Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,980 – Audreus

Posted by manehi on April 9th, 2010


It’s been a good while since I last tackled an Audreus. Sped through without too much difficulty. Edits thanks to Brian and Gaufrid

8 DINOSAUR (around is)*
9 OPENER double def: “First man in / right key”
10 WADE sounds like “weighed”
11 POINSETTIA SET=show in POINT=place + (ai[r])*
12 ATTAIN A + T[ime] + TA=volunteers + IN=”at home”
14 SHREWDLY SHY=Aunt Sally [wiki] around REWD which sounds like “rude” so “rough-spoken” + L[earner]
15 BRISKET RISK=danger in BE=live + [Model] T
17 NEUTRAL (real nut)*
20 ACTIVIST ACT=behave + (VISIT)*, anagram implied by “on the contrary” with respect to “behave” around (visit)*
22 BEHEST E[arly] + HE inside BST=”time an hour ahead”
23 DELIBERATE double def
24 WONT W[ork] O[n] N[ew] T[asks]
25 INCUBI IN CUB=”expecting young” + I=one
26 NARROWER ROWER after rev(RAN)
1 DISASTER (strides a)*
2 RODE D[aughter] in ROE
3 DAMPEN rev(AD=”this time”) + P[ull] inside MEN
4 TRAIPSE T[ime] + RAISE around P[ower]
5 CONSERVE CON i.e. convict=”old lag” + SERVE=”will do”
6 DEATH WATCH double def
7 DENIAL EN=measure in DIAL=face
16 EPIDEMIC EPIC=”great narrative” around IDEM=”the same in Latin”
18 ABSENTEE (tense)* inside ABE Lincoln
19 STRAINS hidden in “orcheSTRA INStead”
22 BLEARY BY around LEAR
24 WOOL WOO=court + L[eft]

32 Responses to “Guardian 24,980 – Audreus”

  1. molonglo says:

    Thanks manehi – I was hoping you’d explain 21d, but you left it out.

  2. manehi says:

    Oops, I forgot 21. Sorry, my fault for rushing an late/early blog.

    I put 21 in last, as CUEING, with a vague association of queuing/CUEING with the beheading of cattle in a slaughterhouse and was going to find some form of corroboration.. commenting from my mobile now but I’m sure someone will shoot me down soon fairly promptly.

  3. Conrad Cork says:

    Not too difficult perhaps but some lovely surfaces and some highly ingenious clueing all the same. (eg 3 down and 11 across.) A true delight.

  4. Brian says:

    Tiny point but I think 20A is (visit)* inside ACT. “Lively” is the anagram indicator and “on the contrary” means that the lively visit occurs “during” the ACT. Still don’t understand CUEING though!

  5. Eileen says:

    Thanks, manehi.

    I, too, was waiting for enlightenment re 21dn – it makes no sense at all to me, although I’ve stared at it for ages.

    I don’t understand the explanation of 20ac: I took ‘lively’ as the anagram indicator and ‘on the contrary’ as referring to the fact that ACT comes before, rather ‘during’ the anagram of VISIT.

    There were some nice clues [8ac, 13dn] but also several niggles: the grammar of NEUTRAL = ‘don’t care’ and SERVE = ‘will do’ [I think there was a similar example not so long ago] and in 19dn why is STRAIN ‘gentle’ music – and what’s the ‘big’ doing?

    According to the archive, it’s nearly two years since we had a puzzle from Audreus, who is Shed’s mother. It often used to happen that we got one of his puzzles the following day. Do we dare to hope?

  6. Ian says:

    Thanks manehi.

    Much harder for me. I spent forever on Virginia ‘Wade’ and ‘Incubi’.

    Plenty of strightforward answers e.g. 8ac, 9ac, 23ac, 6dn etc helped but it took me 79′ to complete.

    Several very clever pieces of clueing, esp. ‘Wool’ and ‘Poinsettia’.

  7. Eileen says:

    Yes, Brian, you’re right re 20ac!

  8. Gaufrid says:

    Hi manehi
    21dn is *([e]UGENIC)

  9. manehi says:

    Brian, 20ac – that makes a lot more sense

    Gaufrid, 21dn – I swear that didn’t work at 1am..

    thanks all, will edit soon if I can sneak my way to a computer

  10. ilan says:

    Re 21D: no wonder the wp’s hard to see given it’s an indirect anagram — typically considered off-limits.

  11. liz says:

    Thanks, manehi. And to Gaufrid for explaining 21dn. I got into this quickly but it took me more time than I expected to finish. Needed help to get INCUBI. I liked 8ac very much. Don’t care for the definition of ‘neutral’ however.

  12. Eileen says:

    For this relief much thanks, Gaufrid. I don’t think any amount of staring would have got me there. I was hung up on trying to do something with ‘executing’.

  13. don says:

    Bottom left was difficult.

    Why, strictly, does ‘epidemic’ = ‘catching; ‘incubi’ = ‘nightmares’?

  14. jvh says:

    Thanks manehi. In 11ac I had POINT (show) outside of SET (place).

