Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,358/Araucaria – Roma and Firenza

Posted by beermagnet on April 10th, 2008


I saw Eileen’s plea in puzzle G24359 comments and agree with her – this puzzle needs a blog – and made some notes.  Then Real Life got in the way.  Then I saw Muck’s comment over on the G Talk site which I have shamelessly raided.
So I have slapped this blog in without a by-your-leave (and by now after too much to drink). So let’s see if it is still there in the morning.

1 BIRDSONG (DR)< SON inside BIG   Ref: The modern classic by Sebastian Faulks both a “great war novel” and a “Great War novel” though “great” is required to lead to BIG. Nevertheless one of the great clues in the puzzle
5 SHIFTY 1 FT inside SHY  12 isn’t 12 ac.  When I got this on first glance … (cont. at 13D)
9 BEAUMARIS B(ritish) EAU MAR IS Err. Oh dear I thought I had this decoded yesterday – I guess I was pleased when I finally got it and saw the EAU for water in there – can anyone help?  Full clue:
British sea water variously rendered at Welsh castle (9)
Muck says: Eau Maris, for sea water – Is that right?
11 GROWL GROW-L   L for “plate” again – I didn’t get this due to 8D trouble (qv)
12 MICHELANGELO Our renaissance hero M “number” then (CHALLENGE)* inside IO (“10″)
15 SIX-SHOOTER Sixer is a brownie or cub scout leader of six.  S[econd]-HOOT “Owl’s comment” inside SIXER
18 SPERMACETI The spice is MACE inside (PRIEST)*. The monster is a whale. Spermaceti is something stupidly put in cosmetics – can’t be still, can it?
21 BRUNELLESCHI BRUNEL-(CHISEL)* You really had to get the reference in 7D to understand which architect it was going to be – but somehow I spotted the “chisel used” as an anagram, and then the …ESCHI ending sprung to mind – and then this, 7D and 22D crystallised – a proper PDM – this is what made the puzzle great for me
24 AROMA Where was 12’s dome? A Roma (in Rome)
26 DUSTER First letters of During Unofficially etc. i.e. “openings” (least clever clue in the grid IMO)
27 ODYSSEUS (YO[u] SUSSED)* Beautiful clue – ‘specially when sussed on the first pass – Oh! I felt I was on a winner here
1 BABE I liked this clue – the definition “being in arms” is cute
The answer given is BABY.  The reason is explained in the comments
4,2 NORF CIRCULAR ROAD (Lunatic car horror)* + d(ied). A London route not as far from the centre as the M25 (but only the Northern half)
6 HIGH NOON A film. Rank=high. 12 isn’t 12 ac (again)
7 FLORENTINE I didn’t know this was also a biscuit – more familiar with the pizza with the egg on top that my SO usually orders.   Where is 21’s 22?  In a lovely city in Italy
8 YELL-OW-ROOT O woe is me I put in YARROW-ROOT thinking “Yarroo!” as the fat-owl of the remove might have howled. I have never heard of Yellow-root.  I had heard of Yarrow which is why I didn’t question my mistake, but it is not the root that is the medicinal part (I just checked)
10 SELF-SATISFIED (fifties AD less)*
13 CHESS BOARD HESS-BOAR in CD   (cont from 5A) … and this, giving oodles of first letters, I thought this was going to be an easy A.  How wrong I was.  I thought this a classic clue too.
14 OBSEQUIOUS Obsequies= funeral rites. Replace E= drug by OU= dark blues, for obsequious
22 DOME DO-ME   Maybe.  I am only sure of this because of the integration with other clues – help!
22 AMOS DD Lady Amos is in the Lords

13 Responses to “Guardian 24,358/Araucaria – Roma and Firenza”

  1. muck says:

    I agree that this puzzle was worth blogging. And thanks for acknowledging my contribution.

  2. Qaos says:

    Even though I couldn’t complete this one (AMOS and OBSEQUIOUS all passed me by – should have spotted “dark blue” = OU though, and SAFE for DOME didn’t help either), I thought the 12 refs were nice, especially when you’d almost expect the links to be great works of art from 12ac.

