Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,599 (Sat 17 Jan)/Araucaria – Auf Wiedersehen Monty

Posted by rightback on January 24th, 2009


Solving time: 11:45

A sports mini-theme this week, with QUESTION[s] OF SPORT including ANYONE FOR TENNIS, APPEAL and HOW’S THAT. I found this about medium difficulty with some nice clues but one or two dubious surface readings. I’m a little puzzled over 24ac, 5dn and 16dn.

Music of the day: see 21ac!

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

1 JET-SKI; JETS + K1 – the Jets in West Side Story are based on the Montagues from Romeo and Juliet, and K1 is the king’s home square in chess (with the remainder of the king’s file being K2, K3 etc).
4 EGG CUP; E.G. (= ‘say’) + G.C. (= George Cross = ‘medal’) + UP (= ‘out of bed’)
9 ANYONE FOR TENNIS; (NY[l]ON + E + FORTE) in ANNIS – this article from The Times describes Francesca Annis as ‘never-quite-famous’, which makes me feel better for not having heard of her.
11 HOW’S THAT; W[ith] in HOST + HAT – as a bowler would ask of a cricket umpire.
12 PROPER + T[hank] Y[ou]
14 YONDER (hidden)
15 PLAY UP (2 defs)
18 PATIENCE (2 defs) – the opera by Gilbert and Sullivan.
21 O(N)THER + U.N. – Araucaria will be kicking himself that he missed a chance to reference Monty Mole of ‘Monty on the Run‘ fame. The Commodore 64 version (and possibly other platforms) featured one of the all-time great theme tunes: you can hear an orchestral arrangement of Rob Hubbard’s classic here.
22 AUTU(M)N – Autun is a Commune in Burgundy.
24 QUESTION OF SPORT; QUEST + (FOR SPOON IT)* – this is the ‘theme’ answer, but I’m not sure I quite understand it. The only use of the phrase I know is in the quiz show, which went rapidly downhill when David Coleman left and has never recovered, but that has an extra word (‘A’) and I’m not sure about the definiton ‘does it have social benefits?’ – perhaps that’s a question you might ask about sport, hence a ‘question of sport’?
26 BLAZ[e] + O,N
1 JUN + I + PER
3 K + NELL + E.R. – I think this is Sir Godfrey Kneller: this would explain ‘lady friend’ = NELL (Gwyn), who was mistress of Charles II, whom Sir Godrey painted. If I’ve understand that correctly it’s a nice clue!
5 GATEWAY; GAY (= ‘not straight’) around rev. of (A WET) – in politics, a ‘wet’ is a moderate conservative, but I don’t know what ‘into government site’ means with regard to the definition.
7 PRIMATE (2 defs)
8 P(O,CH)AY – CH = Companion of Honour, hence ‘companion’. ‘Pochay’ is short for ‘post-chaise’.
16 LANGUID; L’AN + GUID – well done if you got any of this from the wordplay! It took me ages to understand after I’d finished the puzzle, but I think it’s ‘the year’ and ‘satisfactory’ in French and Scottish respectively (hence ‘neighbours rendering’) – although that does seem to assume that the solver is in England, which wasn’t the case for me!
17 PURVIEW; (UR + VI) in PEW – the prefix ‘ur-‘ means ‘original’, as in ‘urtext’.
18 PEN + AN + G – George Town is the capital of the Malyasian state Penang.
19 TEARFUL; (FAULT RE)* – not keen on the splitting required here (‘fault rehashed’ = ‘anag. of FAULT + RE’).
23 TOP + A + Z – strange surface reading.

6 Responses to “Guardian 24,599 (Sat 17 Jan)/Araucaria – Auf Wiedersehen Monty”

  1. TwoPies says:

    Thanks rightback, excellent blog. The Government Gateway is a website where you can apply for a passport, view your pension details etc.

  2. Derek Lazenby says:

    Not good with xhtml, so I may have the tags wrong….

    I’m not seriously suggesting that 1ac is ageist, but if you were to go into serious nit picking mode you could make a case for that.

    It is incorrect that K1 is the home square for the King. It used to be many years ago, but nowadays it is e1 or e8, depending on which king you are talking about. As it is several decades since the notation was changed only an older person could be expected to know this. The casual younger chess player would not be aware of the old notation. Younger non-players who rely on accidently seeing chess columns in the papers for their chess knowlege will certainly not know this.


  3. Ralph G says:

    Thanks, Rightback for the blog. I didn’t get the explanaion for 16d languid. Completely overlooked ‘neighbours rendering’, standard synonym for translating.
    Agree with Derek L. above on K1 at 1d being obsolete.
    Thankyou TwoPies for the ‘Govt Gateway’ explanation.
    Re 24a ‘does it have social benefit?’ – this is a question that the Charity Commission now asks of all charities, and many sports clubs have registered as charities for the tax benefits. But this seems a bit esoteric.

  4. Roger Murray says:

    I felt pretty good about figuring the word play for languid and finishing this puzzle but then was totally stumped by the midweek Araucaria. Consistency will come one day, I hope!

  5. rightback says:

    K1 vs e1/e8: I wondered if this would attract any comment, but I don’t agree that ‘K1′ is incorrect. I was born in the 80s but ‘K1′ is the notation I always used and still do, or rather would if I ever played these days, so I’ll defend Araucaria on this, for once!

    Thanks for the ‘Gateway’ explanation. This is an easy word to make a mistake on as it’s an anagram of, and shares the same odd letters (hence checking letters here) as ‘getaway’.

  6. smutchin says:

    I’m not a chess player, hence had no qualms over whether or not “K1″ was correct terminology – it didn’t stop me getting the correct solution, anyway.

    Agree that the surface of 23d is strange, but again not a difficult one to solve in spite of that.

    19d got me – I thought “rehashed” was the anagram indicator, so was looking for an anagram of AT + FAULT. With no joy, I might add. Hmph.

    I wouldn’t have got 16d if I’d stared at it solidly all week. Too clever by half.

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