Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,699 (Araucaria)

Posted by diagacht on May 14th, 2009


Fairly straightforward. You might even say it’s a complete state!

7 APPRAISAL: (RA (arist) + IS) in APPAL
8 NIPPY: double definition
9 DRESS CODE: (S (Scotland) + CO (Cobalt)) in DRESDE(n) (German city without name)
10 CLOSE: double defintion
13 NEARSIDE: anagram of IN RED SEA
17 TERRACE: (mas)TER RACE; motherless
20 COCANADA: CO-CANADA (fellow American country)
22 SQUARE: double definition
24 COWER: COW + ER (hesitating)
25 BEER BELLY: BEER (can be made of Rye) + BY (access) with ELL (two English pounds); not sure about this one!
26 EGEUS: EG (for example) + SUE (reversed); Hermia’s father in Greek mythology
27 VALENTINE: double definition; as in Feb 14 and as in one of the two gentlemen of Verona in Shakespeare’s play (the other being Proteus)
1 SPIRIT: double defintion
2 CRESCENT: C (hundred = many) + anagram of CENTRES
3 CIRCUS: U (turn) in CIRCS (shortened form of circumstances)
4 GARDENS: G (good) + ARDEN (forest) + S (start of Sleeping)
5 FIELDS: as in W. C. Fields (1880-1946)
6 EPISODIC: EPIC around (I SOD (a single turf))
15,11 THOROUGHFARE: THO’ ROUGH FARE (even if food is crude)
16 ROAD: homophone for ‘rowed’
18 ROULETTE: OUR (reversed) + LETTE(r) (without right)
19 LANEWAY: ANEW (again) with LAY about; also LANE or WAY (two thoroughfares) or LANEWAY (just one)
22 STREET: anagram of SETTER

44 Responses to “Guardian 24,699 (Araucaria)”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Diagacht.

    I came late to this today, then found it hard to get started – 15,11 took me much longer than it should have!

    I’m with you on BEER BELLY being unsatisfactory. ‘Beer’ is not what immediately springs to mind from Rye. The letters of RYE are in the solution, which is what I was working on. I think there’s perhaps something we’re missing.

    However, the one that’s really bugging me is 12 ac, which must be ATHENS [that’s where Egeus lived – in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’] – but why? [Did you omit it deliberately? :-)]

  2. IanN14 says:

    It’s “a” then “s”

  3. IanN14 says:

    I think “beer belly” is Rye + E Lb twice.
    But I don’t think “accessible” is a good anagrind.

  4. brr says:

    Could the English pounds be E + Lb ? Two of those plus RYE.

  5. Eileen says:

    Thank you so much, Ian! [I think I’ve seen this before.]

  6. Eileen says:

    Thanks again, Ian and BRR, re BEER BELLY. I’m sure you’re right.

  7. don says:

    Nefoedd wen, iaith nef!

  8. Gaufrid says:

    Would you please supply a translation of your comment #7 for the benefit of those of us who don’t speak Welsh.

  9. Ralph G says:

    #7 above; Good heavens, the language of heaven. (Welsh, of course). Perhaps Don will return and explain the relevance.

  10. Eileen says:

    I presume it’s to 1dn.

  11. Ralph G says:

    12a ATHENS. Thanks, Ian.
    10a CLOSE. Easy clue, but what is the ‘(or not)’ doing?

  12. Matt says:

    re 10a Doesnt the or not mean that a traditional Close isn’t usually a throughfare because its only got one way in?

  13. Ralph G says:

    #10 above. Thanks Eileen. Yes, of course. I don’t remember seeing any Welsh in a clue before, names apart.

  14. IanN14 says:


    I think it’s implying that “closes” aren’t usually thoroughfares.

  15. IanN14 says:

    Sorry Matt, too slow…

  16. Geoff says:

    I found this one rather tricky to get started, but once I had a few likely solutions to some of the linked clues I spotted the theme and got going properly. But it was a while before I solved 15,11!

    I had VILLAS for 5dn, without any explanation other than semantic association. FIELDS is clearly right, albeit rather rare as a ‘street’ name.