    I might be pedantic (or wrong), but I had BABY for 1d – the “BY” being in the clue directly.

  3. muck says:

    I have BABY for 1dn too.

  4. Eileen says:

    Thank you Muck [although I couldn’t find your website] and Beermat [you should try Florentine biscuits!]for your contributions. I really did think this one should not go unremarked. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    9ac: EAU [French,”water’ + MARIS [Latin. ‘of the sea’] – ‘variously rendered': I thought this was great.
    1dn I had ‘baby’ too.

  5. muck says:

    For anyone who couldn’t find my blog, on, here is a copy so that you can see just how much of beermagnet’s blog is a verbatim copy. No problem – he acknowledged that he ‘shamelessly raided’ from it!

    ++ muck on ++

    Araucaria 24358 April 9th hasn’t been blogged still on

    A good puzzle with an Italian Renaissance theme.


    1. Birdsong. A great war novel by Sebastian Faulks. SON=issue & DR< in BIG=great

    5. 12 inches is IFT, in SHY

    9. Beaumaris is a Welsh castle. Eau Maris, for sea water, isn’t in Chambers

    11. GROW+L

    12. Our first renaissance hero (Challenge+M+10)*

    16. Sixer is a brownie or cub scout leader of six.

    18. The spice is mace. The monster is a whale.

    21. Brunel is our engineer + (chisel)* for our second renaissance hero.

    24. Where was 12’s dome? A Roma (in Rome).

    25. b(rainstorm)

    26. Initial letters

    27. Greek hero – (yo+sussed)*


    3. SU(MM)IT

    4,2. (Lunatic car horror)* + d(ied). A London route not as far from the centre as the M25.

    6. A film. Rank=high. 12 isn’t 12 ac.

    7. Where is 21’s 22? In a city in Italy.

    8. Yell+ow+root

    10. (fifties AD less)*

    13. Hess+Boar in CD

    14. Obsequies= funeral rites. Replace E= drug by OU= dark blues, for obsequious.

    17. am+per+age

    20. the+sis

    22. DOME ???

    23. double def ??

  6. Geoff says:

    Agree with BABY for 1d and Eileen’s explanation of EAU MARIS for 9a.

    27d: DOME (as in Brunelleschi’s in Florence’s Duomo and Michelangelo’s in St Peter’s in Rome) is the ‘vault’, and “my’…’ will be no problem’, ie ‘will be no problem for me’ = it will DO ME (fine).

    Lovely crossword.

  7. muck says:

    The Italian name for Florence is Firenze, not Firenza

  8. beermagnet says:

    Wah! 1D is BABY. Obvious now I see it. I didn’t even check it in the published answers. So that’s another I didn’t get.
    As for Firenza – It’s the way I tell ’em ;^)
    [ And I’ve now understood why this appeared only as a link on the home page – but maybe that would be a good thing – so you don’t see the answers unless you choose to go down to the detailed page. These days, if I can, I have a go at the Indie after tackling the G at lunchtime, but sometimes inadvertantly see some answers on this blog’s homepage when I check it to see if the G’s blog has arrived. Is it worth airing this subject? ]

  9. neildubya says:

    How did you make your post appear as a link? It’s never happened before but as you say it might be a useful feature.

  10. beermagnet says:

    At the very start of the blog I must of accidentally clicked that “more” button that puts in an html tag that looks like this:
    Crikey, I wonder if that’s going to do something odd to this comment.

  11. beermagnet says:

    OK. You clearly can’t put that html tag in a comment even for it to appear in the clear. To see what it looks like in the code, using square brackets instead of the angle brackets, it looks like [!–more–]

  12. Stuart says:

    In Araucaria’s 0f 19th April (24367), I have the answer to 11 across but can anyone explain it to me please?

  13. beermagnet says:

    Stuart, we don’t discuss live prize puzzles until after the deadline here.
    I’m sure Rightback will be along with a blog for yesterday’s puzzle on Friday of next week. In the meantime YHM

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