Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24717 / Araucaria

Posted by mhl on June 4th, 2009


There’s a mini-theme of golf and golf clubs in this one; I found this quite tough, but on writing the post I’m not entirely sure why, apart from the usual Araucaria liberties…

1. ARCTIC ARC = “Bow” + TIC = “convulsion”
5. SCHNAPPS Sounds like “sh!” (“don’t say it”) + “naps” (“sleeps”)
9. DYSTOPIA TOPI = “helmet” in (DAYS)*; Chambers gives “a hat, esp a sola hat, pith helmet, worn esp in India” for TOPI
10. INTERN Double definition; an INTERN is a junior doctor in the US hospital system
11,27. GLENEAGLES to EAGLE is to “better the PAR FOR THE COURSE” in GLENS = “Highlands”, perhaps? (I wondered if “the” was a misprint for “than”…)
12. CHICKENPOX HICK = “rustic” in (PONCE)* + X = “unknown”
14. DECIMATE DEC I = “first of month” + MATE = “friend”
16. BARE ARMS I’m not sure about “Was one of ancient 25″ here? Update: I’m not quite convinced, but the explanation suggested by jvh below seems the most likely so far… OK, I am convinced now :) ‘He “bare [bore] arms”‘ might be ‘he “was one of ancient soldiery”‘
19. TOPPER P = “soft” in TOPER = “Boozer”
21. ACCENTUATE (AN A = “adult” U = “university” ETC ETC)*
23. FLOG GOLF reversed
24. LEAN TO “insectivorous cat” might be LEO eating ANT
25. SOLDIERY OLDIE = “veteran” in S + RY
26. ATALANTA A[s] in ATLANTA; “Who’s Who In The Ancient World” explains that she made her suitors race against her
2. ROYAL AND ANCIENT ROY + ALAN + DAN + I in CENT = “one in a hundred”
3. TITANTIC Hidden answer (golgonooza reminds me that I should also have said that this is an &lit)
4. CAPACITOR CAP = “top” followed by I in ACTOR; “Store charge here” is a lovely definition
6. HOICK I in HOCK = “Setter debtor?”
7. ANTONYM ANTONY, M. (Mark Antony) = “Oppo of Caesar, J.”
15. COTTESLOE T = “Model” in CÔTE = “French coast” + SLOE = “fruit”
18. SWANSEA SWAN SEA might be an inversion of SEA BIRD
20. PUFFING PUFFIN + G; the definition is referring to Puffing Billy
22. TROON POLTROON = CHICKEN (“first part of 12″) without POL = “Politician”

41 Responses to “Guardian 24717 / Araucaria”

  1. jvh says:

    Thanks mhl. I think 16a is referring to “bare” being an old form of “bore”. Bore arms = was a soldier, ancient = archaic language.

  2. Crypticnut says:

    Very easy for Araucaria but enjoyable just the same. Clever references to various golf clubs.

  3. Colin Blackburn says:

    Interesting that Araucaria’s protege Paul (as Punk) also clued ANTONYM today in the Independent. The breakdown was the same but the clue very different.

  4. teesween says:

    Not happy with 16a and the “jvh” explanation doesn’t sound right to me.

  5. Colin Blackburn says:

    I think jvh is more or less right with 16a. BARE is an archaic form of ‘bore’ as past tense for ‘bear’, so a soldier ‘bore arms’ = BARE ARMS. I don’t think it is particularly fair for a daily puzzle but I don’t see any other reasonable explanation (yet).

  6. Monica M says:

    Hi all,

    Can someone give me a further explanation to TROON….I still don’t get it, and couldn’t get it. I understand it’s a golf club, but ….

    SNO-CAT too.

    PS Welcome Crypticnut … another brisbanite

  7. Crypticnut says:

    16a was a bit loose. “T-shirt” gave me BARE ARMS which sounded like a homophone (oops) when linked to 25a SOLDIERY. Guess we all have different thought processes.

