Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24359/Arachne – take a gander at this

Posted by ilancaron on April 10th, 2008


A clue or two hinting that the setter is a woman. Which I knew already. I wonder a bit about 16D and I think I’m right about 11D (a first for me recognizing cockney rhyming slang if I am).


1 SIDEMAN – (Sandie, M)* and nothing to do with Sandie Shaw.
5 A,GHA(S)T – I congratulated myself on vaguely remembering that GHAT had something to do with Indian burial practices and pyres.
9 OB,SERVER – she watches no doubt as the old boy spends all his time on the internet (solving cryptic crosswords?).
10 M,ISUSE=Susie* – can’t decide if “hurt” is the def and “harry” is the anagrind or v.v.
17 ROC – hidden in “Hunter occasionally”
19 ARC – initial letters of “accelerate reaction, creating”
20 TE,RRACOTT=tractor*,A – more initials: “Theban excavations”.
27 CAL[l]LA,BASH – CALLA is a kind of lily and the whole thing’s a tree.
28 LAHOR=(Harol[d])*,E – Harold’s a friend of Harry, Mark and Susie presumably.


1 S,TOP – a (full) stop in America is a period.
2 DOS,H – Brit moolah.  
3 MERENGUE – haven’t looked this up but I think a Pavlova’s a meringue and we’re replacing the I (one) with an E[nergy] – MERENGUE thus must be a dance.
4 NA([thos]E)VI – IVAN’s our reversed Russian and NAEVI must be birthmarks.
6 GEISHA – hidden
7 ADULTERATE=(a deal utter)* – “chicanery” is our nounal anagrind and “cut” is our def.
8 TRENCH=”cut”,COAT=”fleece” – another kind of “cut”.
11 GANDER – my last clue: two defs — the first is rhyming slang for a look (rhymes with Butcher’s Hook) and Chambers says GANDER’s a simpleton as well.
14 B,LACK,DEATH – rather depressing clue.
16 CHEESE – bit of a mystery: I assume it’s two meanings where CHEESE alludes to Big Cheese, i.e. a VIP and “junket” I’m guessing a dessert made from cheese (??).
21 SAIL,OR – “moonraker” is a kind of sail and I guess Limey is originally the epithet given to Brit sailors because of their dislike of scurvy.
23 MEANS=”miens” – and capital is what keeps the world going round.
24 TAR,N – another sailor. And it’s a mountain lake.
25 CHAR – two meanings: I assume you find CHAR in mountain lakes?

22 Responses to “Guardian 24359/Arachne – take a gander at this”

  1. Dave Ellison says:

    Bottom right corner a bit of a problem for me. I originally had MORAL for 23d. (M + ORAL), the ! suggesting the whole thing referred to Manners? And LEARNER for 29ac, though I couldn’t find an explanation.

    So with 29ac being S_A_N_R what’s the solution? And with MEANS the solution for 23d, why the ! in the clue?

    10ac – why not both?

  2. Eileen says:

    29ac SCANNER; [Menzie]S+CANNER [Campbells soup etc.]

  3. conradcork says:

    16 junket could at a stretch to said to be cheese because it also starts by curdling milk with rennet. Only at a very long stretch though.

  4. Geoff says:

    3d: I had MERINGUE for this, having taken the letter substitution the other way. Clue a bit ambiguous, but ilancaron’s suggestion is probably better. Good surface though, with allusion to the ballerina for whom the pud was named. Indeed, this crossword has a lot of excellent surface readings.

    25d: CHAR are indeed species of salmonid fish found in the cold waters of mountain lakes. Very tasty, I believe.

    Feeling hungry now – time for lunch…

  5. John Ridge says:

    I’ve been reading Hugh Stephenson’s “Secrets…”, so I was very pleased to get 22 INDIAN SUMMER without any check letters.

    You’re going to tell me this is a cliche of a clue…

  6. pupmad says:

    am stuck on 15 across –l-u-/code and13 down —a-i-n-l

  7. ilancaron says:


  8. owenjonesuk says:


  9. Peter Owen says:

    16 down
    One definition of “junket” in Chambers is “a cream cheese”.

    15 across is COLOUR CODE
    13 down is OCCASIONAL

  10. Geoff says:

    16d: The word JUNKET is from the French ‘jonquette’ (< jonc ‘rush’), referring to the rush basket in which the freshly coagulated milk was poured to allow the whey to drain away. Hence ‘cheese’ is strictly a more etymologically accurate definition – the old-fashioned nursery pud was ‘curds AND whey’ (Little Miss Muffet, qv), without the separation stage, so the rush basket would not have been employed! Anyway, the most common modern usage of JUNKET is to refer to a pleasurable outing (with the connotation of its being at someone else’s expense). Odd semantic shift, for which I cannot offer an explanation.

  11. Frances says:

    Yesterday’s answers were never posted. Can anyone tell me why AMOS is a Lady as in “Lady Prophet” – the final down clue?

  12. Eileen says:

    Amos: old testament prophet; Lady Amos: leader of the House of Lords.
    I was really disappointed that this great puzzle, which I completed much more quickly than I expected at first sight, was not blogged. I was really looking forward to other people’s comments1

  13. muck says:

    I have taken the liberty of blogging this puzzle on

  14. muck says:

    Then go to Crooswords

  15. Frances says:

    Thanks Eileen and I look forward to seeing Muck’s Blog as this was the first time I came anywhere near completing a crossword let alone thinking about timings!

  16. Eileen says:

    Frances, I too look forward to seeing Muck’s blog! It doesn’t seem the right website. Has anyone else found it? Please?

  17. Frances says:

    No, I can’t get to it either – any suggestions, Muck?

  18. muck says:



    Then: Crosswords

    Then: Todays Crossword Mark III

  19. Frances says:

    Thank you. That worked and sorted out a few mysteries. I think “DOME” was “do me” as in “that’ll do me”.

  20. Eileen says:

    Well then, that’ll do you, Frances: well done! I’m finding getting onto the website more of a monkey puzzle than Araucaria! Found Today’s crossword Mark III but latest posting is 2nd April – also Muck!
    I’ll give up now but I just wanted to say that I thought yesterday’s puzzle was really great – even for Araucaria. I particularly liked 1ac, which was even better on a second look: not only is ‘Birdsong’ a great war novel – it’s also a Great War novel [or vice versa] – 9ac, 12ac, 4dn and all the clues connected with 22dn.

  21. muck says:

    Eileen, sorry you didn’t find my Arau blog on Todays Crossword Mark III – it is there. I thought Birdsong brilliant too, and for the same reasons.

  22. beermagnet says:

    OK You lot.
    I have slapped a blog in for yesterday’s A.
    Muck – I have nicked most of your stuff from the G site but had already started some notes so … – I assume you don’t mind.

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