Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,355 (Sat 5 Apr)/Araucaria – Mixed bag

Posted by rightback on April 12th, 2008


Solving time: 13:05

A definition/letter-mixture puzzle from Araucaria this week. Please say in the comments if you found this a welcome change or a bit of a chore.

Some definitions are given in brackets.

Music (10dn): The Trout by Schubert, which spawned the famous ‘Trout Quintet’. I have no idea if this is any good, because my Internet connection is too slow today to play the video!

1 MARTINMAS – I think the definition here is ‘Day celebration’.
11 FRAGONARD – if I’d known this artist my solving time would have been much quicker.
12 NATURAL (normal) – should have got both this and 10ac faster than I did.
17 ENTERTAINMENT (diversion)
21 SWEETEN (pacify)
22 OVERACT (ham)
26 LEST (in case)
27 GLENGARRY (cap)
1 MUTINOUS (rising) – my last entry.
3 INTERPRETATION (rendering) – I found this the hardest of the long answers.
4 MUFFLER – looking back, I should have got this faster; it’s pretty obvious that ‘Wonderful female’ has to contain the anagram fodder.
5 STARVED (cold) – apparently ‘to starve’ can mean ‘to die of cold’ in northern and Scottish dialects.
7 BRASSIERE (cups) – one of the few disguised definitions.
8 SIDING (not the main line)
15 DIETETICS (science relating to food) – I actually got this wrong initially, writing in ‘dietarily’, which is a word according to Merriam-Webster, but (I now notice) doesn’t quite fit the letters in the clue.
16 STATUARY (figures) – didn’t know this was a noun.
18 RUNNING (competition)
19 ANODYNE (bland) – the surface refers to this Beatrix Potter book.

8 Responses to “Guardian 24,355 (Sat 5 Apr)/Araucaria – Mixed bag”

  1. Andrew says:

    I don’t find this type of puzzle very satisfying at all – very hard to get started and then rather tedious to finish off (in fact I didn’t bother with this one). Azed sometimes uses them too, though without overlaps and with the anagram fodder always coinciding with the beginning or ending of a word of the clue (which helps a bit), and usually in groups of three, following some sort of theme.

    Of course, the fact that the online version didn’t have the instructions didn’t help…

  2. Eileen says:

    I agree with Andrew: disappointing for Araucaria. Very clever – and presumably satisfying for the setter but much less so for the solver. I persevered to the end but without the usual enjoyment.

  3. Cruciverbophile says:

    The online puzzle didn’t contain any preamble so I was stumped for a while. I got a few definitions and spotted the anagram fodder but was unable to see how they went together. Then it occurred to me that (I think) Araucaria has done something like this before, so the penny dropped. I finished the puzzle but found it samey and a bit of a slog. I don’t really see the point of DLM clues as they can’t by nature provide the entertaining wordplay associated with normal clues. I hope this sort of thing won’t appear too often.

  4. John Ridge says:

    I agree with Eileen.

    In addition, I was put off by clues in which the definition is inside, not at the start or finish – e.g. 21ac, 24ac, 19d. I can see that padding is needed to hide the anagram fodder, but…

  5. Comfy Settee says:

    Disappointing – just handle-turning really, and none of the *cleverness* that one associates with A. As Eileen says, probably far more enjoyable for the setter than the solver, and whilst there’s often an element of thar with A., it was definitely OTT this time…

  6. Berny says:

    We encountered the OL version and couldn’t get very far because while we spotted what might be solutions we could not fit them to A’s usual tightness. We suspected a missing preamble so phoned a friend! With the preamble we solved it quickly. That said I do respect the way he is always attempting to introduce novelty so will forgive him the occasional lapse.

    B an K

  7. fromthemorning says:

    We’re novice solvers, and as such found this crossword great fun. Probably because the anagram clue type seems the easiest for us beginner to get to grips with, whilst the nature of the ambiguous definition and no anagrind being present gave a different sort of challenge.

    It was nice to get the rare satisfaction of being able to complete and therefore enter an Araucaria prize crossword!

    I can understand how a veteran solver could feel let down by the lack of any wordplay though.

  8. muck says:

    I had the online version too and guessed that there might be a missing preamble. This was confirmed by Croquemonsieur on, and by phoning my mother in England, but it is time Guardian Online puzzles got their act together. I have emailed the XW editor, but had no reply.

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