Fifteensquared

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Guardian 24,460/Araucaria – Man, Oh Man

Posted by Andrew on August 6th, 2008

Andrew.

Apologies for a brief and slightly belated blog. A nice theme involving various hominids, starting with the first three across clues. I needed to look up a few of the synonyms to check details, but apart from that this was not too troublesome,

dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
* = anagram
< = reverse

Across
1 SAPIENS PIE in SANS
5 HABILIS I in (c)HABLIS
9 ERECTUS ERE CT US
10 LEBANON BAN in LEO (Zodiac sign) + N
12 LUCIA dd Reference to the island of Santa Lucia, and more cryptically to the E.F. Benson characters Mapp and Lucia.
13 CHEAP C HEAP
15 EMACIATED (I CAME)< + A TED
17 JACK KETCH Sailor = JACK, boat = KETCH. Jack Ketch was a famous 17th-century hangman, whose name became a generic name for the gallows or a hangman
18 HUMAN HUM AN (indefinite article) Homo Sapiens is more “human” than H. Erectus or H. Habilis
22 VIXEN IX in VEN(erable) Here “9″ is the number rather a reference to 9 ac
23 CRO-MAGNON MAGN in CROON One of Araucaria’s vague “starts” – not sure what MAGN is intended to be the start of here: “Magnificent” maybe?
25 MIOCENE INCOME* + E
26 INVERSE IN VERSE I liked this one – nicely misleading
28 ECSTASY EC + S(licker) in STAY
Down
1 SCEPTIC C in SEPTIC
3 EXTOL EX TOL(l)
4 SUSTINENT US TIN in SENT Second time in this puzzle where a word in the clue appears in the answer (15ac is the other).
5 HOLST L (50) in HOLST Gustav Holst composed the Planets Suite
6 BOBSLEIGH (HOGS BIBLE)*
7 LINOCUT Anagaram of LUNATIC with A replaced by O
8 SUNWARD UN in SWARD
14 PEKINGESE cd Homo Erectus was once known as Peking Man
16 APHRODITE AP(e) HR (hour) (TO DIE)* A Manx cat is tail-less, so a Manx primate is an APE with no “tail”
17 JAVA MAN Another name for H Erectus
18 COXCOMB COX (steer) + M in COB
20 MINERVA MINER V (versus) A
21 NUNNERY NUNN ER Y Trevor Nunn, director
23 CHEAT C(irca) HEAT Science pedants will point out that heat and temperature are not the same thing..

10 Responses to “Guardian 24,460/Araucaria – Man, Oh Man”

  1. Tom Hutton says:

    Some very nice clues here. I particularly liked 14dn though it took me a long time to get it. However, I do think that including a reference to Mapp and Lucia is making solving Guardian crosswords a very age related occupation.

  2. Eileen says:

    I liked this one a lot, too. I thought the surface ref. to the Gadarene swine in 6dn was really clever.

    23ac: could it be the start of ‘magnus’, Latin for ‘great’?

  3. Andrew says:

    I thought of “magnus” for 23ac too, but surely the “start” of a word shouldn’t be more than half of it…

  4. mhl says:

    “ven” for “ecclesiastical title” and JACK KETCH were really tough too, I thought. At least with so much checking in this grid you could have a good guess at the answers anyway.

    The INVERSE clue and “Earth mother” for VIXEN were excellent :)

  5. muck says:

    One of Araucaria’s most enjoyable puzzles recently: good theme; good clues.

  6. Forty-two says:

    Re 23 Ac – Surely great start is G, inside MAN, inside CROON

  7. Peter Chambers says:

    Magnificent?

  8. Louise Holt says:

    23 across the start of great is ‘g’ inside ‘man’ surrounded by croon

  9. GS says:

    What a great site. I’ve only just discovered it. i only do the guardian Weekly puzzle but had just finished it but not sure about Lucia or why noblest for 27 acroos which you don’t give!

  10. Andrew says:

    Welcome, GS – 27ac is NO (=number) + BLEST (those in heaven), and noble people are either posh (aristocrats) or good.

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