Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,395 – Araucaria

Posted by Uncle Yap on May 22nd, 2008

Uncle Yap.

Wow! What a plum assignment for me today when I blog Rev John Graham, OBE, whom I have admired from afar for years. Solving is one thing but explaining all the wordplay and subtlety of the clues is another. I had to dig deep into Chambers and Wikipedia. As usual with the Master, a most entertaining and challenging puzzle.

By the way, meet my grand-daughter, Megan.


1 ROSEHIP Charade of ROSE (came up) HIP (joint)
5 WARRANT Jingoism can be said to be WAR RANT (sabre-rattling)
9 GUERDON *(undergo) Not exactly an everyday word for reward, but as they say, easy clue for difficult word
10 POLECAT Charade of POLE (rod) CAT (cat-o’-nine-tails, one with extra lashes)
11 LANDOWNER Substitution of LA (Laird’s start) for SU (us backing out) in SUNDOWNER (Chambers – an alcoholic drink taken after sunset)
15 INDIAN TEA Insertion of TE (both sides of the) in INDIANA (an American state)
17 KINGMAKER What an outrageously cheeky cryptic definition! A pregnant queen is, of course a kingmaker. This is Araucaria in his elements. The subsidiary wordplay is the insertion of GMA (good mother) in KINK (funny thing) plus ER (Elizabeth Regina, the queen, 12Across) My favourite clue of the day!
19 YOBBO Charade of YO (Greetings) BB (first letters of Blair & Bush) O (love)
22 ROACH ha
23 JACK FROST Charade of JACK (the card below the Queen) FROST (disappointment)
25 GRADUAL Charade of GRA (bit of ARGument with backing) DUAL (of two)
26 OPUS DEI Insertion of DE (of in French) in OPUS-I *(pious). This international Roman Catholic organisation briefly came into prominence after the publication of The Da Vinci Code, a controversial mystery/detective novel by US author Dan Brown in 2003
27 ACADEMY Charade of A CADE (rebel) MY (setter’s). We all know the Royal Academy
28 SCHOLAR Insertion of CH (church) in SOLAR (an upper room – see Chambers)


1,13,12 REGULAR ROYAL QUEEN Charade of REGULAR (even) R (run) O (out) insertion of ALQUE (*equal) in YEN (craving). The Regular Royal Queen is a piece from The Gondoliers by Gilbert and Sullivan. I had to google this as my knowledge about operas is quite scanty. In fact, I am rather uncultured in many respects and my friends once told me to rectify the deficiency by taking more yoghurt (sorry, I couldn’t resist telling this:-)

2 SWEENEY Charade of S (Seville’s first) WEE (little) NEY (Michel (1769-1815), French Marshal in Napoleonic Wars, clued here as soldier). Sweeney Todd aka The Demon Barber of Fleet Street was a barber who killed his clients for their money while his accomplice used their meat for her pies. Gosh! Just to find this answer opened up such a can of old scandal …
3 HYDRO ha
4 PEN AND INK Insertion of EN AN *(Anne) D (died) in PINK (coloured)
5 WIPER Charade of WI (the London postal district of Buckingham Palace, where the Queen lives) & PER (by) to give you what is normally on the front windscreen of your car.

6 RELIQUARY Insertion of IQ (intelligence) UAR (United Arab Republic) in RELY (trust)
7 ANCIENT Insertion of CI (Roman numeral for 101) in ANENT (a Scottish word meaning about)
8 TITANIA *(aint it a) is of course the Queen from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare)
14 LIMEHOUSE in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets from LIME (tree) HOUSE (nest)
16 DIRECTORS Insertion of REC (recreation) T (time) in DIORS (Christian’s
Christian Dior (1905 -1957), an influential French fashion designer)
17 KERYGMA Charade of KERY (50% trickery) GMA (heart of kingmaker)
Chambers – (preaching of) the Christian gospel, esp in the way of the early Church.
18 NIAGARA Charade of NIAGA (Reversal of AGAIN, once more rising) RA (after the Egyptian Sun God)
20 BLONDEL from BLONDE (fair) L (learner or student) Blondel was a troubadour in King Richard’s court. He inspired a rock opera musical by Tim Rice and Stephen Oliver
21 OUTLIER *(route LI, Roman numeral for 51)
and finally two clues with Royal connections

13 Responses to “Guardian 24,395 – Araucaria”

  1. Eileen says:

    Yes, what a corker!

