Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24376 Araucaria -“Inconsiderate Service Order”

Posted by neildubya on April 30th, 2008


So glad the luck of the draw gave me this benign but pleasant Araucaria to blog rather than yesterday’s Gordian nightmare.

Still short one answer and my explanation of some of the wordplay is imperfect, so some scope for audience participation if you are so minded.


1 CONDUCT MEDAL : sounds like meddle

9 (l)INER-R-OR : there’s an extra “R” I can’t quite explain – but that could be self-referential I suppose !



12 TAMBO(rine) : African leader, Oliver Tambo

13 NO-SH : ie. no “Sh!!!”

14 Despite having all the letters I haven’t got this yet

16 UNWIN-NABLE : Professor Stanley Unwin was a comedian and Elbans live on Elba I guess

19 A-C.I.D

20 SKIER – either a cricket ball hit into the sky or someone sliding on snow

21 CIVIL YEA-R : A church calendar that does begin on Lady Day (25th March). Will be humming Billie Holiday tunes today (nickname ‘Lady Day’)

23 EC(TOP-I)A – guessed it was a word from ectopic pregnancy and ectoplasm.Haven’t quite settled on a coherent reason for the wordplay though “Top hat” “Ace” backwards ?

24 RINGLET – contained in the tex, and I had to check there was a Ringlet Butterfly

25 SERVICE ORDER – connection with 7 is obvious if you know what DSO stands for



2 NURSE : initial letters of the clue


4 TO-PG-EAR : A lodger was a “Paying Guest” (PG) in Araucaria’s day, pretty obscure today though

5 ELEC-TORS : CELEbrities in reverse with a common crossword word for mountains

6 AUTOMATIC TELL-ER : reference to William TELL




17 AR-CH(A)IC : can anyone explain the initial “AR”, or have I totally missed the point ?

18 LIV-OR-NO : LIV is 54 in roman numerals

22 LINED – wrinkly, and warmer in the sense of a “lined jacket” which has a lining in it. Had a lot of fun trying to make “gonad” fit the clue as well as it fit the letters ??N?D .



10 Responses to “Guardian 24376 Araucaria -“Inconsiderate Service Order””

  1. Andrew says:

    9ac – the extra R is from R for Recipe = take (as in medicine).
    14ac – DEAR BRUTUS: a play by J M Barrie, DE(from) + R in ARBUTUS

    I’m not sure about 1ac and 25ac – does either of them exist as a phrase on its on, without DISTINGUISHED?

  2. Andrew says:

    Oops – “..phrase on its OWN,…”, that should be.

  3. Andrew says:

    Oh, and 17dn: I thought the AR was the “opening” of “article”, in addition to the article=A in CHIC.

  4. John Ridge says:

    23ac – TOPI is the sahib’s pith helmet (more often spelt TOPEE?)

  5. Andrew says:

    12ac – the “jingly drum” is actually spelt Tambourine, so TAMBO really is exactly half of it. (With the second half perhaps giving scope for a less tasteful clue…)

  6. Octofem says:

    12 ac -Tambo is also a small bongo drum, making less noise than the larger one.

  7. Octofem says:

    12 ac – _Sorry: my first comment and I was carried away. Was thinking of Macho from another puzzle! Must do better.

  8. Geoff says:

    A very easy puzzle for Araucaria, I thought. Can’t add anything to excellent explanations from Stan and previous bloggers.

    So a comment about 21a: the CIVIL YEAR was a secular, not church, time period (as the name implies), although it traditionally started on a religious festival – the feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on 25 March (the visit from the angel Gabriel, obviously timed to be exactly 9 calendar months before Christmas). By the time the Gregorian calendar was finally adopted in Britain in 1752, the old Julian calendar was 11 days ‘behind’ (in terms of dates of solstices etc) so 11 days were skipped in September 1752 in order to bring the calendar back on track. So as not to have a short year. the start of the civil year was also moved forward 11 days to 5 April in 1753. It was again moved forward by one day in 1800, which didn’t have a leap day (following Gregorian rules), but no correction was made for 1900. That is why the tax year starts on the apparently random 6 April – one of the few relics of this old system.

  9. stan says:

    I may have to apologise about being so sniffy about “PG”=”Paying Guest” which does seem to be a current abbreviation. The problem is that I have only ever come across the term (a) in previous Araucaria crosswords and (b) in Wallace & Gromit’s “The Wrong Trousers”

  10. Eileen says:

    Well, as you said earlier, thank Goodness this is still ‘Araucaria’s day’, with a return to some humour. The last one I wrote in was 13ac!

    Andrew, does it matter that 1ac and 25ac don’t have a life of their own? [They do balance one another rather nicely.] Thanks for your explanation of 17dn.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

− 1 = two