Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24419/Araucaria – Oh, Jerusalem!

Posted by ilancaron on June 19th, 2008


This was a mix of accessible and impossible without wikipedia: unless you’re a Blake scholar, I had to reread “Jerusalem” to make head or tail. I’m also stymied by 13A which is unrelated to William Blake to my chagrin. Forgot to blog 3D… which Alan points out below.


5 ACER,B(IT)Y – ACER is a type of maple.
9 D,EG,RADED=dread* – I think “reduced from A to D, say” is the definition by example of DEGRADED (and EG for “say”).
11 SIMULTANEOUS – (A, one*) in stimulus* — I challenge someone to describe what the surface is indicating in plain English: “Coincidental stimulus externally applied to a funny one”.
13 ?H?L – I give up: “Sound of stream at seaside resort”.
17 B,ROME,L(I)A – it’s pineapple and our cities are ROME and LA (the American one).
18 ROUT[e]
20 LONG-DISTANCE RUNNER=(loner, raced, results)* – ref. Alan Sillitoe’s “The Loneliness of the …”. Not sure how to classify this: anag &lit?
23 GENE,V,A – ref. GENE “pool”: I found this v. hard — took some while until I could disassociate “pool” from “lake”.
24 AGE L,IM,IT – not sure how to parse the wordplay? “Colourless Arthurian site setter’s object too old, I might say”. Self-referential since Araucaria is even older than John McCain perhaps? is IT our “object”? I can only think of Camelot. Help!
25 W,RINK,LED – ref. ICE rink and LED Zeppelin. Obviously, Araucaria totally rocks.


2 OPEN FIRE – clever double definition (one cryptic).
3 JE,RU(SALE)M – our theme by Blake.
4 MAD,AME – nice clue: ame (with a circonflexe on the a) is soul or spirit in French.
6 ENGLAND’S GREEN AND PLEASANT LAND – from the end of Blake’s “Jerusalem” (3D) and no doubt an anagram of (gannet’s prangs, laden x 2)* but I haven’t fully worked it out. Another challenge: what does the surface mean?
7 B,LAKE – nice clue: he wrote “Jerusalem” and ref. LAKE Geneva.
8 TRIQUET=quitter*,RUM – Looked this up — it’s a wrist bone.
12 CH(A,RIOT)EER – ref. “Bring me my chariot of fire!” in Blake’s “Jerusalem”.
15 C,ARTESIAN – nice clue that even has a sensibly nonsensical surface: ref. CARTESIAN thinking (Descartes’ “I think therefore…”) and ARTESIAN wells and C is about or more or less.
16 ALL IN ALL – clever double definition (one cryptic): reminds me of Russell’s catalog of catalogs paradox.

19 Responses to “Guardian 24419/Araucaria – Oh, Jerusalem!”

  1. Pasquale says:

    Try RHYL(in North Wales)sounding like RILL

  2. Eileen says:

    17ac: I had BRUMELIA, which I found as an alternative spelling. England’s ‘second city’ is Birmingham, affectionately known as ‘Brum’.

    24: Tintagel is an Arthurian site, which without ‘tint’ [‘colourless’] gives AGE L, then IM [setter’s] IT, object, as you say.

  3. conradcork says:

    Eileen you were too quick for me. Again. And right as usual.

  4. ilancaron says:

    17A: i don’t think BRUMELIA works — there’s an E unaccounted for.

  5. Eileen says:

    Sorry Conrad! I presume you meant re 24ac.

    I meant to say BRUMALIA [which is the spelling I found] for 17ac. I like it but I can’t justify one of the ‘a’s – or is it the ‘i’?! I’m sure you’re right, Ilan!

  6. Chunter says:

    The OED says that Bromelia is named after the Swede Olaus Bromel. (

  7. Eileen says:

    And I’ve realised I produced my word from the back of the mind. It’s a Roman winter solstice festival – and I’ve been trying in vain to find a connection with pineapples!

  8. Alan says:

    JERUSALEM (3 dn) is formed from JE (setter in French) then SALE in RUM.

  9. Shirley says:

    Ilancaron – 6D Not sure what you mean about the surface? The words “Green and pleasant land” are repeated at the end of each verse of Jerusalem.

  10. ilancaron says:

    I meant what does “Afflicted gannet’s prangs laden” mean in English?

  11. Mike says:

    Have we lost sight of 10A?
    GRA(zing)CIE(French company) [FIELDS]

  12. Mort says:

    14A: AB DIC ATE – CID for investigators rev.
    19D: END EAR

  13. AlanR says:

    I can’t believe now how long I spent wondering why “zeppelin” could mean “led” – I gave up on trying to work out the reasoning in the end!

    I loved 18ac – “un-English way” can be route without the E, but it could also be the American pronunciation of route, rout (though I suppose strictly it would need a homophone indicator to be read that way.)

  14. Comfy Settee says:

    Rather wonderfully, in the solution grid the J in JERUSALEM is also the J for JAM – these are beautifully connected by the description of the WI being “all about jam and jerusalem”, which led to the title of a rather lovely television programme too.

  15. ketone says:

    Could anyone explain what’s going on with ‘revellers’ in 14a? Is it part of the definition?

  16. AlanR says:

    A rout is “an assemblage or company esp. of revellers of rioters” according to the COD. So I suppose the clue has two separate definitions plus the wordplay.

  17. Tom Hutton says:

    A rout is a party and so may be taken for revellers. Their appearance in the clue is otiose and a distraction.

  18. ACP says:

    Ilancaron asks ‘what about surface?’

    Is surface not an issue ? There’s a lot of nonsense in these clues which detracts from some nice constructions.

  19. Stan says:

    For 24 I suspect “Setter’s object too old” = “I’m past it” = “IM IT”.

    Good to read a blog where the blogger doesn’t make it look easy when it blooming isn’t. Of course, you might be tempted now to go back, delete some comments, edit the missing bits and write something like “Quite a moderate Araucaria today – managed to complete it on the tube between Covernt Garden and Leicester Square”.

    I thought it was a beast, personally even after I got the Jerusalem references.

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