Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,514/Araucaria – present and correct

Posted by Andrew on October 8th, 2008


A birthday treat for me – blogging Araucaria. Not too hard by his standards, though there were a few tricky areas and one rather obscure answer at 5dn.

dd = double definition
* = anagram
< = reverse

1. STOCKING FILLER COST* + (NG IF<) in KILLER. Not usually a birthday present but quite apt for me anyway.
9. SALIERI LIE in SARI – the composer who (most unjustly) appears as the villain in Peter Shaffer’s play (and film) Amadeus.
11. EVENS (el)EVEN’S. EL=Railway or line seems to have come up a lot lately – it’s a reference to the Elevated railways in some American cities. “This number” refers to the number of the clue.
12. HALF HITCH Refence to hitch-hiking, and to a type of knot (“not, say”). I don’t really like these reverse homophoines, but the meaning here is clear enough. I remember learning how to tie a “round turn and two half-hitches” in the cubs several years ago..
13. SOLDIER ON SOLDERING IRON less RING, and then “slightly adjusted”
14. CHAFF dd
15. NOVEL dd
17. ARBORETUM A R BORE TUM. “Tum” is your “inside”
22. EQUAL Hidden
23. SUBARID I was trying to find a place called Subarid, then realised it was really “sub-arid”, i.e. “near-desert”. SUD is French for South and BARI is a resort in Southern Italy
24. MATTHEW MATT (not glossy) + HEW (cut)
26. KEYHOLE SURGERY KEY HOLES URGE RY. I think it’s a weakness that KEYHOLE has pretty much the same sense in both the answer and the wordplay, especially as it’s such a large part of the phrase. I was wrong here – see Richard’s comment below.

1. SYSTEMS ANALYST (LAST NASTY MESSY)*. A term not often used these days for someone whose job is to specify what a computer system should do, for someone else to program.
2. OIL WELL dd
4. NEITHER Hidden – rather a vague indication.
5. FENELON NÉ in FELON “François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon, more commonly known as François Fénelon (6 August 1651–7 January 1715), was a French Roman Catholic theologian, poet and writer.” Thanks, Wikipedia…
6. LUNCH L’UN CH. Carrying over a bit of French from the previous clue.
7. ELECTRA ELECT RA. Ra is the familiar Sun god. The Electra complex is the equivalent of the Oedipus complex with the sexes reversed.
8. IN THE FAMILY WAY I nearly gave up trying to work out the wordplay here, but got there in the end: it’s AM I (“is setter”) in FLY (a horse-drawn carriage), all in IN THE WAY.
14. CARPENTER To welcome little fishes, you might say: “Carp, enter!”
17. ARUNDEL A RUN LED<. Arundel is in Suffolk, and Arundel Castle is the home of the Duke of Norfolk.
19. TOUGHIE TO UGH IE. “To ugh” is “to comment on the repulsive”.
21. LURCH dd – you can be left in the lurch.

7 Responses to “Guardian 24,514/Araucaria – present and correct”

  1. Eileen says:

    Happy Birthday, Andrew! – and thanks for the explanation of 16dn, which I couldn’t qute see[!]

    As you say, a nice start to your day: lots of ingenious clues, as usual. I particularly liked 17dn [surely an &lit?]

  2. Richard Thayer says:

    Isn’t 25ac key-holes (significant – openings), which is surely diffent from keyholes? Fairly easy but as usual very satisfying puzzle. Thanks for such a rapid blog.

  3. Andrew says:

    Richard: thanks, you’re right – blog corrected.

  4. Dave Ellison says:

    A fairly easy A today. Got a bit held up in bottom right, as I thought for a while 14d must be forrester, but couldn’t work out why. It fitted with all the other letters I had got at that stage

  5. Berny says:

    Minor quibble – According to Wiki Arundel is in West Sussex and the Arundel succession is currently held by the Duke of Norfolk

    Think quotes in 14D hint at Carroll’s walrus who ‘welcomes little fishes in with gently smiling jaws’

  6. mhl says:

    Happy birthday, Andrew! Thanks for the excellent blog. My only real sticking point here was with SUBARID and VISIBLE, for some reason thinking in the latter that “bearing” must indicate “putting below” rather than “enclosing”…

    Berny: I didn’t spot that Carroll reference while doing the puzzle, but I think the quoted line is from “How Doth the Little Crocodile” rather than “The Walrus and the Carpenter”… (Although it might well have been :))

  7. Shed says:

    Can I speak up in defence of Peter Shaffer? Amadeus is a play, not a documentary, and the action takes place in the imagination of Salieri, who is mad. So it’s hardly fair to complain about historical inaccuracies. Excellent blog otherwise, and now I know what Norfolk was doing in 17dn.

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