Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24905 – Araucaria

Posted by Uncle Yap on January 12th, 2010

Uncle Yap.

The Chinese character for double happiness would have been appropriate to headline today’s entry … for the second week running, I got to blog The Master and what a lovely experience. Some new words and some unfamiliar names but all fairly clued.

ACROSS
1 GISCARD DISCARD (scrap) with G substituted for D. Valéry Marie René Georges Giscard d’Estaing (born 1926) is a French centre-right politician who was President of the French Republic from 1974 until 1981.
5 MIASMAL Rev of LAMS (strike’s) AIM (target)
9 LUNAR rha from  RANULPH FIENNES said to be the “greatest living adventurer in the world today”
10 STEVENSON Ins of EVENS (50% chance) in STON (rev of NOTS, negatives) Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (1850 – 1894) was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer who wrote ….
11 TREASURE ISLAND Gold and silver must be treasure even though Long John (the other Silver) proved to be quite too much. Hispaniola is also an island in the Caribbean
13 INNS dd Apart from the pubs, there are also the Law Inns where barristers (or members of the bar) are trained
14 HAWARDEN Cha of HAW (fruit from hawthorn) ARDEN (forest) a village in Flintshire, North Wales, approximately 5 miles (as the crow flies) from the city of Chester.
17 PRISONER Cha of PR (little prince) IS ONE R (right). Very clever definition “I’m inside”
18 ANTE Stake is quite obvious but AND + ANTE  will give you andante which is a musical term for moving with moderately slow
21 NUCLEAR PHYSICS NU (sounds like new or modern) CLEAR (evident) PHYSICS (remedies)
23 OBBLIGATO cd for a musical accompaniment that cannot be done without
24 THETA THE TA (Territorial Army or volunteers or Dad’s Army or Home Guards)
25 ABYSMAL (B) ABY  SMAL (L) which describes Matthew, my grandson in the picture above who was born two weeks premature in late March, 2009
26 TRIESTE Ins of E (English) in TRISTE (French for unhappy)

DOWN
1 GOLD Cha of GO (attempt) L & D (50 and 500 in Roman numerals)
2 SAN FRANCISCO BAY Apart from Bay (horse) I do not seem to be able to fully parse this clue, anyone?
3 AIRMAN A + IRMA (sweet girl) + N (name) Irma La Douce is a 1963 film starring Shirley Maclaine and douce is French for sweet
4 DUST-UP This is a reversed kind of clue where the answer appears to be the clue. Thus, UP (reversal indicator for this down clue) T (time) SUD (French for south)
5 MAECENAS MA (mother) + *(a scene) a rich patron of art or literature, after a Roman knight who befriended Virgil and Horace
6 AMERSHAM AMER (much of AMERICA, new world) SHAM (bogus)
7 MUSTARD AND CRESS *(DAMASCUS + DRS for doctors + RENT)
8 LINE DANCER *(celandine) + R (river) Line dancing in which participants form rows without partners and follow a set pattern of steps to country-and-western music.
12 HISPANIOLA *(a ship) + *(a lion) the name of the schooner featured in Treasure Island
15 TOKENISM Ins of KEN + IS (one boy is) in TOM (another boy)
16 BEERHALL *(harebell)
19 THROAT THRO (cast or throw minus w, with) + AT. What a quaint def, channel of speech
20 TSOTSI T (first letter of The) SOTS (drunkards) I (one) A new word to me meaning a member of a black African street gang, a young hooligan or thug.
22 GATE Allusion to Golden Gate Bridge in SF

Key to abbreviations used
dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

23 Responses to “Guardian 24905 – Araucaria”

  1. gurmukh says:

    Down2: Say(for example), (L)anfranc Archbishop, is , cob=horse

  2. Uncle Yap says:

    Ah ! So !
    I backed the wrong horse :-)

  3. Ian says:

    A tricky Araucaria today thankfully studded with some very straightforward clues like 1ac, 18ac and 24ac to make things in certain areas considerably easier.

    Last one in was Tsotsi (a new word to me too) which took the solution up from 25′ to 40′. Even then only after a lengthy search through Chambers.

  4. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Uncle Yap, this was too tough for me as I always do my puzzles over breakfast without any dictionaries or on-line help.

    I’d never heard of some of the words and I doubt if I ever shall again.

    Even though it’s cold outside, I am now going to cut down my Monkey Puzzle tree. That should make me feel better.

  5. cholecyst says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap.

    14 ac – Hawarden.Its most famous resident was the former Prime Minister, William Ewart Gladstone . He rears his head again! Remember Pasquale’s GS puzzle?

  6. Tom_I says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap.

    There is also a TREASURE ISLAND in SAN FRANCISCO BAY, hence “or in 2″ in 11ac.

  7. Chunter says:

    Gladstone and Fiennes both appeared in A’s Christmas Special.

  8. walruss says:

    Yes, good entertainment. Some quite obscure words, but I think there is a way in which these are expected in Araucaria puzzles. It has always been that way maybe.

  9. Tom Hutton says:

    4dn seems almost unintelligible for me (although I put it in) and 23dn is vague in the extreme though it can be parsed as above but only very referentially (if there is such a word. Nevertheless it was an enjoyable crossword and gave me the excuse to get out a map to find Hawarden which as a mapoholic is always a pleasure for me.

  10. JimboNWUK says:

    French and Geography were never my strong points.

    How about a puzzle based on ENGLISH and VOCABULARY???

    There would be a novelty.

