Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 244,67/Araucaria

Posted by Andrew on August 14th, 2008


Yet another very enjoyable offering from Araucaria. I got 25/26ac immediately and the various types of pear followed quickly. Several clues involved bits of what is perhaps slightly obscure general knowledge (e.g. 18ac, 5d), but luckily for me they largely happened to overlap well with my own random store of facts. I can’t explain 23dn – any suggestions?

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

1 WILLIAM WILL I AM WILL and AM are “future” and “present”, and “I” is the setter, as usual. Unfortunately this doesn’t quite work, as the pear is actually Williams.
5 AVOCADO (C OVA) + A DO 8 dozen is 96, so 100 eggs (C OVA) is more than that. Hmm..
9 OFTEN FT in ONE* Slightly strained wording – “round comes” means “comes round” in the wordplay.
10 BRAKE SHOE BRA KES HOE “Kes” is the “film with bird” – Ken Loach’s marvellous 1969 film of a boy who trains a kestrel
12 HELL “Man’s going” = HE’LL
14 PAMPHLETEER A MPH LET in PEER Using “tractarian” to mean one who produces tracts, or pamhplets
18 OTHER PEOPLE OT HER + OP in PELE “Hell is other people” (in French, “l’enfer, c’est les autres”) is a line fom Jean-Paul Sartre’s play Huis clos.
25,26 APPLES AND PEARS cd Cockney rhyming slang for “stairs”
1 WOODEN WOO DEN The wooden or woody pear tree is found in Australia
2 LATEST A T in LEST LEST = IN CASE (answer to 19dn)
3 INNKEEPERS PEEK< in INNERS I think an INNER is a hit in archery that is better than an outer but not as good as a bullseye.
4 MABEL M ABEL Abel was the son of Adam and Eve in Genesis, and was killed by his brother Cain.
5 A TALL SHIP ALL SH in A TIP A reference to the line in John Masefield’s Sea fever: “All I ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer her by.”
6.24 OPEN NECK N(i)NE in OPEC + K This took me a while to get – not really difficult, but the wordplay is a bit devious. Nice definition too – “open neck” = “not wearing a tie”.
8 OVERLORD dd Operation Overlord was the codename for the D-Day landings in Normandy
15 MME BOVARY ME in MOB + VARY Flaubert’s novel Madame Bovary (1857). Cunningly, “with first part abbreviated” is part of the definition.
16 BOOT CAMP BOO ACT< MP Remember Willie Whitelaw’s “short, sharp shock”?
17 PHILIPPI (H PI PI PI L)* From Wikipedia: The Battle of Philippi was the final battle in the Wars of the Second Triumvirate between the forces of Mark Antony and Octavian (the Second Triumvirate) against the forces of Julius Caesar’s assassins Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus in 42 BC, at Philippi in Macedonia.
23 FED UP ??? I don’t get this. “Brilliant clue to the back teeth (3,2)”. You can be “fed up to the back teeth”, but where does “brilliant” come in?

17 Responses to “Guardian 244,67/Araucaria”

  1. Pasquale says:

    Fed up = def (slang word for brilliant).

  2. Eileen says:

    I enjoyed this – though I’m still working on 23dn, too. [Is it domething to do with ‘definition’? < fed?] Now confirmed by Pasquale, thanks, while I was typing this!

    Several mathematical-sounding clues: 5ac, 17dn [another Classical battle!] and 6dn, which I really liked.

    [Andrew, I think it is a William pear.]

  3. Andrew says:

    Thanks Pasquale, I’d never heard of def=brilliant. Trust Araucaria to be well up on hip-hop slang.

    Eileen – it’s Williams Pear (after a Mr Williams) according to both Collins and Wikipedia.

  4. Eileen says:

    Sorry, Andrew. I’ve always known it as a ‘William’ and therefore didn’t look it up. You’re right, of course. A pity, because it’s a great clue!

  5. Amnesiac says:

    However, confusingly, the liqueur made from Williams pears is Poire William…

  6. Andrew says:

    Maybe a back-formation from William’s with a greengrocer’s apostrophe…

    (Which reminds me that I recently saw “Cactu’s Pear’s” on sale at a stall in Cambridge Market.)

  7. mhl says:

    Goodness, it turns out I know nothing about fruit. Conference pears? The avocado is a pear? Still, all very educational, and the latter reminded me of one of the lines in Andy Riley’s “Great Lies To Tell Small Kids”: “The tomato is not technically a vegetable. Actually it’s a type of dolphin.”

  8. John says:

    Andrew; 23 dn is an anag of “pi” three times, plus “h” for height, and “l” for 50.
    Re tomato. What’s the difference between knowledge and wisdom? Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting custard on it.

  9. John says:

    Sorry Andrew. I see now that your query was about 23 dn not 17 dn.

  10. John says:

    However 9 ac is correct. It’s “FT” in “one” round* = “comes many times”.

  11. John says:

    I’m having a bad day. I meant “FT” with “one” off* round it = “comes many times”.
    I’m going for a lie down in a darkened room…

  12. Andrew says:

    John, I see what you mean, but if you’re right I don’t like “comes many times” as a definition of OFTEN.

    The online version apologises for not being able to display the symbols for pi and plus in 23dn (it says “our tool cannot input these”); as a result that was the first clue I looked at (and solved).

  13. muck says:

    1ac WILLIAM: I had Poire William too.

  14. beermagnet says:

    I suggest 9A is very sound:
    Newspaper’s one-off round comes many times (5)
    Reworded for emphasis:
    Newpaper has one (anagrammed) around (it), (be)comes many times
    So, “many times” is the definition, FT inside (ONE)* is the mechanics of the subsidiary clue, and “comes” is a strong link word used in its sense of “becomes”.

  15. Geoff says:

    Some great clues in this most entertaining puzzle. 10ac stumped me for a while because I has mis-parsed the clue as ‘Support film’ = B (movie) and ‘garden tool’ = RAKE and I couldn’t find a bird to complete the phrase. Really clever misdirection.
    6,24 is wonderful.

  16. JimboNWUK says:

    I did the same as Geoff for 10ac and even when I spotted the BRA bit for ‘support’ it still took a minute or so for me to extract the “film with bird” part!

    Completely unimpressed with 15dn though – I knew it was a name of a novel but even a tiny hint towards which of the bllions in print would have been slightly fairer, especially when using a French abbreviation to cheat in the title. Hmph!

    BTW I guessed the William Pear but what is a ‘wooden’ one?

  17. Andrew says:

    From Wikipedia again: “Xylomelum is a genus of five species in the plant family Proteaceae. They are native to Australia, growing in the form of tall shrubs and trees. The genus includes at least two species with the common name woody pear, Xylomelum pyriforme in the eastern states of Australia, and Xylomelum occidentale in Western Australia.” Apparently “wooden pear” is an alternative name. Neither form is in Chambers as far as I can see.

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