  8. Colin Blackburn says:

    Monica M: SNO-CAT is a vehicle used on snow and hence in the ARCTIC.

  9. cholecyst says:

    16 ac. Try googling “bare arms” and all you’ll get is Michelle O.

  10. Colin Blackburn says:

    Crypticnut: There’s no homophone indicator for “bear arms”. There is, though, an indicator for the past tense, ‘was’ and a loose indicator for an archaic word ‘ancient’.

  11. Crypticnut says:

    Hi Monica M….actually Sunny Coast.(but close enuff)

    TROON fits the clue – POLTROON (coward therefore chicken) minus POL. We would normally look for MP for politician but with Araucaria expect the unexpected.

  12. Colin Blackburn says:

    Also, Monica M:
    First past of CHICKENPOX = chicken = coward = poltroon. Remove pol = politician and you get TROON.

  13. Monica M says:

    Perhaps I was tricked by the stress mhl put there … I was left thinking … “who in their right mind would call a golf club the sno-cat” !!!!

  14. Crypticnut says:

    Thanks Colin… the lack of a homophone indicator bothered me too but with Araucaria I have learned to think outside the square. While I wasn’t entirely happy with the clue, I got it. And that’s the main thing.

  15. Colin Blackburn says:

    Ah, re SNO-CAT. It wasn’t stress, it was a link to the wikipedia article describing the vehicle. mhl provided links from various answers not just the golf clubs.

  16. Monica M says:

    Thanks Colin … I don’t feel so silly now … I’d worked the snow vehicle line.

    Now for my next question … HOICK?

  17. Monica M says:

    Oh … and I understand the pull up part.

  18. golgonooza says:

    Polished this off quite quickly with a little help here and there. Had never heard of a sno-cat before, and wasn’t aware of puffing Billy. Also not a massive golf fan, so I’m glad some of these weren’t too hard. Surely 3dn (TITANIC) is also an &lit? I thought it was very clever. And can anyone shed any light on hoick?

  19. golgonooza says:

    Ah – I’ve just realised that I in Hock would make the setter a debtor as he would be in hock or obligated to someone.

  20. Colin Blackburn says:

    3dn is an &lit if you forgive Araucaria his laxness. I don’t think “Something” on its own is good enough, “Something of” would have been better but would, of course, have broken the definition.

  21. Monica M says:

    Got it, thanks golgonooza .. I just needed it explained slightly differently … I’ll sleep soundly now.

  22. Pricklewedge says:

    Thanks for 22d explanation. Got it only by working through golf clubs and courses. Poltroon I would never have thought of. 17d was left unfilled for a good hour as my poor classics left me with Atalanta spelt Atlatnta. Doh.

  23. John says:

    We often see “some” meaning “part of” what follows, therefore some (of) “hit it – an iceberg” works for me, esp in an Araucaria puzzle.

  24. Colin Blackburn says:

    Unless the online and print copies are different it is “something” not “some”.

  25. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog. I found this quite testing and eventually had to cheat on ROYAL AND ANCIENT to get the lower left side out. Thanks for the explanations of the wordplay for TROON and LEAN-TO, which eluded me! Not too happy with the convolutions of 16ac. but otherwise enjoyed the puzzle a lot.

  26. Derek Lazenby says:

    Well ye-hah, third Araucaria finish! This is where I have an advantage over the experts, I still get a real buzz out of that, it isn’t simply “yet another”.

    I was glad of the on-line gadgets though, but to me that’s the same as using lots of books, just quicker.

    The online version did say “Something….” BTW.

    OK, must go vote……

  27. Eileen says:

    Late to the party today and surprised to see so much controversy over 16ac. I remembered a hymn I knew as a child with the verse:

    ‘Can a woman’s tender care
    Cease towards the child she bare?
    Yes, she may forgetful be,
    Yet will I remember thee.’