    12ac is wonderful: I needed all the crossing letters to solve this clue, and then laughed out loud when I saw why. Like Eileen, I’m surprised not to have seen this one before.

  17. IanN14 says:

    Just one more thing…

    diagacht, what did you mean by “complete state”?

  18. Eileen says:

    Ralph, mentioning Welsh place names, you reminded me of a clue that drove me mad for ages – last to go in in a Paul prize puzzle [24,499, I’ve discovered]: ‘tailless beast outside pub, one in Glyn-Neath [6]’

    [Geoff, I said I thought I *had* seen it before – easy to say, I know, once I know the answer! Between that and BEER BELLY, I think I was still half-asleep this morning.]

    Ian, I’m glad you asked that …

  19. Dave Ellison says:

    Unusually, (having got none first time through) I then got the pivotal 15, 11, but took ages to get the references to it.

    12ac I chuckled out loud, too; one of the better clues for a long time.

    26 ac EGREUS The theme of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is, according to Wikepedia, of law versus love; so an apposite clue, not quite an &lit?

  20. Eileen says:

    PS Geoff: I suppose the Champs-Elysées is the most famous example :-)

  21. Eileen says:

    Hurrah1 – I have found it! Not quite the same [and I found lots more different clues for Athens – bless the 15² and Guardian archives!] but this is the one that rang a bell.
    2nd. January 2009: Araucaria 24,603, a puzzle with the theme of [unclued] capital cities:
    “How row starts on keyboard”

  22. JimboNWUK says:

    PPS to Geoff…

    I would venture to suggest that STRAWBERRY fields is an even MORE famous example and wih the added benifit it being in English…

  23. Eileen says:

    JimboNWUK, funnily enough, I thought of that, too, but, when I looked it up, I was surprised to find it was a house, not a road.

  24. diagacht says:

    Sorry IanN14, I was being a bit silly – my comment that it was a ‘complete state’ was a pointer to thoroughfare, the theme of the puzzle.

  25. Ian P says:

    Quite a hard one to finish on the tube, I thought (and indeed didn’t, having to go back for a second look later).

  26. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog. Didn’t quite finish this and also had VILLAS for FIELDS. Like some others, I got the theme much quicker than 15,11 itself.

    re 20ac Canadians would be horrified to hear their country described as a ‘fellow-American country’!

    12ac is a very nice clue.

  27. cholecyst says:

    5 dn. = fields. Rare in UK? See above. What about Lincolns Inn Fields? (Not sure about the apostrophe!)

  28. Ralph G says:

    18 Above. Thanks for the ‘Welsh clue’, Eileen.
    Incidentally, I admire your efforts on behalf of the true and original curate’s egg. I hope you have better luck than I’ve had on behalf of ‘inchoate’.

  29. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Re 9 Across: S(Scotland)+ CO(cobalt)?
    Why not just SCO as a small part (= an element)of the word ‘Scottish’?
    Looks more natural to me.

  30. don says:

    “A little learning is a dangerous thing …”

    Reading 1 down as ‘Scotch “spirit” ‘, I put in ‘whisky’, which messed up my morning effort and have had to come back to finish off. Heaven forbid I had to rely on my very limited knowledge of Shakespeare/Greek mythology to get from ‘Egeus’ to ‘Athens’ to sort that out.

    Like others, I got most of the themed answers, before solving 15,11, which was excellently clued.

    With regard to ‘hwyl’ in 1 down, I still think it unfair for setters to expect solvers to know foreign languages – and Welsh is ‘foreign’ even to most Welsh people, in the sense of not being familiar with the language. It always seems laziness on the settters part to resort to non-English words.

  31. Dave Ellison says:

    Sil, #29, I had thoughts of Strontium (from Strontian) for the Scottish element, but to no avail. Your suggestion also seems good to me.

  32. Eileen says:

    Don re comment 30: “With regard to ‘hwyl’ in 1 down, I still think it unfair for setters to expect solvers to know foreign languages – and Welsh is ‘foreign’ even to most Welsh people, in the sense of not being familiar with the language.”

    Are you the same ‘Don’ who posted comment 7??

