Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,403 (Sat 31 May)/Araucaria – Drama police

Posted by rightback on June 6th, 2008


[Note: I’m posting this on Friday afternoon as I’m away for the weekend (off to Dublin to watch Radiohead on Saturday night). I hope this is ok, as the deadline for entries was Friday morning, but if anyone knows differently then please say and I won’t post early again.]

I kept getting side-tracked while solving this so didn’t take a time. I think it would have been around 15 minutes for most of it, and probably the same again on 22ac, 15ac and 16dn (starred below).

The theme was DRAMATISTS (14dn), of which several appeared in the grid, otherwise undefined. ‘Terence’ in 29/9ac does double duty as the Roman playwright. A more theatrically-minded solver would probably have found this puzzle easier than I did.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

1 HI + P(B)ATH
* 10/16dn ARNOLD WESKER; (RAN)* + OLD + WES(K)ER – ‘Arnold’ came fairly easily but I couldn’t think of the surname Wesker or the River Weser, and this was my last, uncertain, entry.
*  15 HE + RIOT + WATT – a Scottish university. For some reason I didn’t consider ‘University’ as the definition and this took me ages.
20 E + S(CRI + TO)IRE – ‘cri’ is French for ‘shout’.
* 22 LITTLE ENDIAN – from the nursery rhyme ‘Ten Little Indians’, also one title for a very ingenious Agatha Christie novel. I’ve read that, but not Gulliver’s Travels, which I think I really should. Little-endians appear in that book – something to do with which end they crack their eggs, apparently.
26 VI + SITS – ‘is in Parliament’ is clever for ‘sits’.
27 SINGULAR – I quite liked this. I suppose it’s half-way between a double definition and a cryptic definition.
1 H + ARE – the reference in 14dn may be to Sir David Hare, but please correct me if I’m wrong.
2 PIT + Y (= ‘your head’) – ‘ruth’ = PITY as in ‘ruthless’, PIT = ‘contend’ as in ‘pit one’s wits’.
3 A + GIT + A + TOR – I’ve seen this wordplay before (‘A fool on a hill’) but it’s still very good.
4 HEAVY (double definition)
6/11 HAR(OLD + PINT)E + R
7 S(HOP + A + HOL)IC – ‘hop’ being the plant from which hops are made.
8 S + ID EST + REET – ‘reet’ being Geordie-speak for ‘right’.
23 D[oo]R + 1 FT
24/21 ALAN PLATER; (A PLAN)* + LATER – another of the playwrights that I didn’t know, but I got there from the wordplay. Wikipedia informs me that he used to write scripts for Z Cars.
25 T + RUE – the referenced Hamlet quotation, “That he is mad, ’tis true: ’tis true ’tis pity”, isn’t in the ODQ, so this is pretty difficult, but luckily for me the wordplay was easy.

4 Responses to “Guardian 24,403 (Sat 31 May)/Araucaria – Drama police”

  1. Andrew says:

    Agatha Christie’s “Ten Little Indians” is now known euphemistically as “And Then There Were None” – though “Indians” is itself a euphemism for the word used in the original title.

    Yes, you should definitely read “Gulliver’s Travels” – mainly because it’s just a great book, but, vaguely on-topic, in particular for the description of the “Anagrammatic Method” in the “Laputa” section.

  2. Fletch says:

    I like the Radiohead punny title!

  3. rightback says:

    Thank you – sometimes I spend longer trying to come up with a good title than I do actually blogging the puzzle, so it’s nice that people occasionally notice!

    Andrew, Gulliver’s Travels is next on my reading list.

  4. Fletch says:

    Hope you enjoyed the concert.

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5 + = nine