dn: Is this Lucetta?

  8. muck says:

    Lucetta is indeed the ‘Shakespearean maid’ in The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

  9. Fletch says:

    Which I think would be pronounced Lucetta with a ch sound rather than s which is indicated by the homophone.

  10. Dave Ellison says:

    I think it was harder to get started than the normal Araucaria: twice through yielded only a couple of answers. I relied on the good old standby of putting it aside for a few hours, then got 9ac straightaway, and the rest followed slowly.

  11. Shirley says:

    12A – A punch is a type of carthorse – a Suffolk punch normally.

  12. Shirley says:

    17D a “john” is the American for a toilet or Loo, and Setter is me hence LooSetter = Lucetta.
    22D the Road is the M1, and the Sty is a house for pigs.

  13. Richard Heald says:

    I think 22D actually has two definitions, one being “played in film”, referring to the Clint Eastwood pic ‘Play Misty For Me’.

  14. beermagnet says:

    1A A dog is a BOW-WOW (as in “Daddy wouldn’t but me a …”) and it’s eaten its dinner of “IN D[imension]”

    3D Hidden in internatIONAl

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