    17ac: I read this as KINKER [something that makes one ‘kink’ [OED ‘gasp with laughter’] ‘about’ good mother. The queen is already in the definition.

  2. Andrew says:

    I agree with Uncle Yap for 17ac – “12 in the family way” is a cryptic def of KINGMAKER, and the “12” at the end of the clue gives the ER.

    5dn – Buckingham Palace is actually in SW1. Has Araucaria slipped up here, or is there some other meaning of WI?

  3. Chunter says:

    9ac – presumably an allusion to Bush’s notorious Yo Blair greeting.

  4. Chunter says:

    Sorry 19ac, not 9ac.

  5. Barbara says:

    Well done, Uncle Yap. You were saddled with a real stinker for your first Araucaria blog.
    I had to resort to quite a bit of research for some of the more unfamiliar answers, among which were: Blondel, kerygma, opus dei and outlier.

  6. Geoff says:

    ’12’ appears twice in clue for 17ac, so Uncle Yap’s explanation must be right.

    5dn – this must be Araucaria’s mistake, although I worked out the clue assuming the postal district of Buckingham Palace was W1.

    17dn – KERYGMA was a new word to me (I recognise GUERDON from crosswords!) but it was fairly obvious from the wordplay and had an authentic Greek look to it. Another good example of a relatively easy clue for a relatively difficult word.

    Satisfying example of the good Rev’s art; my favourite clue was 19ac, with its allusion to the infamous ‘Yo, Blair!’ greeting by George Dubya.

  7. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Andrew and Geoff. I didn’t spot the second ’12’.

    Remembered from primary school: the legend is that Blondel ‘discovered’ the Lionheart, who had been captured by Duke Leopold of Austria, by travelling Europe from castle to castle, singing a love-song that they had composed together. When he reached the castle where Richard was imprisoned, he heard the king singing the refrain. Subsequently, Richard was ransomed.

  8. Andrew says:

    I found this puzzle mostly quite easy, apart from a couple of obscurities: I had to look up KERYGMA and didn’t know about Cade’s rebellion.

    I guessed OPUS DEI almost immediately: it’s been in the public eye fairly recently as a result of featuring in “The Da Vinci Code”, and also because Ruth Kelly is a member – a fact that caused some controversy when she was dealing with “faith schools” as Secretary of State for education, as well as speculation as to whether she wears the cilice (barbed-wire underwear, basically).

  9. Michod says:

    Well done indeed. I had a lot of trouble with this, not helped by putting SUNDOWNER instead of LANDOWNER at first. I guessed KERYGMA, GUERDON (eventually) and REGULAR, but didn’t get WARRANT and WIPER. I’ll blame my superior knowledge of London postal districts for missing 5 down (thosh she probably owns half of W1, even if she doesn’t live there), but 5 across is very good.

  10. muck says:

    Well done, Uncle Yap. I hadn’t seen ‘charade’ used before to describe a crossword clue, but Chambers defines it as ‘a species of riddle, the subject of which is a word proposed for solution from an enigmatical description of its component syllables and of the whole’.

  11. Dave Ellison says:

    Charades is one of the seven main headings of Ximenes’ types of clues.

  12. muck says:

    I didn’t know ‘charade’ as a Ximenean category and it doesn’t appear to be used by most bloggers. Mr Google informed me that ‘Ximenes on the Art of the Crossword’, long out of print, has now been reissued. Are Ximenes’ rules available elsewhere?

  13. Uncle Yap says:

    In Chapter VI of Ximenes 0n the art of the crossword by D.S.Macnutt, “seven main headings” were mentioned –
    1. Two or more meanings
    2. Reversals
    3. Charades
    4. Containers and contents
    5. Puns
    6. Anagrams
    7. Hidden

    Don Manley’s equally excellent book The Crossword Guide published by Chambers has these categories
    1. Anagrams (Chapter 4)
    2. Charades (Chapter 5)
    3. Containers and contents
    4. Reversals
    5. Hidden words (Chapter 6)
    6. Vocal clues
    7. Subtractive clues

    Charade has been and always will be a significant category of clues. Other bloggers may not exactly have used the word “charade” but they do allude to the device.

    I happen to think that I should also address my blog to newbies who may not understand such notations as S-WEE-NEY (for 2Down) which only a seasoned and experienced solver can comprehend. Hence my long explanation spelling out the wordplay in detail and pointing out obscure definitions.

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