Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Genius 66: Animals, by Araucaria

Posted by jetdoc on January 5th, 2009


I found this puzzle fun to do, once I got the hang of how it worked. In each across clue, the definition gives a word containing either ASS, PIG, EWE or CAT; the subsidiary part gives a non-word (in most cases) with a different one of the animals; before writing it in the grid, you need to change the animal yet again.

As always with Araucaria, some of the clues are not for the Ximenean purist — I particularly like ‘Tendulkar out’ to give SACH in 26a.

Unfortunately, both this and the November Genius have appeared rather bizarrely set in Courier, which is a bit offputting. It would be nice if they could be properly typeset.

  Defined answer Subsidiary part gives… Grid entry
1 BREWERY (Supplier of drink) BRASSERY — BRASS = money; RY = (railway) line. BRPIGERY
5 THE WEST (whence Young Lochinvar came out, in the poem by Sir Walter Scott) THCATST — THAT’S; around C = number; T = end of Scott THASSST
9 UP I GO (I’m ascending) UASSO — hidden in ‘Mantua’s solar observatory’. UCATO
10 DECATHLON (event) DEASSHLON — S = society; SH = call for silence; in DEAL = business; ON = continuing DEEWEHLON
11 CHAMPIGNON (fungus) CHAMASSNON — HAMAS = Palestinians; SN = Poles (some might say the leading cap is invalid here); in CON = trick CHAMEWENON
12 EWER (jug) PIGR — PI = Good; GR = King George CATR
13 CATKIN (flowers) EWEKIN — E = English; Wrekin (a hill in Shropshire) minus R PIGKIN
15 JEWELLED (stoned) JCATLLED — J = first of June; CALLED, about T = time JASSLLED
18 GAS STOVE (cooker) GEWETOVE — GET OVE[r]; keeping WE = Guardian GCATTOVE
19 SPIGOT (peg) SCATOT — SCOT = Jock; TA reversed SASSOT
22 CATO (The Cato Street Conspiracy was an attempt to murder all the British cabinet ministers and Prime Minister Lord Liverpool in 1820) PIGO — serpigo (ringworm) minus ‘ser’ EWEO
23 TRESPASSES (Offences) TRESPEWEES — SPEW = are sick; E = point; in TREES TRESPPIGES
26 SASSENACH (Englishman) SPIGENACH — SACH = Tendulkar out (Sachin not ‘in’); PIGE[o]N = bird (no duck) SCATENACH
27 CATER (Provide for) PIGER — John Pilger, minus L EWEER
28 SEA BASS (Fish) SEA BEWE — SEWE[r] = drain, not river; outside ABE SEA BPIG
29 PIGTAIL (One of hair or bit of hair) CATTAIL — Beater’s (‘cat’ in the sense of ‘cat-o’-nine-tails’) bit of hair, I think ASSTAIL
1 BLUECAP Blue and cap are both sporting awards. Bluecap is a one-year-old salmon, with blue-spotted head.
2 PLAZA A Plaza is a public square. The Duke of Plaza-Toro is a character in The Gondoliers by Gilbert and Sullivan, and ‘toro’ is a call to a bull.
3 GEODESIST GEO = short for George, so ‘small boy’; DESIST = stop.
4 YODELER *(ery old)
5 TEETOTAL TEE = starting point; TOT = drink; AL = a novice. Nice clue.
7 SYLLABLES *(less); BALLY, reversed.
8 TANCRED TAN = sunburn; CRED = respect (as in ‘street cred’). Tancred, Prince of Galilee, a leader of the First Crusade.
14 GUATEMALA GALA = celebration; *(a mute).
16 SHARPNESS A port on the River Severn in Gloucestershire.
17 OVERHANG *(her); OVA = eggs; NG = no good. Double meaning of ‘beetle’.
18 GUESSES GUS = another little boy; ESSE = being.
20 TESTRIL TEST = River Test, in Hampshire; RIL = ‘rill’ incomplete. Old word for a sixpence (2½p).
21 ASTHMA *(a maths)
24 GRETA Both Greta and Peg are short forms of Margaret, but I don’t know where Tees fits in. Thanks to Andrew for pointing out the Greta is a tributary of the Tees.
25 PEEP Double definition: ‘watch’ and ‘the birdie’s comment’.

8 Responses to “Guardian Genius 66: Animals, by Araucaria”

  1. Andrew says:

    Thanks for the blog jetdoc, especially the explanation of 26ac, where I got the answer but had no idea why it was right…

    Generally I found this one very hard going: it took me several sessions over the month, and I just managed to get it done before the deadline (interrupted somewhat by all the Christmas offerings).

    24 dn – the Greta is a tributary of the River Tees.

  2. Duncan Shiell says:

    Definitely a fun crossword – once, as you say, I got the hang of what was going on with the animals. I was aware of PIG and EWE fairly early on, CAT came next and finally ASS.

    I think you may have a typo in the ‘entry’ for 10 across. I think it is DEEWEHLON

  3. jetdoc says:

    Thanks, Duncan. It was a bit difficult typing in non-words.

  4. Duncan Shiell says:

    I’ve just been on The Guardian site to download January’s Genius and note that you have to click on the link in the right hand column ‘Genius Crossword for 5 January’ to get the right one – No 67.

    If you click on the link in the left hand column ‘This month’s Genius crossword’ you get another offering of Genius 64 by Locum. No doubt it will get corrected.

  5. Tom Hutton says:

    This was a cracking crossword. I don’t usually do hard ones but being Christmas and having obliging rellies to hand, we had a go. It was great fun but amazingly dificullt to get the hang of the method.

  6. mhl says:

    It took me a lot of down clues (and a lot of time) before figuring out what the four animals must be, but after that this one went fairly fast. In case anyone hadn’t seen the crossword editor’s latest newsletter, apparently Araucaria described this puzzle as being “of a sort that he himself would never dream of trying to solve”. :)

  7. John Dean says:

    jetdoc Says:
    January 5th, 2009 at 4:43 pm
    Thanks, Duncan. It was a bit difficult typing in non-words.

    - It must have been. Thanks for persevering. I was chuffed to complete the puzzle but glad to see some explanantions. Another typing correction you need is BRPIGRY at 1 ac.
    I misled myself for a while with 1 d, having ‘U’ pretty certainly as the second letter I recollected that ‘laurel’ is a stage of the salmon’s life cycle and almost convinced myself that ‘laurels’ was the answer before I saw ‘bluecap’.

  8. Philbo says:

    Wow! I thought I was pretty good at these. Took me about 2 months off and on, to get this one 2/3 done. Humbling!

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