Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,712 / Araucaria

Posted by mhl on May 29th, 2009


Mostly very doable, but with a few tough ones and a couple I don’t quite understand. The excellent charade in 21a, 1d, 2d is particularly noteworthy :)

1. SECATEURS SEC = “Little time” + (USE ART)*
6. SAKE Double definition
8. REPARTEE Not sure about this – REP ART = “Theatrical skill”, but how is “slips aside” = EE? Update: Thanks to Eileen, who points out that this is “Errors Excepted”
9. HEAVEN HEAVE = “Pull” + N = “pole”
10. STRIKE S = “second” + TRIKE = “vehicle”; “Come out” is “to stop work, strike” in Chambers
11. UP ON DECK POND = “Water” + EC = “city” in UK
12. CRITIC CRI = “French appeal as from the heart” (i.e. as in “cri de coeur”) + TIC = “nervous affliction” for the play “The Critic”
15. LIFELINE LI = “Distance of China” (about a third of a mile, says Chambers) + FELINE = “cat”
16. MILL RACE MILL = “Make grooves” + RACE = “people”
19. RIVALS “The Rivals”, “School for Scandal” and “The Critic” are all plays by Sheridan. I think “with” may be doing double duty here, since RIVALS means “competes with” and you need “with” to suggest inclusion in the set of plays…
21,1,2. SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT A lovely charade: S + WIN + GLOWS + WE + ETCH + A + RIOT
22. INSULT IN SU[ffolk] + LT = “officer”; to diss someone is to insult them
24,26. STREET CRED (REST)* + ETC = “and the rest” + RED = “embarrassed”
25. RAT-TRAPS PART in STAR all reversed, I guess, but I’ve no idea why this is “using pedals”? Update: Thanks to Eileen for explaining this: apparently rat-traps are a type of bicycle pedals
27. EASY RIDER EASY = “No problem” + RIDER = “corollary”
3. TITHE TIT = “Bird” + HE = “cock”?
4. UNEQUAL Hidden answer; “‘s” is a very Araucarian hidden answer indicator :)
5,6. SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL SCHOOL = “Fish” + FOAL = “horse” around RSC = “theatrical company” + AND = “with”
7. KIEL CANAL K = “king” + IE = “that’s” + (ALL)* around CAN = “vessel”
13. RAINWATER RAINER = “One of 8 (where 3 is RIVALS)”, referring to Green Grow The Rushes, O around WAT, short for “Walter” (as in Wat Tyler)
14,18. CHARLOTTE EDWARDS (WATCHED AT LORDS, RE)*, an excellent anagram for the current English women’s cricket captain
17. LINSEED SE = “southeast” in LINED = “with wrinkles”
20. VISORED SORE = “pain” (not quite right, surely?) in VI D = “sixpence”; the definition is “Capitally protected”

31 Responses to “Guardian 24,712 / Araucaria”

  1. Eileen says:

    Hi mhl – thanks for the blog. Enjoyable puzzle, as ever.

    EE = ‘errors excepted’ and RAT-TRAPS are a type of bicycle pedal.

  2. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    Bills issued by commercial establishments have E & O E somewhere at the bottom.

    That abbreviation expands to Errors & Omissions Excepted.

    I have never come across EE anywhere.

  3. Eileen says:

    Rishi: “It’s in Chambers” !! 😉

  4. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    Where and in which context is this abbr. used?

  5. Mick Hodgkin says:

    I’ve never come across it in normal use, but it could come in handy – as in “I have a 100 per cent record in solving the Guardian crossword (EE)”.

  6. Eileen says:

    Nice one, Mick!

    Rishi: Chambers doesn’t give a context. I would imagine it’s similar to the one you mention.

    Fairly soon after finding this site, I realised that investing in Chambers would be a good idea. Over the weeks and months, I have slowly [and rather reluctantly] grown more used to turning to it when faced, like this morning, with a couple of letters that don’t seem to make sense. I don’t always feel much satisfaction when I find them – and I still don’t often think of looking up words that I absolutely *know* the meaning of, to find them, in some obscure sense, buried at the end of a lengthy entry! Like you, I’ve never come across this abbreviation before – and probably never will again.

    [I did know RAT-TRAP!]

  7. mhl says:

    Thanks for the corrections – I’ve updated the post. Although trainbound this morning, I looked up EE in the online version of Chambers, saw “Errors Excepted” and somehow failed to make the connection – so I’m obviously not exactly on the ball today…

  8. mhl says:

    Oh, and rat-trap is in Chambers too! I’m really not doing well with basic comprehension today…

  9. Ian P says:

    I agree with MHL – do-able, but not a cakewalk.

    Maybe I liked it because it’s quite cross-cultural: Three Sheridan plays, a lady cricketer and a spiritual song, and that’s just to get you going…

  10. Arthur says:

    Didn’t love this one, but I have to agree that S-win-g Low S-we-et Ch-a-riot was very, very impressive. And definitely a lot harder than yesterday.

  11. liz says:

    Thanks, mhl. And to Eileen for explaining EE. I loved 21, 1dn, 2, and it was the first one I got. I suspected the cricket captain might be a woman, which helped with the anagram. My mistake was SAKI instead of SAKE — didn’t check back after I solved 9ac to make the connection. Green Grow the Rushes O seems to be an Araucaria favourite!