    Hmph.

  11. toby says:

    As a new solver (less than a year old), it is always nice to be able to get most of the way through an Araucaria puzzle. Many of them I find almost entirely impossible.

    It started after getting 10ac – hoping the answer fitted the clue, after seeing that 11ac could be Treasure Island which, in itself was based on a guess seeing Silver in the clue and the 8,6 format)

    After that, about all but 5ac, and 20dn, but as Uncle Yap says, they were solvable from the clues.

  12. benington says:

    Usual enjoyable fare from Aracauria – for me, he never disappoints.

    One small quibble – as D’estaing is the surname of the ex French President, isn’t having ‘Giscard’ as the answer like having ‘Charles’ instead of De Gaulle?

  13. Ed H says:

    @benington I had the same instinct. I can only recall hearing him referred to as ‘Giscard D’Estaing’, which meant the answer felt like half of a UK politician’s double-barrelled surname… Heathcote for Heathcote-Amory say. Suppose the answer could be parsed clearly enough though.

  14. liz says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. TSOTSI was new to me, but gettable from the wordplay. I liked the definition in 17ac very much! HAWARDEN was the last one I got.

    I would never have got the wordplay in 2dn! Also assumed that the horse was a ‘bay’…

  15. Dave Ellison says:

    Flint 14a was also in Treasure Island – a coincidence?

  16. cholecyst says:

    Toby – you must be a prodigy! …”As a new solver (less than a year old…”

  17. Sil van den Hoek says:

    We did like this Araucaria, but deep inside I have a feeling that it is not just because the crossword is rather good, but even more because it is a real challenge to get into Araucaria’s mind. And I must say that His mind’s not always completely fair.

    I am not sure if, to name a few, Gordius or Rover would have been appreciated for 1ac (GISCARD), which as benington (#12) pointed out, is just not right for ‘French politician’. No one would accept ‘Vaughan’ if the definition were ‘English composer’.
    And talking about definitions, I know it’s Cryptic Land, and I smiled seeing ‘Moony’ as a definition in 9ac, but strictly speaking this not right either.
    ‘Moony’ is not synonymous to LUNAR – “He sat in lunar silence”?

    In Bonxie’s puzzle last week, some posts were crying out loud:
    “What is that ‘of’ doing here?”. Rightly so, but what is that ‘of the’ doing there in 14ac (HAWARDEN) other than making it a better surface?
    ‘Fruit of the forest’ would have been ARDEN-HAW, in my opinion.

    And although it is defendable when you think about it very deeply, the order of the words in 25ac (ABYSMAL) is very questionnable (‘baby small’ instead of ‘small baby’?). The same for the clue of 19d, ‘Missing with cast’ = ‘cast missing w(ith)’?
    Don’t get me wrong, I do understand all this, but it is not extremely precise, or is it?

    Two of the theme clues (11ac and 22d) I still don’t get or like so far. I find 11ac still a bit loose, with references all over the place, and in in 23d I don’t see why ‘money’ is there. Maybe someone can explain this to me?

    Even so, as I said, we liked it.
    Best clue perhaps, in our opinion, 17ac (wrong-footing and an example of one of Araucaria’s specialities: ‘I’m inside’ for PRISONER, putting it in the ‘first person’).
    But sometimes I think it is not fair that Araucaria gets away with things (at this site) while some other setters would have been heavily criticised.

    PS, dear cholecyst (#5), is it really necessary to remind of that – at least, for me – torturous Pasquale GS crossword …….? :)

  18. nmsindy says:

    Did not do the puzzle, but re 12 and 13 above, his surname did have two parts, with his first name being Valéry, I think.

  19. Tom_I says:

    Sil, I do agree with you, and have commented about it myself, that some setters seem to be allowed the odd loose clue or inaccuracy, while others (and you have mentioned Gordius and Rover, both of whose puzzles I usually enjoy) are regularly criticised for the slightest lapse. It does seem a bit unfair, I agree.

    Back to the puzzle. In 22d “entrance money” equates to “gate” exactly. At a sporting event the gate is both the total number of people who have paid to attend, and the total amount of money taken in entrance fees (also “gate-money”).

  20. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, Tom_I, for that.
    I really didn’t know it (I wonder, did everyone else, at this site?).
    But it’s clear now, and OK.

    [BTW, I do enjoy a bit of Gordius myself, but – I’m sorry – not too many bits of Rover. Having said that, some days ago, there was a late post at Bonxie’s puzzle (# 29) that expressed a lot of my feelings about crosswords: first there’s the overall Joy, than there’s The Theory. And I liked that, I liked that, I li-i-iked that, etc (courtesy to Status Quo)]

  21. Macca says:

    In 23ac, can someone explain why this is even considered a ‘cryptic’ definition ? It seems pretty straight.

    Thanks Sil for pointing out the latitude that this setter has more than others.

    For someone south of the equator, the Gallicisms and English towns make for a tough slog.

  22. Jim says:

    As an expat Scot (25 years in South Africa, now in NZ) I recall that in the late 60s and early 70s I had a number of teeth grinding hours (sometimes days if I did not peek at the published solutions) with Araucaria’s puzzles.
    Have been doing the online puzzles for the past 2 years and I still get the teeth grinding.
    While I enjoy the puzzles, I must agree with those who feel that “The Master” gets away with murder sometimes.

  23. Mister Sting says:

    Macca
    Obbligato does not simply mean obligatory although, confusingly, it can mean that.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obbligato

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