Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,891 / Araucaria

Posted by Gaufrid on December 24th, 2009


Some typical Araucaria fare today which resulted in quite a few ticks on my copy of the puzzle (1ac, 13ac, 3dn, 8dn and 15dn had the largest ones).

I struggled trying to parse 5dn and am hoping that someone more erudite will come up with a better explanation than the one I have given since this would be a little outlandish even by Araucaria’s standards what with the need to convert ‘VII’ to ‘seventh’ and the number of superfluous words.

1 MAINBRACE MA (parent) IN (at home) BRACE (couple) – I’m sure there will be a fair few people splicing the mainbrace this evening (if they haven’t started already!)
10 LASSO LASS (girl) O (love)
11 METHOUGHT METH (heroin substitute) OUGHT (should be)
14 WHISTLE-BLOWER W (with) HIS BELT reversed LOWER (cow)
21 ATTACHE ATTAC[k] (inconclusive assault) HE (man)
22 NEWGATE NEW (further) GATE (entry)
24 SMALL ARMS MALLARM[é] in SS (on board) – Stéphane Mallarmé, French poet and critic
25 CROUP R[evolution] in COUP (revolution)
26,6 OVERCAST CAS[sio] (20’s half hidden) in OVERT (open)
27 MEAT WAGON ME (setter) W (with) in A TAG ON (monitoring device fitted)

1 MELTDOWN LT (officer) DOW (partner to Jones) in MEN (other ranks)
2 INSET IN (popular) SET (group)
3 BLOW HOT AND COLD – a clever use of two meanings of the word ‘fan’
4 AUMERLE AU (golden) MERLE (blackbird) – a Duke in Richard II
5 ENTHRAL – my knowledge of Tudor history is limited so I may well be missing something that is obvious to others. The only way I have been able to parse this clue is: hidden in ‘which Henry sevENTH RALlied his troops’. The definition is ‘to make slaves’.
8 TITTUP PUTT IT (the last way to treat a ball) reversed
9 HOW NOW BROWN COW HOW NOW (what is this) BROWN COW (Jersey)
15 ILL AT EASE hidden in ‘maIL LATE AS Ever’
16 PETER PAN PETER (flag) PAN (vessel)
18 THEOREM O (zero) in THERE M (miles)
19 CANASTA CAN (prison) AS TA (acknowledgement)
20 CASSIO C (caught) ASS (the fool in 10) IO (10)
23 ALONG as in the song ‘it’s A LONG way to Tipperary, it’s a long way to go …..’

10 Responses to “Guardian 24,891 / Araucaria”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Gaufrid.

    I can’t see any other explanation for 5dn – in fact, I didn’t even get that far!

    I’m afraid I found this rather lack-lustre, for Araucaria: DITCHER, NEWGATE, INSET, for example, although ILL AT EASE was witty and well-hidden. It didn’t take up too much time on a busy day, anyway! :-)

  2. sidey says:

    I’ll just wish everyone Happy Christmas 😉

  3. rrc says:

    For araucaria disappointing with few smiles today

  4. IanN14 says:

    I actually quite liked 5d.
    I wasn’t too keen on 1ac.
    I understand the allusion, but the answer’s a noun, so it seems to be missing something…
    And 27ac. is similarly flawed. Something about the grammar.
    (Gordius would have been criticised for it, I’m sure).
    Maybe it’s just me, again?
    Anyway, Happy Christmas everybody…

  5. liz says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid. Difficult in places and disappointing in places. I didn’t find much here to raise a smile.

    On a brighter note: Merry Christmas everyone :-) and hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

  6. Molonglo says:

    Not as quirky and convoluted as standard Araucaria, and some irritating bits in the NW corner. The troops in 5d which I eventually got seem there only as an extra bardlike distraction, with the Shakespeare reference to the left, and Lieutenant Cassio from Othello Act 3 in 20D. The last for me to go was 11 across: meth (where I am at least) is methamphetamine/speed rather than methodone. No themes, no jokes.

  7. Gazza says:

    5d is hidden in sevENTH RALlied

  8. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Gaufrid, I struggled with the Top Right and Bottom Left.

    I’ve never heard of TITTUP but it sounds very rude; nor CASSIO; nor AUMERLE.

    Where does ‘Arry dredge these up from and doesn’t he know it’s Christmas which, surely, should be the Season of Goodwill to All Men, including us Puzzlers?

  9. Alex says:

    We quite enjoyed today’s offering. There are certainly some clues that we re a bit of a stretch. But there were some clues that we really enjoyed (24a and 15d particularly). Merry Christmas to all.

  10. Andrew says:

    Thanks Gaufrid – I’ve nothing to add to what others have said, except to take the opportunity to say Merry Christmas to all.

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