    I did know ‘hwyl’, most probably from following rugby and – dreaded phrase – it is in Chambers.

    Ralph: thank you. I’ll leave ‘inchoate’ to you for the moment. I have several other campaigns ahead of that!

  33. don says:

    Ie/yes. Pam/why?

  34. don says:

    As you say, Eileen, it’s a dreaded phrase. Few would think to look a word like ‘hwyl’ up in an English dictionary (I didn’t know it was in Chambers until you said) and, on a train, bus or tube, in a cafe, etc., few would have the opportunity. Are crosswords only to be solved by those at home with dictionaries and, now, the internet?

  35. dagnabit says:

    From the Was My Face Red department, cross-referenced under “A little learning is a dangerous thing” (U.S. version), I parsed 25 embarrassingly as follows:

    “accessible” = NEAR
    “with” = W
    “two English pounds” = E LL’S (I know, I know, the S is superfluous, but bear with me)

    Thus, my answer was NEAR WELLS. Why, you may ask? Because I learned (or thought I did) from Wikipedia that Rye is not far from Tunbridge Wells, and speculated that this supposed proximity might conceivably be a “prominent feature of Rye.” Then, to make matters worse, I speculated into the bargain that the local residents might just conceivably abbreviate the name of Tunbridge Wells to simply Wells.

    On a positive note, I got everything else except EGEUS. :)

  36. Eileen says:

    Don: you seem to have ignored the first part of my comment 32. [If comment 33 is a response, I don’t understand it.] You post a comment in Welsh [#7]and fail to respond to Gaufrid’s request [#8] to elucidate and then complain about Welsh cluing, in defence of us non-Welsh speakers! ?

    Dagnabit: nothing at all to be red-faced about. My thinking was also along the lines of E LL [pounds sterling, rather than lbs weight] and I admire your research into the geography of the South West of England. In view of the dual Celtic implications of 1dn [see above] if EGEUS is the only one you didn’t get, I’m impressed!

  37. Eileen says:

    Uh oh, of course I meant South East!!

  38. don says:

    My apologies Eileen, but I thought Ralph at message No 9:

    “#7 above; Good heavens, the language of heaven.
    (Welsh of course). Perhaps Don will return and
    explain the relevance.”

    and your message No 10:

    “I presume it’s to 1dn.”

    said it all. I _presumed_ your ‘presume’ was just you expressing yourself politely.

    Yes, it was referring to 1 down and, as you know, I don’t like non-English language in English language newspapers. I think it’s sloppy on the part of setters and unfair on monoglot solvers.

    Why didn’t I return as requested? As I said above, I read 1 down as ‘Scotch “spirit” ‘ and put in ‘whisky’ as my first answer. That meant I was stuck on the top left-hand side and didn’t finish until I came home this evening.

  39. Chunter says:

    Bore da,

    Hwyl: I know ‘hwyl’ and solved the clue immediately (but then, like Eileen, I’m a rugby follower).

    In such matters it’s often worth visiting World Wide Words. It has articles about Welsh words in general, ‘hwyl’ in particular and a review of a book about ‘untranslatable’ words.

    Hwyl fawr

  40. Chunter says:

    Apologies for missing out a colon in my recent comment. The link is ‘hwyl’ in particular.

    [It would be nice to have a way of previewing comments!]

  41. dagnabit says:

    Eileen, thank you. Until I looked at Wikipedia I would not have known whether Rye and Tunbridge Wells were in the southwest or the southeast! As for “hwyl,” I also learned about it for the first time yesterday, coincidentally by visiting the very same link Chunter provided several hours ago.

  42. Michael says:

    Please could someone explain how ‘as spelt’ gives Athens. Thanks.

  43. Gaufrid says:

    This question was asked in comment #1 and answered in comment #2, ‘as’ is spelt A then S.

  44. FlutterBy says:

    No-one will ever read this comment, however I want to add my vote for 12ac (ATHENS) being a brilliant clue. I got the answer via EGEUS, then stared at the clue for a long time without getting it. When I saw the explanation on this blog I grinned in admiration. Perfectly fair once you see it – absolutely classic Araucaria.

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