  15. Gaufrid says:

    Hi don
    I don’t think that epidemic and catching are synonyms but for incubus (plural incubi) Chambers gives “a devil supposed to assume a male body and have sexual intercourse with women in their sleep (cf succubus); a nightmare; any oppressive person, thing or influence”.

  16. Bill Taylor says:

    This was a very dour crossword — precious little wit, charm or style; just figure ‘em out and fill ‘em in.

  17. JamieC says:

    Thanks for the blog.

    I managed about two-thirds of this, but without any great enjoyment or “aha” moments. I won’t repeat the specific criticisms that others have made above, but can I add to them: why is “path” an anagrid in 1d?

  18. sidey says:

    Unlike an Araucaria where you fill ‘em in and never figure out why ;)

  19. Kathryn's Dad says:

    JamieC @ no 17 – I managed less than you but would also be grateful if ‘path’ for an anagrind (if indeed that is what it is) could be explained.

  20. Sil van den Hoek says:

    A crossword without bars, cross references, linked clues and theme – that’s special.
    For me this was the hardest puzzle this week [went through Paul and Araucaria much quicker].
    Once I got into it, I did appreciate the style, which was full of cleverness – a lot of thought put into fitting the various devices into the surfaces.

    The anagram of 8ac (DINOSAUR), the construction of 11ac (POINSETTIA), the very clever 3d (DAMPEN) [which stumped me], the well-hidden STRAINS (19d) and the change of leadership in 13d (AUSPICIOUS): all very good.

    I liked the “on the contrary” construction [well-known to me, because etc] in ACTIVIST (20ac), but CUEING and SHREWDLY were one step too far for me [certainly as far as the explanation was concerned].
    Worst clue of the Day: 23ac (DELIBERATE) – ‘debate’ is so similar.

    My view on 1d is that ‘path to ruin’ as a whole is probably the anagrind, with ‘path to ruin’ doing double duty, also being the definition of DISASTER.
    Maybe, Shed can ask his mother and tell us … :)

    I can understand Bill Taylor’s negativish reaction in #16.
    It may well be that this crossword was a bit un-Guardian, a bit too ‘clinical’ to the taste of some solvers – but I liked it.

  21. rrc says:

    This was slightly better than the Tuesday offering but only just!

  22. don says:

    Thanks Gaufrid.

    I thought ‘catching’ = ‘epidemic’ was poor. I only knew the definition of an ‘incubus’ as ‘a devil …’, hence Merlin! Looking it up on Wikipedia, it only gives the ‘demon’ definition.

    Thanks again.

  23. Richard says:

    I thought POINSETTIA was horrible so lost interest rather. A lot of old cliches I thought:- Lincoln = ABE, Volunteers = TA, pieces = MEN, model = T etc…

  24. walruss says:

    Some nice thiungs, but, really, too many devices that people can’t be expected to understand, idiosyncrasies I suppose. These are okay in one’s head, but to ask others to ‘get’ them is another thing really.

  25. Bryan says:

    Thanks, manehi, I really enjoyed it!

    It passed the time nicely on my outward train journey but, after 1 hour, I still had 7 to do.

    These quickly fell into place on my return journey.

    It’s funny how I usually benefit from a break.

  26. Radchenko says:

    @25, Bryan, I know what you mean, sure others have the same, you walk away and when you come back, bingo…

    Although, not this time though, the bottom left remained resolutely unresolved.

    I also had 14ac STRAWMAN (aunt sally), with “rough-spoken student” RAWMA and just thought I was missing something with STN somehow being smartly and covering it (clips). Well, if path can be an anagrind…

    Also I thought of EUGENIC for future stock, but removing first character, then “could be” is the anagrind, and “giving the go ahead” the definition. I could have gone away and come back a thousand times and would never have got that.

  27. Martin H says:

    Didn’t get round to this until 10:30 pm, and I enjoyed it – and nice to see Audreus again. I can’t agree that there was no wit in this; no feeble attempts at it via cryptic definitions, but it’s there in the wordplay, where it should be: ‘shortage of air about’ for IA; (s)auspicious; the surface of 15 ac, etc.

    I’ve no problem with epidemic = catching, even though they may not be true synonyms. This was a well-crafted puzzle. Feeling for language is always more important than technical correctness.

  28. Another Andrew says:

    Another late night and another failure to get the last seven. I needed at least five of the explanations to completely understand the solution, so thanks for the blog. For some reason I can never remember that pieces = men.

    I’m with Bill @ #16, but still a lot more enjoyable than yesterday’s.

  29. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Martin (#27), your post says it all.

    Your last line is exactly what I think, although, of course, one should at least try to be as correct as possible from a linguistic point of view.
    ‘Feeling for language’ is what me brought me to Crosswordland, even though, technically speaking, I still have a lot to learn.
    Which I do, day in day out.

  30. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Eileen (#5), how right you were about tomorrow [which is today].
    “It’s A Mother And Child Reunion”.

  31. Paul (not Paul) says:

    Poor effort for me.

    No wit or style and some grumbles to boot.

    If you want to play fast or loose then you need style.

    Below Par

  32. Daniel Miller says:

    3-4 got the better of me today.. Tough set in parts.

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