Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,550 (Araucaria)

Posted by diagacht on November 19th, 2008

diagacht.
Across
1 DORIS DAY: DOR (as in d’or, of gold, golden) + IS (lives) + DAY (period); actress in Calamity Jane film of 1953
5 SHUCKS: HUCK in SS
9 NUNEATON: NUN EAT ON. Town nine miles north of Coventryadcast) + G
10 ELAPSE: anagram of ASLEEP
12,6 BLACK HILLS: LACK in BH + ILLS. In Dakota./td>
13 ADAM SMITH: A DAM (mother) + SMITH (to forge); the chap who replaced Elgar on the new £20 note
14 SLASH-AND-BURN: SLASH (oblique) + anagram of UN BRAND
18 VAINGLORIOUS: anagram of LOG IN in VARIOUS
21 LOCH LOCHY: LOCH (water) + LOCH (water, making waters) + Y (your first)
24 THIEVE: anagram of HIT + EVE
25 VALUABLE: LAV (reversed) + anagram of A BLUE
26 DAKOTA: Referring to the war plane and to north and south Dakota
27,23 DEADWOOD STAGE: DEADWOOD (useless) + STAGE. Refers again to Calamity Jane
Down
1 DANUBE: A NUB in DE (of French)
2 RUNWAY: RUNaWAY without the central ‘a’
3 SPARK PLUG: SPARK (set off) + PLUG (publicity)
4 A WOMANS TOUCH: A song from Calamity Jane
7 CAPSICUM: CAP (cover) + SIC (that’s right) + UM (hesitation)
8 SEETHING: SEE THING
11 CALAMITY JANE: (AMITY (friendship) + JA) in CALNE (Wiltshire town)
15 DRUG SQUAD: D + RUGS + QUAD (kind of bike)
16 OVULATED: anagram of LOVAT DUE
17 MISCLICK: M (leader of mouse) + IS + CLICK (kind of beetle)
19 BAMBOO: I think this is BAMBOOzle (as in begin to cheat) with BAMBOO being a grass and BAMBOO curtain being the so called political barrier of Chinese communism
20 BEHEAD: HE in BEAD
22 LOVAT: LO (see, behold) + VAT

18 Responses to “Guardian 24,550 (Araucaria)”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thank you for a great blog, Diagacht. I enjoyed this but found it quite hard to get started.

    12,6: ‘The black hills of Dakota’ is also a song in ‘Calamity Jane’.

    ['I read 13ac as A DAM SMIT [struck] H[ard]]

  2. diagacht says:

    Eileen, I think you are right about 13a. Sometimes I just take the first answer that looks sensible; I should look a little longer.

  3. Shirley says:

    Great crossword and surprisingly easy for Araucaria.
    I’m afraid I’d never heard of Misclick 17D.I assume it means when you click on the wrong thing with your mouse on the internet?

  4. Eileen says:

    I’m sure you’re right, Shirley – I do it all the time! My problem was not having heard of click beetles!

  5. Geoff Moss says:

    17d Is it not unusual for Araucaria to use a word (misclick) that doesn’t appear in any of the three standard references? In fact, the only on-line dictionary that has it as an entry is urbandictionary.com which is a site where users make up their own words and definitions.

  6. mhl says:

    I’d agree, Geoff. It’s not in the most recent Chambers, Collins or the OED – I forget which other dictionaries Hugh Stephenson considers to support use of a word in the crossword, but it seems very weak to me. Also, I don’t quite see how the definition part works – is the idea that a faulty mouse might be prone to misclick?

  7. mhl says:

    “Calamity Jane” as a theme strikes me as very difficult for a daily crossword.

  8. don says:

    19 Down Always find Araucaria’s three-pat clues puzzling. It was the last one I put in before ‘checking’ then ‘cheating’ on Loch Lochy – I’ve never heard if it.

  9. don says:

    Sorry, ‘three-part’!

  10. mhl says:

    Actually, I realise my comments above sound wholly negative about the crossword, when of course there was a lot to enjoy here… Is the film worth seeing?

  11. Geoff Anderson says:

    Adam Smith – the ‘Smith’ isn’t ‘forge’ but HIT HARD = SMIT + H. Smit is an old past tense of ‘smite’ (smite – smit – smitten; as in write – writ – written)

    And a click beetle is a kind of beetle that can right itself from being on its back, which it does with a clicking noise.

  12. Tom Hutton says:

    A very nice crossword if you knew your Calamity Jane. The first two clues that met my eye were Loch Lochy and Lovat so I hoped for a Scottish theme. I suppose you could add Adam Smith to get a mini theme.

    Does elapse include fall among its definitions? I personally have never elapsed from my bicycle.

  13. Tom Hutton says:

    I was reminded that it was Adam Smith who said “a group of businessmen rarely get together without trying to hatch some conspiracy to defraud….” which looks like sound thinking these days.

  14. Geoff says:

    Like Shirley, I found this one very straightforward – unlike yesterday’s Brummie, but it helps if the theme is flagged up! And I’ve been doing Araucarias for thirty years, which probably helps…

    MISCLICK is a very Araucarian word – he may not be in the first flush of youth, but the good Rev is not averse to a modern coinage now and then. I liked the double use of ‘mouse’ in the clue. I had all the connecting letters before I solved 19dn, but it fell out quite easily thereafter, my entomology being up to the challenge.

    Isn’t ‘VAINGLORIOUS’ a lovely word?

  15. Ian Hinds says:

    Despite the fact that I started with Calamity Jane and realizing the theme, I nevertheless found the clues, especially 20d and 17d, tough going.

    11d was superbly clued and ranks high up with the very best with the likes of “Charge of the light brigade” (11,4)

    As ever with Araucaria it gave tremendous pleasure and pain in equal quantities.

  16. smutchin says:

    Mhl, Calamity Jane is a bona fide classic – and you probably know most of the songs without even realising it: Deadwood Stage (“Whip crack-away!”), Windy City, Secret Love, The Black Hills of Dakota, It’s Harry I’m Planning to Marry…

    Being a fan of the film, once I’d got 11dn, the rest of the themed clues came easily, which also helped fill in other parts of the grid, making this a relatively easy Araucaria for me.

    9ac made me smile.

  17. Paul (not Paul) says:

    Being a regular visiter to Scotland, I got Loch Lochy straight away. Amusingly, as it is part of the Caledonian canal, Loch Lochy is locked at its southern end. There is a gated road across the loch gates and sometimes the Loch Lochy loch gates are locked.

  18. Paul (not Paul) says:

    Oops that should be Loch Lochy lock gates…

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