    Which gave rise to the joke about the child going home from Sunday School and saying they’d sung a song about a she-bear.

    I think 3dn works if you think of it as ‘some thing …’ It’s a typical Araucaria device.

    It was nice for pedants like me to see DECIMATE defined correctly. :-)

  28. Colin Blackburn says:

    Hmm, I must be in a minority here. I’m aware that Araucaria will collapse spaces but “some thing” is no better than “something”. Reading it with the space only works if you then treat “thing” as a redundant word. For the definition to work the space needs to not be there. Essentially the clue fails as an &lit because it can’t reasonably be parsed twice.

  29. Brian Harris says:

    22d is a dreafully clumsy construction. I got the answer but would never have worked out the construction, if I stared at it from now till Doomsday.

  30. Pricklewedge says:

    In reply to derek this is only my third completed Arucaria. Does anyone else have (or recall) a slight melancholy on completing a grid and being denied that “ah!” Moment later on?

  31. Derek Lazenby says:

    Pricklewedge, you mean as in “damn I was enjoying that and didn’t want it to stop”? Others may have but not me, I’m always relieved to get there, even with ones I regularly finish. I know what you mean, but this is a family show so we won’t go there!

    Re 3dn. I don’t wish to join the debate by expressing any opinion here, but if you want a measure of whether the clue works as a hidden because of the use of “Something”, my evidence is that I solved the clue purely as an &lit. I never saw the hidden. That may be because, as suggested by Colin, “Something” doesn’t work. Of course, I might not have seen it with a more traditional indicator, being the class dummy! So who knows? I was just happy to solve it.

  32. Pricklewedge says:

    In reply to Derek; yes… Sort of… The “wish it would carry on” is sometimes there, but more boringly it’s to do with my two hours to work and home again. No XW to look forward to on long drag home!

  33. Derek Lazenby says:

    Pricklewedge, I’m replying to that in the chat/crossword discussion thread before I go off topic.

  34. Dave Ellison says:

    Can I put in a plea for 7d as no one else, surprisingly, seems to have done so – I thought it was a great/brilliant and original clue.

  35. stiofain says:

    Being from Titanic Town (Belfast, Ireland where it was built) I thought it was worth mentioning that the last survivor of the shipwreck, Millvina Dean, died a few days ago and her obituary was in todays paper probably a co incidence that 3dn was in today but maybe not.
    Millvina Dean

  36. liz says:

    Dave — I agree re 7dn. A real ‘aha’ moment!

  37. Dagnabit says:

    This took me nearly all day – and I still missed 22d. I also made a stupid mistake at 25ac by putting in a final S instead of Y – particularly embarrassing because I’d just used RY in a U.S. cryptic the night before and had noted how odd it was to see it on this side of the pond… But I liked this puzzle a lot, especially 2d (it has my given name in it). :)

    Eileen, I think that she-bear must be a relative of Gladly the cross-eyed bear.

  38. Eileen says:

    Hi Dave

    I really did mean to say how much I loved 7dn but my entry got rather long as it was! In fact, I was telling my dinner hostess, a fellow-Classicist, about it an hour or so ago. Colin mentioned in Comment 3 that Punk / Paul had used ANTONYM in the Indy today. I’d have thought his clue, ‘boy getting married, poor to rich, perhaps’, a great clue, had I not seen this one first!

    [I liked 20dn, too.]

  39. Eileen says:

    Hi Dagnabit

    Thanks for the reminder about ‘Gladly’ – I’d forgotten him / her! [And I thought 2dn very clever, too.]

  40. Rufus T Firefly Jun. says:

    Is 3 down not

    Definition = the whole clue

    Cryptic: some = portion of – thing hit it – an iceberg?

    COD Bare Arms… Devilish!

  41. Derek Lazenby says:

    7d, yeah right, if anyone failed to smile at that one then they ain’t got no soul as certain parts of the vernacular would put it. Very neat and totally to the point.

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