Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,059 (Sat 10 Jul)/Araucaria – Storm in a teacup

Posted by rightback on July 17th, 2010


A gentler offering than usual for Araucaria, I thought, although some familiarity with Shakespeare’s The Tempest helped since several of its characters appeared as clue answers. There may well be further references that I’ve missed.

Solving time: 8 mins, one mistake (13ac)

Music of the day: The Tempest by Pendulum.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

1 MORE’S THE PITY; MORES (= ‘Customs’ as in O tempora! O mores!), + THEY around PIT
8 EARFLAP; EARP around rev. of ALF – referring to Wyatt Earp.
9 IRONIST; IRON (= ‘Fe’) + IS + T[ritium]
11 DONATOR; DONAT + OR – I think the actor is Robert Donat.
12 IMPETUS; I (= ‘first’) + MET + U.S., all around P[ower]
13 HEARD – which, if it’s HEARD, sounds like HERD (= ‘flock’). I confess to an over-hasty ‘hoard’ here which I failed to check properly.
16 BATH CHAIR – the wordplay refers to the university of Bath, and the definition is ‘Push’ in the sense of ‘to need a push’.
21 ROMULUS; [p]ROMUL[gation] + U.S. – very dubious wordplay with the brackets spoiling the syntax.
25 ANTONIO – Antonio was the name of the Merchant of Venice as well as a character in The Tempest.
1 MIRANDA; rev. of I’M, + RAND + A
2 RELATED – which Miranda, Prospero and Antonio are in the play, although there’s a flaw in that the answer to 5 is ‘prosper’, not ‘Prospero’. The clue numbers cited are all powers of 5 but I think that’s just coincidence.
3 SUPERNOVA; SUN (= ‘ours’, i.e. our star) around PER (= ‘by means of’), + OVA
4 HAITI (hidden)
5 PROSPER; PROSPERO with the last letter missing
6 TWIN-TUB; [grea]T + WIN + rev. of BUT
15 FERDINAND; (FRIEND)* + AND (= ‘with’)
17 TEMPEST; TEMPT around E,S – I thought of this straight away but saw ‘Try’ = ‘test’, couldn’t see why ‘directions’ should give EMP (or MPE) and dismissed it.
18 CALIBAN; CALI[fornia] + BAN
19 ALSATIA; (AS A TAIL)* – Alsatia in London seems to have been a place of sanctuary for criminals in years gone by, although I thought Alsatian dogs were named after Alsace so I don’t understand that part of the clue.
20 INGENUE; U (= ‘turn’) in (ENGINE)*
22 SITKA; sIT (= ‘Pose’) + K[ing] + A (= ‘first’)

10 Responses to “Guardian 25,059 (Sat 10 Jul)/Araucaria – Storm in a teacup”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Rightback, I really enjoyed this even though I’m no expert on Shakespeare.

    According to the Annotated Solution:

    11a is indeed Robert Donat;

    5d Prosper is an alternative in The Tempest; and

    18d Alsaatia is the old name for Alsace.

    Of course, I don’t believe everything that I read in the papers.

  2. Biggles A says:

    I fell into the same trap with 17, I knew it had to be TEMPEST as the characters emerged but couldn’t reconcile MPE or EMP.

  3. molonglo says:

    Thanks rightback. The theme was transparent with an easy 17d. And, because of good clueing, you didn’t need to know much about the play. Or ever have heard of Donat and Alsatia. Last in was 22d, which did require checking.

  4. Little Dutch Girl says:

    Thank you rightback. This is the earliest we have ever posted!
    We made a mistake with 5d (being thrown by 2d as you correctly indicate above) thinking it was Prospero – as the spelling champion (not) I thought I’d entered it correctly. Put it down to brain still on holiday and 30C temperature in the garden during lunch when we did the crossword. The result was we couldn’t solve 14a and we’ve been looking forward to your answers today.

    We can throw some light on 22d. The house elf is very smug with getting this answer. He once had 1000 miniature plastic replicas of Sitka which is the type of Spruce used by the Forestry Commission. (Personally I thought they looked like bottle brushes!)

    Alsatia was also new to us – clearly reading all those historical who-done-its hasn’t paid off. This is the first line taken from a long Wikipedia article on Alsatia: was the name given to an area lying north of the River Thames covered by the Whitefriars monastery, to the south of the west end of Fleet Street and adjacent to the Temple.
    Seems to have been a place of sanctuary until end of 17th Century.

    Have a nice weekend everyone and enjoy today’s crossword.

  5. Gerry says:

    Once The Tempest was seen, the rest fell into place quite easily.

  6. Stella Heath says:

    As I start my crossword solving by going through the clues in order, first across and then down, by the time I got to the Tempest I didn’t need to read the clue, just parse it, so it took me less than others to find the explanation.

    As for Alsatia, I didn’t know the area of London, which was confirmed by Wiki, but the etymology for the dogs was, for me, self-evident.

    A much more accessible Araucaria than yesterday’s ‘sicundo me’

  7. Caliban says:

    I serve a new master now: Araucaria is twice the wizard old Prospero ever was. I shall miss Miranda, but, who knows, Chifonie might welcome a new torchbearer!

  8. tupu says:

    Thanks Rightback and Araucaria

    Much easier than yesterday’s by the wizard and quite enjoyable.

    I checked Alsatia out of interest (it could not be anything else) and I also I checked that Antonio is a baddie in the Tempest.

    Earflap and Bath Chair amused and 14 was nicely constructed.

    Caliban @7. You may not have meant otherwise, but I gather from the only Guardian setter I have met that Chifonie (I thought it might be her) is male.

  9. Paul B says:

    Wasn’t MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING the storm in a teacup?

  10. John Dean says:

    Re 2d
    As Bryan points out, ‘Prosper’ is used in the Tempest as an alternative. In modern texts it is only used by Caliban but in the 1st Folio Alonso uses it as well. And it is the only version used by Browning in his “Caliban upon Setebos”.

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