  12. Derek Lazenby says:

    IanP, given the obvious level difference between us a solvers, it made me feel a whole lot better about my miserable failure to see your comment “no cakewalk”. Ta, I feel better.

    So unlike yesterday’s expert who went off in a huff to find something harder, I went off and did the opposite and did the Quiptic instead. This of course blows my strategy of leaving it as an alternative to the prize xword tomorrow, dang!

  13. Uncle Yap says:

    Mark, you were late at the Edgar Wallace and I didn’t ‘see’ you until I took your picture at dinner and then asked who that bearded person sitting next to Niall MacSweeney was.
    Anyway, great blog and I chuckled aloud when that rugby song became apparent. I was at the Hong Kong Sevens a couple of years ago and someone told me this is the closest to the official hymn for the English team. Alas, they did not play well and were bundled out rather early.
    Nice ‘meeting’ you.
    (I shall be flying back to KL tomorrow)

  14. Ian P says:

    “IanP, given the obvious level difference between us a solvers, it made me feel a whole lot better about my miserable failure to see your comment “no cakewalk”. Ta, I feel better.”

    – Derek Lazenby

    ++++Anything to oblige! I thought it a decent work-out, and didn’t finish it within my target range – Notting Hill Gate to Tottenham Court Road on the Central Line. I was two stops further on going up the escalator at Chancery Lane (my stop, obviously) still not quite done. For some reason Mill Race eluded me right until the end.

  15. Tom Hutton says:

    I don’t think mill means to make grooves but Chambers probably says that it does.

    In play for critic seems a bit thin too.

    Enjoyed the battle with this one.

  16. Chunter says:

    Uncle Yap,

    SWSC is the offical ‘anthem’ of the England rugby team – see this report about the 2008 world cup (although you’d think a group called Blake might instead have recorded ‘Jerusalem’, which is also sung at matches).

  17. brr says:

    Notting Hill Gate to TCR – that’s some target. Even with the (un)reliability of the Central Line.

    I’m more of a “three times round the circle line” person, and as a result struggled horribly.

  18. Gaufrid says:

    For ‘mill’ Chambers has ‘furrow the edges of’ but Collins is more specific – ‘to groove or flute the edge of (a coin)’.

  19. Ralph G says:

    16a MILL and 15 above, ‘Mill’ does mean to make grooves in the edges of a coin, to prevent fraudulent filing of the edges.
    17a CRITIC, and 15 above, I think ‘play’ is OK for the name of a play esp. when this is a theme, but I’m not happy about the elimination of the definite article from “The Critic”. Araucaria was more respectful with “Die Meistersinger” at 19d in #24,496, where the article was mentioned in the clue.

  20. muck says:

    A milling machine is used to cut grooves, generally in metal.
    So ‘to mill’ is ‘to groove’.

  21. mhl says:

    Uncle Yap: likewise, great to meet you too!

  22. Gareth Rees says:

    All three plays (17a CRITIC; 5d,6d SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL and 19a RIVALS) are missing the initial article. I think this is fair enough: when fitting thematic entries into the grid, sometimes you need a bit of license. After solving these three I wasted a couple of minutes looking for SHERIDAN to appear in one of the 8-letter lights.

  23. Gareth Rees says:

    On “sore” vs “pain”, Chamber has the definition “sore n. … an affliction”, which seems adequate to me.

  24. Dagnabit says:

    Before lunch I stared at this for what felt like an hour and could get nothing. After lunch, and while drinking green tea, I figured out CRITIC (though wasn’t sure why) and the rest came slowly but steadily, with occasional help from Google and Wikipedia.

    I guess there’s something to be said for stoking the brain with victuals before attempting an Araucaria.

  25. Ralph G says:

    17a CRITIC, 22 above. Point conceded, Gareth.

  26. Ralph G says:

    16a MILL is interesting. Related of course to Latin MOLA, millstone, and ‘molar’ the grinding tooth. MOLINUS, MOLINA are post-classical, which is odd, as watermills were about in the classical world from the 3rd c BC for sure, and of quite sophisticated construction by the 1st c BC, ie with gear-wheels. The O Fr ‘molin’ > Mod Fr ‘moulin’ kept the ‘n’ as did the OE ‘mylen’, and the Welsh ‘melyn’ (normally encountered in the mutated form in ‘Heol Y Felin’, Mill Lane). English later dropped the ‘n’ and developed the meanings of ‘groove’ (vb) and factory building esp. for textile mills.

  27. C & J says:

    We loved 14, 18 down. Having for long complained that the English women did not get the press they deserved we went all round the nations before realising that it must be ‘Charlotte’.

  28. Barnaby Page says:

    I wasn’t convinced by “corollary” for “rider”, though it was a nice clue…

  29. Chunter says:

    14, 18d:

    I know what you mean. I went through all the usual male 7-letter suspects (such as Strauss, Ponting, Ganguly and Vettori) before removing my sexist blinkers!

  30. Chunter says:

    Barnaby Page: From the OED’s entry for ‘rider’ – ‘A corollary or addition supplementing, or naturally arising from, something said or written.’ I suspect, though, that the use of ‘rider’ is uncommon nowadays (though I remember it well from my schooldays).

  31. Barnaby Page says:

    Chunter – I think the use of “rider” as “addition” is still not all that uncommon; it’s the use of “corollary” in that sense that I found a little surprising. But then, surprised is what we should expect to be…

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